There are few things more American than driving down the road in a pickup truck. In fact, the pickup truck has been America’s top-selling vehicle for 33 years in a row.
A truck is a versatile vehicle that is great for both work and personal use. If you do construction work or other manual labor, a truck is perfect for hauling your equipment. Trucks are also great vehicles if you love camping and other outdoor activities.
Of course, if you get a truck, you can expect your friends to call on you for favors. People often look for a friend with a truck when they need to move or buy a new piece of furniture.
So how can you know if a truck is right for you? Let’s take a look at some basic truck facts you need to know before diving into the buying process.
Know the Truck Facts about the Truck You Need
Not all trucks are created equal. There are a variety of trucks available, and they come in a wide range of sizes, towing capacities, and fuel options. The first step when shopping for a truck is determining exactly what kind will meet your needs.
Type of Truck
The most popular model in America is the pickup truck. But, depending on your specific needs, you might be better suited for a large SUV or crossover vehicle. These cars tend to have more space for passengers.
Type of Work
If you need a truck for work, research truck facts to determine what kind of vehicle you need to do the job. For instance, you don’t need the same kind of truck to transport landscaping equipment that you would need to pull a 15-foot trailer.
In some cases, a pickup truck might not be sufficient to do the job you need. For example, if you need something that can haul out a flatbed, then you should look into hooklift trucks for sale.
Take into account the size and weight of what you plan on hauling. This will determine the size of the engine you’ll need. It will also dictate if you need 2 or 4 wheel drive.
For instance, if you plan on hauling heavy equipment, you’ll likely need a six or eight cylinder engine. Also, when you talk to the dealer, make sure to ask about the particular truck facts regarding the vehicle’s towing capacity.
In addition to having different towing capacities, trucks also come with different bed lengths. The longest bed available is eight feet, which is good for hauling construction equipment or ATVs.
If you don’t need as much space for equipment, consider a truck which a shorter bed. These will be more fuel-efficient, and easier to park.
When deciding what kind of truck you need, also take into account the type of weather your area experiences. For example, if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice, it’s a good idea to get a truck with 4 wheel drive.
That said, even in a more temperate climate, you might want 4 wheel drive based on how you plan to use the vehicle. Drivers who plan to take their truck off-roading should also consider a vehicle with 4 wheel drive.
Trucks are typically available with either a gas or diesel engine. Since gasoline is less expensive than diesel, this is the best choice if you are planning on doing light-weight towing. But, if you need something heavy-duty, diesel is the best option.
Set a Budget
Once you know what kind of vehicle you are looking for, you can set a realistic budget based on what’s available on the market. Do some research to find out the range of prices for the truck you’re looking at. Then, set a budget you can afford somewhere in the mid range of prices.
It’s important to have a budget in mind before you start going to dealerships and looking at trucks. You don’t want to fall in love with a vehicle, only to realize you can’t afford it.
If you plan on financing the truck, find out your credit score, and look at loan options. This will give you an idea of what kind of interest and monthly payment you can expect. Of course, your exact expenses will depend on the specific truck facts of the vehicles you choose.
Learn the Vehicle’s History
Buying a used truck can be a great way to save money. But if you do choose to buy a pre-owned vehicle, make sure to learn everything you can about how its previous owners cared for it.
For instance, find out whether the vehicle was in any accidents. It’s also good to ask whether the vehicle received regular maintenance, or if there is still a manufacturer’s warranty.
Getting this information will help you determine if the vehicle is still in good condition. Otherwise, you may end up sinking more money into repairs for the vehicle. In the long run, that won’t save you any money at all.
Take the Car for a Test Drive
No matter how much research you do, you won’t really know whether a particular vehicle is right for you until you get behind the wheel. This is especially important if you’re buying a used car. As you’re driving it, you can see if there are any strange noises or problems you need to know more about.
Taking the vehicle for a test drive will also help you figure out whether you like the way the vehicle handles. Pay close attention to the responsiveness of the breaks, and the ease of steering. Also, consider whether you find the control panel intuitive.
Don’t forget to take comfort into consideration as well. If you have a partner or children who will be riding in the vehicle, bring them along for the test drive. That way, you can make sure that the truck is a good fit for your whole family.
What research do you suggest that prospective buyers do before they go truck shopping? Let us know in the comments!