WHEN IS THE TRUCK FAD GONNA END?

aaron8aaron8 Member Posts: 22
i hope it doesn't. i opened this topic just to
see if people are buying trucks for style or actual
utility. i bought mine for a little bit of both.
more for the utility and space though. i figure
that if its popularity dwindles just a little in
the next few years, the prices may go down. anyone
think that'll happen?
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Comments

  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    I'll admit, I bought my truck primarily for style. But why not? Trucks cost the same as most midsize sedans and less than most SUV's. Plus, I'm a big guy. To drive my Dad's Jeep Cherokee, I have to take my hat off and lean the seat back a little, but in my Ram I can sit up strait, with my hat on, and I'm fine. Besides, I do plan on using my truck for "truck" stuff eventually. When I move cross country next year I can just toss all my junk in the back and go without worrying about shipping all kinds of boxes. And then when I buy furnature and the like, I'll have my truck to take it all home without paying for delivery. So I guess I bought it first for the style, but plan on enjoying its tremendous utility as well.

    It doesn't look like trucks are getting any less popular. Look at kcram's sales figures on the "Who Win's" topic and you'll see that the big three are all increasing sales this year. I think lots of people who 10 years ago never thought they'd buy a truck are buying them now because trucks these days are more comfortable, ride better, and get better milage, but can still do all hauling and towing that trucks could always do. And, like I said before, cost the same as most descent cars and less than most SUV's. It's been said ad nausium in auto reviews that trucks aren't just for farmers and construction workers anymore. So I think the trend will continue and trucks will be quite popular for some time. I can't think of any reason why someone wouldn't want to own a truck unless they just don't like them.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I didn't buy for style, but I don't mind being a bit stylish.

    I bought it to haul cargo. Got a regular cab long box.

    I like sitting up high, the view is better. I like the ride and I feel safer in the truck. We live in an increasingly dangerous world populated by soccer moms driving Expeditions Suburbans speeding to the day-care while talking on the cell phone. I know cars are still safer than trucks...that's what the government tells us. Yeah, and pigs fly too.
  • todlaketodlake Member Posts: 48
    I bought my F250SD CC SB 4x4 primarily for utility, but with my eye on style. I tow a 3500lb Ski Nautique/trailer, and separately a 6000lb+/- travel trailer with family. I also do a fair amount of handyman work. I didn't want a SUV and a car is totally out of the question. If I didn't have my toys, there was this really nice Saleen Mustang in the showroom...
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    No, it was a SLP Camaro SS you wanted...
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    First, I don't think that it is a fad.
    Second, it'll probably get worse, price wise.

    Consider the truck purchaser I know best, me.
    Drove a bouncy half ton in my youth and swore never again. Now in my late 50's and working on my third F-250, it's the comfort, space and the exemption from smog rules. (8,600 lbs. GVWR) Yes, it is slightly rougher ride than either my wife's Accord or son's Explorer, but not that bad.

    The truck is a lot cheaper than a full size (Grand Marquis, Crown Vic, Impalla, Caddy, etc.) what ever. I've never been a fan of imports and I hate the mommy vans. The truck is me. There are a lot more baby boomers that are just behind me. I suspect that their thoughts are starting to closely follow mine. They are, like me, discovering it is a lot easier to climb up into a truck cab than squirm and contort into the Miata, BMW, Porsche and MB. So what if the ride isn't like a bed of marshmallows. And the biggest bonus of all with the truck is that my back doesn't ache any more.

    The only serious draw back to a truck is that you see quite a few "Oh dodo!" It is amazing the number of driving funerals that are out there.

    So if you're thinking of waiting it out, I wouldn't. The prices are likely to go higher.

    Rich
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    For me, truck ownership is not a fad. Even though I use it for my daily commute, on weekends the truck works hard carrying camping gear, furniture, firewood and whatever else needs to be hauled.

    Back when I got my first truck, "SUVs" were just catching on. I remember thinking the Suburban was awesome, but I rejected it for two reasons - price and utility. I didn't like having to haul stuff in the same area where people were sitting. So I figured if I got a fullsize pickup with a back seat, put a cap on the back, I'd get more cargo room than a Suburban for thousands less.

    Since I was the first on my block to own a pickup truck, I guess I'm a trend-setter. If it's a fad, I'll STILL be the only one on my block to own a pickup. It has it's drawbacks - it's a pain to park and it's a pig on gas. But maybe someday I'll be able to afford my truck AND one of those cute Miatas. Ya think?
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    I agree that while trucks are getting more popular, it's not really a fad. That would imply trendiness and fashionableness. More like SUV's. I didn't buy my truck to be trendy, but rather because it suits my style. Yes, it is much easier to climb into the truck than squeeze behind the wheel of a sporty car.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Member Posts: 594
    The main reason for the increase in truck sales is that the automakers have made them user friendly. I need a truck for work (deliveries). Now instead of have a bare bones utility truck for deliveries and an car for daily use, I can have a nice truck that will fill both needs. Trucks are much more comfortable than they used to be and the quad cab makes it a useable family vehicle. They are a high profit vehicle that is selling like hot cakes because they listened to what the consumer wanted.
  • KatmanduKatmandu Member Posts: 24
    I think that people are buying trucks today because the cars are so crappy. It's hard to spend $20K on a car and have it a tinny rattlebox after one good winter. A truck is meant to take abuse. My wife fell in love with the Chrysler 300M and I admitted that it was a really nice car. We tested the car for an hour and I was really impressed. Going through some road construction she hit a pot hole causing a plastic squeaking which persisted forever more on the car. That sold me on another truck right there. Here's a $30K car that can't even handle a pothole? Sorry. For me NO FRAME = NO DEAL!
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    I don't think I agree that cars, on the whole, are getting worse today. Cars, too, are becoming more user friendly. Plus, they are, generally speaking, stronger, faster, and safer than they used to be. Sorry you had a bad experience with the 300M. Jeep Cherokees are unibody and can certainly take a pounding. They are among the best off road vehicles out there. I don't think that all cars have gone to crap. That said, I'll take my truck over a car any day.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    Lohengrin:

    I agree that cars have become more user friendly, but they've also become smaller. There are no true "family" cars available anymore. And I don't believe that the demise of the station wagon was due to the popularity of the SUV; I think the opposite is true. I think that people turned to the SUV market because they couldn't find a car big enough for the kids and their related stuff.

    For those of use who don't like SUVs or gag at the thought of being seen driving a minivan, our only recourse is a truck. Besides, they're really cool! :-)
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    There's always the good old fashion full size van. But those aren't nearly as cool as trucks.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    I've only owned one car in my life - my first was a retired police interceptor I got at the state auction from the NJ State Police. 1985 Ford LTD (the small Fairmont-sized one), Mustang 5.0 under the hood in a lighter body. Even with 110K on the odo, it still did 0-60 in 7 flat. Traded it on my first F150 4x4. Why? Because ever since I was 14, I wanted a pickup. And once I had that F150, I realized it was way more versatile than a car could ever prove to be. It even rode better than that police car. Over the last decade, my trucks have hauled anything that could fit in that 8 foot bed, and a few things that fell off once on the Pennsylvania Tuyrnpike in 1992... :)

    My Ram is an even bigger pain in the butt to maneuver than Ladyblue's, since mine is a dually, but it's also the best on fuel - I can get 22 if I keep my right foot in check, thanks to the Cummins diesel. It does everything I have asked it to, everything other people have asked it to, and a few things that I am truly surprised it pulled off.

    The SUVs are giving pickups a bad rap. The Ford Excursion is just the latest bullet-in-the-foot for Detroit. They talk abvout how low in emissions it i (half the allowed value), but there's a catch - because of its GVWR, the Excursion, like my Ram 3500, is legally a medium-duty truck, and has higher emissions allowances than light trucks and cars because there are simply a lot less of them on the road. On the other hand, the average pickup is less obtrusive. Most people think of pickups as work vehicles, otherwise you "didn't need the bed."
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    and Loh, thanks for jogging my memory - I'll be posting the April sales figures right now :)
  • 19491949 Member Posts: 59
    I never thought I'd set foot into this conference as I'm a regular over at Coupes where I like to talk about Cobras and Preludes. I've never been a fan of trucks, I live in Texas (San Antonio) where it seems like every other vehicle on the road is a pickup or SUV. Anyway, I was sitting at a red light the other day with my windows down and sunroof open enjoying the weather. All of a sudden I hear the melodious sound of a diesel and look to my right. I saw a big nameplate that read F350 PowerStroke....this guy had a beautiful new green Ford pickup with extended cab. I don't like trucks, but this one sure won me over. It was sharp, sharp, sharp!! I'm an ol bachelor and wonder if I could make the transition from coupe to supercab and still keep the ladies happy. I'm also a homeowner, so it's difficult to cram things into my Prelude when shopping at Home Depot or Sears for hardware/lumber. Any suggestions on a sporty truck? Heck, I may even break down and finally get a pair of cowboy boots too!! Thanks!!
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    1949:

    Keep the ladies happy?!? Mr., get yourself a truck and you'll be beating them off with a stick. Right, KC?
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    Ever heard Joe Diffy's Pickup Man song?
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    Haven't heard that one - I'll have to check the cdnow.com site when I get home and see if they have it.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    ladyblue,

    They want the truck more than me!!! :(
  • LohengrinLohengrin Member Posts: 84
    Ladyblue, you'd definitely like the pickup man song.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    Lohengrin:

    Only heard the small sound bite, but sounds perfect!

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled program....
  • vettemanvetteman Member Posts: 5
    Hey everybody! I'm a 16 year old guy that lives in East TX. Believe me, everybody in TX drives a truck except me (a 1993 Grand Am). I'm about to receive a new vehicle from my parents, and i was wondering what you people think of the Dodge Dakota R/T, because i want to go fast, but i also have to haul things at my grandfather's farm. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, bye bye!
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    vetteman,
    If it were me, I would go for a full size pickup with a bench seat. (It may not go as fast, but it's a lot more romantic.)
    Rich
  • hmerglerhmergler Member Posts: 85
    And now we wonder why the youth of today is so corrupted... ;)

    - The Merg
  • diazodoktor2diazodoktor2 Member Posts: 23
    Re pickup fad: I don't think it's just a fad. In view of the very high MSRP's for most any decent passanger car the mini pickup has taken the place of a entry level transportation piece. The mfgs. have played up the "cool" aspect of the trucks and the young first time buyers have taken it it hook line & sinker! Not all bad tho. They are fun to drive. I drive one myself (when I can get it away from my wife) I'am a 62 year old going on 17 and would rather drive my Ranger Sportside than my Saturn or Volvo to tell the truth. Wife loves it, says she feels "safer" in it than the other cars. I think the small pickup has become the "sportscar" of the younger set and I don't think you'll see a lessining of sales for many years to come. With the agressive promos of the major mfgrs. They will sell a ton of them. Chevrolet just upped the ante this week and is offering $2000 casback on all S-10's. look for Ranger and Dodge to follow suit. We all win!
  • brucec35brucec35 Member Posts: 246
    My wife and I both drive trucks. I use mine to tow a trailer and work out of. We got a truck for her and for general use because for the money, there is no car that matches it for room, power, comfort, and safety. Throw in a commanding view over traffic, the ability to hop a curb if need-be, and it's value as a backup for my work vehicle, and it's a no-brainer.

    I sat in a new Mustang today. Nice, comfortable, but claustraphobic. Also, after driving trucks, with a car I can't help imagining one of those truck bumper extensions entering at eye level and taking my head off as I drive under it.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Ouch!
  • diazodoktor2diazodoktor2 Member Posts: 23
    Re BRUCE35: I too am a truck fan! However, my son just took delivery of a '99 Mustang. WOW, claustraphobic or not i'll peel 10 years off your age the minute you set down. I wonder how much of a trade-in they'll give me on a nice red one HMMMMMMMM!
  • aaron8aaron8 Member Posts: 22
    wow, i've been away for a long time. when i opened this conference, i didn't think there'd be this many opinions about the subject. i love trucks. i have a 99 silverado extended cab z71. pewter and black. beautiful!.. i want to get split rear cat back system with glass packs. it sounds like trucks aren't a fad, but that people are starting to get hooked on they're utility and comfort. i'm glad the manufacturers are building them better. i'll probably keep mine for the long run. cars are nice, but what happens when the general concensous comes down and expects manufacturers to build electric vehicles. i heard that they are trying to make electric trucks. i wonder if they can really make an electric truck that can haul as much as an internal cumbustion truck for the same distance. any scientists or ideas out there?
  • bigbeebigbee Member Posts: 2
    TRUCKS RULE!!!
  • volfyvolfy Member Posts: 274
    Before I became a homeowner, I though full-size trucks were for tradesmen and minis were cheap transport for kids. Now I can't imagine how I could live without a pickup. You get tired of 2x4s and PVC pipes sticking out your car window real quick. I don't believe anyone buys a pickup strickly for style, that's what SUVs are for.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I love my truck, but I wouldn't agree that SUVs are strictly for style either. I think they are quite functional for many users. My little S10 Blazer worked pretty well as a hauler. When I folded the rear seat down, it had lots of cargo space. Towed my trailers pretty well too.
  • mikey43mikey43 Member Posts: 74
    I would agree with quadrunner that SUV's are not strictly for style. The Cherokee that I bought in '87 and had for 5 years was great for hauling things, for camping, etc. It is a valid point though that many purchasers of SUV's these days do buy them strictly for style and would not think of driving through the bushes or putting down the seat hauling a load of bricks, or whatever.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    Which is why I got the truck instead of an SUV.

    In my younger days I thought the Suburban was perfect. Then I started thinking about loading my dirty camping gear, kids' bikes, etc. in the back of a carpeted Suburban. I also looked at actual cargo space, and factoring in cost, decided a full size, extended cab pickup with a cap on it would give me more utility for my money. Now we ride in luxury up front while the junk rattles around in back. Love it.

    For the past two years, I can honestly say I have seen only a couple SUVs in campgrounds. Mostly it's pickups, vans, and even an El Camino (cool). This is disproportionate to the number of SUVs I see on the roads and at the malls. You can find more Expeditions in downtown Westfield than in state parks, or even at Home Depot. What are these people doing with these SUVs? Certainly not off-roading or hauling, not by my observation.
  • mikey43mikey43 Member Posts: 74
    You think like I do. I got an F250 Crew Cab SWB 4x4, got a spray in Rhino Liner and put a cab high cap on it. I now have a very large, fairly indestructible cargo area, a back seat for my kids that's bigger than any SUV that I know of, a very comfortable front seat and a rig that's, to me, more stylish than any SUV out there. Also, cheaper than any comparable SUV. It's a little hard to park, but I don't mind walking from the far end of the lot. It's a BIG change from the Geo Prizm I had been driving since I traded in the Cherokee.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    My little S10 Blazer was not bad, camping for one. Fold the seat down, roll out the sleeping bag.

    If you needed some heat, you could run the engine a bit.

    My truck is much better at hauling everything. The dirt-bike goes into the bed, saving me from pulling the trailer. But I can't do that and have a topper. I thought about a sport-tent, but it's not going to be as convenient setting it up, or as comfy.
  • c4vett96c4vett96 Member Posts: 1
    I agree with ladyblue. What are so many suv's used for? I live near Raleigh, NC and I can't believe how many of those you see on the road. What is the point of all these 4X4's down here anyway? We certainly don't need them because of all the "snow" we don't ever get. It must be just a status symbol. I can understand them being in NH or somewhere in snow country, but here? what a joke!
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    mikey43:

    I wish I could have gotten a crew cab, but it was a little out of my price range.

    quadrunner:

    How tall is your dirt bike? I have a high-top cap on my truck and, although I don't know the exact floor-to-ceiling measurement, it seems it would be tall enough.

    c4vett96:

    Excellent point! Maybe these SUV drivers think "off-roading" means pulling into the parking lot at the mall!
  • volfyvolfy Member Posts: 274
    Here in TX/OK, there are more pickups and SUVs than regular automobiles. Having lived here for 6 years, I've grown to understand it. Heck, I've even defended the beast in another VW-only forum where they were ridiculing the Ford Execusioner big time. Nevertheless, there is no denying that this explosion of SUV popularity is based mostly on the perceived ruggedness & invulnerability of these family trucksters. That and the trendy soccer moms escaping the stigma of the minivan.

    In building my last two custom homes, I've dealt with contractors and tradesmen first hand. These folks NEED their 4x4 F250's and Suburbans, sometimes just to get close to the job site.

    Whether every family in America NEEDS a 6000 lbs urban assault vehicle is quite another matter.
  • mikey43mikey43 Member Posts: 74
    Last Saturday while I was waiting at the local Ford dealer in Escondido, CA, to get my F250 4x4 CC, etc., etc., back from being serviced, I was walking around the lot looking at the new vehicles. This is not a really big dealer (in lot size) and they don't have a lot of trucks (some Rangers, a few F150's but no SD's that I could see). They do have a lot of Explorers and Expeditions, though. The one thing that I noticed is that it seemed like the majority of the Explorers were 4x2's. I don't know if that's because the 4x4's are getting snapped up or because they are selling more 4x2's. I have a feeling that the latter is the case. Apparently a lot of people want that "rugged" 4x4 look without the extra expense of actually paying for it. Also, why pay for a 4x4 if you will never use its capabilities? What I don't understand is that these vehicles have all the disadvantages of a "real" SUV or 4x4 pickup (high center of gravity, low gas mileage, etc.) withough the off-road capabilities. I guess that it really is just the image that a lot of people are after. I just don't understand buying a "4x4" vehicle without 4 wheel drive.

    Also, they have been running an ad on the radio around here for a Mazda (I think) pickup that has a special trim package promoted by some famous dirt biker. Anyway, this truck has all the neat accessories, large tires and raised supension for all those who want that rugged 4x4 motocross look. The thing is, it's a 4x2. What a joke.

    Sorry for sounding so sarcastic and snobbish. I guess I'm just in that kind of a mood today.
  • mikey43mikey43 Member Posts: 74
    I got the Crew Cab so I could haul my family around in comfort. I hadn't even thought of getting a truck until I saw one of those on the road, and I was really ready to get rid of the Geo Prizm I had been driving since giving up my Cherokee in '94. I'm sure that big blue Quad Cab suits you just fine!!
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    You are probably right, I think a dirtbike could fit under a topper, but I'm not sure.

    When it is tied down, it is compressed on its suspension, but the handlebars still stick up about 4 inches above the top of the cab. That could be a problem, but I don't know. Some of those toppers are very tall, but most seem to be about the height of the cab towards the front.

    The other problem I think, would be loading it. I would have to "duck" quite a bit while straddling beside it up a ramp and into the bed.

    But where there is a will, I'm sure there is a way. Ingenious as you are, I'm sure you will find a way.
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326
    A Prism? You could have kept it as a hood ornament! Before I got my first truck, I had an '86 Chevy Spectrum - four doors, four cylinders, four tires - forget it!!! You made the right choice. See, great minds think alike.

    quadrunner:
    Now you got me thinkin'! All things being relative, I'll assume you are much taller than I. Being only 5'3", I can practically stand up in the back of my truck. My cap is 8" taller than the cab and the height extends all the way to the front. Time to get out my ruler, just to satisfy my curiosity.

    Since I'm already way off topic -
    While camping this weekend, I saw an interesting use of the removable minivan seats. These people had taken out the bench seats and were using them as chairs in their campsite! And all these years I've been sitting in front of the fire in a folding lawn chair - sheesh.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Camping? Now you've got me thinking 4th of July! I've got to get ready!
  • mikey43mikey43 Member Posts: 74
    The Prizm was a concession I made, when the Cherokee was about to give up the ghost, to the economics of having kids and a commute. I'll have to admit that I got really tired of pulling up to stoplights, turning my head, and looking at the hubs of Expeditions - very intimidating. My wife loves the Crew Cab because now she can look down (literally) at Suburbans. Now we can't wait to make our first camping trip to Mammoth Lakes this summer.

    BTW, the Prizm found a happy home as a first car of the 18 year old daughter of a friend. It has low mileage and is really cheap to operate.

    Happy trucking...
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Let's see? GMC put the first truck on the road in (I beleive) 1914, and the've only been getting more popular since then. And now that we have truck/SUV halfbreeds, you have the space of a decent sized family car, most of the cargo space of a truck, the "Sport Utility" image...Hey, the things are getting more and more practical. But don't think for a minute that I'm about to give up my T-Bird or Grand Marquis. I guess I'm just a car guy at heart (Although the image of me cruising around in a GMC Sierra is kinda cool.)
  • senselesssenseless Member Posts: 46
    My last 2 personal vehicles were pickups and I just switched to a sports sedan.

    What a pleasure! Easy to park and manuever, great fuel economy, front wheel drive for snow conditions, comfort, space and a trunk! What a clever concept to lock up your stuff, out of sight.

    Besides that, my environmentalist friends were making me feel guilty.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Pedal heads don't need trucks, that's what bike racks are for. Sports cars are the master plan for saving the planet, since they don't go off-road, or cause tire tracks on cryptobiotic soils. Get a job with the park service, tree hugger! (Just kidding)
  • mccdon1mccdon1 Member Posts: 32
    I have none and would never admit to having any environmentalist friends. Spotted owl, the other white meat!
  • jimvetajimveta Member Posts: 96
    hello.. i don't think it'll ever end. in fact,
    when i was a teen/kid, i never thought of getting
    a truck. but something happened--about 4 yrs ago
    before the suv fad really took off, i started
    really liking trucks. and you know, i can't
    blame others for liking them just for looks,
    because i do too (along with functionality).

    i now have a superduty and i suppose if i were
    being very practical, i would've bought a smaller
    midsize pickup instead. but one look at it while
    on vaction in dec. 98 and i was sold.

    and if you're wondering on my functional uses..
    some hauling (no towing) and off-road (primarily).
    besides, it has the best axle articulation in its
    class anyways :)

    and about image.. usually others are right in
    their assumptions based on the projected image
    of pickup drivers, but sometimes i find not.
    because most of my personality/attitude doesn't
    fit the stereotypical image.

    and so i'm wondering, anyone else like this?

    moving onto what mikey43 said.. i agree that most
    don't need 4x4 and so opt not for it. But
    actually, the specially designed 4x2 like the
    troy lee? mazda and the toyota pre-runner have
    excellent off-road capabilities (the toyota even
    comes with locking diffs). in fact, that's
    what "pre-runners" are for: they're light 4x2 trucks with high clearance used to pre-run or inspect the roads before an offroad race (i.e. baja races).
This discussion has been closed.