Truck Shopping

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that my beloved truck of the past 13 years has died, lonely, in a parking lot in North Carolina. I wasn’t able to be there in the end, but went last week to learn that there is no hope, other than to put in a rebuilt or new motor. I’m going back today to clean it out and say my last goodbye before turning it over to a salvage company. It was a great truck and we had some great trips together, but I have shed my tears and poured one out in remembrance, so now it’s time to put it behind me and move on. That means truck shopping. And even worse – truck payments!

To be honest, I was hoping that the truck would last long enough to get my son home from NC after his time with the military was up, then I was going to trade it for something newer, anyway. In its last act of defiance, it beat me to the punch, taking away my trade in allowance.

I’ve spent a lot of time online lately, searching auto dealerships in the state and looking at their truck and SUV inventories. I’ve discovered a few things in my searching. One of them is new trucks are expensive as hell! Used ones aren’t much better, either. One question I have is, “Why don’t they put beds on trucks anymore?” My old truck was a crew cab pickup with a six and a half foot bed. A few years back I bought a twelve-foot kayak. You should have seen me driving down the interstate with that thing hanging off the back of the truck.

A sheet of plywood is four feet by eight feet. You used to be able to lay a sheet of plywood flat in the bed of a truck and close the tailgate, and you could stack it up to the top of the bed. Now you have to lay it at an angle, because of the wheel wells, and, even with the tailgate down, you still don’t have eight feet, so you have to also add in straps to hold the load in place. Some truck beds and bed liners have slots built in so you can lay a couple two by fours across the bed and raise it up over the wheel wells to lay the plywood flat, however, now you have about a foot of space below that is empty, unless you are buying studs on which to nail said plywood.

Another thing I’ve noticed, too, is that single cab trucks also have the same short beds, and run almost as much in price as the crew cab or double cab trucks. This prompts another question. “If they’re charging the same price for half a cab, why aren’t they compensating for that by giving a longer bed?” In other words, they should add the length of the missing half cab to the bed, making it longer. Maybe a longer bed is an option I could order, but I don’t want to have to wait for the truck. I want to be able to drive it home that day. If there is a new truck out there with a long bed I have yet to find it online.

I do like a lot of the smaller SUVs I’ve seen, and am leaning closer to those, for the price as well as the better gas mileage they offer. I drive sixty miles round trip to and from work and the gas mileage is important. As a “king size” man a car is just not practical. I like to be able to ride without scraping my knuckles on the road when I hang my arm out the window.

I’m off next week, and will be ramping up my search. Hopefully it won’t be long before people will see my pewter Presbyterian College Alumni plate on the front of a nice new vehicle.

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