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I Am Becoming A Pickup Truck Guy And I Hate Myself For It

Photo: Mack Hogan
Photo: Mack Hogan
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

I live in Ohio. My dad had a Ram. I like my space. Frankly, it was inevitable. But it doesn’t make it any easier to admit. I’m a pickup truck guy now. And I’m sorry.

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I’m sorry because I have no practical reason for being a truck guy. Sure, I do a lot of trips and like to drive around my friends, but that justifies a van or a large SUV. I don’t haul, I don’t tow and usually I find the lack of covered storage in a truck to be a huge pain in the ass. But damnit, I love driving them.

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I love the stupid giant hoods and the towering driving position. I like that crew cabs have more legroom than a Mercedes S-Class with five and a half feet of bed behind them. I like that I have enough cupholders that every passenger can have a drink and each of their drinks can have their own drinks and I’d still have four free cupholders.

I love that the Ram Laramie has enough USB-C, USB-A and 110V outlets to power every electronic device I currently own or will own from now until the day I die. It’s all so delightfully excessive. In the same way that you can tow 13,000 pounds of steel beams up the Davis Dam yet will probably never actually tow 1300 pounds up your driveway, there’s a luxury in knowing that you have more of everything than you could possibly need.

And that’s why 1500-class trucks are so perfect. 2500-class trucks are incredibly capable, but they’re also rough and unrefined because they have to handle 30,000-pound loads. Midsize trucks can be nice and comfortable, but they’re not absurdly spacious and many of them can’t out-tow a BMW X7.

But put me behind the wheel of a Ram 1500 Laramie or a Ford, like the F-150 Limited that I’m driving this week, and I could not be happier. I can smoke the tires and every car off the line with 450 horsepower while getting a massage and having to speak to my rear-seat passengers through a megaphone because they’re so far away.

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All of which is doubly true in the Raptor. It has all of the benefits I’ve described already, plus the ability to handle jumps. When you see potholes in the Raptor, you don’t slow down or avoid them. You speed up.

It’s ridiculous. But on broken city streets and out in the country, it’s often more fun at legal speeds than any high-performance sports car. Plus, it makes a better daily.

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The downside is that, as a single dude with absolutely no need for a truck, I not only look like an asshole in a truck, I am an asshole in a truck. I take up more space on the road. I stretch the capacity of parking spots. I pollute. I make noise. I hate myself for it.

Mack Hogan is Jalopnik's Weekend Editor, but you may know him from his role as CNBC's car critic or his brave (and maligned) takes on Twitter. Most people agree that you shouldn't listen to him.

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DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

I never owned a truck until May, upon moving to Texas. Trucks are kind of a thing here.

I always thought they were stupid, but then I bought one. (A 1994 F-150, straight 6, manual. A “pepaw” truck, if there ever was one. 59,000 original miles, in almost mint condition. It even came with a Merle Haggard cassette in the tape deck.) Even though it’s older, I find myself doing things I didn’t do before; getting some old scrap wood and building myself a coffee table. Going to the garden supply store and loading the bed up with mulch. Buying an old maple dresser to restore, and then stopping by Lowe’s to get all the stuff I need to strip the paint off, sand it, stain it, etc.

Having a truck allows you the flexibility, and the means to do things that you can’t in a car. The idea of having a box that can be dirty is a sound concept, and I’m happy with the $4,500 I spent.

With that said, I couldn’t see myself wanting a $45,000 luxo-truck. I respect the guys I see in a King Ranch, but I also don’t drive my truck every day. I drive it... two or three times a month. If you think you might want to tackle a few home improvement jobs a month, I highly recommend the “pepaw truck” route. Find one owned by a grandpa, with good mechanicals and decent paint. It’s not fast, or particularly fun. But it is kinda cool, listening to Merle Haggard, with your arm propped on the edge of the window.