How to Pick Out a Work Truck

In the time before pickup trucks became the leather-lined commuter cars they are today, owning a truck was about practicality. Many of the trucks available today are still quite capable of getting some work done, but they suffer from sticker bloat thanks to heaps of unneeded accessories.

Can you still by a good truck for work, the answer is yes. Before you do, though, you’ve got to know what exactly the job entails. The key to having a truck that does the job, without overpaying, is knowing exactly which features you’ll use. Let’s take a look at the trucks that make it easy to spec out a work vehicle in mid-size, full-size and specialty categories.

Mid-Size for Maneuverability

The mid-size segment is once again gaining popularity, but where these trucks used to be about value, today’s mid-sizers focus on maneuverability. Even so, they are nearly as big as their full-size counterparts and cost almost as much, so realistically the only application where these trucks shine is for jobs that take you in and out of urban areas.

For a decade or so, you had two options in the mid-size truck market, both imported. Toyota’s Tacoma built its reputation for reliability in the 90s was so successful that American brands backed out entirely.

These days, Chevy has brought some new life into the segment with their thoroughly modern Colorado. The Colorado offers more performance than the Tacoma, and also includes a diesel engine option. The Tacoma still reigns supreme when it comes to sheer number of configurations, which will continue to sway many business owners despite being down on performance.

Full-Size for Maximum Effort!

When the job calls for maximum payload or heavy-duty towing capacity, a full-size truck is a must. This segment has swollen to include countless high-dollar trim levels with features you don’t need so the secret is finding a capable ride in a lower level trim.

As opposed to the mid-size segment where import offerings still outsell domestic trucks, full-size trucks are the big three’s bread-and-butter. When it comes to value-for-money, Ram trucks offer a wider number of configurations than most full-size offerings. Chevy and Ford still occupy the top spots, with the ubiquitous F-150 consistently staying ahead of the game in both performance and features.

Specialty Trucks

Sometimes you need a little something different for the job. When the task requires a feature you can’t get from your average dealership, it’s time to seek out a specialty truck.

Examples of specialty trucks include trucks with utility beds, or even compact dump trucks like these ones. Rather than committing to a cumbersome commercial-size dump truck, these practical solutions deliver the features you need in a form factor that fits the job. That means you’ll be out less money for fuel and maintenance.

For many folks, the best truck for the job is the one you have around. But if your business is expanding, or if you’re looking for a practical first truck, the current set of offerings gives you options. Whether it’s size and power, four-wheel drive, or interior amenities, you can have just about anything you’d want from a car in today’s modern trucks—and they’ll still get the job done.