According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association's 2008 Light Truck Report, light- and heavy-duty-truck owners spend an average of $1,831 on accessories. Here's the Top 10 most popular accessories installed or planned for install on full-size pickups (and truck nutz aren't one of them):
No. 10: Wheel Splash Guards (41.6 percent)
Wheel splash and mud guards aren't just about displaying witty messages and cartoon characters for other drivers. They also protect vehicles behind your truck or whatever you're towing from rocks, gravel, sand or mud that might get thrown up by the tires. Slap a set of these on your pickup, and you're doing everyone a favor in addition to entertaining them.
Cost: $20 to $200, depending on materials, fit and packaging
No. 9: iPod/MP3 Connectivity (42.2 percent)
Without your iPod, how are you going to listen to your collection of Toby Keith or Miles Davis albums on your truck's stereo? If you're going to work your pickup, then your tunes should work for you, and you can connect the two using an iPod audio adapter. Necessary hardware ranges from a simple audio cable to plug-in FM transmitters or full-blown retrofit kits.
Cost: $10 to $300, depending on connector hardware
No. 8: Tailgate Protector (43.2 percent)
Tailgates have to withstand lots of abuse from things being dragged into the bed; keeping cargo inside the box when the truck is driving down the road; and the corrosive effects of barbecue sauce at pre-game celebrations. A good tailgate protector covers both the load surface and the top of the tailgate so it can party as long as the rest of your truck.
Cost: $30 to $150
No. 7: Custom Wheels (45.9 percent)
Just because your truck has to work hard doesn't mean it can't look good while doing it. New wheels are one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your rig or change the way it rides and handles. We'd stay away from anything larger than 38 inches, but that's just us.
Cost: $75 to $500 per wheel
No. 6: Spray-On Bedliner (48 percent)
Better living through chemistry isn't limited to people's lives. It applies to your truck, too — quite literally. Urethane-based spray-in bedliners are tough, shock-resistant coatings that protect the cargo-box bottom and sides from just about any type of physical abuse, up to transporting your mother-in-law in back.
Cost: $300 to $700
No. 5: Custom Floormats (49.2 percent)
The outside of your truck may show how hard it's worked, but the inside doesn't have to. A set of good custom floormats (perhaps matching your splash guards) can keep the carpet underneath nice and clean for date night.
Cost: $20 to $100
No. 4: Fog Lamps (57.2 percent)
Fog lamps are the automotive equivalent of your appendix. They kind of hang down at the bottom of your truck's bumper, and nobody really seems to know what they're used for if you live in a place where there's never fog. Except for angry Subaru drivers — they use their fog lamps all the time.
Cost: $100 to $300
No. 3: Running Boards (59.9 percent)
Running boards used to be simple accessories that helped people get into or out of their trucks. Then the internet, cloud computing and Skynet happened. Now, some running boards have artificial intelligence algorithms that can beat the best chess players in the world and trade financial derivatives whenever you open or close your truck's doors. Oh yeah, they automatically fold up and down, too.
Cost: $250 to $1,500
No. 2: Satellite Radio (61.6 percent)
Music is very important to pickup truck owners. You can only listen to the same 100 favorite songs on your iPod or Jack FM for so long before they carve permanent auditory ruts in your brain, like your truck does in the field. Satellite radio gives you more than 150 channels of music and talk radio that you can listen to while driving across the entire country. Our sat radio is set to the comedy channel, but it hasn't helped us write this story any better.
Cost: $100 to $300 plus monthly subscription fee
No. 1: Heavy-Duty Trailer Hitch (70.5 percent)
This one needs no explanation; it's what a truck lives to do.
Cost: $150 to $700, depending on hitch type
[List Source: SEMA]