When It Rains, It Pours

F-150 lot II
Maybe there's something in the water or maybe some of the big media outlets are finally recognizing that pickup trucks are still the biggest-selling segment in North America; something that hasn't changed much for several decades. No doubt all of these stories were motivated by some editor somewhere saying, "Hey, look how many of these trucks they sell every month...we've got to do some kind of story here." 

Of the three stories that caught our attention, none are particularly in-depth, other than the fact they do focus on pickups, but it's nice to see someone (besides PUTC) paying attention. And at least the first one seems to begrudgingly acknowledge their functionality, if not their superior capabilities. 

The first piece is by David Kiley from AOL Autos where they (he and other editors presumably) choose their top five favorite new pickups. What their exact criteria isn't quite clear but David does write "we reviewed all pickups and configurations available to consumers..." which we take to mean they (again, we assume more than just David) read quite a few press releases. Still, it's always fun to see what various reviewers think is a top pick and why. Can't say we argue too much with the choices but not much meat on the bones here. 

The second article is from Stephen Elmer for AutoGuide.com. This one is a little easier to understand and appreciate because it's a listing of the top selling pickups in North America since 1990. As you might expect, the top ten list has a good smattering of compact, midsize, and fullsize trucks. And they intelligently combine identical platforms into one number (i.e. GMC and Chevrolet sales). 

The third piece that's popped up on our radar is the oddest of the three, in that that Warren Clarke from Edmunds.com compiled the top twelve pickups with the most front-passenger room when averaging head, hip, and legroom room (what happened to shoulder room?). To their credit, they seem to imply this isn't the most important metric when determining a good truck purchase. We'd probably go one step further and say it's probably not on anyone's top ten list of important things to consider when purchasing a good pickup. 

Comments

long live America and American trucks glad i live in the U.S.A

Dodge Ram the first 4x4 truck.The first extra cab truck.The first crew cab truck.The first real diesel truck.All others can follow.For my hard earned money its DODGE RAM.#1

Dodge is sure doing a great job of following in sales

How can you not love trucks? Yeah it's an American thing, but you just throw your bulk items in the back and go. Kids love them, dogs love them and BMW drivers hate them. What else is there to say? OK, the bed deck is at just the right height for going from the shopping cart to the bed. Drop the tailgate and in an instant, you've got the perfect place to sit when taking a break from yard work or finishing a hike. Another thing is, you can get a simple truck with vinyl everywhere and a thump'n V8 for around the price where 4 cyl Camrys starts.

If Chevy has sold so many pickups how come I cannot find a used bumper for my 07 Silverado in a wrecking yard?

I just hope gas prices come back down, because I plan to never drive a car.

American trucks rule... and to hell with the Europeans who think everything is too big in America.

I'm a truck owner now, and I don't "love" them. I fully understand their usefulness in the short term, but few, very few people have a real need for a truck in the long term. I've now owned my truck a full month and fully 'loaded' it a grand total of one time (20 heavy 8-foot plastic tables for a yard sale)and carried one outsized object two times (pick up and delivery of a screen door that simply wouldn't fit in my Jeep.) So in one month I've really used it as a truck 3 times and used my Jeep for almost every other purpose. I've put a grand total of 200 miles on that truck and gone through 2 1/2 fill ups on the front tank while the Jeep is still running on the same tank I put in at the same time as the first fill up on the truck while going almost twice as far.

So why, really, is there such a draw for trucks?

Everyone face it without our pickup trucks
We are nothing. America was not built
By people driving corollas and hondas.
Pick up trucks are the backbone of America

Yeah! Screw the european andtheir one cylinder cars

We have the big thirsty v8s.

America is the greatest nation on earth
For many reasons technology, army, freedom and our big pick up trucks.

Canadians love trucks too !!!

Ram is leading in Diesel sales and the Dodge Ram 1500 closing in to the F-150 !!

Canadians love V-8's as much as Americans ! We love our Freedom,V-8's and the "occasional" Beer !!

@ Big Roy:

Dude, get a grip...

about truck sale,half ton,separate to quarter ton etc etc....ford use f series,wy gm dont use gm pickup sale is ....xxxxx..is only the way you present the numbers people drive a ford thing ford sold more truck,,they dont said f series sold more truck ..they said ford......only the marketing people use the f series sale..

@Vulpine- Many reasons. I have only used my truck for work a few times, so yea I could have gotten by the last 4 years I have had it with something smaller. But I didnt want something smaller. I like the look and feel of driving something large. To know I can haul whatever I want(even if I never need to). To know I have 4x4 if I need it(even if I rarely do). A feeling of power maybe? Might be a stretch but then again maybe not. With the kind of advertisements truck makers run, its hard not to think of trucks as mighty machines that run on testosterone. You would think simply sitting in one would turn your shirty flannel, make a beard materialize on your face from nowhere that would make ZZ top jealous, all while half naked women(or men, Bob) jumped around you feeding you giant mugs of beer while you simultaneously punch out both Hitler and Bin Laden.
My dad always owned trucks, tho he actually needed them. I grew up around them. Its something that gets ingrained just like growing up in a family that mostly buys one brand. Just as I grew up around Fords and prefer them, Ive always been around trucks and prefer them to cars. And maybe there is some of that image to uphold as well. I think most people on here would agree with me when I say I respect/admire the man who can work on his own vehicles, house, the "Renaissance man" of hands on work if you will. Much more so than the pencil pushers and desk jockies. Does owning a truck I dont really need make me feel like more of a man when I think about all this? Hmm, maybe. Sounds stupid but hey, I have the money for said truck and its what I enjoy driving.

The second story does not make sense
Why didnt they add up th ram hd and the chevrolet hd too or say ford f150 instead of f series f...retarded.

Alot of missing information.

@DenverMike Pretty well sums up most Australian attitudes as well.

@Benchimus
"Much more so than the pencil pushers and desk jockies. Does owning a truck I dont really need make me feel like more of a man when I think about all this? Hmm, maybe. Sounds stupid but hey, I have the money for said truck and its what I enjoy driving."

Not so much US Pickups , but very large Trucks have that "feel more of a man" thing here. HDT truck drivers are a breed apart.
http://www.swantransport.com.au/images/main3.jpg

@ Benchimus: I think you've hit on two points here that may be factors:
A) "A feeling of power maybe?" I admit I've noticed that sitting higher off the road, you do get a sense of power that you might not get in a smaller vehicle--even if that smaller vehicle is faster and/or more agile than yours. Maybe it's because you're looking down on everybody else (not a healthy attitude for anybody) or maybe its just the fact that you can see over almost any other car on the road. I'd go with that thought, but I sit just as high in my Jeep Wrangler and can honestly go places with the Jeep that I can't with the truck; so "power" in this case should belong to the Jeep. That means that only the overall size of the vehicle elicits those feelings of power and while a pickup can offer some real muscle to back it up, today's trucks lack the physical toughness to go with it. Based even on what I read right here on these boards, pickup trucks today are practically skinned with paper compared to their older brethren.

B) "I grew up around them." Another very valid point; if all you've lived around is trucks, then maybe cars simply are too small to even consider--even though one or more of those cars might offer more interior space than that truck. In my own case, I'd have to give the lie to that statement. My parents owned almost exclusively 4-door sedans with the exception of one station wagon. Oddly, I don't care what vehicle it is, I strongly prefer two doors over four, even though my current Wrangler is a 4-door model. Still, given the chance I'd rip the back seats out and give her a flat floor for cargo carrying and keeping my dog inside out of the weather (unlike most dogs, he hides on the floor when travelling--flat never sticks his head out the window.) With the exception of my first, sixth, tenth and eleventh vehicles, they all carried two doors; the first two exceptions because they were given to me and the last two because I honestly needed the space to carry gear out of the weather. Yes, I do carry bulky and heavy loads once in a while--heavy for me, not for the vehicle. Nearly everything I've ever needed to carry fit in the vehicles I've owned--with the exception of trying to stuff a 35" picture tube TV into the cargo area of a Camaro. I managed it, but I'll note that everybody around me was surprised I did. Even my SUV/SUW could have carried that TV more easily.

What this means to me is that the modern SUV/SUW is far more practical a vehicle than a truck, though even it is limited with some kinds of loads. It still doesn't explain why people feel they need one when they don't, but as I've said, there are at least some reasons for owning one. Just make it S-10 sized or based on the JK Wrangler. I'd be much happier then.

@ miath: Ok, your comments are sometimes extremely difficult to translate but I think I have the gist of what you're saying.

"Why does Ford use 'F-series' labels when they talk trucks when everybody else like GM and RAM simply call their pickups 'Trucks'?"

Unlike the other brands, Ford has at least two different series of trucks for the consumer market: The F-series pickup trucks and the E-series trucks which are more commonly seen as vans. However, both series, when offered as a Cab-and-Chassis package for commercial use, you could see either cab type with a high-cube box on back or carrying a Class B or C motorhome. The difference comes in when you consider the F-series is the conventional long-hood model while the E-series becomes a cab-over style or Front Control as some would call it.

The biggest differences between the two become obvious quickly. With an F-series, the cab sits behind the engine, taking up precious chassis length that European box vans can't afford to lose but which offer a level of stability on US highways unmatched almost anywhere else. With the E-series, the cab is shoved forward allowing the same cargo capacity in volume on a shorter wheelbase albeit at the sacrifice of some stability unless you simply go for a longer chassis and a bigger box.

Don't get me wrong, both GM and RAM have similar capabilities, but they aren't as commonly seen on the roads as Ford's E-series is.

Now, if only Ford would bring an E-series pickup out again like they, GM and Dodge did back in the early '60s. Talk about load capacity and compact agility. Shove that cab forward and now an 8' bed rides on a 12' body instead of 16' or longer. Sure, it might be ugly, but you get back a lot of lost space in your garage or driveway and side-loading would be a breeze by comparison.

I think it would be interesting to see what percentage of trucks sold are sold for personal use. I find it hard to believe that more pickups are bought by families than, say, midsize sedans.

Always love it when the “car” guys at magazines write about pickups and it’s so obvious that they are foreign creatures to them. Sometimes they try to find good things about them, or try to sound mostly tolerant or sometimes they just trash them as crude forms of transportation compared of course to their favorite Italian sports cars or the latest battery powered box on wheels. Such ignorant bias is another black eye on so called journalism. Some of my own favorite memories in life happened in or around pickup trucks and not always because I was the owner or driver. From my summer memories visiting my uncle and aunt in the country on their ranch, to the campfire get togethers on the beach with friends, to the bass boat towing in the wee hours with my brother, to the honeymoon trip spent in a rental pickup because my cool pony car suddenly needed some repair time in the shop the night before my wedding. Pickups always seemed to fit the occasion and held limitless possibilities that no other vehicle could quite live up to. When I got into my business and “needed” pickups the fit was still more than it seemed on the surface and I realized I would never be without a pickup truck again for lots and lots of reasons. For anyone who doesn’t understand this – I think it’s because they have let their ignorance about trucks cloud their judgment – and for that, I feel sorry for them. They have missed some of life’s great memories.

Interesting that these writers want to do a story on pickup trucks but many of us cannot imagine living without "a truck" in the household.

The joys of homeownership pretty much dictate that you carry goods and materials for the maintenance of your home in a vehicle other than a sedan, minivan or SUV/CUV.

I always get a kick out of homeowners who do not own a truck and have to borrow one when they need to haul stuff.

True enough, Avis, Hertz, Dollar and Enterprise all rent trucks as do Home Depot and Lowe's (at least in my area). Then there is U-Haul, Penske and Ryder if you need a really big truck, but nothing beats having a truck of your own.

I have to agree that when "car" journalists write about trucks, they fail miserably most of the time.

Picking a fovorite truck? On what criteria?
Based on the paint colour matching your nails and the interior complimenting your shoes?

Ranking sales?
This site and a few others do every month.
So what?

Hip, leg, and head room?
Is he assuming that every pickup driver has a huge ass and wears a ten gallon cowboy hat?

This story has triggered a very interesting discussion.

@Johnny - bang on! Excellent post!

Riders (bikers) have a saying, "If you ask me why I ride, you won't understand the answer."

I believe we are seeing the same phenomenon with trucks:

If you ask me why I drive pickup trucks, you won't understand the answer!

@DODGE RAMMIT - Canada is considered American and definitely from an automotive standpoint.

@Peter - Crashed or damaged pickups are harder to total out, both physically and technically, compared to cars so they're scarces in wrecking yards. Used OEM truck bumpers are a commodity but try Car-part.com.

@Vulpine - Full-size trucks feel just right to me. Not too big and not too cramped. They're like muscle cars with a bed, towing/carrying capabillity, 4-doors, 4WD and safety thru-out.
Yeah, I don't need a truck everyday but it's better to have a truck and not need it, than need a truck and not have it. In an emergency when it's all on the line, you don't have time see 'if' you can borrow or rent one. But then, I love not having to plan my weekends, a week in advanced. Plans can change as well as the weather. Anytime I feel the urge to go camping/hiking/fishing deep in the woods, 4-wheeling, swapmeeting or whatever, I can at a moment's notice. It's called freedom.

@Dodge Ramit dont you mean closeing in on Silverardo the ram will never come close to ford, the new ram sucks.

@Dodge Rammit - X2 we Canadians love our trucks. I think F
Ford has the best recipe. Always has, always will. #1 in my books.
Look under the hood of cop cars, ambulance, towings... you will find a Ford motor. Class A to class C motorhomes have the mighty Triton V10 motor.
My F-150 is 10 years old and is still solid with close to 300K miles on it. Everything original except for the obvious.

Once you get use to the utility of a truck, being able to haul anything that you want, it is hard to do without one. Also trucks have held their value more than cars. The only downside to the popularity in trucks is that they use to be inexpensive transportation but not so much anymore. Oh well you cannot have everything.

Trucks have taken place of the large family sedan for 15 years easily now. Especially where there's snow. You have 4wd, a bed, 4 doors, a spacious interior and it keeps the family safer than any other vehicle you can buy. It's the Perfect family vehicle. It's pretty easy to see how Ford dominates here. Ever since that 2004 model came out it seems everyone I know has one of those. All with 4 doors and decked out with options and interior packages. You don't see as many Chevrolet's anymore. I think it's because they're not as attractive and just not as nice as the Ford's.. I've been looking at a Platinum F-150 for a couple of months now because it has the auto side steps for my wife. We'll most likely trade our Accord in on it next month after my bonus is in. I think it will be an excellent family vehicle for us and our two kids. Plus I'll have something larger to tow the boat and run errands in. My old S-10 isn't quite cutting it anymore.

If Chevy has sold so many pickups how come I cannot find a used bumper for my 07 Silverado in a wrecking yard?

-I can't either. They probably aren't quite old enough yet. The ones that are wrecked are no good. I replaced my back bumper once already and 2 years later I need a new one again. These things crumple up like a tin can if you even bump them. Same with my front chrome strip on the bumper. It's been replaced 3 times due to dents and dings. These trucks are utter garbage. Worst Chevy I've ever owned hands down. There's nothing durable about it. Chevy better get it together or I'm buying a Ford like everyone else next time. I could at least get a King Ranch then. This Silverado is a joke.

@Big Roy,

"We love our Freedom"

Now why haven't I heard of you opposing the Patriot Act?

After 9/11, the freedom's you so cherish are being eroded by the Patriot Act, TSA, DHS and a growing and paranoid federal government that does not trust its own citizens anymore!

If you cared so much about freedom, why are you not outraged at what your federal government is doing to your freedoms?

After my service in the USMC and driving 1 1/4 ton Dodge Rams and the Hummer-Alpha, I came back and bought my first pickup, 86 Toyota 4x4 and never looked back!

Always owned a pickup and I choose a pickup first before a small economy winter beater...

Heck I bought an x-runner for the sole purpose of parking lot auto-x and high-speed on road courses...take that BMW owners on the tracks!

They used to announce on the PA system when I was coming into the finish and the times I was laying down as being unfair since I could go to the local Home Depot and load up the bed on the way home after the track!

I had more utility with my pickup than the Vette's, BMW's, Civic's and so forth...

It was funny to see the Miata's and Vette's with a small trailer behind them to haul their race tires...typically after the events I went out and picked up the cones because no other vehicle had the utility of a pickup!

The Toyota Tacoma was chosen over the Ford Raptor!

Jeff S, aside from not owning a pickup truck while I was stationed in Europe, I have never had to live without a pickup truck in my household. Always owned at least one.

And even during my time stationed in Europe, an Air Force or Army pickup truck was always available to us after duty hours for moving and hauling things.

All it took was a phone call to the motor pool. I made use of that benefit many times, and I was not the only one.

My first vehicle was my dad's hand me down F100 Fleetside, and I owned used trucks until I bought my first new Silverado V8 automatic in 1988.

Before that it was 6 cyl with three-on-the-tree. And while we have owned a number of vehicles over the decades, there has always been at least one pickup truck in our household.

Maybe more and more people see the utility of a pickup truck and that's why they continue to sell so well. In any case, the writers of those articles are stating the blatantly obvious.

What they have not noted is the number of used pickup trucks that change hands every year. And that number is greater than the number of new pickup trucks sold, as more people add a used truck to the vehicles in their household.

@Oxi - I seriously doubt that you were ever in the military.
Why?
point 1.
Hummer Alpha - WTF?
That was a civilian designation that came out in 2006. The early civilian Hummers were just known as H1. Anyone in the military from what I've seen, refered to it as the Humvee.
point 2.
Considering how arrogant and condecending you are to the bloggers on this site and including all of your paranoid rants, you would not of survived "active" duty. Oxi would of been a "FRIENDLY FIRE" statistic.
I can picture it clearly:
The Gunnery Sargeant shouting at the top of his lungs "Why did you maggots fire 30,000 rounds of ammunition at Peter Papageorge?"
The universal reply " That's all we had!"

@Jackalope: No Ford engines under the hoods of police cars here. Chargers all the way! A friend of mine just got his new one! They been using them for 3 or 4 years here in Northwest Arkansas. The Crown Vic was tough, but its outdated.

Gotta get a laugh from the people that say Ram will never be number one, I mean, sure Fords leading the way, but do you think it's always gonna be that way? If they don't clean up those deposits on valves, might be a differant story. One thing for sure: Ram is gonna go by Chivy trucks in a hurry! Will take alot of doing to catch Ford, but not unpossible!

All the people that think that RAM will over take brands, its still a long way off RAM has certain plant capacity and logistics and suppliers to take into concideration, they cannot just dial up production they will need to invest in new infrastructure to out build GM and Ford. DO you know how much it cost to expand a plant, its not cheap. Ford and GM are already set up for high volumes. They will just lower the prices to keep the trucks moving off the lots. Ram might over take them but it will take years and it will not be with the current Ram, what will happen is supply and demand, and RAMs will go for primum prices, like the raptor as dealer ships will not deal and will mark up the price because so many people want them.

@oxi they did not say what their criteria was for picking pickup trucks, but its funny that 2 F150 models are 1st and 5th. If you made the list we all know the order
1. OXIs BOTT 2010 2.7l Tacoma
2. Oxi's xrunner
3. oxis '86 toyota pick up
4. Tacoma Tx Pro Baja
5. Oxi's Toyota Camery/corrola

when it comes to numbers, you are going to sell more of a product when you make something designed to fail. speaking from experience, the GM trucks just don't hold up. period. the fanboys will swear on a stack of bibles there's no issues, ford sucks, etc. but the diehards will always be diehards. when you got fewer of them but they buy more product to replace what they got, then that will add up to more sales over time. ford has made sour grapes in the past, no doubt, but when I hear stories & see trucks falling apart after a few years of ownership or someone buying a used truck, less than 10 years old with a list of problems, while my family has owned trucks for decades, that says a lot about your product. chevy says they have "more trucks on the road" based on registrations, while ford claims a larger # with 250k & up miles on the odo, the latter being a better indicator b/c you can register vehicles in storage or sitting in your lawn too - doesn't mean it's on the road. I've seen so many late model GMs running around with dented in tailgates (metal is super thin) & drum brakes (on trucks stickering for $40k!), they are telling me they don't care about their customers. took decades to get simple things like frames, mounts & axles right, when ford has only made improvements... Gov't Motors & their bailout baby brother Ram can keep their product.

I see the Tundra has the most leg room of any pickup. They probably got tired of the griping about the cramped quarters in the first generation. Kind of sloppy that a car magazine can't figure out that Tundra production started with the 2000 model.



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