Survey: What Do Americans Love About Pickups?

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Month after month, sales numbers prove Americans' love of pickup trucks; they consistently rank as the top-selling vehicles. Chevrolet decided to take a deeper dive into our national obsession with pickups by commissioning Harris Poll to conduct a survey aimed at discovering how pickup owners feel about their trucks. The results are now in.

The survey looked at whether U.S. pickup owners love their trucks, how they use them to help others and if they name them. The answers won't surprise you, but they're fun to share.

Harris Poll found that 27 percent of owners name their pickups, and the most popular names are Betsy and Big Red. Additionally, almost 90 percent of owners reported that they use their pickups to help others, almost 60 percent consider their pickup to be part of the family and almost half of all survey takers plan to pass their current pickup truck along to a child or loved one. Here are more specific numbers:

How Do Pickup Truck Owners Use Their Trucks?

  • 89 percent have used them to help others
  • 33 percent have towed the cars of family or friends
  • 33 percent have used their pickups to support school, community or charitable efforts

How Does a Pickup Fit Into Families?

  • 57 percent of respondents consider their pickup to be part of the family
  • 45 percent plan to pass their pickup along to a loved one
  • 38 percent love their pickup more than any other belonging
  • 60 percent said they "can't live without" their pickup

What Real-Life Events Have Happened in a Pickup?

  • 26 percent learned to drive in a pickup
  • 10 percent brought a baby home from the hospital in a pickup
  • 9 percent experienced their first kiss in a pickup

How Does Owning a Pickup Affect Image?

  • 38 percent think driving a pickup increases their attractiveness
  • 37 percent think driving a pickup increases their popularity

On behalf of Chevrolet, Harris Poll conducted this online survey of 1,012 adults 18 and older who were pickup truck owners between March 20 and April 3, 2018. The survey oversampled in Texas, California and Florida.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

 

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Comments

The blue oval on the grille.

Fun poll. I fall right into the Big Red naming (red F250 Crew)... I also call it "The Pig" as its grossly inefficient to operate outside of the truck specific tasks I have it for.

None of my trucks or pets are family members. That right is reserved for people. They are valuable property that have a life cycle. The trucks' tend to be a lot more expensive (all my pets have been free) and a bit shorter with my truck ownership average currently being just over 8 years (looking to get that closer to 14). Part of my son's driving instruction will be with the truck (to learn driving LARGE) but most of it will be done with the Honda accord since it is what he will get in 7 years and is a 6spd manual. My son will probably inherit a truck but almost certainly not this one. The next or the one after that. I can and have lived without a truck. I didn't like it but desperate times call for desperate measures and throw in a toy rusty frame buy back with employment issues from the economic downturn and you learn to deal with it.

Freedom--from people trying to clutter the discussion with controlling comments.
You know, we can actually talk about trucks, rather than about everything THEY want or their personal "feelings".

the FAKE John

"How Do Pickup Truck Owners Use Their Trucks?

89 percent have used them to help others
33 percent have towed the cars of family or friends
33 percent have used their pickups to support school, community or charitable efforts"

---- Two out of three ain't bad. Never towed anyone's car with any of my pickups, though.


"How Does a Pickup Fit Into Families?

57 percent of respondents consider their pickup to be part of the family
45 percent plan to pass their pickup along to a loved one
38 percent love their pickup more than any other belonging
60 percent said they "can't live without" their pickup"

---- Zero out of four. I'm not normal.


"What Real-Life Events Have Happened in a Pickup?

26 percent learned to drive in a pickup
10 percent brought a baby home from the hospital in a pickup
9 percent experienced their first kiss in a pickup"

---- Another zero out of four... but apparently much more normal.


"How Does Owning a Pickup Affect Image?

38 percent think driving a pickup increases their attractiveness
37 percent think driving a pickup increases their popularity"

---- I wonder how many of these were suppressing their egos? Those two numbers should be much, much higher!


Heh. I should talk. I'm taking delivery of my third-ever pickup in about another week or so. This will be the largest "small" truck I've ever owned, but I guess you can't count that 1990 F-150 reg. cab, long-bed as a "small" truck, now can you?

I learned to drive in a 1949 F-1 pickup. starter was on the floor,

the image people are probably all from California

@Dave

Awesome visual. The little rubber button on the floor. My dad had a 1950 Ford. Three speed, flathead six. Zero to 60 measured in minutes---not seconds.

Too bad they didn't dive deeper into the psychology of why people buy trucks (and SUVs).

The truck craze likely started with many people wanting to get back to a simpler vehicle (this was 20-25 years ago, when tech really started showing up in cars).

The simplicity part is gone for the most part now. But the craze continues. For many former car drivers, it is wanting to sit higher up to avoid the blinding lights of all the trucks that have lights out of spec due to loads in the bed, trailers weighing down their hitches, or idiotic blue aftermarket headlights.

For many, it is to get a better, commanding view of traffic. It gives them a sense of control in a world that is increasingly becoming uncontrollable.

These phenomena are highly interwoven, and most people likely have no clue how much they are affected by it.

They (meaning all of us) want a reliable and dependable truck that lasts and does everything we want it to do.

I'm not going to go into which is better, pick what you have luck with and go with it.

For my family it has been GM. I'm a V8 guy, and I love the sound, performance, FE, and dependability GM has with Small block V8s in their trucks!

The truck craze likely started with many people wanting to get back to a simpler vehicle

@longboat

The "truck craze" started back when the average sedan had a wimpy 100 HP four cylinder/4 speed combo providing the locomotion in American cars. With a half ton truck back then you could order an honest to God all American V8 engine without having to invest in a luxury sedan.

Those stats are funny, it pretty much shows most people do not use them for truck work. For me personally, if I did not have the need to tow heavy things (boats, and a camper), I would not own a pickup, I would have a suv and small trailer to tow if I needed a "bed" for things, thats it. I have many neighbors who do not own PU trucks, and use small trailers for mulch, pick up a fridge or take something to the dump. They tow the trailers with mid size suvs that get much better FE than PU's do. Anyway, just my personal thought.......

Its also funny how the pull mentions that people name their vehicles. We have done this in my immediate family since I started driving at 14. Lived in the country and got a school permit. All of my vehicles have had specific names given to them.

Kinda neat how others think like that also!

if I did not have the need to tow heavy things (boats, and a camper), I would not own a pickup

@Nitro

How much time do you actually spend driving back/forth to the lake?

Or "camping?" If you did not really dig pickups you would not spend time visiting a website so devoted to trucks.

@Dave

Awesome visual. The little rubber button on the floor. My dad had a 1950 Ford. Three speed, flathead six. Zero to 60 measured in minutes---not seconds.


Posted by: papajim | Sep 27, 2018 8:43:07 AM

0-60 was counted at 20 seconds.

@frank

Please cite source.

Well, obviously for getting work done.
Except for this papajim who seems to just sit on this page aaalll day long.

Pick up trucks rule the Canadian market, especially up here in Canada's Arctic.

We all grew up in trucks and use them for everyday use from getting our groceries to taking our kids to school to family outings. Plus they can haul and tow.

I call my Power Wagon: Big Black Brute

@DAvid

Is your name Frank too?

@pops

At least it's a figure

https://www.topspeed.com/trucks/truck-reviews/ford/1950-ford-f47-pickup-ar173878.html

I learned to drive in a 92' S-10. I remember at the time Chevy's slogan was "The heartbeat of America." The truck was blue and had a hood decal with the slogan on it. My job was to pick up hay bails in the field and move them to a covered area we sold them out of. Now I get around in a 2011 Frontier CC S 4X4.

I was at the auto show a few years ago, when it hit me. The large American car didn't die - it transformed - into a crew cab pickup truck.

Large back seats
Big V8
Rear wheel drive
Good straight line performance
Huge "truck" to haul your stuff in

All traits of the large American luxury sedan

Huge "trunk" to haul your stuff in.

Those stats are funny, it pretty much shows most people do not use them for truck work. For me personally, if I did not have the need to tow heavy things (boats, and a camper), I would not own a pickup, I would have a suv and small trailer to tow if I needed a "bed" for things, thats it. I have many neighbors who do not own PU trucks, and use small trailers for mulch, pick up a fridge or take something to the dump. They tow the trailers with mid size suvs that get much better FE than PU's do. Anyway, just my personal thought.......


Posted by: Nitro | Sep 27, 2018 9:23:47 AM

Very true.

When I had 4 kids at home, the vehicle of choice was a Yukon XL Denali. Threw a trailer on the back when I needed to haul anything I didn't want in the back.

Now that the child count is dropping, The crew cab pickup is the choice due to more flexibility.

In my opinion the 90's when GM put a real interior in the trucks and the vortec 350 is when they became a vehicle of envy and not a work vehicle. The muscle car v8's lost the luster in my generation when you could have a extended cab pickup, 4x4, and with decent performance. It checked all the boxes, even if some things (performance, ride) were not as good as an SUV or sedan.

Those stats are funny, it pretty much shows most people do not use them for truck work. For me personally, if I did not have the need to tow heavy things (boats, and a camper), I would not own a pickup, I would have a suv and small trailer to tow if I needed a "bed" for things, thats it. I have many neighbors who do not own PU trucks, and use small trailers for mulch, pick up a fridge or take something to the dump. They tow the trailers with mid size suvs that get much better FE than PU's do. Anyway, just my personal thought.......

@ Nitro and andrwken

I totally agree with you. I was an SUV guy up until I bought my boat. We had an Acadia SLT2 and absolutely loved the ride of it. But it didn't have enough towing capacity. Went to look at new Yukon Denali's with 6.2 and they were $80K. No rebates on them at time. Couldn't believe how much they were. Needless to say, we bought a fully loaded Terrain and Sierra for less money than what they wanted for the Yukon. I prefer the ride of SUV's far more than trucks, but the towing capacity and bed of truck make up for it. I won't go back now.

It’s that a chevyota tunderado on the top or it’s a Ford F-150?

"38 percent love their pickup more than any other belonging"

Those don't have either a tractor or a boat.

Or a parade float.

DAvid

Is your name Frank too?


Posted by: papajim | Sep 27, 2018 11:21:28 AM


Get on topic old man

What % of people folded up the console and got some @$$ on the bench seat (besides me lol)?!

I learned to drive on a 63 International Series 1000 step side metallic blue with 3 on the tree, 6 cylinder, manual choke, oil bath filter, no radio. Great old truck, easy to work on, and built like a tank.

"I was at the auto show a few years ago, when it hit me. The large American car didn't die - it transformed - into a crew cab pickup truck.

Large back seats
Big V8

Rear wheel drive
Good straight line performance
Huge "truck" to haul your stuff in

All traits of the large American luxury sedan"


Posted by: SportTrac Mnid

You nailed it. The Caprice Classic of yesterday is now the crew cab Silverado, the Olds 98 and Buick Electra 225 is now the crew cab Sierra Denali, and the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis is now the crew cab F-150. Dodge Polara, Imperial, Plymouth Fury, and Chrysler New Yorker is now the crew cab Ram. As soon as most of the manufacturers offered fully optioned crew cabs those who missed the rear wheel drive sedans of the past had an option. Take the crew cabs out of the mix and you would not
have the current boom in truck sales. You could say the Chevy Suburban and its GMC twin are the replacement for the full size Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac station wagons of the past. Want a Country Square how about an Expedition or how about that full size Mercury wagon then how about a Navigator. True you still have the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger but it seems that they are losing some of their popularity to trucks.

Hmmmm... I need to correct my first statement. The coming Z71 is my FOURTH-ever pickup, not my third. I've had a Mitsu and two Fords up to now.

@Vulpine--I still have my 3rd and 4th trucks. My 1st truck was my Granddad's 63 IH and then I had an 85 Mitsubishi Mighty Max for 14 years. Your 2019 Colorado sounds like a great truck and perfect for you and your wife.

I will add the 4 wheel drive and all wheel drive as one main reason for the increase in sales of trucks, suvs, and cuvs. Those who live in snow belts need the extra capacity of 4 wheel and all wheel drive. Once you have had it you don't want to be without it.

Seems that this website is blocking my comments. Vulpine you made a great choice in the Colorado.

Not blocking, Jeff S; You need to reload the page between comments.

You need to reload the page between comments.
Posted by: Vulpine | Sep 28, 2018

@Vulpine

Actually the issue Jeff is having is common. I've worked in IT since the early 1990s and i can assure you that the PUTC server (or their host) is balky sometimes.

It could be due to volume of traffic or it could just be that a hostile attack shuts things down.

@papajim--That is a good point it could be the volume. The comments finally showed up. Congratulations again on your new Colorado Vulpine. Maybe you could post some pictures of your new truck. I saw your previous post of your Ranger.

Will see what I can do. If my RoadWhale website is still up (haven't posted there in a long while) I'll upload it there and keep commentary on the ownership. Think I need to post anyway since wife and I are also looking to pull a travel trailer with it.

@Vulpine--That is where I saw a picture of your Ranger. If you can post there that would be great.

I use my truck for heavy R.V. towing (off and on the road), hauling, off roading, camping and fishing. With lockers smart bar hill decent and Four hundred and ten horse's, great sound system and lots of drink holders. Its a pleasure riding high and handsome watching the chebby, toyota and furd boys drool on it. Fascinated by the snorkle. lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0Uk2VQNRno&t=44s

When I bought my 2010 Tacoma, I needed to break in the clutch, so I moved 98% of our 2-story home from a rental home to our first home we bought. The truck served to support our new home from planting to landscaping to deck projects and all in between.

As a home owner the truck is a valuable tool and gives us freedom and flexibility.

Now I have my 2016 Tacoma (still have the 2010) and she serves not only as my daily driver (taller stance, better safety on the roads) but supports our 3 acres of land we bought in the country we are getting prepped for our new home in 5-7 years. That is planting trees and shrubs, clearing the tree line, watering the trees during dry season with my 65-gallon water tank and hauling my 42-inch deck tractor mower that fits perfectly inside the bed with tailgate raised.

Again a truck is a great tool to get stuff done and gives us freedom and independence to do what we want, when we want it.

Truck's have become popular for many reasons. They ride so smooth compared to the old school rides making them as nice as a 70's, 80's, 90's, and more luxury 4 door. A new crew cab Silverado with a 5.3L (let alone the 6.2L) rides as nice as a 1996 Impala SS (or Mercury Marauder) with almost 100 more hp, similar fuel mileage, similar or better acceleration, real towing ability, etc, etc... People just loved those cars and todays trucks are that good whether it is a Ford, GM, or Ram. If you are older or have back problems getting into a truck is easier than getting into a low slung car because the seating is upright and has big door openings. The truck of today is amazing because they finally treated them like people may enjoy driving them.

Well said, Zippy!

All good, but you left out VERSATILITY. Try stuffing a table/chairs or sofa in your Crown Vic! Or organizing an impromtu hayride.

I remember being caught once in a flash flood where the water in the streets of my Aunt's neighborhood quickly rose to knee deep levels. My pickup got through. None of the coupes or sedans that were stranded did.

@ Zippy,

Only problem is truck owners, especially full-size think their truck is a sports car!

A truck is not a sports car, it cannot handle the roads at speed better than my 2014 Corolla, especially in wet pavement and snow!

The other problem is quite a few full-size truck owners lack depth perception or the fact they do not know their large dimensions and cannot park properly or drive them properly on the roads!

And when I see these clowns driving over the speed limit with trailers, they are a danger to the motoring public!

@ oxi a corolla is not a sports car not even close.

Truck sales began to increase as cars decreased in size and the powerful V8 engine disappeared from the landscape of common vehicles.

Today, many view trucks as status symbols with high end trims, glamor lifts, mud tires for pavement use, and more. To each their own, but I remember the onset of Minivans, then SUVs, then crew-cab 1/2 ton pickups, Hybrids, cross-over SUVs, Jeep Wrangler JKs, and next. ...?

Fads will come and go, but you’ll be hard pressed to replace the versatile utility of a pickup.

And for the inefficinecies...cry me a river and go ride a bicycle.

@ Just the truth,

It is a sub-compact but in capable hands like myself, I can out wit sports cars because I have been trained how to drive above 100 on road courses.

Most sports car owners do not know how to drive properly, period!

@oxi

Driving at speeds over 80 mph in a car equipped with standard OEM brakes and tires is stupid, even under good conditions.

Telling us that you drove a little sedan at those speeds while equipped with the technology of 20 years ago is even more reckless. Toyota is hardly on the cutting edge in that regard.

Your skill on the race track, such as it is, is useless in a car such as a Corolla or Camry.

so let me get this straight? Oxi is the best off roader out there....so he claims! And now he is trained in race car driving and is a professional at that too!

Are you a professional stuntman for Hollywood?

Interesting poll, but in my case the number 1 reason I have a pickup is UTILITY. Need to move something? Just secure it in the bed. No worries about damaging the carpeted floor of your SUV or car.

The added ride height is also a plus in snow or rain. I know I've driven through snow or water filled ruts that would have stopped a car in it's tracks.

Ingress and egress are also easier in a pickup than in most cars. With my height (6ft 6in), it's easier for me to step up into the cab than step down and slouch to get into the drivers seat.



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