How to Choose the Right Truck for Your Needs

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How to Choose the Right Truck for Your Needs

A truck is a great form of transportation, especially for anyone who regularly needs to haul or tow things. Trucks have enough power to easily accomplish the tasks most commuters place on them. They are durable, versatile, and can handle most rough terrain and weather situations with much more ease than many small cars can.

Features vary greatly from truck to truck, and a consumer who is in the market for one should understand how the features affect the truck's versatility, power, durability, fuel economy, and passenger comfort. All of these are important when buying a truck, but the importance given to each varies greatly depending on the needs of each individual truck owner. Before buying a truck, a consumer should consider how the truck is going to be used the majority of the time and then consider its size, durability, power, and comfort in order to choose one that uniquely fits the consumer's needs.

The Size of the Truck

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a truck is its size. Size affects everything from fuel economy and initial cost to weight capacity and passenger load. There are several different size considerations to keep in mind, including the truck's size, its engine size, bed size, and seating and cab size. Each of these is interrelated, so the consumer must first determine which factors are most important before moving forward with choosing the right truck.

Truck and Engine Size

In general, there are two main pickup truck sizes, compact (often referred to as an S10) and full size, although there are several mid-size trucks as well. The larger trucks typically run on a more powerful engine, which means they are often capable of handling a larger load. The down side is that the large trucks generally cost more to purchase and maintain and the larger engine consumes much more fuel.

For a truck that is not going to be put to work for hauling and towing, this extra petrol expense may be a good reason to consider a smaller, less powerful truck. Many small and mid-size pickups are easily capable of handling the load that a typical consumer may need, and they generally do not require the excessive amount of fuel to run that a full size truck does. A large engine consumes more petrol just to run, regardless of whether it is hauling anything. If fuel economy is important and the vehicle does not need to haul large loads on a regular basis, avoiding a large truck with a high-powered engine can save money in the long run.

Seating and Cab Size

The need for seating depends on the size of family or group the consumer is likely to need to transport on a regular basis. Trucks are first and foremost made for utilitarian use, but many are also able to seat up to five people and some are even designed with passenger comforts in mind. When choosing a truck that may be used to transport a number of people on a regular basis, be sure to focus on the size and comfort of the available seating.

Not all trucks that can seat four or more people are built alike, and some of the accessory seating in many trucks are not comfortable enough to transport an average person on a regular basis or for long distances. The different cab configurations affect the amount of space inside the cab and how that space is broken up to accommodate passenger seating. The following chart compares the main cab styles that are available to one another:

Cab Style


Standard Cab

This is the traditional pickup cab, with only one row of seats, either bucket seats or a bench

Extended Cab

These trucks have the standard first row of seats and space behind them that includes some sort or passenger seating; this space is intended mostly for cargo and the seats are not suitably comfortable for regular use or long trips

Crew Cab

These have full front and back seats and generally provide more passenger space than many small size cars; very comfortable for transporting a small work crew or family

Many manufacturers assign their own signature names to each of the different cab styles and include some styles that do not fit into these standards. Check the specific description and size measurements for each truck you consider.

Bed Size

Compact trucks have relatively small bed sizes and full-size trucks have larger ones, but these are very generalised ways of viewing the bed size. For trucks that are going to be regularly used to haul items such as work gear, tools, landscaping supplies, or lumber and building materials, the size of the trucks bed may be of a great concern. Many similarly sized trucks have reasonably standard size beds, but some also have long beds and some have short beds. Those with external wheel wells also have more space in the truck bed. Most manufacturers make the exact measurements of the truck bed available to the consumer and this information is helpful when choosing one for hauling specific items.

The Truck's Durability

There was a time when the very notion of a truck meant a guarantee that it was built for durability. There was little concern in trucks design for comfort, and luxury features were not even considered. Most trucks are still built to be generally more durable than other vehicles, but with them being more popular in the mainstream and not just considered work vehicles, much more attention is put on these other factors.

The consumer should have a reasonably good idea of how the truck is to be used before making a buying decision. If the need for the truck is strictly utilitarian, the budget should reflect that by focusing more on features that make it a durable truck that can withstand abuse and a long life. If the purchase is more about having a sharp looking commuter that can be used to haul things when necessary, the truck's durability and rugged features may not be as important as some of the other ones that offer comfort and luxury in the passenger compartment.

The Truck's Power

For the uses that many consumers are purchasing trucks for these days, power is not as important as fuel economy, comfort, and spaciousness. That said, the truck does require enough power to easily handle everything thrown at it, including towing, hauling, and rugged terrain. The truck's power output is of particular importance for those who intend to use it as a work truck, taxing the engine and drivetrain on a consistent basis. Keep in mind, though, that a high powered engine can work harder when needed, but also burns more fuel in general, even when that power is not being put to work. This is important for those who are looking to cut fuel economy.

Consider the Truck's Comfort Features

Many trucks today, whether designed for work or play, are packed with features that make the driver and passenger more comfortable. The more of these types of options, the higher the price tag, but many do not add anything to the long-term cost, as a larger engine size might. When it comes to choosing a truck, take special consideration to weigh the benefits of some of these comfort features over spending the extra money or possibly affording a more powerful rig.

Interior Options

Trucks that are designed with the passenger's comforts in mind include such options as heated seating, leather interior, and spacious leg room. These features add to the overall cost of the vehicle but also add to the consumer's enjoyment of it. Most trucks that are on the road today include at least a few basic luxury and comfort features.


Some trucks include several advanced technology features. These include features designed to save on fuel, assist the driver, or optimise the comfort of the people riding in the truck. Many trucks do not include any technology features, and some include all of the current ones, making them on par with the most advanced luxury car. New features that utilise technology are being designed on a regular basis. So if a sophisticated, technologically advanced truck is what you are in the market for, be sure to study up on all of the most current and popular features and determine which are most necessary and worth the extra expense.

Choosing an Economical Truck

For many consumers, a major concern when purchasing any vehicle is how economical the purchase is. Some consumers are willing to spend a little more on the initial purchase in order to save money on fuel over time, and some are the opposite and do not mind the extra fuel cost of a vehicle that has all the power and the features that they require but was at a bargain price when purchased. As with many of the other factors mentioned, it is important for the consumer to determine beforehand which features are most important and to budget accordingly before beginning the search for the right truck.

Buying a Truck on eBay

The trucks that are available at the local dealership can give the consumer a good idea of what is available on the market right now. Finding just the right one at a dealership, however, can be difficult. A good way to open up the options of available trucks is to consider both new and used when shopping and to look to other avenues, such as online auctions like those on eBay. The trucks available on eBay represent a very wide selection, both in price and available options. It is easy to find the right truck that fits your needs at a great price, whether it is a current model year truck or one from a couple of years ago.

When purchasing a truck on eBay, research the truck before buying. Understand all of the features it includes and look at reviews for that specific truck. If reviews mention any issues that the truck model is known to have, be sure to communicate with the buyer about the issue.


A truck is a great form of transportation, especially for the consumer who has a wide variety of transportation needs. They can haul things and tow trailers when necessary. They are powerful and have the functionality to be both daily commuters and hard-working vehicles.

When choosing a truck, the consumer should first understand how the different features of the truck affect its power, fuel economy, and passenger comfort. The consumer should then consider which features are most important. These vary widely depending on the consumer's individual needs.

A consumer who is in the market for a truck to really put it to work at hauling things and driving over rough terrain should place greater importance on features that make that easier than on comfort and luxury features. A consumer who wants a truck for a daily commute that can haul things when necessary should focus more on comfort and fuel economy. By determining the use of the truck before shopping for it, the consumer is more likely to end up with the one that truly fits the need.

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