The Evolution of Pickup trucks

A true working truck. 
It wasn't long ago when a farmer used a truck to transport things across the farm and construction workers carried supplies with them. Today this still happens but thats the minority use of the truck. The majority of pickup truck buyers use them as everyday vehicles to go to the store, take the family for a night out or to drive to work. An un heard of use in the early days of trucks.

So when did people decide they wanted a truck for leisure use and when did we add luxury items in these trucks. Trucks from the 50s had metal dashboards were almost all manual transmissions. They were nothing more than a bench seat, a steering wheel, and some pedals. Today our trucks are equipped with bucket seats, leather interiors, high quality stereos and features found in top luxury cars.

Particularly interesting is how peoples expectations have changed for a truck. Years ago trucks had to be able to carry things and tow a small trailer. Today people want their truck to have enormous capability such as towing and payload but also want it to be luxurious and comfortable. It's important to note that many will never use these towing or payload features. (at least not till the full extent) This makes me wonder why the standard pickup trucks (F-150, Ram 1500) are getting increasingly larger with each revision. If people want and generally only use the luxury features of a truck why not make these trucks smaller and the people who use trucks daily for towing just buy the heavy duty trucks. This would allow better fuel economy for most truck buyers and a truck which does the same thing for them as it did before. I'm sure most companies could still manage with F-150's that towed slightly less and wouldn't mind the increase in fuel efficiency that comes with a lighter vehicle.
F-150 King ranch interior.

I only say this because when I ask anyone or hear anyone talking about their truck they never complain about it's lack of towing capability or it can't carry enough. What they do say is it's thirsty or the interior isn't as refined as they would like. Think about it, have you ever had someone tell your their F-150 can't tow enough or the payload should be higher? I have yet to hear a person say this and don't think I will anytime soon.

So far some manufactures have made small moves to make their trucks more luxurious, an example of this is Ram switching to coil springs in the back of the 1500. Toyota has made some changes on the last revision of their Tundra which makes it ride smoother as well. This obviously reduces capability somewhat but improves what is more important to the majority of truck buyers.

So where will the pickup truck be 10 years from now? Will they still be selling in bundles or will people trickle over to cars and crossovers. Time will only tell but one thing is for sure, the pickup will go through many more changes to suit what people want.


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