Okay, I know my rating – now how about a darn Engine for this beast?
I know I know, Diesel or Petrol (Gasoline to you American Folk who have no clue about what Petrol means) – the great debate. Gasoline provides for a pretty darn good power source and can give you what you need pretty much up to heavy duty, but starting around Medium I would seriously look into Diesel as the fuel source. One reason is biodiesel requires no modification and can be used straight into the engine (in fact a huge variety of fuels “could” in theory be used), and they are tough, and provide a great horsepower and torque (this is generalized, I know someone out there is going “Ma diesel can’t even pull that damn chicken” – get a better one.). Gasoline, on the other hand, works better in colder climates (generalizing here folks), and also can give the lighter trucks enough speed to make some people very envious. Some folk even have alcohol engines for drag racing – but these aren’t the kind of trucks you want to haul a horse in, and I don’t care if it is Sea Biscuit.
Cool, so I have the truck I want, and the Engine. Do I need to care about the Bed?
If you want to sleep at night – yes. You’ll need a flat bed if you’re wishing to take big things, or as another option, a flat trailer. Trailers can also be covered and carry pretty much anything, heck, if you include a camper and a trailer with a generator and your tools you could be a mobile construction crew, and Super Bowl King (as long as you bring the steaks and sauce). Most of the time a normal bed will serve you fine; but in the cases that you need something different you may need to actually call dealers and ask them about how to get a customized bed for your vehicle. Or if you want to go the warranty voiding method, get a used truck and have at some modifications by licensed shops (you want licensed. Don’t let Cousin Marvin around the back – trust me. Or Johnnie Law will be pulling you over and citing you for an unsafe truck or trailer).
Well, I have my truck, anything else I should consider?
Tires. Yes, Tires. You’ll need ones to suit where most of your driving is and the season. If you need to go up a lot of muddy slopes or muddy roads that are slippery consider getting the bigger beefy tires for that purpose – their treads are separated and blockier to provide extra traction. If it’s really snowy get the snow tires, they are built to put more weight in a smaller area to provide better traction in the snow, and some of these even have metal nubs to help. If it’s just normal day to day in the suburban or urban setting – normal tires or even some run flats. You don’t need monster truck tires unless you’re never going to use the truck for practical things. Low-rider tires and trucks – same response. What ever happened to just a normal regular truck that was meant to be a truck anyways?
Transmission. You should consider whether an automatic or a manual transmission is right for you. Most truck models from all companies have the option of a manual or an automatic. A manual is good if you like to be in full control and actually like to mess with shifting gears. Automatics take away the hassle for people, like me for example, who honestly don’t want to deal with it. Anyways, with an auto you can still downshift to one or two. Bigger heavier duty trucks that can haul the entire library of congress are usually preferred in manual, while the smaller medium and light duty trucks have more of an automatic following. Subcompacts and mini’s are both predominantly auto, but manual sales for both are enough to justify having a manual transmission available. In any case, a test drive should tell you which one you want.