Pickup Trucks: The Commercial Vehicle Powerhouse
The pickup truck features countless configurations in the drivetrain, powertrain, fuel options, bed and wheelbase dimensions, and interior. Pickup trucks are the working person’s ideal commercial vehicle both on and off the clock.
- The drivetrain of a pickup can provide versatility in different environments and cost-reducing driving functions.
- Selecting an engine-type, like diesel and gas, comes to a balance between power and fuel-efficiency.
- Choosing from an assortment of hitches will depend greatly on what your business calls for.
- A variety of accessories and features, such as ladder racks and bed length, can be important factors in the ideal pickup truck.
The pickup truck is a masterful, yet elusive, achievement in the automotive industry for a few reasons, but specifically for its versatility in drivetrain developments. Modern models feature options to swiftly switch between 4-wheel drive or 4WD and 2-wheel drive.
In cases where a job site is impassable and covered in mud, snow or loosened soil, switching the drivetrain into 4WD provides individual power to each wheel, or axle-end for the purists, allowing for greater traction control in powering through unpleasant driving conditions. Once safely back on a smooth road, the pickup truck provides the option to manually or automatically revert to more fuel-efficient driving functions, saving you money at the pump and reducing the wear and tear on your vehicle.
Most common pickup trucks rely on gas or diesel, but there are a few comparable choices that offer alternative benefits over these well-known fuel options. Some of the standard fuel alternatives enjoyed by successful businesses and daily drivers alike are flex-fuel, natural gas, and hybrid or bi-fuel options. While less common in local fueling stations, these fuel alternatives sport some great benefits.
Flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) use flex-fuel which is a mixture of ethanol, methanol, and gasoline that provides a reduction in vehicle emissions, making FFVs a cleaner option than diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles. With that said, flex-fuel does come at a cost of reduced fuel efficiency in trade for environmental benefits. Natural gas-powered pickup trucks provide a decreased cost in vehicle maintenance, an average lower price per gallon than diesel or gasoline, and a lower rate of emissions than their gas and diesel counterparts. On the other hand, natural gas is less fuel-efficient than gas or diesel, and natural gas pickups typically start at a higher initial price than their standard fuel brethren. If you're looking for a compromise between these environmentally low-impact options, and the ability to maintain the use of gasoline or diesel fuels, bi-fuel options are your best bet. Bi-fuel pickup trucks contain two separate fuel tanks for both alternative fuel types and standard gas or diesel fuels allowing the user to choose which fuel type best suits their application.
When considering premier options for the latest and greatest pickup truck, it’s important to identify the proper hitch type for your towing needs. One of the most common options is the receiver hitch. While fairly simple in design, the receiver hitch is a well-known and easily accessible hitch type for most trailer models requiring little preparation to tow. The receiver hitch is installed beneath the rearmost section of the pickup and allows the user to hover over a ball-style trailer and easily tow.
Pickup trucks are a great option for a variety of businesses because of the ample space provided within a suite of truck bed dimensions. Although, working space seems to fill up quickly when adding accessories like toolboxes or upfitted compartment units and leaves little space for lengthier items like ladders or PVC and steel piping.
The ladder rack can maximize all of the seldom-used space above the pickup truck’s bed. Ladder racks are generally made of steel or aluminum alloys and fasten onto either side of the pickup with a series of two or more supporting arms along the sides. Once installed, ladders or other lengthy materials are lifted onto the racks and secured with built-in straps, braces, or aftermarket ratchet straps. The ladder rack does not impact any use of the tailgate, allowing the user to freely access their tools and supplies within the pickup truck bed.
The versatile nature of the pickup truck is perhaps one of the greatest selling points of the commercial vehicle. They’re able to drag heavy trailers uphill and pack many loads of cargo onto the bed, but the length of the bed, and inherently the wheelbase, will maximize your cargo capacity.
Pickup truck bed lengths are typically between 5 and 8 feet. They vary by manufacturer specification and only become limited by the length of the wheelbase and cab dimensions.
The rear wheel configuration of a pickup truck is a definitive aspect of both the maximum payload and towing capacities for the commercial vehicle. When considering the benefits of running a “dually” or dual-rear-wheel (DRW), it is important to review the operating conditions of said vehicle. In cases where constant heavy pulling or hauling is the norm for your operation, a DRW set-up may outperform a single-rear-wheel (SRW) model.
The added weight distribution and traction are the high points of the DRW models but come at a cost of reduced fuel-efficiency on average. If towing labored trailers or nearing the specified maximum payload capacities is a rarity in your operation, it may pay off to look for an SRW model that boasts greater MPG and lessens the frequent visits to fueling stations.
Though the truck bed serves as a roomy cargo area for all of your tools and equipment, organizing your gear with a toolbox allows for faster and more efficient operation.
These toolboxes fasten directly to either the sides of the pickup or just behind the cab. Featuring a series of interior shelving units and drawers, the toolbox quickly becomes a mainstay for those looking to keep organized while on the road. Additionally, the toolbox also serves as a protective unit against both theft and inclement weather conditions. Rather than repeatedly packing and unpacking your bed at day’s start and end, leave the tools within the box without the worry of losing tools or damage caused by the environment.
When operating in conditions that require the constant hook-up and drop-off of trailers, it pays in both money and time saved to rely on an easy method to connect your trailer to your pickup truck’s electrical system. The trailer plug is an ideal solution to not only connect and disconnect your trailers quickly but also to adhere to local traffic and safety standards. The trailer plug serves as a connection between your trailer’s lights and your vehicle’s electrical system, ensuring they both operate in tandem. This effectively raises awareness of other drivers and provides a safer driving environment for your team.Published on: January 04, 2019