Tuesday, July 01, 2014

What The Truck?

Both our vehicles, a 2005 Ford Exploder and 2005 Jeep Wrangler are getting long in the tooth. Both are at the 80,000 mile mark and that is near my usual 100,000/10 year ownership plan. It will soon be time to buy a new vehicle. For my practical purposes a pickup truck will suit my needs quite well.

Ford announced it will be introducing a new F-150 with an aluminum alloy body.

This decision by Ford is based largely on the gummint demanding better average mileage standards from auto manufacturers. Since the new aluminum body will weigh an estimated 700 lbs. lighter the use of a smaller power plant with better mileage will be possible. Since the F-150 is 1/3 of Ford's production worldwide it lowers their fuel consumption average considerably. This got my attention since I drive at least 32 miles a day five days per week. From what I have read this new pickup will get the same and possibly better mileage as my Jeep Wrangler. It will never rust but will it need waxing? How resistant will it be to scratches and parking lot dings? Many questions arise.

Having a pickup will provide many advantages for my country bunker lifestyle. I haul a lot of gear for fishing and hunting trips along with pulling a rather large fishing boat. More often than not a trip to a building center involves large items such as 4'x8' sheets of plywood, drywall, heavy bags etc. that require a large vehicle or a delivery fee will be charged. The same is true when landscaping. Shrubs, trees, stone, rocks, firewood, sand and dirt require a large space for hauling. So far the Exlpoder and past vans have served that purpose but I never owned a pickup truck. Maybe it's time.

The aluminum concept Ford will be offering makes owning a truck more attractive to me. She has said she will be satisfied to drive a smaller, cheap Kia or some other tiny fuel sipping death trap around town and to own as a backup for me. But what about all the new options offered in today's vehicles? Here's where I may have a problem.

Because I am frugal the need to have unnecessary creature comforts in my ride would be undesirable and possibly unavoidable. Things that come on vehicles today such as cameras. GPS, WIFI, heated seats, power seats windows mirrors antenna, temperature controls for driver and passenger are all unnecessary to me. WIll they offer a bare bones edition so I may customize it to my liking? Dunno. Needs to do some research on that.

Even having a club cab is more than I want. With nobody else to haul around there is no need for a half or full seat in the back or access doors. Having an extra seat cuts down on the 4'x8' bed length unless  I want a long rancher's cadillac and I don't. A simple bench seat would be fine. I wouldn't mind simple manually adjustable bucket seats and a manual transmission with a stick shift on the floor but I doubt that would be offered. Even farmers and construction guys have been spoiled and coddled by manufacturers offerings. Ever look into a modern farm tractor or combine?

A single cab and definitely a cap for the bed would do me fine. There definitely will be a rifle rack in the rear window and Gadsden flag sticker on the bumper of my bitter-clinger mobile. Having a fold down cot in the back would allow me to spend some nights at the farm come deer season. Hell, when I think about it the pickup would make an excellent hunting blind. My goal of being the ultimate redneck is so near I can taste it (spit).

That does it. My purchase may be a year away but dreaming and research begins immediately.


Carl from Chicago said...

One thing about getting a truck with none of the creature comforts is that it might hit resale value a bit because everyone expects them.

This from a guy who never buys in the in-dash NAV unit. That saved me a couple of grand.

My last Jetta I bought wasn't the lowest level one but it was damn close. Only $17k which is a great deal considering it has 4 doors and you can fit 4 adults in there and it is fun to drive. Will drive it for probably 8 years or so and give to nephews or nieces.

Very interested to see how that all body aluminum works out.

Gerry from Valpo said...

Understand the resale angle. If it costs less initially and I never need to pay to repair some luxury gimmick items such as remote mirror motors or heated motorized memory seats then a low resale return would be fine with me.

The only must-have luxury items for me would be cruise control and A/C.