Why is a good used pickup truck so hard to buy?

Lifestyle | 2 Sep, 2021 |

The importance of the pickup truck is paramount in the distant lands of America. The humble pickup truck has been a symbol of American individualism and freedom, carrying the hopes and aspirations of every working-class American and local and large-scale businessman. The pickup truck is the go-to vehicle for every commercial endeavor, as it’s convenient size and exceptional towing capabilities make it a perfect fit for the urban environment. As a matter of fact, the Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America over the last few decades, highlighting the massive reliance of Americans on pickup trucks.

Demand for new and used pickup trucks has always been on a pedestal. In recent years, more consumers are shelling out their investments for pickup trucks, making them a hot commodity in the market. Because of better fuel economy and lower gas prices, today’s pickups are ever-growing in demand. It has become very frustrating for a buyer to find a decent used Ford F-150 pickup for his daily endeavors. Here we highlight some reasons why good pickup trucks are becoming increasingly harder to buy and how you can find a good pickup truck for yourself.

Reason 1: Used pickup truck supplies are limited

Buying a used pickup truck is always a more difficult ordeal than buying a car of any other category. Still, a regular pickup truck is no different from other car categories, offering the same fuel economy standards as SUVs, vans, and minivans. The payload capacity of pickups lies in the range of 1,500-3,000 pounds and the average towing capacity is well around 12,000 pounds.

Some popular light-duty pickup trucks in the market include the Detroit Big 3 of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Ford F-150, and the RAM 1500 as well as the Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra. In 2019, the number of regular pickup trucks sold equated to 2.6 million vehicles. Compared to the 17 million new vehicles sold that year, the number of new pickups that end up in the used car market is relatively low.

Reason 2: Pickup trucks are subject to more wear and tear

People usually select capable pickup trucks from the market to do their usual dirty work, which includes towing and hauling heavy cargo. These strenuous activities end up worsening the wear and tear of the pickup. The effects of this wear and tear are evident on the pickup’s engine, transmission, and frame of the truck.

Most pickup drivers overload their regular-duty pickup trucks while hauling or towing, which leads to excessive wear and tear. Compared to heavy-duty pickup trucks, regular-duty pickup trucks end up in a much worse condition while being sold in the used car market.

Reason 3: Most used pickup trucks are from rental fleets

Most of the pickup trucks that you see on the used car market were once a part of a rental fleet. The caveat here is that most customers only rent a pickup truck for the purpose of hauling and towing. This means that these pickup trucks are again subject to excessive wear and tear every time they are rented out.

Rental fleets only unload their pickup trucks into the used car market when they discover some issues popping up in the truck. Surely, you wouldn’t want to get your hands on a troublesome pickup truck, would you?

Things to keep in mind while buying a used pickup truck

To get your hands on a used pickup truck in decent working condition, you have to go the extra mile than other used car buyers while researching the market. Here are some key points that you need to consider before settling for the used pickup truck:

Towing and hauling usage: On paper, a truck with a powerful spec sheet and incredible towing and hauling capabilities may always look enticing. In reality, the truck may not be in the best of shapes despite possessing an awesome towing prowess. It is obvious that the previous owner might have used the truck a lot. Some clear signs of excessive towing include a well-worn tow hitch, a severely bent license plate, or a cable that is connecting the trailer brake lights to the truck.

Off-road usage: In some way or another, every pickup truck gets involved in some work off the road. Many pickup buyers use them to do their work on farms and ranches, which usually have a lot of off-road terrains. Regular off-road usage detriments the truck’s suspension, chassis, and other bottom-side components. It may be a wise decision to have a peek at the truck’s bottom side before going ahead with the deal. If you see a lot of scratches or dents, the pickup may have been subject to excessive off-road usage.

Commercial history: Many pickup trucks that enter the used car market have been a part of rental car fleets or other businesses that use these pickups to tow or haul. The condition of these pickups always depends on how intensively or roughly they have been used in these commercial activities. You should collect the documentation and maintenance and repair records for the pickup beforehand, to get an overall picture of the condition of the truck.

What you need to do before signing on the dotted line for a used pickup

Used pickup trucks could be subject to excessive wear and tear in multiple ways, which really take a toll on the pickup’s overall condition. Before you finalize the deal for any used pickup, you need to take it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection of its condition.

The mechanic will be able to pinpoint several signs that the truck has been excessively used, most of which cannot be spotted by the naked eye. The mechanic can inform you on what type of future issues you may encounter and gives you a proper judgment on whether to settle for the used pickup in the end.

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