I went out a while back and picked up a new-to-me pickup truck.
My previous full sized F-150 was just an extended cab, but I wanted, or otherwise needed a crew-cab (quad-cab) because Dustin had been growing quite a bit this year. What actually prompted me to switch out trucks was that back in the summer, we had taken a road trip to Billings, and Dustin was relegated to sitting in the back of the extended cab, and was anything but fairly comfortable. Dustin is 15 and he’s 6 foot tall. Long story short, he needed some room.
My extended cab truck was a 2008 Ford F-150. Short of having to put a new transmission in it last year, it ran great. The only thing really wrong with it was that it was too small in the back. The 2008 F-150 was the first full sized truck I owned since not ever owning one since the early 90’s.
All of my other trucks were small. I had the ’96 GMC Sonoma for a time, and still have, my ’97 Ford Ranger. Full sized or not though, I’ll put a pickup truck through it’s paces. When I sold the Sonoma, it had 350K miles on it. My Ranger has 236K miles on it now and it sits very comfortably parked in the garage at the moment. The Ranger is probably the smallest pickup I’ve ever owned. Gets 50mpg, has a little 4 cylinder engine with a 5 speed trans. I’ll be keeping it for quite a while yet.
Anyhow, this new pickup is a 2011 Ford F-150 quad-cab. Though it has the same engine in it that the 2008 had, it’s equipped with a tow package. The 2008 didn’t have a tow package, so I’m guessing that might be why I had to put a new transmission in it.
There’s a huge difference between the 2008 and the 2011. I’m sort of a manual window roll-up kind of guy, which is what the 2008 was. The 2011 has it all, right down to the seat warmers, satellite radio, and auto-start. Still takes some getting used to I think, because just when I think I’ve got it all mastered, there’s another little switch, button, or configuration I have to address. Fancy pants is all fine and dandy and all, but this thing has so many gadgets and gizmos that it’s kind of like driving a computer.
I still haven’t decided on whether or not to keep the brush guard. I had brush guards all through the 80’s on my trucks. The last time I had a brush guard on my truck was that time I hit a moose coming off of Lolo pass and the guard smashed up against the front of the truck so tight that I couldn’t get the hood open without first having to cut the brush guard off with a torch. So the jury is still out on this one. There are less things to run into out here on the prairie. You don’t necessarily just come cruising around the corner to find a herd of something standing in the middle of the road like you do on the west side of the state.