5 Great Excuses for Buying a Truck
Sure, you want one, but does she? Here are talking points for that kitchen-table debate.
Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
We feel your pain. You want a manly pickup truck, one with some room inside and beans — big ones — under the hood. But there's a problem. You live in the suburbs and work in an office, and you never really get your hands dirty, except during occasional yardwork or projects around the house. You don't have any horses to feed or pallets of cement to haul. Consequently, your wife thinks you're crazy. She thinks you need to grow up and leave behind your sandbox fascination with shiny trucks that go vroom. Naturally, you disagree. Your intuition says there's plenty of time to grow up later, and you want a truck now.
That means you'll need some good reasons to justify parking that pickup truck in your driveway. Here are five that'll get you started and that she just might buy.
1. “We can do more things with the kids.”
Any parent can tell you that kids mean stuff, and lots of it. Tote the kids anywhere and you have to haul seemingly half that stuff with you. Nothing moves stuff easier than a pickup. Sure, the old minivan is more secure and weather-tight, and it provides easier access. But bolt a camper shell or tonneau on a pickup and it'll haul an entire Toys R Us to the park, beach or grandma's. This is an especially powerful argument when the kids are a little older and have larger toys, such as bicycles.
2. “It’ll make home improvements a whole lot easier.”
Now here's an appeal she can't resist. With a pickup truck, your home-improvement capabilities improve exponentially. Never mind that the local big-box store has delivery options. Necessities such as peat moss, drywall and silly-looking patio furniture are a natural fit for a pickup. Remember, you don't actually have to haul such stuff; it's the promise that counts. No woman can resist a man who is willing to tackle her "honey-do" list.
There's a meaningful downside to this argument, however. If you are the only one in your social circle with a pickup, you'll soon discover just how much junk your buddies and their wives want to schlep home, too.
3. “A truck is safer than a sedan.”
Even the wiliest spouse is helpless against the omnipotent safety argument, no matter how blatantly self-serving. Ignoring the fact that all modern vehicles are amazingly crash-worthy, the impressive size, heft and carrying capacity of, say, a Ford F-150 suggest that it will fare better in a fender-bender than a lighter, smaller Toyota Camry. It's a simple matter of physics, right? Jousts with another alpha male in another pickup or large SUV negate this logic. We recommend not mentioning the latter when pleading your argument.
4. “It’s equipped like a luxury car inside.”
This appeal might cost you a little extra to realize the truck of your dreams, but it can be an incentive for a spouse oriented more to aromatherapy and pedicures than to boondocking. Sure, the base trim on most pickups is a bland vinyl desert. But a dive into the oasis of the options list can up the ante quite a bit.
Some domestic pickups feature near-luxury interiors designed to please the most fastidious of decorators. Plus, a pickup's ample seating and generous legroom are a real boon to the large or lanky.
5. “We could tow the boat with it.”
It's our experience that kids and women love boats. We can't explain it, but they do. And a tow-ready pickup is the easiest way to get your small sloop, runabout or kayak to the water and back home safely. Plus, you can carry all sorts of gear in the bed — tubes, skis, picnic baskets, Jet Skis, etc. (Warning: Don't include fishing gear on that list, unless your spouse or the kids like to fish. That's a hobby, your hobby, and one that monopolizes your time.) Key to your pitch is that you must first have the boat — that is, unless she's been bugging you to get one. Then you can say, "We'll need a truck to tow it."
Even if you don't own a boat, a pickup will open a new world of recreational opportunities. Kids love outdoor adventures, moms love being with happy kids, and dad is happy when mom is happy.
Longtime Road & Track contributor Tom Wilson's credits include local racing championships, three technical engine books and hundreds of freelance articles.
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