Is it just my imagination, or are more pickups being used commercially?


#1

Basically, just what it says. The last 5 years or so, it seems I see more and more 3/4 or 1-ton pickups, duallies mostly, towing large amounts of cargo, seemingly for compensation/hire. Not just on my trips out west to ranching country, but in the Appalachian mountains and eastward.

Now, I’ve been getting more interested in obtaining my CDL during that time frame, so this could just be “confirmation bias,” which is why I’m asking if anyone else is noticing this.

If so, why? Is it a result of more-stringent regulations leading to creative ways to circumvent them? (Though a lot of the pickups in question have DOT numbers.) Is it a result of more capable pickups? Or am I just imagining it?


#2

"If so, why? Is it a result of more-stringent regulations leading to creative ways to circumvent them? (Though a lot of the pickups in question have DOT numbers.) Is it a result of more capable pickups? Or am I just imagining it? "

Both of these things…What looks like an R/V is actually a commercial hauling operation…


#3

It might also be some of the countless people who used to work in factories and offices that became unemployed and are trying to find a way to make a living “hiring out” their handyman services.

Re: the CDL, when the economy originally sank, tractor-trailer schools began to push a CDL as a way to find a job. We’ve found in my area that there are far more people with CDLs than there are available positions. Some of the schools have shut down, as has the tractor-trailer program at the community college. You may want to carefully research the demand in your are before spending the money.


#4

In the economy that says a full size simi trailer should not run half empty, the small load haulers started popping up…PLUS your theory of better pickups. Then the logistics of direct ship, small loads, quicker receipt, lower cost, and loaded return trips.
My Ford dealer’s daily freight out of Albuquerque is a pickup and flatbed.


#5

I think it is also that you are seeing fewer of them used as private vehicles. High gas prices discouraged people from buying a truck that they might need on rare occasions. So most of the trucks you see are commercial. Living in a dense city I hardly ever see trucks that aren’t work vehicles. When I do, they stand out. Visitors from Texas or Oklahoma.


#6

Three firemen rent the house across the street…They all drive full-size P/U’s One has a diesel dualy one-ton…They just drive them to work and to the supermarket…Very common in Denver to see trucks used this way…Some are aping the Harley riders and take the mufflers off…


#7

Just because you get a CDL, doesn’t mean you have to drive a semi

You also need a CDL to drive large dump trucks, garbage trucks, large buses, etc.

Some of those jobs pay decently

But I’m talking Class B, which I have

And you need a Class A to drive a semi and haul freight


#8

@MarkM: Definitely not my experience. Pickups are still very popular here in SW PA…out in farming and hunting rural areas, and pretty much ubiquitous among all working class folks looking to hustle a buck or two.

The only place I don’t see them is urban neighborhoods situated such that most residents aren’t blue-collar: Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, for instance. (Obviously, the desirability of a full-size pickup is inversely proportional to the probability of having to parallel-park it!) Additionally, they aren’t typically owned in the “tonier” neighborhoods like Fox Chapel/Sewickley: that’s what the help drive! (They do drive SUVs on the same body frame, however.)


#9

There is a trend for hauling,lighter,bulky loads-they use a truck called a"Hotshot" and in VA,if you are under 26000#,you dont need a CDL(One reason we have such terrible wrecks with “Ryder trucks and such” and the new pickups are capable of pulling pretty heavy loads,but as for stopping them.thats another story-Kevin


#10

These trucks are more capable. They look like ordinary pick ups but many in three quarter and one ton form have mammoth engines and huge tow capacities. The are some that you can swap out small appearing PU beds for dual wheels and dump bodies and a host of other configurations. They are cheaper to buy and operate then dedicated larger haulers. Money rules ! Working a smaller rig at full capacity is cheaper then over sizing and working too big a truck under.


#11
Just because you get a CDL, doesn't mean you have to drive a semi

You also need a CDL to drive large dump trucks, garbage trucks, large buses, etc.

Some of those jobs pay decently

But I’m talking Class B, which I have

And you need a Class A to drive a semi and haul freight

DB, I have the most useless Class A there is, I have a Class A with a Semi restriction, because I did’nt take roadtest in a semi, which makes sense.

A Class A here in Indiana is a Class B With air brakes basically.


#12

You’re right, Rick. There are different classes. And you also need special licenses to drive auto delivery vehicles, HAZMAT vehicles, and many other special categories.


#13

my class B incldes airbrakes,beings I had to pay for it,I dropped the H and N endorsements and beings the class A was a convenience for the company owner,I decided not to bother with it(let somebody else move the equipment,if one person does everything,then too many jobs would be eliminated-they dont believe in division of labor around here)-Kevin


#14

Oh, my rural relatives still drive trucks as everyday vehicles. But city and suburban peiple were doing that, too, in the eighties and nineties. If you look at sales figures cars have risen and trucks and large SUVs have fallen. They were trendy when gas prices were low. Now hybrids and very little cars are selling in large numbers. Twenty years ago US makers were grumbling that they would never meet aggressive CAFE requrements (mild by cyrrent standards) because Americans would not buy anything with less than a V8 in it (except from the Japanese.) Now few under 40 would buy a V8, and many express a preference for a four.

I’m in my early fifties, but grew up in an LA suburb where Japanese imports were the norm a generation before other places. There have been a few V6 minivans and V8 motorhomes in my family, but otherwise there have been dozens of Asian (and one US) fours. Mostly Hondas, but also Toyotas, Mitsubishis, Mazdas, Nissans, and Hyundais (and one unloved Ford. Oh, and a US-built Renault Alliance, but it was more a display piece than a working car) . I can’t imagine in my family owning a truck as daily transportation unless they needed it. My brother owned a couple of Nissan trucks when working for courier services. But that was need and they were fours.