What pickup to get

I’m finally ready to part with my 98 Dodge Dakota with the rusted out wheel wells, broken down seat, and worst of all a parking brake bracket that can’t be welded onto the rusted out frame in that area.
I’ve been looking at other trucks and don’t want/need a full size one. I haul lumber so I’d like bed that’s close to 8’ long. I looked at a Honda Ridgeline but it has a “toy” bed that’s barely a bed at all.

Given my criteria of a small/midsize truck, long bed, and good reliability (of course) what would ya’ll recommend?

This is a lousy time to be looking for a used truck . The prices are just insane. 2010 Ford Rangers are selling for close to what the original sticker was. If it was me I would look at the basic Nissan Frontier S new . We had a 2014 Frontier SV with all options and it was fine .

That 8’ bed will be hard to find in a midsize truck, I’d think. What’s your budget? New or used?


my thoughts too. You may be able to find a Chevy/GMC 1500 with a long bed, but I’m not sure your find much in a smaller truck.

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A full size F150.


There are bed extenders that will solve that problem with 6 foot beds . And yes they work .

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I started looking at trucks, Colorado was on the list, but not an 8’ bed, looks like 74" is the longest

that’s a rather good idea. :slight_smile:

If you want an 8’ bed for hauling lumber, I think a full-size truck is your only option. I’d personally favor the base model Ford F150 over the base model Chevy Silverado, but that’s just personal bias. You should test drive both.

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I think the best answer depends on the following: when you say “hauling lumber”, what weight are you talking about? If it is ten 2x4’s and a couple of sheets of plywood, go for the far more economical small truck with a bed extender.
I live in a wealthier neighborhood, and the number of full-size trucks that are never used as trucks here is ridiculous. They must enjoy buying gas a whole lot. One neighbor has two!
In shopping, I would also look at Toyotas.


Trucks with 8’ beds are out there on the market but so many new buyers get the crew cab with a short bed. The bed extender on a Tacoma or Frontier could be the answer. If you really don’t want a full size.

Add the RAM to that list. They consistently get great ratings from testers.


None of the current/newer small/midsized trucks have an 8 foot bed. They tend to top out at 6 to 6.5 feet. If you’re after reliability and not much else, get a base model Taco with the long bed. Keep in mind Tacos have very good resale value so even one that’s 2-5 years old will cost more than you might expect.

If you’re buying new then you might want to consider full-sized, as they often carry generous incentives. I bought a 2019 F-150 at the end the of model year that had about 12k in incentives on it before negotiations. A similarly equipped Ranger (which was a new model at the time) had less than half that amount incentives. Making the F-150 a far, far better value in my view.

A friend who has a lot of rental properties that he maintains himself has owned a SR trim Tacoma with the utility package (loses the jump seats among other stuff and gains black bumpers) everything he really needs with the 6ft bed.

The usefulness of bed extensions depends on how much 8" material you want to haul.

It shows how little pickup trucks are used for work these days,b The 8 foot beds that used to be standard on pickups are optional now, even on full sized pickups.

I thought you were looking for a truck. If you even considered a Ridgeline no one here can help you.


8-foot beds on anything but a regular cab truck are so unwieldy. Even on regular cab pickups they are too long. I had a rental RAM with a hemi once. I met a friend in the downtown area in the town we traveled to, and parking it was a bear. Same thing at work and the hotel. I see so many crew cabs that 8-foot beds should be an infrequent choice. IIRC, you can’t bet the long bed with the crew cab.

Just get a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in “work truck” trim from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. That means 2WD, automatic transmission, regular cab, long bed, and of course hand-crank windows and a manual-adjusting bench seat. You can’t go wrong with a truck like this. I currently own one, and have driven several over the years as work trucks for my job.

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My son in law has a 2017 Chevy Silverado work truck with an 8’bed. He uses it for his furniture restoration business. We also take it to old car shows and swap meets, It will bring back anything short of a car. If you don’t need a truck for towing and you think an 8’ bed is too long, I question your need for a truck.

Respectfully, I disagree. A friend who is a roofing/general contractor by trade has a Chevy Silvarado that he uses for work. He doesn’t need an 8’ bed and rarely towing but does need the pick-up for hauling all sorts of heavy tools, cargo that won’t fit in other type vehicles, for carrying the double-sided ladder rack, etc.