When you look at a pickup truck and a car, the differences might seem obvious. But there are distinct differences that separate the two apart.
Vehicles are classified by many different things:
The difference between a pickup truck and a car can ultimately be brought down to one thing: function. Cars are designed to carry people, not things. Trucks are designed to carry cargo. The emphasis isn’t put on the comfort of the passenger; rather, it’s designed for use and function.
The auto industry has labeled vehicles into distinct categories; your driver’s license lists what you’re licensed to drive. Passenger cars are listed as Class A. Light vans, minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks are Class B. Medium and large-sized trucks are Class C. Each class has different inclusions and requirements as to what vehicle resides in each category. For example, a truck must weigh more than 8,500 pounds and have features for off-street or off-highway operation. That, of course, leaves wiggle room in the way manufacturers design their vehicles.
The difference between a car and a truck is noticeable. But what about a truck and a pickup truck?
Trucks are designed to carry, haul, and tow. They are designed in similar fashion, with a basic cab and some type of chassis attached to the rear. Pickup trucks are trucks with a separate frame and an open bed. They take a design from each category – cars and trucks – and combine them into one vehicle. Pickups are a smaller version of a truck, designed for multi-use. They are compact, perfect for family use as well as functional enough to use for smaller business.
Pickup trucks have become a mainstay in our community because of their functionality. They can be more useful than a typical car, providing a wide open space to carry just about anything you desire. Yet they don’t sacrifice on comfort, with sometimes luxurious cabs that offer you all the comforts of a car.
A pickup truck might not be big enough to handle the largest of jobs, but they offer a wide variety of functionality for both business and commercial purposes.
It may seem like the two are more similar than not in the way that they operate. They both have tires. They both need oil changed regularly. Yet there are many distinct differences that can impact the way you perform pickup truck maintenance compared with your family car.
Pickup trucks require different parts and tools
When you look at the two side by side – a pickup truck and a car – the one distinct difference is size. Pickup trucks are physically larger. They have more weight. That means the internal parts will be scaled to match the size. Bigger parts also mean larger tools to maintain each of the parts throughout its life.
Try jacking up a pickup truck with a standard jack built for a small, two-seater convertible. You put you, the jack, and your vehicle at risk. Small jacks just aren’t built to handle that kind of pressure.
It’s not just the weight. If you jack up the car to work on a flat tire, the tire itself will be larger too. The weight of the wheel will be more. The tire itself will be larger and more difficult to move. Even the tools you may have on hand for standard car repair won’t work on larger truck parts.
Manufacturers also know pickup trucks are put through more wear and tear every day. They screw nuts and bolts into place tighter to ensure they safely stay in place. Can you get them loose? Can you tighten them thoroughly to ensure they stay safe as you get back to work?
Pickup trucks are used differently
When you purchase a car, you tend to use it for normal city driving (even if you live way out in the country.) You stick to pave roads. Even if you lose pavement and return to a dirt road, it’s still graded and fairly easy to drive. All-wheel vehicles may give you the possibility to drive off-road and visit some of nature’s best. But you still understand the limits, and pay attention to how much roughness you put your car under.
Pickup trucks are designed to handle the pressure of dirty, dusty roads, all while pulling a heavy load. From a trailer to a camper, to a boat, pickup trucks are designed and ready for any job. Of course, you have to pay attention to the payload of what your pickup truck can haul. But even when the two match, that puts a lot more strain on each of the systems within your pickup truck, meaning they need special attention when they head in for a maintenance visit.
Towing puts more wear and tear on your vehicle. Suspension, for example, is a system that takes all the abuse of daily driving habits. But when you’re pulling heavy loads, bumping over rough roads, and doing so sometimes in the worst road conditions possible, it places additional stress on every part of the suspension system, springs, shocks, steering, and driveshaft joints.
Pickup trucks may use different products, but they still need the same care
You know all the rules you learned about regular car maintenance? They apply similarly to pickup truck maintenance too.
Your pickup truck works hard for you every day of the year. It needs oil changed on a regular schedule. It needs tire pressure checked and evaluated several times throughout the year.
When you pull in for an oil change, our mechanics still give your pickup truck a thorough inspection, similar to a car. But we pay close attention to the amount of fluids used, and talk with you about expectations.
Trucks engines are bigger than cars. Bigger engines need more oil, coolant, and other fluids. And in some cases, they even need a different formula of motor oil. It depends on the engine size, and what your pickup truck is put through regularly. We’ll talk with you about the different functions of modern motor oil, and help you make the right choice.
Is your pickup truck operating at peak performance?