15 Features I Absolutely Require On My Next Pickup Truck

Okay, I admit it. The title is a bit misleading. These are my requirements, but many of them are features I absolutely don’t want. I’m a rather simple man and I’d prefer my next truck matches my personality in that way. With that in mind, read on.

1. A Real Spare Tire And Jack

No can of Fix-A-Flat and a 12-volt air compressor. No temporary, weight saving doughnut tire. A regular wheel with a real tire is all I want. Oh, and a decent jack.

2. The Transfer Case Needs A Shifter

No switch, button or slider. And don’t offer me a “part-time” setting. I want a shifter coming out of the floor. The knob should have a diagram of 4 settings. Not 5. Not 3. Just 4 settings marked 2H, 4H, N and 4L. If you can’t figure it out, don’t drive it.

3. Belt Driven Power Steering

I’ve already read my share of horror stories from hard working men who’ve lost their electric power steering while forging a creek or small river. I know it saves fuel, and that’s fine. Just save it for Honda, Subaru or some other vehicle that’s never going to see 36 inches of water.

4. A Tailgate That Opens And Closes.

No work station, hidden storage or folding step. And certainly, no remote control. And a tailgate drops to open, and lifts to close. None of that barn door stuff.

As far as that step accessory goes, I have to admit it almost had me. I can understand the convenience. But a simple search on line yielded dozens of bolt on options, tailor made for any budget and application. They started out at less than $50.00.

5. No Traction Control, ABS Or Anything Like A “Steering Wheel Position Sensor.”

I get it. This stuff can be great as far as safety devices go. But why are they all woven together in such a way that when one breaks, they all break? The stupid steering wheel position sensor shut down my ABS and made the traction control malfunction in such a way that every time I had even a touch of wheel spin, the throttle would cut off.

I solved this issue temporarily by removing a fuse and relay, but the permanent fix was $650.00 at the local dealer. I don’t want any of it.

6. No OnStar, Or Any Thing Like It

This stuff might be great for rich old ladies, but I’ll take a pass. In a pinch, I have a cell phone, a CB, two feet and a thumb.

7. Skip The Air Bags

At best, I’ll take none, but I get the problem. They’ve been around way too long. I’ll settle for something with only the driver and passenger air bag. No side bags or curtains. And certainly nothing that’s going to deploy when off-roading.

8. Gauges… Just Gauges

No digital display, touch screen or “connectivity” center. Just give me simple gauges.

9. No Donk Wheels And Tires

I get it. Nobody runs 15-inch rims anymore, but I want them. I may settle for 16″ or 17″, but nothing bigger. Anything over that is DONK. It’s fine on an urban Caprice, but not on a truck.

10. Automatic Transmission fluid dipstick

Automobile makers have been decontenting cars and trucks for years. But this one’s over the line. Most new vehicles no longer have any way to check or add transmission fluid. The owner’s manual says it’s a non-serviceable item, and the fluid will last the life of the transmission. Not on my watch.

11. No DEF, DPF or GPF

Yes, I said GPF. The next big thing is gasoline particulate filters. Now we can bring this pain in the ass to the rest of the motoring public.

12. Headlights I Can Change With A Screwdriver

It’s going to happen sooner or later. Headlights burn out, and rarely at a convenient time or place. And you should be able to swap out a headlight in about the same time it takes to change a tire.

When that light blows, I don’t want to have to pull the grill, the inner fender well or any other panel. I love the brightness of new headlight technology, but not if I can’t get at it.

13. Let Me See The Engine.

When that hood goes up, I want to see the engine, valve covers, a fuel system, even coil packs. What I don’t want to see is a big plastic engine cover. After all, who wants to lift the hood just to see another hood?

14. Nothing That Starts With Adaptive Or Predictive.

Skip the radar, the lane deviation sensors and anything that needs to know my location. Leave off anything that readjusts the cruise control. I’d rather skip the cruise all together than have that crap on my truck.

15. Connectivity Ends With The Cigarette Lighter.

I haven’t been a smoker for over 25 years, but that 12-volt outlet is still a cigarette lighter receptacle, and it’s beautiful. If I need connectivity, I’ll plug my phone, my GPS, even my iPad into the outlet. Or, I may just enjoy the road the way it was intended to be, disconnected.