Someone very wise once told me,
"You become a man only when you can produce more than you consume."
So often we use consumption as a measure of manhood—how many beers you drink, how many women you score, how many guns you own—but all that measures is how well somebody can pursue pleasure. Is aggressive self-indulgence really manhood?
The same rule should apply to trucks. So many trucks seem to exist solely for [conspicuous] consumption. We all know the stereotypical truck with a dual cab, dual wheels, dual chrome smokestacks, and a bed that is completely empty, save for a some Mountain Dew bottles. These are the kind of trucks that purposefully leave stoplights in a cloud of black smoke and harass Prius drivers on the highway. Thankfully, they're often adorned with warning signs, like Confederate flags and stickers of little boys urinating on the logos of other truck brands, which help other drivers identify and avoid them.
While not as ostensibly obnoxious, the luxury truck is just as useless. With four doors and a four foot bed, these trucks were designed specifically to avoid work. Aside from the occasional fishing boat or trailer of dirt bikes, they rarely tow anything. You're more likely to find them at a Wal-Mart than a work site. On the inside, you'll find an interior with supple leather, thick carpet, and fancy trim, none of which is meant for mud, blood, and sweat. Sure, it has the powertrain to do serious work, but that might hurt its trade-in value.
As with people, the most productive trucks tend to be unassuming. Vinyl seats, rubber floor mats, and limited features are a plus; complex accessories are just another thing to break. Size can also be deceiving. My father had a 1996 Toyota Tacoma that turned out to be one of the most productive vehicles I've ever seen.
Now, I realize I am not an expert on trucks or manhood, so I don't expect everyone out there to agree with me. But I think modesty, thrift, and productivity are qualities with universal appeal, whether in vehicles or people. Recently I had the chance to drive a 1986 Ford F-250 diesel, and it showed me just how far trucks have come in the last 30 years. Judging by the comments people left on the video, I'm not the only one who wishes we had more trucks like it: