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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #122: You can always rent a truck, until you can't

I don't remember what I was dreaming - probably something about a Titanic-era Kate Winslet, a Radical SR8, and the most expensive hotel room in Monaco - but the dream ended in a hurry when I realized my wife was standing next to the bed, leaning over me, and shaking me in a fashion I [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-122-you-can-always-rent-a-...
48 REPLIES 48
Chris_Tonn
Pit Crew

Looking forward to which white 6.2-liter Chevrolet appears in the driveway next!
9lbhammer
Advanced Driver

My boss has a gasser 7.3 ford and loves it to death. It won't have the resale value of the diesel, but I'd put 20 bucks on it being cheaper to maintain. Plus the 9k you save over the 6.7 can go right into the dealer's pockets on the markup for a new truck.

Also I appreciate the reality check on renting trucks to do truck things. I've been thinking about getting rid of mine and getting a fast car. Guess I'll wait till I've got a 2nd parking spot 😞
RokemRonnie
Instructor

If there are enough deer in your state for there to be hunting seasons for them, you have to be careful anytime you are driving around dawn or dusk, but particularly in late autumn during the mating season and the rut is on. Last night driving across Michigan on I-94, between Benton Harbor and Jackson I saw one live doe hanging around on the shoulder and another half dozen carcasses on the side of the road, and this was well past dusk.

You even have to be careful in cities. I live less than three miles from the Detroit city limits and just a couple of years ago there was a doe with two fawns that would hang out in the undeveloped lot across the street. Michigan has about 20,000 deer/vehicle collisions every year.
hyperv6
Racer

Truck do much but what most find is American moved to trucks and SUV models as cars shrunk to sizes they really do not like.

Many lament the SUM models today but take an average CUV today and it is about the same size and shape as a 40’s sedan.

As cars moved to the 50’s but the size remained and the fenders went flush. It was in the 60’s where wider lower came in. But in the 70’s we went back to that same size.

I own all variations. I have a Truck, SUV, Sedan and sports car. The sedan is ok but it will haul nothing, it will tow nothing and it even with the V6 gets about the same mpg as my mid size truck. It has a large trunk but the opening with the short deck lid will it take in anything unless it is flat or unboxed.

Back in the day my fathers mid size sedan was a family car but the trunk could carry a bike. The roof carried sheets of plywood with no damage. Try that today on my sedan the roof would be destroyed. My fathers car was also a crew cab truck.

My hope is if we are going to be forced to EV we may get our larger cars back like we used to have. No longer forced small for mpg the larger car could even supply a larger battery.

 

I just saw on another forum where a writer wanted people token small efficient cars and only rent trucks. But I think he misses the point that people want larger vehicles. 

FYI ever saw a Sonic hit a Deer? Not pretty. 

DUB6
Specialist

I think part of your point is that today's pick-ups are not only a utility vehicle, get inside and most are also close to yesterday's large sedan.  Luxury, amenities, room, comfort - and the addition of a ginormous "trunk" behind you.  And with engine tech, likely fuel mileage to rival a passenger car of any real size.  You get the best of two worlds.

DUB6
Specialist

   I've written elsewhere on this forum about the absolute belief in owning a pick-up truck.  of course, I live in the West, and on occasion (not so much anymore, but in my younger days) would sometimes use a truck to assist in earning my living, and even to transport a deer from the field to the garage to be hung and processed.  (there, I hope I've made a connection with the original story)

   So I may not be totally unbiased, is what I'm saying.  But since the 1970s, I've never been tempted even once, to rent a truck.  And since those same days, I've owned one (of multiple sizes, to suit my needs).  And I've never, ever, regretted it!

IvanO
New Driver

Man this is a really long-winded series of articles that can be boiled down to,
"I do it because I want to." To drone on about the so-called justifications is just numbing, especially the resale value argument during global vehicle shortage. You're not doing much you couldn't do with a Dodge Durango (pulls 6k when you need it) plus a few large plastic bags and/or cargo liner. On top of that you can seat 7 people and get 3-4MPG better fuel economy...
JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

I'm not sure you actually did much reading of what it was he said he had to haul. Everything is big and dirty. I don't believe something like a Durango is going to hold up to the very extensive list and schedule he layed out. Last point: Though a Durango will pull 6k lbs, it won't take anything close to that in hitch weight. Remember that tow ratings often include the amount of weight the vehicle is carrying in general. Just with the jacks, fuel, tires, and all the rest, you easily have over a thousand pounds. Throw in a trailer with some weight, a race car, and anything more than 2 people to the mix and it's just a recipe for disaster. Doing that more than 2-3 times a year is a good way to have a blowout at the wrong time and put considerably more wear and tear on the vehicle than you would on a truck.

But what do I know? You're free not to read anything long winded... including my response.

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Funny you should mention a Durango. One of the Midwest's best Civic club racers tried using a Durango for a season a while back. As I recall, he brought it to the first two races of the year, then sold it for a proper truck. No sane person wants 30 gallons of fuel in the same enclosed space as their children, plus dozens of heavy tools. The only reason to suggest something like an SUV to stole fuel and tools inside a vehicle is to score Internet Points. Consider yourself awarded ten of them!
ATLpaul
Detailer

That was a good read. I am sorry about the accident. That must have been scary for Mrs Baruth. I think truck rentals make sense if you are renting it for one occasion, like you are moving, and need a truck one time. Or bought that ginormous Fridge and washer/dryer and oven for kitchen renovation. If you need the truck as in your case on regular basis, rentals don't make sense.

I recommend looking at Carvana or Carmax for used trucks. You enjoyed the RAM 1500 ride across the country. Get it from Carmax, a luxury verson, with associated extended warranty. HEMI is mostly reliable and the extended warranty handles rest.
AdrianClarke
Instructor

Not for nothing was the 'body on frame, V8 power' the dominant vehicle architecture for decades. All day comfort and easy power. It's just instead of being available in saloons and wagons, it's npw available as a pick up. I've long thought that the pick up truck has replaced those traditional American cars even if you don't need the utility all the time. There's simply nothing else that can cover all the bases, especially if you only have one vehicle.
Years ago my then boss used to race a Shelby GT350. His choice of tow vehicle? A first gen F150 Lightning which he imported specifically to be his tow wagon. His rationale was it would tow all day getting 15 mpg (Imperial) without breaking a sweat, whereas a diesel Transit would struggle and get no better mileage (he had done this prior to getting the F150).

bradfa
Advanced Driver

Sorry to hear about the damage, glad to hear no serious human harm resulted. Good luck buying any truck today, new or used!
Your financial calculations do not account for the difference of having to own *A* vehicle, for normal every day needs, and then on top of that renting a truck when needed. Sure, your example of running a race season and renting a 3/4 ton truck is a bit extreme, but even for normal people who buy a $50k MSRP full size 1/2 ton instead of buying a $30k sedan and then renting a truck 3-4 times per year for Home Depot runs, the finances likely come out a wash and renting is such a huge inconvenience to deal with. Even at $50k MSRP, trucks are not more expensive on the whole than the alternatives for lots of people, and they're *WAY* more convenient to own.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

You're absolutely correct. I'd still need some kind of vehicle for the 350 days a year I'm not renting!
OptimusPrime
Detailer

It's so much fun to read about politics on an automotive website. Not.
RokemRonnie
Instructor

In general I'd agree with you but when your hobby is related to one of the most regulated industries in existence, you can't avoid dealing with politics.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

What's the saying? You may not be interested in automotive politics, but automotive politics is interested in you.
JeepCJ5
Intermediate Driver

Well, I think you knew how the article was going to go after reading the title and seeing the author. You could've skipped it. I enjoyed it though. Jack has become one of my favorite authors on this site.
5ford3
New Driver

So you're saying all truck drivers are fascists hillbillies? **bleep** you. Fascism is characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy. The only people pushing for this is the democrats and the former vice president. This is a car enthusiasts website. You should keep your feeble minded views to yourself.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I'd like you to read the article more carefully. I'm quoting the opinion held by "automotive experts" on the Internet. How did you not pick up the fact that I owned, and drove, a Silverado for 78,000 miles over the past four years, and that I am in direct opposition to that mindset?

DUB6
Specialist

Says the guy who just expressed his views in the prior sentences...

JeepCJ5
Intermediate Driver

Reading comprehension is a tricky thing.
plamry
Intermediate Driver

Jack,

You need a Ram 1500! Best ride, sweet interior, looks good. The only compelling reason to get something else imho is if you are a brand loyalist or want a different drivetrain, and if that is the case my second candidate would be an f150 hybrid (power, mpg, you are basically driving a huge generator). I am admittedly not a huge Chevy Pick up guy which has more to do with the local dealership and the styling interior than anything else.

Ryan
DUB6
Specialist

   @plamry is one of my new besties.  I'm a longtime fan of Dodge (now Ram) pickups.  I had a '62 D-100 way back when, and found it to be superiorly rugged.  Came really close to buying a Ram Charger in the '70s based on the D-100 experience, but budget and a new job where a GMC was given to me as part of the signing bonus belayed that.  I currently have an '02 Dakota SLT, as I now only do fairly light-weight ranch and DIY duties - don't need a bigger rig.  If I was looking to upsize though, I'd be shopping for some level of Ram - no question.

   Not sure if I agree that the 1500 is best for towing all the stuff Jack listed.  I'd probably opt for a 2500 - but it's certainly debatable.  However, I really do like the Ram trucks overall.  There are Ford lovers and GM lovers and of course Toyota, Nissan and a few other brands (Tesla?  Mini?  I even know a guy with a Hudson P/U!).  And they all have their reasons for their brand loyalty, and I can't/won't argue with anyone about their choices.  But if Ryan and I meet up at the Ram dealership someday, I'm gonna clap him on the back and treat him like a long-lost brother!  😊

plamry
Intermediate Driver

I'm glad we have so many good choices when it comes to trucks.

I currently drive a plain 2021 Ram Bighorn, mostly because I found the seats more comfortable than the leather ones in the higher trims and didn't need anything else. I also liked the smaller infotainment screen and think Stelantis does the best job when it comes to that interface. I would love to go back to a CD Player and no screen on the dash but I think those days are over!

I tow a 5000 lb boat occasionally and If I did that every weekend, I'd be in a 3/4 ton but I don't and find the day to day ride really nice in the 1500.

I'm also in my 40s and rock an old man truck cap which gives me a 6'4" long enclosed trunk which is awesome when loading up the kids and supplies for the drive to the cabin.

I don't think there is any better modern conveyance if you have the need for hauling, towing and also have 3 kids.
DUB6
Specialist

Okay, I can't treat him like a brother - my parents have been gone longer than he's been alive 🤔 - guess I'd have to treat him like a cousin or something...not sure if I even have any of those in their 40s.  I've got kids who are way older than him.  But I still like his choice of pick-up.  And I agree that lower-level trim is fine - cloth seats, not too many whistles and bells, simpler sound systems - "less is more" to me when it comes to truck interiors.

plamry
Intermediate Driver

Also not to sidetrack the whole discussion too much but I'm keeping this truck until it is run into the ground. However, I did put in a deposit the day they opened the reservation system on a Ford Lightning which will be my day to day commuter truck. I can't go full electric until it gets me 250 miles up to the cabin in all weather with no long stops
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I'm a big fan of the Ram 1500, but I think it would struggle to pull a two-car hauler, even if one car is a tiny Radical... The F-150 Powerboost is an interesting vehicle. I used it to haul to a race. The problem is that it costs $76k loaded up; a diesel F-250 is $77k!
plamry
Intermediate Driver

F250 time!
jordan12
New Driver

Make sure you check with your regular auto insurance company to see if they cover trucks. Most do not. So you will need to take out Enterprises insurance as well when you rent.
DrOverboost
Intermediate Driver

For less than I paid for my new-at-the -time 2014 Ram dually, quad cab, full bed, Cummins pick up (which i still own with 37,000 miles on it), I bought a
new-in-2019 Minnie Winnie E-450 26 foot RV. It hauls my 26 foot aluminum enclosed trailer with my 8-second 1936 Ford pickup drag truck and a full complement of tools and parts to the track on weekends. I stay all weekend. Maybe calculate the cost of hotels into your expense-budget and go that way.
KWK
New Driver

Perhaps the "you can rent a truck" crowd realize that in the Green New World, few will be hauling race cars all over the place numerous times a year. The available per capita energy with "renewables" will be so low that such will be a luxury only the wealthy can afford.

As for me, the $30 Menard's pick up rental has always carried what my 60 mpg sedan couldn't. My friend in the building materials trade needed his pickup bed almost daily, so that wasn't an option for him.
drhino
Technician

Last I checked this is ‘Merica. Do what you want as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. Some folks seem to have forgotten that.
topside
Advanced Driver

Internet opinions and "wisdom" are easily discounted when you consider that so many of them come from people who've never done anything, let alone expend the effort & testicular fortitude to build a decent financial foundation. Granted, economic disparity seems pretty wide these days, but the value system is equally absurd.
At this point, my '89 GMC 3500 Dually is paying me, though it's hardly a daily driver. But it's done - and hauled/towed - everything I've asked of it for over 25 years, merely by taking good care of it. I suppose I'm a Neanderthal for not needing leather, voices and screens in my dash, and driving assistance, but I'm happy and easily 12-grand a year better off.
Keep an eye out for anything by the side of the road: we have lots of deer here, and close calls are hardly rare, but one has to scan one's surroundings and anticipate. It's just situational awareness.
plamry
Intermediate Driver

I agree with you on the opinion that an 89 3500 is a great occasional use truck but to those of us daily driving a truck it is a terrible choice. Not as safe, worse fuel economy (unless you are talking about some of the old school Cummins trucks), how does one find a nice 89 truck? Additionally I don’t know where you live but in Wisconsin if you drive long enough you will hit a deer and I don’t card how situationally aware you are!
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Not shocking internet advice was wrong about owning a truck versus renting one. But the internet is wrong about so many things. At least everyone is all right. The good news is there will be a new one soon.
Flashman
Technician

In addition to yoour iconoclastic point of view, one of the main reasons I enjoy your articles is your style; paragraph 6 being a prime example. Paragraph 5, in the Corvette comparison article, is another one. One can argue with your positions, but certainly not with your presentation.
Egodriver71
Pit Crew

RAM 2500 Limited with the 6.4L HEMI!!!
DUB6
Specialist

@Egodriver71 - if you're getting one for yourself, go ahead and see if they'll give you a "2-for-the-price-of-1" deal, and get me a red one.  No need to deliver it to me, I'll come and get it.  Maybe even buy you lunch or something...  😎

RajahSC
Pit Crew

There is simply no substitute for owning a truck if you have more than an occasional use for it. If you need one, get one. Renting most things, including trucks, if you have more than the occasional need will never make economic sense.
As far as what others think, well, that only matters to you, unless it doesn't. If I have a need for a truck (which I do), then I will own one regardless of how the internet feels about it. Never judge another man until you've walked in his shoes. Too many people have forgotten that as well.
The truck does what you need, you've written before how well it did it's job, and there is no suitable replacement or substitute for it's handiness and competence for the job at hand. Seems clear to me. Enjoy the search for that new tow/jack-of-all-trades vehicle! May you find a new (or new-to-you) mechanical friend that welcomes you with open arms of safety, mechanical ability, robustness, and adrenaline reducing relaxation (after piloting the race car) that you need. Maybe on the way home (from a class win -hey!) you can reflect on that most American of vehicles, the pick-up truck. A man and his truck-It's a beautiful thing!
janedon
Advanced Driver

This sounds like a rich person Whining--from everything you've said you could easily afford to rent--EASILY-- or you could just buy (with cash I'm sure) a Used truck to do the job then sell it after-- But it might not have all the bells & whistles & you'd have to "Suffer" through that- Only a Tiny fraction of people are wealthy enough to live your lifestyle--& yet you complain?
mechimike
Intermediate Driver

For the past 15 years or so, I've owned either a 3/4 or full ton truck from one of the big three American makes. Going up from the half ton buys you better everything, in terms of capability and durability. I recently picked up a 2009 Chevrolet 3500HD, the newest truck I've ever owned. 158,000 miles on it, paid just under 20k out the door, and it's a solid, non-rusty crew cab 8' bed 4x4. Prices are insane nowadays, but I'm really happy with it. Just towed my rallycross car 120 miles round trip to the last event of the season in our region, cruising at 75 on the highway, bed and cab casually loaded with tools and tires, and got 11 mpg for the trip. It's got the 6.0 gas V8, no cylinder deactivation, so hopefully it should last another 100,000 miles without major issues.

Modern half tons have great numbers, but they still can't hold a candle to the real-world capability of a 3/4 ton or better.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Couldn't agree more!
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

If the people who write anti-truck articles were aware of "regular people" using ICE vehicles for COMPETITION, (gasp!) they'd turn their venom towards you instead. No one NEEDS a track car for Spaghetti-Monster's sake! Couldn't you just play bongos or watch sportz instead?
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I could Netflix and chill!
Driver17
Intermediate Driver

I don't have a big extended-wheelbase diesel, just a double cab Silverado, but let me tell you about my day yesterday.
We don't have potable water in the well on our property, so I drive 5 miles each way to the water station--twice.
After that, I hauled about 13 gallons of used oil to the recycling center as my contribution to climate contrition. Then, I picked up 10 bags of heating pellets to keep us from experiencing climate entropy.
Here in Wyoming, trucks aren't an option--just a necessity.
And if it snows, I'm not the least bit concerned I'll go when and where I'll need to go.
cdipietroliveca
Pit Crew

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, so glad your wife walked away from the accident Jack...always most important that they come home to you...no doubt her skills you have previously described reduced the danger she encountered!
Secondly, love all your writing, your perspective on things and your style! Keep it coming!
Now on to trucks - yep, everyone family should have one. Best "my other car is a..." ever! We have had a truck in the family fleet for 15 years now, just makes doing stuff and getting stuff easy.
I suggest going with what you know Jack, but I highly recommend going diesel, gobs more torque and superior fuel mileage. We have a 2018 Silverado 2500HD Crew LTZ Diesel, we call her Elvira. She. Hauls. Anything.
Kids to university and back, parents downsizing, helping family and friends out, garden centres, Costco, appliances, snowblowers, lawnmowers, renovation materials, car parts...most recently a rented stump grinder. Tows whatever, name it, it can handle it.
Personally, I love driving it long distance. Pretty smooth for a 3/4 ton chassis too.
Some people may say too much truck, my thoughts are better more than less because hey, ya never know...that said, you can actually get a Silverado or GMC Sierra in a half ton crew standard box (6.5ft) with a diesel so maybe check that out.
Thanks again for the opportunity to chime in, best of luck in your search.

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I suspect I'm going to follow you down that LTZ Diesel road!
genethemachine
Pit Crew

I was recently handed a Ram 1500 at my local rental company while my work car is undergoing repairs. Initially I was in love, the thrust of the 5.7L Hemi, the cargo room. Timing was right, I had a few things to haul that would have taken two trips, was easily accomplished in one. So am ready to run out and buy one? Not so fast. After a trip to the gas station at nearly $100 a tank, I’ve decided I can live without a truck. I’d love to have one in my stable one day, just not as a daily driver.