Giddy-Up My Pickup Truck!

The Pickup Truck Has Improved Upon The Horse As Our Modern Day Trusty Steed.

The pickup truck has been compared to the modern-day horse, and for good reason. Both have been used for transportation, hauling heavy loads, exploring rough terrain and even serving during battle. However, the similarities go much deeper than these functional attributes. Owners have special relationships with their trucks in much the same manner as riders from the old west had with their trusty rides. Both are more than mere transportation…we…well…love them! 

Probably the most important similarity is that both the pickup truck and horse represent rugged independence. Just like a horse can take you where you need to go without relying on established infrastructure, a pickup truck can take you off the beaten path and into the wild and unknown.

The practicality and versatility of the pickup truck is a more obvious reason why they are viewed as modern-day horses. Trucks are able to haul heavy loads and transport large items that would be difficult or impossible to move in a mere car.  They’re capable of transporting people, equipment, and supplies in a way that few other vehicles can. Of course, horses were known for their versatility too. But there’s one area where horses just can’t compete with pickup trucks: air conditioning! Sure, a horse can provide a nice breeze when it’s running, but when the sun is beating down and the humidity is high, nothing beats the sweet relief of the A/C!

In the Old West, horses were not only essential for transportation and work, but they were also companions and friends. Cowboys spent long hours on horseback, and the bond they formed with their horses was strong. It’s not surprising that there’s a romanticized view of the relationship between cowboys and their horses that has translated to truck owners and their trucks!  Some have said that certain truck owners go as far as naming their vehicles! 

The pickup truck has, more recently, become an important cultural symbol in the United States. Just like a cowboy’s horse is a reflection of their individual style and preferences, a pickup truck illustrates the owner’s taste.  Customizing horses was not just for show; it also served a practical purpose. By selecting the right horse and customizing it to suit their needs, cowboys could maximize their efficiency and success. Similarly, customizing pickup trucks today is not just about making them look good. Many truck owners customize their vehicles to suit their individual needs and demonstrate their commitment to a particular lifestyle.  For example, they may add a lift kit to improve their off-road capabilities, install specialized equipment to enhance their towing and hauling capacity or install a color matched spray-on bedliner for protection and preferred esthetics.

Some people take customization to a whole new level. These owners create highly customized and functional trucks and SUVs by outfitting them with the ability to convert from a relatively normal looking vehicle into a mult-level camp/tent/RV/base-camp/extremely off-road capable, protected do-it-all off-road…overlander!  The vehicles AND the owners are both referred to as “overlanders.” 

Another emotional aspect that connects horses in the Old West and pickup trucks today is the sense of nostalgia. Both evoke a sense of a simpler time when life was less complicated, and people were more connected to the land. In the Old West, cowboys lived a rugged and challenging life, but it was a life that was filled with adventure and excitement. Today, many people who own pickup trucks long for a simpler time when life was less hectic and more focused on the great outdoors. Remember that first truck? It was a far cry from the modern trucks of today with Bluetooth, navigation, self-driving, infrared heads up displays and huge sub-woofers. It was a single cab, 2-wheel drive, only had an AM radio, the dash was made of metal and navigation was relegated to a paper map or swallowing one’s pride and asking for directions. However, everyone was satisfied because it worked. And sometimes we wish for the simplicity of old again.

Today, owning a pickup truck can be a symbol of status and achievement. Many people who own pickup trucks take pride in their ability to own it, provide for their families and take care of their responsibilities, especially at today’s MSRPs!  And some models cater to being status symbols with top tier accessories and limited availability.

The emotional aspects of our love for horses and our pickup trucks today are rooted in our admiration for their capabilities. Consequently, the pickup truck has become synonymous with the American way of life, just like horses were once the lifeblood of the Wild West. These two icons share many similarities and it’s no surprise that the pickup truck is commonly viewed as the modern-day horse.