Pickup trucks are the workhorses of the vehicular world, a fact most folks can agree on. Indeed, most pickup owners bought their respective chariots for their functionality rather than for any kind of need to show off. And most people - truck owners or not - have at least one story where a pickup saved the day during a difficult move or outdoor job. But while pickup trucks operate just fine on their own, many owners like to outfit them with additional accessories that can greatly add to the vehicle's functionality. Sort of like an automotive Swiss army knife.
So in the interest of treating the typical pickup like a blank canvas just waiting for a few splashes of colorful add-ons, here are some of the best and most useful accessories money can buy.
The typical grill guard serves duel functions: protecting the truck's front end and providing an attachment for external lighting. Those who are worried about heaviness can opt for the lighter aluminum grill guards, while those who must have steel should go for the powder-coated, rust-resistant models.
A toolbox for the truck bed is a must for any active pickup owner, as it beats merely tossing tools and other items haphazardly in the back of the vehicle. There are many different kinds of truck toolboxes available, from models that install behind the cab to those that are fitted along the sides of the bed. Those who want added security should opt for steel toolboxes. Those who often fill up other vehicles can choose a toolbox with a built-in tank and transfer pump.
For anyone who might ever need to get his or her - or someone else's - truck out of a ditch, there is the cable winch. In point of fact, cable winches serve a number of other purposes, from allowing the driver to stretch fence wire, to dragging lumber, to sliding haystacks. For the best functionality experts recommend choosing an electric cable winch with a capacity that at least matches the truck's weight.
Part of the purpose of a pickup is to haul tag-a-long trailers, and this isn't possible without the appropriate hitch. For these purposes, a goose-neck ball hitch installed on the truck's rear bumper work perfectly. Those that need to haul 10,000 pounds or more will want to install a kingpin hitch, which is mounted in front of the rear axle.
It's hard to imagine that something so simple and seemingly insignificant as a mudflap can be so effective, but it is. Mudflaps installed on the front of the truck will protect the body from damage caused by kicked-up gravel and debris. Mudflaps installed on the rear will protect the tag-a-long trailer being towed as well as the vehicles following directly behind it. Experts recommend choosing anti-sail mudflaps as wide as the truck tires.
All of the above projects are of the DIY nature, meaning truck owners should have zero problems installing the listed add-ons. And the best part is that the money these accessories will save the owner in the form of tow-truck fees and the like should mostly pay for their purchase.
San Antonio native Brenton Nallie is a car enthusiast who enjoys writing for bullringusa.com about different truck gadgets.