11 Different Types of Pickup Trucks You Should Know

Pickup trucks are a type of automobile with an open cargo bed on the back. A pickup truck can carry cargo that is not too heavy and long. They are versatile so they can be used for various purposes such as carrying suitcases, furniture, or construction materials.

The article following  will show some of the types of pickup trucks that can be commonly seen in the market.

Types of Pickup Trucks

Full-size Pickup Truck

Full-size Pickup Truck

Full-size pickup trucks have a long cargo bed and can be used for various purposes. One of its unique uses is transporting horses. For this reason, full-size pickup trucks are commonly called horse vans. They are also used as cargo trucks and tow behind large trailers.

A standard full-size pickup truck has towing capacity up to 10,000 pounds. The cargo bed size ranges from 8 to 10 feet, which is sufficient for most applications. The largest full-size pickup trucks have between 12 and 16 inches of ground clearance.

Full-size pickup trucks are usually used by construction companies and farmers. Some models can be modified into monster trucks or even lowered as lowriders.

Full-size pickup truck engines range from 2.5 to 8 liters and can go up to 240 horsepower. The vehicle weight ranges from 4,600 pounds to 7,500 pounds depending on the engine capacity and number of accessories installed. Some full-size pickup trucks also have turbochargers or supercharger.

The first full-size pickup truck was the De Tomaso Bigua (1968). The Ford F-Series is the world’s best selling full-size pickup truck.

Light Duty Pickup Truck

Light Duty Pickup Truck

Light duty pickup trucks are usually used for personal and commercial uses like small business deliveries, towing ATVs or boats, etc. They often have an open cargo bed with a low profile.

Light duty pickup trucks are usually smaller than large full-size pickup trucks, and the cargo bed is not as long as full-size pickup trucks either. They also have limited towing capacity and top speed.

However, they can still be used for work purposes on construction sites or farms. The main reason why light duty pickup trucks are so popular is that they offer better fuel economy.

Fiat Strada is the first light duty pickup truck to be introduced in the market (1951). The Chevy S-10 is the world’s best selling light duty pickup truck.

Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks

Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks

Heavy duty pickup trucks are more powerful than light duty pickup trucks and usually have a longer cargo bed. Unlike full-size pickups, heavy duty pickups don’t have the traditional open cargo bed that can carry just about anything. They are also larger and heavier than light duty pickup trucks.

Heavy duty pickup truck engines range from 3 to 13 liters and can go up to 300 horsepower. They also have turbo diesel engines that offer better fuel economy and more torque than gasoline engines, but they may be more expensive than gasoline engine models.

The first heavy duty pickup truck was the Dodge Power Wagon (1946). The Ford F-450 is the best selling heavy duty pickup truck in the U.S.

Mini Pickup Trucks

Montana 2019

Mini pickup trucks are usually for personal uses like small deliveries and moving stuff around the house, etc. They also come in a wide range of styles (i.e., classic mini pickup truck styles, lowered mini pickup truck styles, custom mini pickup trucks, etc.)

Mini pickup truck engines range from 1.5 to 3 liters. They may be turbocharged and they can go up to 150 horsepower. The vehicle weight is usually less than 2,000 pounds. Usually, mini pickups are not very powerful since they are meant for personal use.

Ford F-150 is the world’s best selling mini pickup truck.

Recently, there have been some hybrid pickup trucks introduced to the market that combine style and power of larger trucks with fuel economy of smaller cars. They are used as family vehicles rather than for work purposes, which usually requires a lot more space in the cargo area.

Diesel Pickup Trucks

Diesel Pickup Trucks

Diesel pickup trucks use diesel fuel instead of gasoline. They have advantages such as better fuel economy and more power. However, they are noisier and smell.

Diesel pickup trucks use diesel particulate filters (DPF) to reduce the emission of soot particles to the environment. Diesel particulate filters usually require maintenance services once a year. Some engines have DPF regeneration systems that regulate how often the DPF needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Light duty diesel pickup trucks are usually equipped with V6 or turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Diesel Toyota Tacoma is the most famous light duty diesel pickup truck in history.

Diesel full-size pickup trucks have a number of optional features like leather seats, GPS systems, and entertainment systems inside the vehicle. The engine can be turbocharged or supercharged. The largest diesel engine can go up to 12 liters and produce up to 500 horsepower.

Ford F-Series Super Duty Diesel is the most famous diesel full-size pickup truck of all time.

Hybrid Pickup Trucks

Hybrid Pickup Trucks

Hybrid pickup trucks are mainly used as family vehicles and not work vehicles. They have better fuel economy than regular pickup trucks and the feature list includes leather seats, GPS systems, entertainment systems inside the vehicle, etc.

The hybrid electric powertrain installed in these pickups consists of a gasoline engine and two electric motors (one on each axle). With Toyota Tundra as an example, its hybrid powertrain can run on the electric motor alone up to 25 mph.

Hybrid pickup truck engine displacement ranges from 3 to 13 liters and they have V6 or V8 engines. These vehicles are typically larger than normal gasoline engines and may be more expensive than regular pickup trucks due to the advanced technology used.

Toyota Tundra is the most popular hybrid pickup truck in history.

Compact Pickup Trucks 

Compact Pickup Trucks

A compact pickup truck is usually a smaller version of light/medium/heavy duty pickup truck. However, there are still many differences between the two types of pickup trucks. Compact pickup trucks usually have a short cargo bed and smaller engine capacity.

Dodge Dakota is called the first compact pickup truck. The Toyota Tacoma was rated as the best selling compact pickup truck in history by Motor Trend magazine.

Electric Pickup Trucks

Electric Pickup Trucks

Electric pickup trucks use electric motors powered by electricity instead of gasoline. They are equipped with lithium ion batteries that can be charged via charging outlets in the home or on the road.

The Tesla Model S is rated as the best selling electric car (not just pickup trucks) of all time, and it has a range up to 265 miles per single charge.

Crew Cap Pickup Truck

Crew Cap Pickup Truck

A crew cab pickup truck is designed for heavy work. The seats in the passenger compartment are placed so that the driver and passengers can be as comfortable as possible.

The second row of seats usually has fold-down backrests with storage space underneath. Crew cabs are available on all pickup trucks from Ford, GMC, and Toyota.

The 2013 GMC Sierra is the most famous crew cab pickup of all time.

Double Cab Pickup Truck

Double Cab Pickup Truck

A double cab pickup truck has two rows of seats behind the driver and front passenger, just like a regular pickup truck. However, unlike regular pickups with a single-piece window between the driver and back row, a double cab usually has a roll-down rear window.

Double cabs are available in all pickup trucks from GMC, Ford, and Toyota.

Luxury Pickup Trucks

Luxury Pickup Trucks

Luxury pickup trucks have luxurious interior features and exterior body designs. They also come in a wide range of sizes and shapes (i.e., standard luxury pickup truck models, lowered luxury pickup truck models, etc.).

Luxury pickups usually have powerful engines and larger-sized wheels on the vehicle, which make them look stylish and cool. Luxury pickup trucks are usually built for city usage rather than off-road adventures.

There is a luxury pickup truck, which looks like an SUV and has the handling and braking capabilities of a sports car. The vehicle is equipped with a four-wheel drive system, powerful engine, and stylish alloy wheels. It also comes in different sizes (i.e., 2 door truck, 4 door truck, etc.). 

Pickup Truck Safety Tips

Pickup Truck Safety Tips

  • Always wear your seat belt when driving any type of vehicle, especially when driving a pickup truck because they are larger and heavier than regular cars.
  • Do not overload a pickup truck.
  • Always ensure that your vehicle’s lights are clean and working properly.
  • Make sure that your tires are in good shape and not worn down to the cords which will impact your stopping distance while driving a pickup truck.
  • Keep all of your doors locked so they don’t swing open on their own when you make quick turns or come to an abrupt stop which could cause injury or damage.
  • Use a load-leveling suspension to ensure even weight distribution and prevent tire or wheel damage on your pickup truck, which could cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Always make sure that you are carrying the proper tools with you in case something goes wrong with your truck while you are out driving.
  • If the vehicle starts to slip while traveling on ice, gently let off the gas and put steady pressure on the brakes.
  • Restrain your vehicle’s load as close as possible to its center of gravity for best handling and stability.
  • Always make sure that cargo is properly balanced in your pickup truck so it isn’t shifting around while you are driving even slightly because it could cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Make sure that the cargo in your bed is covered if there is a possibility that it will be exposed to water or other liquids because they can get into your pickup truck’s electrical system and start a fire (i.e., stacking wood near electronic devices). 


What size tires should I have on my pickup truck?

The recommended tire size for your vehicle is usually determined by the manufacturer. However, there are exceptions to this rule when buying used vehicles or custom-built vehicles. Keep in mind that larger tires will create a rougher ride and affect the performance of your vehicle especially when going around corners. 

What kind of oil should I use in my pickup truck?

The type of oil that you need for your vehicle is listed on the manufacturer’s owner manual or maintenance guide. The weight (i.e., 5W20) and viscosity (i.e., 10W30) information will also be listed on the oil cap.

What should I do if my pickup truck starts to overheat?

If your vehicle begins to overheat, pull over on the side of the road. You may turn off the air conditioner, open up the windows, and safely park your vehicle until help arrives. Removing excess weight from a trailer can also prevent overheating.

Make sure that you don’t overload your vehicle with heavy cargo because it can negatively impact the way your pickup truck runs. Also, check to make sure that there are no leaks or poor connections in any of your vehicle’s hoses and belts before driving long distances.

It is also recommended to keep a small fire extinguisher with you in case a fire starts in your pickup truck.

How often should I change my engine oil in my pickup truck?

Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil and other fluids every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Consult your owner’s manual for specific information on how often you should change the oil in your pickup truck.

How long can I keep my vehicle running if it has no power steering fluid?

If the power steering fluid in your vehicle has been completely drained, you should be able to remove the steering wheel and get a power steering pump that will fit. Then, follow one of these two methods.

1) Install the pump into your vehicle and re-install the steering wheel or

2) Find an alternative method of transportation until you are able to find a replacement fluid that can be shipped to your location.

How do I change the oil filter on my pickup truck?

Changing the oil filter on your vehicle can be a complex process if you don’t know what exactly you are doing. If you have never performed an oil change before, ask a friend or family member for help as this is not something that should ever be done alone.

How do I prepare my pickup truck for winter?

It is recommended to take your vehicle to a mechanic or sanitation center to ensure that the smog system is ready for winter. It can also be beneficial to start using better quality fuel and higher octane levels because it could help prevent engine problems from occurring in extreme weather conditions. 


We hope you will choose the right pickup truck for yourself and know the types of pickup trucks so that you can decide which one to buy. Thank you for reading this article!

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