Horse-drawn Wagons and Pick-up Trucks

I was musing about transportation back in the time of horses and considered that, probably, the majority of vehicles constructed were wagons or carts, not carriages or chariots or anything.

And, in modern day, we see that pick-up trucks, utility vehicles, etc. are still the dominant vehicle. (Granted, maybe not in Europe.)

But I suppose it makes sense. Hauling stuff around is pretty necessary for a lot of businesses and workers.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. :cool:

Yeah, definitely not in Europe. Lots of trucks, lots of small white vans (if the Vito isn’t Mercedes’ best-seller it’s surely close, in Western Europe), but a pickup is an extreme rarity and cars are more common than vans.

I’m in Alberta, where a “pickup truck” means, “family transportation.”

Not in all cases, of course. But even though I’ve lived in this province for 15 years, I continue to be amazed at my friends and neighbours who insist on owning a pickup truck, though they never pick up anything–except perhaps, their kids from school.

And groceries. Which the local ravens and crows delightfully pick through while said family wanders back into Walmart or the Mall… More entertaining than Netflix!

I’ve actually noticed crows who would keep a special watch out for pick-up trucks with random stuff in the back. When the coast is clear, they’ll swoop down and check things out more closely. There used to be a construction site next door to where I lived and some of the workers would just throw their McDonald’s bags and coffee cups in the beds of their trucks after finishing lunch. The crows would be along pretty quickly after that.

My husband used to opine wistfully about a pickup truck. We’ll pick things up! We’ll put the dogs back there! We’ll pick things up!

We don’t pick things up that often, and most of them fit just fine in our giant SUV. The giant SUV also holds hordes of people, which we transport more often, and I feel much better about the dogs riding in it. Giant SUV is still what we’re driving.

We have an 06 Pathfinder and a '19 brand new Subaru Ascent. I would call them medium large. I’m a big guy at 6’4". We rarely haul people but we need good 4x4 for where we live. We do haul two medium large dogs and luggage a lot. I’d never put dogs in the back of a truck. No more than I’d stick my mom back there.

I have pick-up for plowing snow, it never leaves the property in the winter because it has chains on all four wheels. It’s a good back up car in the summer. And useful for picking stuff up. It can also tow my tractor a bit safer than my Pathfinder.

I used to own a pickup and found it to be very useful. Right after I got it my cousin visited from Pennsylvania and asked what I was going to use it for, as if my work in a cubicle farm required it. Nope - it was for fun - hauling camping gear, bikes, etc. He had a hard time with that.

Anyway, I chuckle a little at the truck commercials on TV - they always show workmen-type construction, plumbing, ranching, etc tough dudes driving the top-of-the-line, chrome-encrusted rig to their job site, where someone will dump a pile of gravel into the bed. Yeah, right, like THAT’s gonna happen! I wonder how your typical blue-collar type can afford that $75K vehicle, and if he could, he would not be dumping raw gravel into the bed. SMH

Where are you that pickups are the dominant vehicle? Looking out my window at the parking lot right now, I see six sedans, two that I guess would be called station wagons, one van, one SUV, and one pickup truck.


Round here, about 50% of all vehicles are big pick ups driven BADLY by an old man. Never any passengers or cargo. No surprise since the trucks have a very short useless bed. And useless 2 wheel drive. WHY!!!

We have a pick-up box that was chopped of the truck and is used to bring the winter wood home.

We have a very used SUV that we use to haul hubby, me and 2 to 3 kids (or more if girlfriends are included) only because my (ancient 80s econo) vans are dying. I have a brown one (runs a bit rough but has decent body) and a maroonish red one (engine is good but body is dying) or the opposite cos they both look good to me… hubby says one thing than the next time. But “body” does have 2 meanings… I guess.

I think he has some kind of minimal PTSD from changing the first van’s engine. With newer vehicles… he has new bitches and I get to LOL. (Parts traumatic stress disorder)… only slightly funny, I know. (acronyms… IKR?)

Well, my pick up has 2-wheel drive because we needed a new vehicle and the truck was one of the lowest prices on the lot. The 2-wheel drive isn’t an issue because I don’t drive it in conditions that require 4-wheel or all wheel drive. On the upside, repairs are cheaper and the gas mileage better than if it had 4-wheel. But I don’t think I fit your demographic - not a big truck (when I was in construction it was occasionally called a “training truck” by guys who probably could fit my entire truck in the bed of their truck), not driven badly, and not an old man.

It may not be a big truck, but it has been used for hauling stuff. Not every day, it does get used as a car with a really big open-air trunk most of the time, but it does get used for cargo. I also carry passengers - in fact yesterday I picked up a stranded friend and took her home.

Maybe I’m just weird, using my truck like that.

Where I live in rural Thailand pickups outnumber ordinary autos. And you can pack a lot more passengers into the bed of a pickup than into the back seat of a car!

Several months ago the military government enacted a law that passengers could not travel in pickup beds. Many pickup owners protested and even made sarcastic modifications to their vehicles. The order was quickly rescinded! :rolleyes:

An Incomplete Education has a section describing how the various horse-drawn conveyances signaled just as much about your socio-economic level, lifestyle, politics, etc., as the car you drive today does. Interesting stuff.
(eg: Volvo vs. Prius vs. pickup truck vs. windowless van, etc…)

The bulk of US new vehicle sales are trucks - it’s why Ford is dropping most of their line-up to focus on them. Like many here, I see it as mostly market inertia - people in communities that used to need them keep buying them despite no longer needing the advantages they offer. The parking lot at work (about 600 employees) is about 25% trucks, 25% Ford Mustangs, then 25% various Hyundais/Kias, 20% mixed Japanese domestic sedans and SUVs, and 5% European brands or the odd motorcycle (V-twin cruisers only). I’ve never seen a minivan at work.

Completely agree with the OP. Here in agriculture-oriented Humboldt County (CA) pickup trucks are not only common but vital for both ranching and rural households.

But there are exceptions. For many years my 40-ish neighbor owned an ocean capable fishing boat. At some point he convinced his wife that their small Toyota pickup was inadequate for towing (I would disagree), and he replaced it with a huge Dodge RAM diesel. About six months later he sold the boat. I don’t believe he ever towed the boat with the Dodge. These days the cost of diesel is way up, so that truck sits unused most of the time.

My primary vehicle is a Subaru Outback wagon–AWD, hauls a fair amount of crap, the dogs fit in there with a rampage cage in the back for the large unruly dog and it’s comfortable and cheap to run. I also have an old pickup, Dodge Dakota, 2WD with a canopy on the bed. That’s for hauling big shit from Home Depot, taking dump runs, going camping and taking the dogs when there are more than my two and they’re gonna get wet and/or muddy. It’s also for hauling a utility trailer when the dump run exceeds the capacity of the bed. Subarus do not tow much, although I’ve considered getting a light aluminum kayak trailer for it since it’s a bitch getting my boat on top with the frozen shoulder situation I have going on at the moment.

Neither vehicle is a fashion statement, they have different uses and regularly get used for their intended purposes. Since they’re both old it’s a good idea to have more than one vehicle in case the other is having problems, like recently when the Subaru had wheel bearing problems and was down for a week or so while I got some projects out of the way and could get it up to the mechanic. The truck appreciated the exercise. :wink:

I’m not sure pickups are a majority in Wisconsin, but they sure are dominant in the rural areas, followed by SUVs, which are pickups in fancy dress. A sedan is the second car, not the first for a farm family.

If you consider pickups as an utility small business / landowner vehicle, as once horse drawn wagons were, I see no problem for existence of that type of transportation. But from my perspective, it is a bit over the top to own it just as a wheeled platform to reach the point b from point a. Sure, Murrica is large country, wide roads, plenty parking space, and anyone can afford it, but for rotweiler sake, you are supposed to be no.1 capitalist country and seems like no one ever hear of ROI. Around here only field vets, forest inspectors and land surveyors use them. Vans are plenty, OTOH. Usually cheaper, weather prone, crow resistant and more urban alternative for novadays horse wagons.