Monday, June 4, 2012

How Important Is Truck Durability?

For many years, along with "who's truck is strongest" you would also hear "my truck has over X miles."  Truck makers would parade owners across each commercial with 200,000 miles or 250,000 miles.  Many truck buyers would buy their trucks looking forward to having that truck for years into the future.

Is truck durability as important as it used to be?  How many people do you know with trucks that have over 200,000 miles?  Aside from friends who have diesel trucks that drive long highway trips, I would be hard pressed to find many friends with over 150,000 miles.  Why is that?

First off, many people are much more caught up in having a "new" vehicle these days, and are accustomed to having a monthly payment.  Therefore, when their truck has worn off it's "new" and it is close enough to 5 years old, most truck owners will trade for a new truck.  Often, truck owners today are trading their trucks in prior to them reaching 100,000 miles, so 200,000 miles is pretty much not happening.

Another reason people are trading up and not maintaining an older truck is the fact that most vehicles today are much more difficult to maintain.  With computerized components and sensors everywhere under the hood, most truck owners no longer work on their own vehicle.  The tools needed and the training needed is just too much for most.  Add to that the fact that repair shops cost more these days for those same reasons and more, most people are not willing to incur the high dollar repair costs that come after a factory warranty is over.  Give people a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty and tada: most cars are traded in before their warranty and car note are finished.

Perhaps the main remaining reason for good truck durability is resale value.  One of the larger reasons to choose one truck over another today is how much you can get for it when you trade it in.  It's a vicious cycle. 

There are those truck owner's still around that keep their trucks for a long time.  Those of you who fit in that group are generally much more comfortable working on your truck, take much better care of your truck, and place much less importance on "newness."  Take a look around, however, because you are a shrinking group.  Sadly, far less truck drivers take the time to learn their truck and how to keep it maintained with each generation.


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