As every farmer knows, a pickup truck is one of (if not the) most important tools around the acreage. So, it’s worth making sure that your truck is ready for everything you’ll ask of it. Small improvements like installing a trailer hitch or headache rack will make your truck a much more versatile farm vehicle.
Before investing in any particular upgrades, make sure you have a good idea what you’ll be using your pickup truck for. And, make sure to take some time to get to know your truck before adding on too many improvements.
Here are some of the modifications to help get your truck ready for its best life on the farm.
Odds are at some point you’ll find yourself needing to tow something, whether it’s a livestock trailer to take your animals off the farm or a utility trailer to haul hay. So, if your truck doesn’t already have a trailer hitch, consider investing in one.
You might also consider purchasing a tri-ball mount to go with your hitch. Being able to attach to all of the common ball sizes will give you the flexibility to help out a neighbor or easily haul a rental trailer if you need to.
If you anticipate using your truck to help with on-farm projects, consider mounting a toolbox in your bed.
I also recommend outfitting your toolbox with all of the basic hand tools you might need while you’re fixing a fence post or patching an irrigation leak. Nothing’s worse than having to drive (or walk) all the way back to the shop to get a screwdriver that you forgot.
If you plan on using your truck to frequent your farm’s backwoods, consider installing an “off-road” skid plate. Pretty much all trucks are equipped with a skid plate to protect your radiator, oil-pan and everything else underneath your engine block. But, in most cases, these skid plates are made of plastic and don’t do much more than prevent mud splatter.
If you plan on taking your truck up into the woods to load it up with firewood, for instance, consider upgrading your skid plate to a steel model.
For those who don’t know, a “headache rack” is designed to protect you from the headache (or much worse) of having the cargo in your bed come smashing through the cab window after a sudden stop.
They’re not all that expensive. They’re also well worth the money if you plan on filling up your truck bed with some frequency. Consider it a recommended safety feature.
If you plan on using your truck to haul larger materials around your farm with some frequency, consider buying (or building) a bed rack. Bed racks are especially helpful for carrying anything that’s too long to safely fit in your truck’s bed.
Do you anticipate needing to move many fence posts, pieces of lumber or PVC pipes? If so, a bed rack might come in handy.
What you need from your truck will become apparent over time, so don’t feel like you need to make too many changes all at once. Just enjoy getting to use your truck for what it was meant to do.
And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to get it dirty and a bit dented.