Pickups Then and Now

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JW IN VA

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My other thread about tires made me think about pickups in general.
Growing up in my part of Va,farm pickups and their use was much different than today.
Lots of smaller outfits like us used 1/2 ton Fords or Chevrolets with a few GMCs,Dodge or IH thrown in.There were some 3/4 tons,especially if they didn't own a 1 and 1/2 to 2 ton truck as well.
Very few had four wheel drive.Almost all were manual transmissions.Eight foot wide beds were the norm with a few narrow sides.Most I remember had the OPTIONAL AM Radio :banana:
Most all had a set of wooden stock racks which a few left on but most kept in a shed unless they were needed.A lot of the trucks themselves were kept inside or under roof. You really didn't see on with a lot of dents in them.Dust and dirt,yes,but not dents. Some of that was because of the heavier gauge metal used then,too.
Another difference was pickups weren't used so extensively day to day as now.A lot of jobs were done then with a tractor and flat bed a wagon or a three point carryall.Maybe some of that will return with the increased use of SXSs.
Today,finding a two wheel drive is rare even on a dealer's lot.A lot of folks have a 3/4 ton because of trailers and a number are well equipped with options.The truck is used more and run harder.A lot more miles in a year.The cattle racks are few,if any and so are the ton and a half 6X4s with a 12' bed.The 2 tons are mostly flat dumps or dedicated cattle trucks with factory aluminum beds.Some,if not all, change has come because of increased farm size or the increasing need for farmers to have another"paying job" to support their farming in modern times.In my area,there are very few who can rely on farming alone to support themselves and their families.The others are either big operators or they have a more simple standard of living than what is considered "normal" these days.
Not saying one era was better than the other.Just thinking back and how we adapt to our situations .
 

Brute 23

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I'm not as old as most people on here but in my short lifetime I've seen a quite a bit of change. My family all had 1/2 tons. We had one 1 ton 4wd that was used to pull things for both the ranch and o&g company. If we couldnt get it we hired it out. The tractor just got driven up and down the road from place to place.

Back then we also would ride on back the truck an hour or more to get some where. We could go from property to property with out ever meeting another car. Now, those same roads are like race tracks. You pull out on the road going 45 pulling a load of square bales and you will get cursed out by a lady in a KR F350 with an aluminum trailer full of donkeys. You take a tractor on the road and teenager with a brand new car will smack right in to you texting their mom.

The simple times are gone here.
 

Texasmark

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kenny thomas said:
jltrent said:
No more three on the tree or headlight dimmer button on the floor.

Or a starter peddle in the floor.

Had one of them, a '47 Chebby half ton, Babbit bearing, hot water 6, 3 on the tree. Wasn't till recently I was thinking about that location and if finally dawned on me.....like a lot of tractors the starting solenoid was mounted atop the starter and the pedal was a mechanical linkage to the plunger. Oh.... the other thing was the tinny sound of PUs back then.....slam the door and it was clang bang rattle for half an hour....(cars did it too, including Cadillac convertibles....you see in the movies).. Today it's get out of your Velour seat and slam the door and all you hear is "click".....as it should be.
 

littletom

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When I was a kid I begged my parents for a 3 wheeler or four wheeler. One Saturday morning they came home with me a ride. A 1949 willy jeep blaze orange with black top. It was a 6 volt with toe starter. Alot has changed with farm rides. Alot of large farms around me most have several 3/4 or ton pickups.
 

ccr

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kenny thomas said:
jltrent said:
No more three on the tree or headlight dimmer button on the floor.

Or a starter peddle in the floor.
I remember as a young kid learning how to drive in a pickup with a floor starter. Truck died on a hill and starting with a foot on the brake, a foot on the starter, and a foot on the gas pedal (that's the way I remember it, about 60 years ago).
 

kenny thomas

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ccr said:
kenny thomas said:
jltrent said:
No more three on the tree or headlight dimmer button on the floor.

Or a starter peddle in the floor.
I remember as a young kid learning how to drive in a pickup with a floor starter. Truck died on a hill and starting with a foot on the brake, a foot on the starter, and a foot on the gas pedal (that's the way I remember it, about 60 years ago).
Exactly how it worked. We hauled square bales of hay on those old trucks. 1 1/2 and 2 ton. Usually the youngest kid that could see over the steering wheel would drive
 

hillbilly beef man

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I remember as a young kid learning how to drive in a pickup with a floor starter. Truck died on a hill and starting with a foot on the brake, a foot on the starter, and a foot on the gas pedal (that's the way I remember it, about 60 years ago).
I drove a 52 Chevrolet 1.5 ton silage truck when I was a kid that had a floor starter. I did not have enough feet either to get it started, so I kept a tobacco stick with me to work the gas.
 

hillbilly beef man

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Exactly how it worked. We hauled square bales of hay on those old trucks. 1 1/2 and 2 ton. Usually the youngest kid that could see over the steering wheel would drive
We used a 1.5 ton Chevy dump truck and a 1 ton Ford cattle truck to haul hay on. I remember driving hay trucks to load square bales when I was too little to reach the pedals. Dad would turn the idle screw up, get it going and hop out of the truck and let me have it. He would tell me to cut the switch off if I got in trouble. I couldn't have been more than 5 years old. People today would think you are nuts for letting a 5 year old drive.
 

simme

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No more Studebakers
In the early 60's, my father bought a '49 Studebaker pickup. It was pretty much worn out. Not much paint on it. He painted it himself. The old folks here will remember the little sprayer for spraying in the house for flies. It had a 1 pint screw-on metal reservoir with a barrel/tube pump (like a basketball air pump). When you pumped the air, it sucked up the insecticide and sprayed an aerosol of poison into the air. I think the brand was Black Flag. He used that to paint the Studebaker in the yard under the oak trees. Paint he used was from a barrel of waste paint he got from the manufacturing plant where he worked. It was sort of a brownish pink color. Dad had purchased an old farm about 20 miles away that had a very old farm house on it. A young guy from West Virginia (with a wife and 2 kids) asked about renting the farm house. It had no running water. Later on, the guy said that he was moving back to West Virginia. He wanted to trade for the Studebaker pickup truck. He had a '56 Ford Crown Vic with the wide shiny chrome metal across the top. It was pretty much worn out as well. Body was in good shape. The trade was made. The guy sent a letter that he had arrived in West Virginia without any problems. Both those vehicles would be pretty valuable today.
 

simme

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I had a car that had a pedal for the wipers / washer fluid.
Remember the vacuum driven wipers? With a vacuum valve/switch to turn them on and off. If you were going up hill, the vacuum would drop and the wipers would stop. If the rain was heavy, you would need to let up on the gas to make a single wiper pass and then throttle back down to try to keep the speed up. Got high speed going down hill. We have made a lot of progress on quality and features of vehicles. Some things from the good ole days were not that good.
 

Silver

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Remember the vacuum driven wipers? With a vacuum valve/switch to turn them on and off. If you were going up hill, the vacuum would drop and the wipers would stop. If the rain was heavy, you would need to let up on the gas to make a single wiper pass and then throttle back down to try to keep the speed up. Got high speed going down hill. We have made a lot of progress on quality and features of vehicles. Some things from the good ole days were not that good.
I missed out on experiencing those, although I did drive an HD Hayes for awhile that had air operated wipers. They were always out of time with each other and were hard to set the speed. They were pretty herky jerky. And if you used them for very long the wigwag would fall down lol
 

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