Pickup Truck Terminology for People Who Know Nothing About Pickups

You probably see pickup trucks for sale everywhere. They’re insanely popular in the United States, and with good reason. Trucks are versatile and can carry everything from people to cargo and building supplies. They’re great for work and for families, and you can get a truck with just the basics or so much luxury you might feel like you’re on a private plane. If you’re thinking about buying your first pickup truck and you’re new to this type of vehicle, you might feel like you’re learning a new language. What does all that pickup truck lingo mean? This is a (far from complete) list of pickup truck terminology you’ll need when buying a pickup truck.

A blue 2021 Toyota Tundra parked with a father and son talking in back.
2021 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

What is a crew cab truck?

A black 2021 Ford F-150 crew cab truck against a black background.
2021 Ford F-150 crew cab | Ford

Trucks for sale will generally have a description about their size. When you see the term crew cab truck, that refers to a pickup truck that has a double cab and four full-size doors. This 2021 Ford F-150 crew cab truck is a great example of what a crew cab looks like.

What is an eco truck?

An eco truck is a pickup truck that may have had something done to its engine to make it more efficient. Sometimes trucks for sale will say that they are eco trucks, or eco-friendly. According to Gear Patrol, it may also mean that the truck manufacturer wants to market it as an eco truck. An example of an eco truck is the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

What does Hemi stand for?

A Hemi is a type of engine used in pickup trucks made by Chrysler for Dodge and Ram vehicles. Hemi is an abbreviation of hemispherical combustion chamber. You can get a Hemi engine in some Ram trucks.

What is considered a long bed truck?

Long bed trucks are at least eight feet. Long bed trucks tend to be used for work, as they can be more difficult to maneuver than a short bed pickup truck.

What is a payload?

Sometimes trucks for sale will advertise the truck’s payload. The payload is the weight that a truck can carry. The payload includes both the passengers and cargo, as well as the empty weight of your truck.

What is towing capacity range?

The towing capacity is the maximum weight that a pickup truck can tow. Each truck has a different towing capacity, so you have to check the owner’s manual for the exact weight of your truck. The towing capacity of a Toyota Tundra will be different than the towing capacity of a Ford F-150.

When you are pickup truck shopping, you may come across trucks for sale that use some of these terms. Knowing what they mean can help you understand exactly what you’re buying, and to make sure that you get a pickup truck that really fits your needs. Make sure you do your research so that you know exactly what you’re buying. Choosing a truck that matches how you’ll use it will help you be happy with your purchase for years to come.