What is a Pick-Up or Ute?
The term pick-up stands for a pick-up truck. In some countries, manufacturers refer to it with different names. E.g., in Australia & New Zealand, the name is Ute – a short-form or local slang for ‘Utility Vehicle”. However, in South Africa, they call it “bakkie,” a minuscule version of “bak” - an Afrikaans slang for "bowl" or "container." In some countries, manufacturers also term it as “crew cab”; especially in the building/construction industry. The pick-up truck could have a single/double cab body design as per the need.
In the beginning, people used it mainly as a work or farming vehicle as it did not have many comforts. By the 1950s, customers started using pick-ups routinely. By the 1990s, people used it for work. In America, people mostly use it as a passenger vehicle. Thus, it makes up about 18% of total vehicles sold in the United States. These vehicles come with a high price tag as well as have a high-profit margin. A pick-up vehicle generally has four wheels or sometimes even six. As the name indicates, a Ute/pick-up truck is designed to handle a variable type of load than regular cars. Therefore, the term "pick-up" could have originated from picking up the cargo or people en route to the destination.
A regular Ute/Pick-up consists of three (3) main compartments:
- The front section of the car consists of the bonnet or hood and the engine compartment.
- The middle section consists of passenger area with two doors and one row of seats capable of housing 2-3 average sized passengers including the driver.
- The crew cab or double cab has extended passenger area with four doors (two on each side) and two rows of seats capable of housing 5-6 average sized passengers including the driver.
- The rear section consists of the boot or cargo compartment.
- The Ute has a short roofline that ends at the front compartment.
A regular pick-up has a single cab with a single row of seats and a single set of doors, one on each side. However, extended pickups have a double cab with extra space behind the main seat, usually smaller seats or a single bench seat. An extended pick-up truck is also called the club cab. A double cab, or crew cab, has four full-size, front-hinged doors with five or six seating capacity. Most pick-ups have fixed side walls and a hinged tailgate design.
In cab-forward or cab-over designs, the cab sits above the front axle. This design allows a longer cargo area for the same overall length. The design was more popular in North America in the 1950s and '60s. Chevrolet Corvair Rampside and Loadside, Dodge A-100 and A-108, Ford Econoline, and Jeep FC-150 and FC-170 are examples. In addition, manufacturers offer variable sizes of cargo beds depending on whether they want it as a cargo or passenger vehicle.
Features of Pick-up Truck:
Normally, manufacturers offer cargo beds in two styles: step-side or fleet-side. A step-side bed has fenders that extend on the outside of the cargo area. A fleet-side bed has wheel-wells carved within the bed. Early pick-up trucks had wood-plank beds. By the 1960s, they were replaced by steel. Some European-style trucks use a drop-sided bed with a flat tray with hinged panels rising up on the sides and the rear.