Variety is the Spice
When I met up with J.R. Rivas, a contractor out of Demopolis, Alabama, he was parked under Alabama Power high-tension powerlines on a ridge above the Black Warrior River not far from our offices. His year-old Chevy Silverado HD was dent-free, but you could tell it’d had a lot of miles put on it both on and off-road. Almost 80,000 to be exact.
Rivas owns a company with more than three dozen pickups, each setup with winches, off-road tires, toolboxes, emergency lights and a variety of other upgrades needed on the maintenance of utility right-of-ways from Florida to Texas.
At about the same time as I was talking to Rivas, across town another contractor, Jason Chandler, who works for Pat Jones Construction and Southland Resources, is onsite overseeing a big property development project. His Ford F-250 isn’t doesn’t have nearly the upgrades as Rivas’, but it still sports a few of the basics: winch, step bars and toolbox.
Some 40 miles away, Richard Brown, a project manager with RaCon, one of the biggest highway contractors in the state, is following a couple artics into the back end of a major highway extension.
The Chevy Silverado 1500 Brown is driving is like most of RaCon’s pickup fleet – a bone-stock crew cab with a toolbox and bedliner.
What all three contractors have in common is 1) they drive their pickup to and at work every day, 2) they read at least one of our sister magazines (Equipment World, Better Roads, Aggregates Manger or Total Landscape Care); and they read ProPickup.
What’s interesting is even though their pickups are at completely different levels of modification, each contractor likes to read about the newest products, vehicles, tires and other topics we cover in our pages.
Our articles, both in print and on the web, give them ideas they could use to make their pickups perform better on a jobsite. A more efficient pickup is money in the pocket.
Brown, Rivas and Chandler are typical of contractors around the country. Not all spend money on upgrades or personalizing their pickups to their work needs, but many do to one extent or another. Hence the reason ProPickup exists.
Our editorial goal with each issue is to cover topics that give you ideas that might make your particular pickup more efficient in the work setting. That might be the addition of a particular aftermarket part, a combination of upgrades or the purchase of a new truck.
And we learn from each of you as well; your questions and comments motivate us to look for products that solve a particular need – or cover topics we may not have thought about.
So, don’t be shy about contacting us. We answer every letter and e-mail sent our way. We have also opened up a tech forum on our web site so you guys can chat among yourselves. Just think of us as one of your coworkers sitting on the tailgate during that always too-short lunch break.
Send us photos of your pickup on the jobsite and e-mail us you suggestions.
Bruce W. Smith, Editor