It's All in the Hunt

Published in the June 2011 Issue June 2011 Ask The Expert
"When searching for your next diesel truck, you need to look at it like a woman does when she's hunting for a husband."

Depending on where you call home, hunting and enjoying the great outdoors may or may not be a big part of your life. But in our area, it's all about the thrill of a good hunt. Outdoorsmen come from miles around to experience our hunting season in the great state of Idaho. But you don't need a set of antlers on your wall to appreciate this sport, because there are other types of hunting that can be just as exciting like finding your next project diesel truck.

Hunting for the right truck can be both a fun and an exhausting process. Everyone has their opinion on which manufacturer emblem should be on the grill. But the search goes much deeper than that, especially when it comes to finding the perfect used vehicle.

Here is one tip that could get me in a little trouble with my wife, but when searching for your next diesel truck, you need to look at it like a woman does when she's hunting for a husband. Face it: women typically don't fall in love with a guy, but rather with his potential to become that ultimate husband down the road. When I'm looking for the right project truck, I'm strictly looking at its potential and what this truck could possibly be once I get my hands on her.

For me it has to be stock, low miles preferred and in a perfect world the transmission should be shot. If she needs a new tranny then I should be able to get a better price and besides, the first thing I'm going to do is rebuild the transmission so it can handle the performance upgrade.

We like to throw around terms like, "I'd like to make it bullet proof" or "The ultimate upgrade," but in reality these terms mean different things to everyone. For some it's about not getting passed on a steep hill while you're towing your boat. For others, it's about being able to smoke the tires on dry pavement.

My need for add-ons and upgrades started at a young age before I could even drive. I had an older mountain bike and in an attempt to keep up with my friends, I pumped into it a lot of my hard-earned paper route cash. Yeah, it looked good and it had some upgrades, but I wasn't satisfied with the results. I ended up was an extremely heavy mountain bike because I added those amenities to a heavy stock bike. I learned the lesson of starting with a good base the hard way and I ended up buying a lighter frame a year later and starting my upgrade process all over again.

I've taken this lesson with me when I truck shop. Modifications don't run cheap, so make sure you're building on something you're going to like when you're done. When money is tight it's tempting to look at that truck with over 300K miles and envision what she could be like when you're done. But remember those miles are on everything, not just the engine, and you could end up spending your mod cash on basic repairs just to keep it on the road.

When the time is right to start your hunt, don't be afraid to be selective as you take your time to find the right base to get started. With any luck you'll be able to bag that keeper you've been hunting for.

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