Benjamin Hunting is a freelance automotive writer who has been involved in racing, restoring and writing about cars and trucks for more than a decade. In his spare time he enjoys keeping the shiny side up on track days. You can find out more about Benjamin’s writing at his website, http://www.benjaminhunting.com.
There’s no doubt you have seen a ‘headache rack’ installed on someone else’s truck at least once in your life. These racks, which are mounted across front edge of a pickup bed and which create a lattice of steel bars that overlays a truck’s rear window, are found in many different shapes and sizes, and feature a wide variety of designs.
While some headache racks might look purely ornamental, appearances can be deceiving. These grilles are so named due to their ability to protect window glass as well as anyone inside a truck from having a nasty one-on-one encounter with any cargo that might be loose in their truck bed, whether as the result of a sudden stop, a broken strap, or an accident.
Everyone knows about the Humvee, the heavy-duty 4×4 that inspired the original HUMMER H1 civilian SUV. While the Humvee has served the US Army well over the past few decades, technology continually marches forward. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is the program dedicated to finding the Humvee’s replacement…and to our eyes the JLTV entrants look a heck of a lot like pickup trucks.
The JLTV has been in development for several years under the auspices of a number of military contractors, and the primary aim of the design has been to improve on areas where the original Humvee fell short.
In the 1970’s and 80’s the RV boom hit America hard, and with it came motorhomes and camping trailers of all different shapes and sizes. Most people are familiar with the mammoth bus-based Winnebagos and pickup-truck mounted camper attachments, but few people remember that Toyota also got into the camping game in its own unique fashion. Unlike other major RV players who battled over maximum trailer length and interior square footage, Toyota decided to keep things small and compact. In doing so, they almost cornered the market on affordable and practical camping.
The Toyota Mini Motorhome first hit American roads in the mid-1970’s, and was based on a version of the Toyota Hilux compact pickup truck.
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For anyone who has ever worked with mechanical equipment in the construction or agricultural industries, the term ‘power take-off’ or PTO is a familiar one. For the rest of us, a short primer is in order to help understand what this device is and how it can be useful to truck owners.
What’s A PTO?
In the simplest terms, a power take-off (PTO) is a device which is coupled to a vehicle’s transmission and which shifts the engine’s power output from turning the driveshaft into instead rotating an external splined shaft to which a wide range of equipment can be attached. Commonly found on farm tractors, a PTO can be used to power anything hydraulic – from a hay baler to a snow blower to a cement mixer to a roll-out. PTOs are extremely useful devices when it comes to powering equipment far off the beaten path, where it might not be possible to run electrical power or practical to store reserves of fuel.
Commercial vehicles such as fire trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, and tow trucks are excellent examples of PTO units in action in our daily lives.