The Truck Owner Slang Quiz


By: Dave Davis

7 Min Quiz

Image: Philipp Nemenz/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

For some, a car is just a means to get from one place to another. Pickup truck owners, however, expect a little more from their ride. They know they can move not only themselves but also whatever will fit in their spacious cargo bed or anything that can be hooked up to their hitch. For craftspeople, building contractors, do-it-yourselfers or those who like to have more options than a mere car can provide, there's no substitute for a pickup truck. And, just like any other group of enthusiasts, these drivers have their own brand of slang to describe their trucks and their activities. 

Are you in the know? This quiz will separate those who can move things from those who have to ask for help.

Pickup trucks offer drivers a lot of advantages, including being able to sit up higher for a better view of the road and the ability to move heavy or bulky material. And they're often just more fun to drive than a car. Trucks are usually much more durable than other vehicles, as well. The main disadvantage? When you buy a pickup, all of your friends now know someone with a pickup; be prepared to help them move furniture, boxes and whatever else won't fit in their tiny cars. But hey, it's nice to feel useful, and they are your friends.

If you drive the truck, though, do you speak the language? Let's find out! If you're ready, roll up your sleeves, roll back the tonneau cover, and hop in the crew cab. Let's go get some quiz work done!

When your friend tells you he bought a classic "Effie," what's he got?

An "Effie" is a second-generation Ford F-100 pickup built around 1953 through 1956. Effies are beloved by many enthusiasts and are often modified to "hot rod" status. The next model, built from 1957 through 1960, is often referred to as a "Refrigerator" or "Fridge" because of its squared-off appearance with rounded edges.


What is a "stance" when it comes to pickup trucks?

When a truck is "stanced," it's been modified. Usually this means the suspension has been lowered or spacers have been put behind the rims to push the wheels out past the body of the vehicle. While some might like the look of a stanced vehicle, it limits the ability of a truck to be ... well, a truck.


To a pickup truck enthusiast, what does "LSD" actually mean ?

In rainy or icy weather, each wheel may have a different amount of traction, and this can be especially problematic when hauling or pulling a load. With a limited-slip differential, the axle shafts can rotate at different speeds depending on conditions, but that difference in speed is limited.


In the song "Take It Easy," when the Eagles referred to the girl in the "flatbed Ford," what were they singing about?

For the way some drivers use their pickups, having sides around the bed is far too limiting. A "flatbed" refers to a truck with no sides or roof, usually used for hauling bulky objects or materials. There are trucks like this available from various manufacturers — "Ford" just worked better in the lyrics.


For a certain type of truck owner, what do they mean when they refer to their "stacks"?

Driving a pickup, but wish you were handling a big rig? Some drivers modify their pickup to simulate the feel of a semi by directing the exhaust up through the truck's bed via vertical pipes — the "smokestacks." Some believe they can increase the truck's power, but the modification can also foul up the truck's emission system. For some, though, the look alone is worth it.


Which of these models is considered a "half-ton" truck?

Also known as a "light duty" pickup, the half-ton truck is the most popular type of pickup on the road today. The name "half-ton" doesn't really indicate how much payload the truck can handle, however. A half-ton can generally take on about three-quarters of a ton of cargo.


A "toolbox" means what to a pickup truck driver?

Even though a pickup has far more cargo space than most other vehicles, there are times when you need tools (or groceries or other small items) to stay put. A truck toolbox, also known as a truck box, spans the width of the bed just under the rear window and gives the driver a place to stow gear.


When a truck driver has to use the lowest gear to get a load moving, what do they sometimes say they're using?

Trucks don't go very fast in "granny" gear, sometimes called the "crawler" gear, but that's not the point — this low gear gets the truck and the load it's carrying started. The granny gear has a high gear ratio that works to maintain torque and get a heavy load moving.


Where does the tub liner go in a pickup truck?

A bed liner, sometimes called a tub liner, is considered by most truck owners to be essential for protecting the metal of the cargo bed. There are different types of liners to choose from, including plastic inserts and spray-on varieties. Plastic can be removed or replaced, but a spray-on liner is more permanent.


When you tell someone you're using your truck's PTO, what are you talking about?

Trucks equipped with a power take-off, or PTO, can use the truck engine's power to run different types of machinery, such as towing winches, farm equipment and other devices, saving the need to have two or more engines available. A fire truck is another example of a vehicle with PTO; the truck's engine powers the water pump for the hose.


Your buddy has asked what you think of his "rattle-can job." What should you be looking at?

When a truck has reached a certain age, some things start to make more sense, such as using spray paint to change its color or to hide body repair work. While some can use factory color-matched paint to get the job done well, you're probably being kind when you compliment his rattle-can job.


When a friend asks you the difference between a "crew cab" and an "extended cab," what should you say?

While a crew cab and an extended cab can usually hold the same number of riders, a crew cab has four full-size doors, just like an automobile, while an extended cab has two full-size doors and one or two smaller doors to access the back seats.


Your truck has been looking a little down lately. What should you use when you want to raise its suspension?

Lift kits are used by off-road enthusiasts to raise the ground clearance underneath the truck and allow larger wheels for more rugged terrain. Some truck owners use a lift kit for style, raising a truck to a height that affects the vehicle's handling, giving it a dangerously high center of gravity.


It's time to change up your "badges." What are you about to do?

The badges on a vehicle are the emblems manufacturers put on that include the brand logo, the model logo and other information. Some truck owners like to change out the standard badges with customized ones that might have a different color scheme or design; others remove them altogether.


Which of these models is considered a "three-quarter-ton" truck?

The three-quarter-ton truck is the middle ground between the light-duty and the largest consumer-grade pickups available. These trucks, which typically weigh around 6,000 pounds, are generally able to carry more than a ton and a half of cargo and tow around 13,000 pounds.


Your friend absolutely loves his "Taco." What's the object of his affection?

Some call them "Taco," and others call them "Tac," but many owners of the Toyota Tacoma wouldn't drive anything else. The Tacoma was introduced in 1995 and in 2005 was named Motor Trend's Truck of the Year. Currently in its third generation, the Tacoma has many trim packages, including the popular TRD options.


We've all heard it, but what does "4x4" really mean?

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are designed to send power to the wheels, based on the amount of traction each one has at that moment, allowing the vehicle to be more sure-footed on slick surfaces and in bad weather. Some vehicles are designed with on-demand four-wheel drive only when extra traction is necessary.


You've finally put a deflector on your pickup. So, what have you actually done?

A deflector is a shield installed on the leading edge of the truck's hood, designed to keep all manner of objects — bugs, small rocks, sediment and more — from marring your paint, denting the hood or putting a chip in the windshield. Several types are available, including acrylic and chrome.


It's raining cats and dogs, and your truck starts to fishtail. What's happening?

Fishtailing, which occurs when the rear wheels lose traction, can happen with any vehicle in slick conditions, but pickups with empty beds are especially prone because of the lack of weight over the rear wheels. In snowy conditions, many pickup owners will put sandbags or other heavy objects in the rear of the bed to gain added traction.


What exactly is a "light bar" on a pickup?

No matter how well your pickup handles on off-road tracks, when it gets dark you're not going anywhere without some extra lighting. Modern LED light bars can provide illumination for the darkest of trails, but be careful — if the bar isn't Department of Transportation approved, you can't use it on normal roads because it's a hazard to other drivers.


You've taken your buddy's advice and are about to "black out" your truck. What are you up to?

Some pickup drivers want their vehicle to appear more aggressive, and going with a "blackout" look is one way to do it. By painting or covering the chrome, badges and other elements, and by using black-painted wheels and window tint, you can make your black vehicle resemble something Batman would be proud to drive.


You've just put flares on your truck. Where'd you put them?

The areas around a pickup's wheels can take the most abuse from the elements, road salt and other hazards, leaving rust, chips and other unsightly wounds. Fender flares can hide patched bodywork and holes while giving the vehicle a new look and some added character.


What's a "corn binder," when it comes to pickup trucks?

"Corn binder" is the affectionate nickname for pickup trucks made by International Harvester, a company more famous for producing farming and agricultural machines and equipment. The company built many light-duty pickups from 1907 through 1975, including the Travelette and the Scout.


Which of these models is considered a "one-ton" truck?

The "one-ton" pickups are generally the largest available from a consumer dealer — any bigger and you're getting into commercial specialty dealerships. A one-ton truck can usually take on about three tons of payload, and many can tow more than 30,000 pounds. These are large vehicles, usually bought for specific purposes.


Congrats! You've just put a rain guard on your pickup — but where did it go?

Rainy days can make a pickup feel stuffy, but there's an aftermarket product for that! Rain guards fit along the window channel of each door to draw water away, allowing the window to be cracked open for ventilation and comfort for those wanting a little fresh air.


What is a "chassis cab," when it comes to pickups?

A "chassis cab," also known as a "half truck," is a pickup truck without the pre-installed bed. The driver can add aftermarket equipment or specialty gear to the chassis rails and create a vehicle customized for their needs. Ambulances and firefighting vehicles often start their lives as chassis cabs.


When you put "nets" on a truck, what are you actually talking about?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to replacing a pickup truck's tailgate with a net that still allows cargo to be hauled but air to pass through. Proponents believe that nets increase fuel efficiency by keeping air from being "blocked" by the tailgate; opponents cite engineering studies that state the truck is already aerodynamically designed to take that into account.


Even though your truck seems big enough most of the time, you still think you need an extender. What are you wanting to extend?

There are times that, even with a pickup's impressive cargo space, you need just a little more room. A pickup bed extender, usually made of metal or fiberglass, is a U-shaped device that rests on the lowered tailgate and provides up to an extra two feet of potential cargo space.


What are a pickup driver's "wraps"?

When you want to change the look of your pickup without committing to a new paint job, vinyl wraps are quickly becoming the go-to option for many drivers. Wraps are custom cut for specific vehicles. They protect the paint and body from chipping while offering different colors and designs for the vehicle.


Your truck has "IFS." You don't need a mechanic; it just means you have what?

Many modern pickups — and vehicles in general — have some form of independent front suspension (IFS). This allows each wheel to move independently of the others for better handling, steering, stability, cornering and ride comfort. The most widely used IFS is the MacPherson strut system.


What do truck enthusiasts call a six-foot-long bed in a pickup?

Not all pickup trucks can handle the same amount of cargo. Pickup truck beds generally come in three sizes: short, standard and long. Lengths vary between models and manufacturers, but short beds usually are around 68 inches, standard beds around 77 inches and long beds about 96 inches.


A tough guy in the parking lot stops you and says your truck needs some "body armor." What are they telling you it needs?

Going to the grocery store or a worksite generally doesn't require an extra level of protection. When you're going off-road, however, you'll appreciate an extra layer of steel or aluminum between your baby and the terrain. Body armor can consist of bumper guards, rocker guards, corner guards, skid plates and more.


Which one of these is a modern "regular cab" pickup?

A regular cab in a modern pickup usually consists only of two doors and two bucket seats (there might be some storage space behind the seats). Older pickups often had a bench seat that allowed three people to sit in front. Shorter cabs often allow for a longer bed for cargo.


What on Earth is a "tonneau"?

The word "tonneau" means "barrel" in French, and both are meant to hold things. When it comes to pickups, a tonneau is the cargo bed. A tonneau cover protects the bed from the elements while providing a bit of security and style to the vehicle.


Cools! You've just bought a "snorkel" for your pickup. So, um, what's a snorkel?

For the engine to run, it needs air to mix with fuel to power the internal combustion process. in rough driving conditions, especially off-road, the truck may need a little assistance getting that sweet oxygen. A snorkel raises the air intake from under the hood to the height of the roof, allowing the vehicle to get cleaner and cooler air or go through deeper water.


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