Article: We need to Talk About Truck Design

We Need to Talk About Truck Design Right Now Before It's Too Late - hipster auto-blogger Jason Torchinsky in Jalopnik


Let me bluntly get all up your grille when I say- how the literal fuck are we suppose to “share the road” with the face of rage and intimidation? And all you need is a crackerjack box license to commandeer one of these death machines? Insanity. We simply cannot nor should we have to jockey for space on streets with these monster trucks.

"It could just be me, but these massive, over-complicated grilles feel desperate and attention-hungry, like showing up at a barbecue slathered in blood and with your sleeve on fire so there will be no doubt as to what a badass you are."

Size matters.

2020 death machine

2020 death machine

We are well aware that pedestrians are two-to-three times more likely to die if they’re struck by a SUV or high horse powered weapon of mass destruction, thanks to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report earlier this year- we did a blog recap Vehicle Size Matters. Data and honest safety experts have verified that long-standing common factors in pedestrian deaths, such as alcohol and jaywalking at night, did not account for the recent growth in ped fatalities. The myth of distracted pedestrians is lazy; he reality of distracted journalists ignoring this is dangerous.

So we’re taken by surprise that this article begging the conversation of truck design was penned by Jason Torchinsky, Senior Editor of Jalopnik. He must have kids or a conscience or something.

“Most of these trucks are six feet tall or more, which means that the hood height is around four to five feet off the ground, which means that if one of these is behind you, you’re greeted with the sight of just grille, massive and hungry, filling your view. Walking by trucks like these feels more like walking past a building sometimes, confronted with vast curtain walls of vents and meshes and perforated, vertical walls. They’re starting to feel less and less like vehicles.”


So we now know what the big mean vehicle machine industry bigwigs have long known about this but nothing has changed except size- and not for the better. SUVs and trucks are killing us yet the grille obsession is growing - and we’re not talking work vehicles here. Anecdotal fact is most people you see driving big pickup machines are not carrying or hauling anything special and more often than not, they are the only person in the vehicle. 

“Generously-sized grilles have always been part of truck design—well, at least front-engined, water-cooled truck design—but what we’re currently experiencing goes way beyond just having a big grille. The goal of modern truck grilles—especially the larger, Heavy Duty spec trucks—seems to be less about getting the required cooling air and more about creating a massive, brutal face of rage and intimidation.“