What is it they say to get the man who has everything? Oh, yeah – shelves. But shelves won’t really work if you try to apply the concept to trucks, and anyway, trucks these days just don’t have everything we want.
It’s part of the human condition that we always want the next great thing: the next iPhone, the next Xbox, the next Marvel Avengers movie, and yes, the next diesel truck. In the field of psychology, the desire for more is something that Abraham Maslow went in-depth about, and gave rise to his theory – the hierarchy of needs.
In a nutshell, the theory states that there are needs that a person must fulfill, and once fulfilled, said person can advance to the next level, with five in total. From the most to least urgent needs, the levels are: Physiological, Safety, Love/belonging, Esteem, and Self-actualization.
Physiological needs are deemed the most important, and relate to things like food, air, and water. Safety denotes things like health insurance, savings accounts, shelter, and human rights; the things that make us feel safe from the chaos of life. Love and belonging relate to friendships, family, and intimacy, as most of us like to belong to a group and feel appreciated, lest we suffer depression and loneliness.
The top levels, Esteem and Self-actualization, are a bit more closely linked than the others. Esteem refers to a person’s desire to be respected among peers, whether for athletic ability, mental prowess, or social status. Self-actualization is the hardest of needs to fulfill (and indeed, define), since a person’s dream or life goal can change over time or become difficult to determine whether or not it has been accomplished (money, happiness).
By these lines, trucks have arguably helped us achieved some of these levels, most notably safety (airbags, backup sensors and cameras, etc.) and esteem (friends see we drive a certain truck, and hold us in higher regard than before). But still, our needs continue.
One thing our trucks need right away is a refrigerated console. Ford gave these to the Flex crossover a few years ago, but the Super Duties don’t have them yet. There are a lot of uses for a refrigerator beyond the obvious, like storing beer and soda.
Perhaps you’ve heard of vitamin B12? I can’t say I’ve used it myself, but many people swear by the stuff. It needs to be refrigerated and kept out of direct light as much as possible, and what better way to have B12 on hand than right in the console? Mini-fridge consoles – gotta have ’em.
The tailgate is one area of trucks that automakers have really been outfitting lately. First it was “assists” that help the tailgate drop slowly, then digital cameras, and then a fold-out step ladder. And still, we don’t have the ultimate add-on: a barbecue.
Tailgate parties are obviously a big deal, but it’s a hassle with packing up the grille, briquettes, tongs, and other accoutrements to make them happen. I propose an undercarriage mounting space for the propane tank, with a hose that runs up and into the tailgate, half of which is now a grille that can be covered up with a sliding panel. The days of loading up all of your grilling gear are far behind; ahead, it’s burgers and brats at the drop of a hat.
Those are just a couple of ideas that I think will really spice up the truck market (joking, of course). What do you think would be some killer ideas for OEMs to spice up trucks?