We love it when a driver brings in a chrome-less truck. Whether it’s a brand new 2012 model or a trusty old Classic that’s never been given any sparkle, it’s exciting to have a clean slate. There’s nothing like having the opportunity to make every inch of the rig your own.
But, how do you decide what parts you want? With so many options for grills, visors, bumpers, and pipes, it can be overwhelming to choose what will look best on your truck. And what if you don’t like it once it’s installed?! Especially if you’re planning to enter the truck in shows, the pressure can be heavy.
So, we’ve put together a little list of different ways you can do some recon and figure out what is best for your truck.
5. Look at pictures online. FREE
There are a ton of resources for chromed-out trucks on the internet. From 10-4 Magazine’s gallery of cover and centerfold trucks to endless Flickr streams, there are thousands (if not millions) of images on the internet that are sure to spark your creativity.
Here are a few more Flickr streams to get you started:
4. Subscribe to trucking magazines. FREE.
Mixed in with handy articles about truck maintenance and ever-changing legislation are great photos and articles about the best looking, hardest working trucks on the road. Some of our favorites are:
- 10-4 Magazine (Free when picked up at the truck stop, or $30 annual mail subscription)
- Land Line Magazine
Oh, and did I mention? Those are all FREE.
3. Head to the truck stop! FREE, unless you are stuck with a paid parking lot.
Walk through the parking lot, look for beautiful trucks. Ask permission to take a photo or two. In most places, you probably want to do this during the day for safety. Plus, it’s easier to see with sunlight glinting off the chrome! But if you’re comfortable with it, you can always go out hunting for the perfect LED lights at nighttime. Just to look – no stealing! We do not condone chrome thievery, no matter how good the lights are.
2. Even better, hang around a chrome shop. FREE if you have solid self-control.
I know what you’re thinking – this does sound like a shameless plug designed to drum up more business. But it’s also a genuinely great way to get feedback on your truck from other drivers who know their chrome. You really don’t even have to come inside the store – just hang out on the parking lot, and when a gorgeous truck rolls in, strike up a conversation with the driver. He (or she) can give you the best advice on what parts are worth your time and money. If you get lucky, you might run across a truck that’s won a few trophies.
Most of the show trucks we see in our store are working class, so these guys and gals have put these parts to the test. If you want to know if that 20″ bumper will hold up to the rough roads you’re going to take it on, try to find a driver who runs in similar areas and ask for suggestions!
1. Get thee to a truck show! FREE if you get passes and a nearby load.
Our favorite show of the year is the Mid-America Truck Show, held annually in Louisville, KY. This show generally has the most vendors and the largest variety of show trucks all year long. Most drivers hang out next to their truck and are willing to share some of their secrets. Take a camera and a notepad to record your favorite things!
The MATS organizers even have a handy How To Attend page that covers everything you need to know before you go. Sometimes, vendors give out free passes that may even include early entry the day before the show officially starts.