Image: Jason Torchinsky / Jalopnik Trucks Yes trucks are good!
We have had the Jeep Gladiator for over a year now. This is a great truck. It is capable of off-road. It got pretty good towing chops. Looks great too. But it’s not selling well anymore, and the recent recession won’t help much. But I have an idea to drop that bed and make it a chassis-cab. It’s very simple.
The best part is that the Gladiator Chassis-Cab will be the latest in a long line of jeeps designed for real work. The real Jeep was probably the hardest working of all when it was first pressed into the fight against fascism in World War II. And when did you come home? It went straight back to giving everything as CJ-2A in fields across America. With a four-wheel drive, a power take-off and a low-speed gearbox, the CJ-2 was not just a temporary work truck. It was purpose-built for work.
Then there was the favorite post jeep. What could be better than a simple, hard hard truck for the postal service that can withstand the rigors of a daily route to be thrown into it in any weather? It wasn’t particularly fast or powerful or too much to watch, but it was the right track for work as it was a jeep.
Later, Jeep will go one step further with my all-time favorite one, the FC, or Forward Control. With the engine and front axle bringing the cab to the top, the jeep has been made more practical, with extra room for cargo and clear visibility without a hood in front of the driver. How Jeep teased us to look like something new in 2012 and even though it was just an idea, it quickly became one of my favorite Jeep designs. But just because we haven’t got a new one doesn’t mean the FC spirit doesn’t live up to it. We still like them, whatever they take, especially the crew-cab version that lets you bring along a few more of your coworkers.
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And a lot of what a gladiator will be. A crew-cab work truck that can be configured in any way for manual work. Jason helped me figure out what this truck might look like. I think we will keep the color options to a minimum, although we can go there if the Forest Service or a municipality wants something special for their liability. That removable roof needs to be replaced with something cheap, body colored and movable and we will definitely lose the bed. And it could work a useful imagination there.
Need to carry plywood sheets that don’t fit on a standard model bed? Stick. There’s a dropside tray, ace-style. Does the utility have to work? I’m sure you’ll find the right cherry-picker to install there. Looking to protect the wilderness from brush fires? Your pump and hose will fit perfectly behind the cab. Other pickup truck manufacturers, especially in the mid-size segments, are happy to lose the standard bed which means you can build the practical machine you dreamed of. At least abroad they will.
Now, I don’t expect the jeep to actually do that. They have done a lot to keep the Wrangler and Gladiator as vehicles of life that have been created just for fun. But there are bones. It’s a capable truck that needs chops for true work. Maybe we’ll cook something like this for a Moab Easter safari or SEMA. Or maybe someone will punch the jeep and do it yourself. I just hope it’s not a militant group that stays 50 hours behind where the bed should be.