8 Must-Have Accessories to Unleash Your Pickup Truck's Inner Beast

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2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

We buy our pickup trucks as do-anything Swiss Army knife vehicles that we can depend on, no matter what. Sometimes even their great utility from the factory can use some enhancement, which is why we personalize our pickups for our own purposes.&

Here are some of the best accessories on the market today.

1. Bigger wheels/tires.&

One of the most popular mods owners make to trucks is installing larger wheels and tires to get more ground clearance and put more rubber on the ground for traction. It doesn't hurt that they also add a beefy, can-do look to the truck, which is probably what makes aftermarket wheels and tires so popular.

The trick is to check sizing information when ordering from a site like 4WheelParts.com. Buy here.

2. Trailer hitch

Most trucks these days are delivered with a hitch receiver already installed in place of the old ball bolted to the bumper.& This lets truck owners slide in an appropriate draw bar with the correct drop to keep their trailer level.

If your truck doesn't have a receiver, then call AutoZone to get one from a company like Reece Hitches, whose name is sometimes considered a synonym for a receiver-style hitch. If it does, then you'll need the correct draw bar. Too often owners hitch low-slung trailers to high-riding trucks without the needed drop in the draw bar, leading to unstable, wobbling trailers that tilt to the rear. Buy here.

3. Bed liner

Manufacturers are increasingly offering protective bed liners as a factory option, so check that box if you can. If not, most dealers offer it as a dealer-installed option, which lets you roll the cost into the financing of a new truck.

Spray-on bed liner& adds a thin layer of durable plastic to the inside of the bed, eliminating scratches and dents from everyday use that degrades your truck's appearance and can lead to rust.

Or you can go with a traditional slide-in plastic liner from AutoZone that provides even tougher armor. Buy here.

4. More power

If you're hauling heavy loads with your truck then more power is always appreciated. There are a multitude of performance modifications available for pickups, ranging from simple cold air intakes, engine computer chip upgrades to turbocharger packages from sites like 4WheelParts.com, providing a variety of options depending on budget and performance requirements. Buy here.

5. Trailer brake controller

If you add more 'go' to your truck, you'll want more 'whoa' to match. Electronic trailer brake controllers operate the brakes on your trailer, so your truck's brakes don't have to stop both vehicles by themselves.

Some new trucks have available integrated trailer brake controllers, but failing that you can add on a sophisticated aftermarket unit from AutoZone& that is much better than the old controllers that always seemed to either lock up the trailer's brakes or not provide enough brake force to help. Buy here.

6. Lights

All-weather, all-season truck utility means day and night, so add-on lights from 4WheelParts.com& are a big help. Spotlights help put light where it is needed and running lights not only provide a cool nighttime appearance, but they can improve your truck's visibility in bad weather, hopefully helping other drivers steer clear of your rig. LED technology has made lights more effective and cooler-looking than ever. Buy here.

7. Floor mats

Used to be that trucks had rubber floors in their cabs, but with modern plush carpeting, today's trucks can seem a little precious for messy work. That's where AutoZone floor mats can help, providing sacrificial floor covers to protect the carpet from mud and snow. Buy here.

8. Running boards

High-riding pickups are great for driving over obstacles, but those who are shorter in stature can struggle with the climb into the cab. Running boards from AutoZone& provide a convenient step into the cab that makes driving a truck just a little more comfortable and convenient. Buy here.

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