Why a Gladiator?
So, why do I need/want a Gladiator? Heck, why do I need a pickup?
First, I'm a truck guy. Always have been. I've owned one truck or another pretty much my entire adult life. I do a lot of home DIY stuff, from building sheds & porches, to remodels, to, well, you name it. I've hauled all manner of stuff, plus I have a 14-foot single-axle trailer that I tow regularly.
Second, we are one of those rare families that actually use four-wheel drive on their vehicles on a regular basis. We have a remote cabin that we visit regularly. To access the cabin requires serious 4x4 capabilities, as the miles-long "road" (if you can call it that) is combination of sandy wash, steep rutted single-track, and some honest-to-goodness rock-crawling in parts. Four wheel drive, high-ground clearance, and lockers literally are required to get to the cabin.
I'm also a big fan of solid front axles, especially of the Dana variety. Again, the nature of just getting to our cabin puts a lot of abuse on a vehicle. Having a stout, factory-certified solid axle vehicle is a requirement. We've made the trip in previous non-solid-front axle vehicles (notably a Tacoma and a Ford F150 we used to own), but those vehicles took a beating and barely were able to make the trip. There are only a few manufacturers of solid-front axle vehicles (Jeeps, plus full-size Fords and Dodges).
Further, and unfortunately, a full-size truck is a very tight squeeze on the trails we have to take to access the cabin, and when we've taken big trucks before, we have scratched the hell out of the sides. A small, nimble, narrow truck is required.
Additionally, I have plans to modify the truck, and there is no better platform for mods than a Jeep. Countless OEM and after-market suppliers have virtually anything and everything you could ask for in bolt-on mods. I'll almost certainly put larger diameter tires on the truck (probably 35's), maybe a modest lift (2" max), a winch, body armor (e.g., sliders), and so on. Yes, you can get all of these things onto, say, a Ford or Chevy, but the range of options for Jeep is so much greater and varied.
Finally... well, I just think the Gladiator is one of the best looking trucks I've ever seen. It's not for everyone, certainly, but it is for me. There's just something about how the Jeep sits that stirs my soul. And maybe that's the most important reason of all...
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