How to Keep Friends From Borrowing Your Truck

If you’ve ever owned a Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, or Dodge Ram, you know the pain all too well: seemingly every weekend someone needs to borrow your truck to haul something, and in return for the use of the heavy machinery, fuel, and worst of all, your time, they’ll buy you a six-pack of beer. Worst. Deal. Ever. But since you’re a pushover, you always agree, and–POOF!–there goes your whole fucking Saturday.

Great for hauling things but also a typical mode of day-to-day transportation, pickups have high demand for young adults who are bargain hunting for furniture and getting settled into a new apartment. As an owner of a truck, you will no doubt be very popular amongst friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, and all of their friends and family too.

Some people just don’t feel any guilt asking to borrow someone’s truck over and over again. Or they just don’t get the hint that you really aren’t all that gung-ho over lending vehicles and assisting with loading and moving things. Or maybe you’re just too damn nice.

Of course you could just say ‘no’, but imagine the awkwardness of that conversation. “Hey bro, can you drive your truck down to El Paso and help me move a couch home? Got a sixer in it for ya!” “No, JimBob. Bye.” There’s no way you don’t come off as being a selfish jerk, because unless you truly are using it for your primary mode of transportation and really are occupied, you’ll be accused of being or considered a complete prick. “Roy claimed he was hauling a load of twigs to the cemetery Saturday. You believe that shit? That guy’s dead to me.”

But what if there was a way around it? What if next time JimBob needed a ton of dirt hauled to his driveway, you and your precious pickup weren’t available? Here are some great ways to keep the peace and keep your truck at home with you where it belongs. Or, at the very least, get something good out of the lending of it.

  • A really good option is to allow your friend to borrow the truck, but not you. “Yeah, bro! The truck is all yours man. Leave me your car and you go do your thing. I have a ton of errands to run. Oh, and make sure it has a full tank when you return it.”
  • Lie and say it’s broken. “Oh, damn bro, would love to help you but she’s in the shop. $1450 for transmission repair, can you believe that shit?” Just make sure he doesn’t see you out driving it later!
  • Exaggerate how many others are looking to borrowing it. “Wish I could help broseph, but Cooter has it for the whole weekend. Jordy was next in line but I had to tell him no too. I maybe have an opening Wednesday from 6-9 if that works?” You still appear charitable, but maybe your dense friend will start to get it that you and your good nature are being taken advantage of. They may even back off and rent a U-Haul truck.
  • Act over-protective and lay down tons of rules. “Sure Joey, the truck’s all yours, but I have to help Debra with her pottery thing. Ugh, I totally wish I was helping you though. Just please, please make sure you wear plastic coverings over your shoes. The floormats are brand new and I hate dirt. Oh, and when you shift it into Drive, make sure you very gently pull the shifter because I think something’s loose. You’re gonna need to stop after 50 miles and put a quart of oil in too. I just don’t trust the noise it’s making right now.”
  • Pretend it’s about to break down. “Sure Gilbert, sounds great. I just need to warn you that the last week or so it’s been making a really weird grinding noise and I can’t get it to go over 35. Are there any backroads we can take? Also the AC is out and the heat is stuck on high, so prepare to get moist.”
  • Sabotage the truck so it breaks down immediately. You’d have to use your imagination here, but as soon as you back out of the driveway, the truck sputters and quits. “That’s weird, it worked fine earlier. Welp, sorry Frank! I wanted to help move that pallet of diapers.”
  • Put a dead animal in it for several days. “Alrighty Fred, all set? Let’s go get these mulberry bushes!” “Uh… Dave? What is that smell?” “What smell?” “It smells like a dead goat in here… oh God, I have to get out. Forget this.” As soon as Fred is out, you can remove the animal and have the truck detailed.
  • Say no, but be very kind. “Brian, you’re a very good friend, and I normally would love to help you out. But lately a lot of people have been asking to borrow my pickup and I’m really just burned out on it. If you wouldn’t mind, could you check elsewhere or rent one from Home Depot by the hour? I’m sorry, I feel like a jerk saying this. I hope you understand.” No matter how nicely you word it, you’re almost certainly going to be hated, at least temporarily.
  • Say yes, but be a total jerk. “Jesus Brian, you too? You’re the third person whose asked today! Fine, fuck it, let’s get this over with.” Hopefully your friend gets the hint and calls it off, and later you can apologize for your brash behavior.
  • Say yes and be nice, but make it sound like it will be a huge hassle. “Oh yeah, sounds good. I’m in Des Moines now but as soon as I get back and drop the kids off at Grandma’s, I just have to unload a pallet of diapers at Tim’s. I’ll just need to get a quick oil change and change my clothes and make a stop at the store for Debra’s ear meds. Umm… I could be there by 7, does that work?” It won’t! Great!
  • Say the truck is stolen. “Yeah, I can help you Dick, but just FYI this thing is hot. We need to stay off the main roads. I’m swapping the plates right now.”
  • Sell it. Seriously, you’re tired of lending it out and helping haul stuff? Get rid of it! “Wish I could Marco, but there’s a guy coming over to take it for a test drive. Yeah, I decided to unload the old girl. She’s been good to me, but the wife says we could really use a Geo Metro right now instead.”

Hopefully one of those tips will help you find a way to keep those great but pesky friends from asking you to borrow your truck. If they want one bad enough, they should go buy or rent their own.

My Hot Take:
I briefly owned a 1994 Chevy Silverado, and as much as I cherish all my friends, the non-stop carousel of people needing to borrow it for moving, towing, or hauling items they purchased online eventually was too much to keep up with. Friends were nice about it and offered money and beer in return, and many times just left their car with me. I almost always said yes, too. When I sold the old girl it was a sad day for everyone.

If you own a pickup, friends will want to borrow it. If you don’t feel like helping everyone every single time, think of an excuse.


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