Image Gallery: Trucks

A ranch worker sets fire to the hillside on the Adkins Ranch along U.S. 56 in Morris County, Kan. Burning old grass is a common practice in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. The fresh growth improves the quality of the pasture.
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
A ranch worker sets fire to the hillside on the Adkins Ranch along U.S. 56 in Morris County, Kan. Burning old grass is a common practice in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. The fresh growth improves the quality of the pasture. See more pictures of trucks.

Life on a ranch is far different from life in other places. Ranch life is all about work: working the land, working the livestock and working to make sure that a treasured American way of life doesn't falter in the face of suburban sprawl and massive agribusiness. Living on a ranch means living for the ranch, and working on a ranch means dedicating yourself to taking care of all the interconnected parts that make up the ranch as a whole.

Of course, to do all that, ranchers need the right tools.

To understand the tools ranchers need, you have to understand what a ranch is. Now, anyone can get a plot of land and call it a ranch. Traditionally, however, a ranch is dedicated to raising livestock. In the United States, that typically means cattle or horses, though some ranchers raise sheep or even more exotic animals like bison. In contrast to farms, ranches are not dedicated to raising crops, but to raising a wide-range of grazing animals for meat. By comparison, if a farm raises livestock, it generally does so in a confined space, or it may have a herd of cows for milk, not meat. Because it takes a lot of land to support a herd of grazing animals, ranches are typically found in the western half of the United States.

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With such a specific purpose and way of life, ranches must have specific tools. One of the most important of those tools is a ranch truck. As long as cars and trucks have rolled across the American West, ranchers have used them in almost every aspect of ranch life, from caring for animals to improving the land and yes, even for basic transportation. Keep reading to learn about what kind of ranch truck ranchers typically look for, accessories that can help them work harder and even maintenance.