I spent 20 years in the construction industry and I’ve seen my fair share of tough pickup trucks. On the jobsite, there was a hierarchy of trucks based on your position.
There were basic, base-model trucks for everyday use – hauling tools and materials, transporting people, and towing light equipment. Supervisors got mid-range tracks that worked just as hard, but provided a little more comfort. Perhaps they got a crew cab and other creature comforts such as a sereor system and air-conditioning.
As a project manager, I was privy to the top-of-the line trucks. I had a fully loaded pickup – double crew cab, adjustable leather seats, premium sound system. I often had to drive company and client executives around the project to give them updates on our progress and I needed a nice vehicle to make a good impression.
I’m no longer a construction project manager, but if I were, the Toyota Tundra 1864 Edition would be my truck of choice. There are few trucks that can match it in ruggedness and refinement.
Let’s start with the exterior. The Tundra looks like the type of truck that isn’t afraid to get dirty on backroads, but is just as capable of serving as a date night chariot for you and your spouse.
The all-new front design integrates the hood and grille for a chiseled and modern industrial image. The grille has a taller, bolder look, visually connecting the upper intake to the lower bumper. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design, allowing for lower replacement costs. In addition, the fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off for a wide and sturdy stance. These design elements are marked improvements over the bubble-like cabin of previous generations.
A new bed design helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile, leading to a rugged new bed and tail gate, with an integrated spoiler and “TUNDRA” stamped into the sheet metal, creating a one-piece forged look. The integrated spoiler in the deck helps with fuel efficiency, while the tail lamps express a tool-like quality to match the appearance of the body.
The interior of the 1864 Edition is just as impressive as the exterior. It features exclusive saddle brown premium leather-trimmed seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accent the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel. This premium cabin makes me feel like I’m sitting in Blake Shelton’s living room (listening to Doin’ What She Likes on the and Entune Premium JBL Audio system only enhances that experience).
When my kids got inside, they were awestruck.
“Wow,” said my six year-old son. “This truck is so big. We could live in here.”
Even my 13-year daughter, who doesn’t care much about Toyota trucks (see’s loyal to another brand) said, “This truck is pretty cool.”
I used the truck as our primary vehicle during the week that I had it. It was spacious and comfortable and fully capable of hauling groceries, carrying sports and band equipment, and making an occasional trip across town to visit grandma. My favorite thing about the Tundra is that my three kids were able to sit in the back seat without complaining about getting touched by a sibling.
While I was satisfied with how the Tundra handled basic family-related tasks, I wanted to see how it performed when I put it to work. One weekend, I headed to the local nursery and to buy some supplies. I told the workers to fill the bed of the truck with 2 yards of mulch (approximately 1600 lbs). Even with that load, the Tundra didn’t miss a beat thanks to its strong frame, enhanced suspension, and powerful 5.7-liter, DOHC i-Force V8 with 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 foot-pounds of peak torque at 3,600 rpm.
I spent the rest of the afternoon unloading the mulch and enhancing the landscaping around my house. After I was done, my wife came outside to inspect my work.
“The yard looks great,” she said with a smile.
Any truck that helps me to make my wife happy is all right with me.