The economy has brought truck sales to a near standstill, but there is opportunity amid the damage. If they buy now, contractors can get great deals on pickups brimming with mechanical sophistication (see Truck Report 2009).

Although there's no point in accentuating the negative, some perspective on just how far the market has retreated over the past year may help when it comes to striking a bargain at your local truck dealer. And despite the way the media has focused on the relative fuel inefficiency of trucks compared to other automobiles, the sale of pickups on a vehicle-to-vehicle basis continues to outpace the sale of passenger cars in the United States.

Automotive industry data for the top full-size pickups, comparing monthly sales in October 2008 against October 2007, include:

Ford F-150
43,324 sold (down 19.4%)
Chevy Silverado
31,689 sold (down 37.4%)
Dodge Ram 1500
17,626 sold (down 31.3%)
GMC Sierra
11,256 sold (down 37.8%)
Toyota Tundra
6,425 sold (down 65.4%)