Have you ever looked at a pickup truck, realized they still had a standard antenna, and wondered why those still exist on trucks? You don’t see cars or even crossovers with them anymore, but trucks still do.

Pickups have an antenna instead of the standard glass-mounted antenna for a couple of reasons. Namely, it is for design, strength of signal, and ease of repair!

1. Styling

Most vehicles you think of that lack an antenna are cars. However, pickup trucks do have antennas!

Styling plays a big part in this, as trucks tend to be meant to be more muscular, practical, and useful. Cars and SUVs are sleeker, more modern, and more design-conscious.

Because of this difference, it has become much more acceptable to use older design cues like antennas, plastic cladding, and smaller displays (until recently).

2. Pickups are used in rural areas.

Historically, pickups have been used as work trucks, and work trucks tend to be used more regularly in rural areas.

Meanwhile, cars tend to be more used in cities.

Because of this difference in areas, trucks have tended to need more intense antennas that allow weaker radio signals to still be utilized by the truck.

The bigger an antenna is, the more signal it can pull in! Hence, the larger antenna on trucks.

3. More straightforward to fix if damaged

Alternative versions of antennas outside of your standard one we are discussing in this article are much more difficult to replace than older versions.

Regular tall antennas are easy to replace, just antennas attached to a ball at the bottom. This is something anyone could replace if they wanted to.

Meanwhile, on most cars, antennas are either attached to a windshield or underneath some plastic bodywork, well beyond what most people would be willing to repair.

When you have a work truck, you want to be able to fix things cheaply and inexpensively. Thankfully, the older style of antenna still offers that ability.


So there you have it! If you don’t know why pickups still have antennas, you do now! I think the major one is styling. Trucks are very different from cars, and the styling doesn’t require a sleek look.