Choosing a Detecting Vehicle

Choosing a Detecting Vehicle

“Let me hear you say, Truck Yeah
Wanna get it jacked up yeah
Let’s crank it on up yeah”  – Tim McGraw

If you are a serious detectorist, it might be time to get serious about the vehicle you detect in.  Even if you only detect occasionally, when it inevitably comes time for you to get your next vehicle, perhaps you should keep detecting in mind as one factor in your decision.

In choosing the vehicle I detect in, I considered four primary factors:

Property Owner Perception
This is number one for me.  What does the vehicle say about me when someone sees me drive up in it to get out and ask them permission to detect?  Do I look like I am serious about my hobby?  or do I look like a schmuck, or even worse, like a jerk or a spoiled rich kid?

I like to travel and detect lots of places within a two hour radius of Nashville, TN or my family’s land in Mississippi.   Dirt roads.  Pastures.  Brush.  Whatever it takes to get to a potentially killer site.  I don’t want to get stuck.   I also want a vehicle that is reasonably comfortable to ride 2 hours home in after a hard day of detecting.

I’m like NASA in that I have a contingency plan for every bad situation I can think of.  I carry back up everything: detectors, clothes, footwear, digging tools, pinpointers, headphones, etc.  I carry a big cooler with food and drink.  And I usually hunt with a partner that brings a bunch of stuff as well.  So I have to have a lot of storage space that isn’t going to get wet.

Car, Van or Truck
You can certainly get by with a lot of different vehicles, but a car can lack storage and off-road practicality, and a van can look creepy to a property owner.

I personally prefer a truck over a van for my detecting vehicle.  Mine is a four door, and the back seat folds up to put all my gear in.     Several companies make cool third party custom units that will also convert a truck bed into dry storage, which is what I may do on my next vehicle.


New or Used
If you detect regularly, its hard on your vehicle.   I’d recommend buying used so you don’t feel horrible about how it looks in a year.


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