On this slow building album closer a downtrodden Caleb Followill sings a lyric full of sorrow and regret.
Caleb Followill explained this song's meaning in an interview with The Music Fix: "I wrote 'Pickup Truck' around a campfire. And I looked at the coals on the fire had started to turn to white and I said, 'cracklin' woods gone white.' And everything felt so manly and so strong. We were out there makin' fires! Cookin' our own food! We were fishin' for our food and cookin' it and doing all these things. And that's when I started thinking about a pickup truck. And they said there was some ranger coming over and he was gonna check on us. And I thought it was going to be some tough dude and when I saw the truck that he was driving, I was like, 'you call that a pickup truck?' And that song just kinda morphed into this idea of – you wanna add an aspect of love to it, but at the end of the day it's this man sayin' 'I'm a bigger man than you.' And then he ends up getting his ass whopped!"
Drummer Nathan Followill explained his contribution to this tune during an interview with The Music Fix: "'Pickup Truck' is definitely drum-wise, is a song that's a 'builder.' Then it goes back down again, then back up and down again. And I think it's just one of those things where I really had no choice, it's just the type of song it was. And I could have tried it a gazillion different of ways, but it wouldn't have sounded as good as that. And sometimes the simplest way of doing something is the best way of doing it."
Caleb told The Music Fix how a tune by the '70s Irish rockers Thin Lizzy inspired this song: "There's a song by Thin Lizzy called 'Renegade' and we all love that song so much. And at the very end, it starts to slow down and it goes to the click – from the snare to the click. And then the song rebuilds itself. And then we knew immediately that this song was our 'Renegade.'"