Re: Newbie has Questions:
Welcome to the world of automobiles you now get to enjoy things like working all night in the cold, shredded knuckles, and that feeling you get when you round off a bolt.
Like the other guys said, It's probably the steering box braking off the frame, or sloppy steering linkage in the front end.
If it's not anything thats been mentioned, maybe the steering stabilizer is wasted or missing. It's easy to find just kneel down in front of your truck its a shock absorber that mounts horizontally.
also look under the hood, check the steering column. With the tranny in park, jiggle the steering wheel till it locks,
now try to move stuff on the column around under the hood. If a component looks like it was designed not to have any play in it but does, theres a problem.
Also was the previous owner of the truck very short or heavy, or both? He may have used the steering wheel to lift himself into the truck, over time this can damage the splines on the aluminum block under the steering wheel.
Just some thoughts. J