Originally Posted by mx98ranger
plus they dont vaccuum up mud whenever you get stuck in a hole and switch into 4wd
That's why you engage 4wd before entering questionable terrain!
The "lock outs" you are referring to are actually manually locking hubs. Each wheel is bolted to a hub. Your Ranger has locking hubs on the front wheels. When four-wheel drive is not engaged, the locking hubs are used to disconnect the front wheels from the front differential, half-shafts (the shafts that connect the differential to the hub) and driveshaft. This allows the differential, half-shafts and driveshaft to stop spinning when the truck is in two-wheel drive, saving wear and tear on those parts and improving fuel-economy.
The newer Rangers have automatic locking hubs that engage when the driver switches into four-wheel drive. This type of system can usually be engaged while the vehicle is moving.
There really is no advantage to switching to auto-locking hubs, other than maybe not having to get your shoes dirty to lock the hubs in by hand. Just consider it an excuse to check tire pressure while outside of the truck before entering 4wd terrain.