OK -so I do feel a bit guilty stamping on the culture, the romance of a Pick Up Truck – an environment that I readily admit that I am far removed from. Yes in a parallel world- I would be happy “to join yo convoy ‘Cross the USA”. But we live on planet earth. You can label me however you choose, I do not really care, I will not be deterred from plugging the facts and the consequences of our actions. This is also not an attack on pick up Truck owners who purchase such vehicles for important economic reasons. Also how can one argue with dreams like this…
And there’s somethin’ ’bout a truck in a field
And a girl in a red sundress with an ice cold beer to her lips
Begging for another kiss
And there’s somethin’ ’bout you and me and the birds and the bees
And Lord have mercy, it’s a beautiful thing
Ain’t nothin’ ’bout it luck, there’s somethin’ ’bout a truck
Ain’t nothin’ ’bout it luck, there’s somethin’ ’bout a truck
The American Dream:
Any one who follows me know that that I have a fascination with fossil fuels, that I regard them as the root of many of America’s problems, and problems facing humanity. With the death of fossil fuels we will also see see the end of Trump-ism, and the death of the StupidParty. I actually have an exceptionally bullish take on what is about to happen. So I am not a miserable out fart, but a very optimistic nebulous entity. Before I get to the below article that takes aim at the attitudes of consumers that own a pick up truck for little practical reason and drive such pick ups whilst dreaming of being a NASCAR driver or participating in a demolition derby – I think it only fair that I post some good news about such Trucks. It is not often that Fossil manufacturers rise above their consumer base, but it seems that not all Fossil car executives, specifically not all Ford executives, are bad guys -some are really trying- but face massive head winds – mainly a consumer base that often just could not give a shit. But that is why we have Governments – who are responsible more motivating thoughtful consumerism. So thank you Obama who back in 2012 announced:
WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads. In total, the Administration’s national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
Evidently the nations top selling pick up truck is Fords F-150 series. Someone at Ford had a bright idea -what happens if we make our truck 700 lbs lighter, yet with greater towing ability and thus allowing a smaller engine to achieve similar performance. Hence the switch for many core parts from Steel to Aluminum.
Now let us see how this simple ideas helps out so many fronts.
What would that mean for your bank account? Assuming you drive 15,000 miles annually and gasoline costs $3.50 per gallon, each new model would save you about $175-$525 every year compared to 2014 models. That’s an extra $875-$2,625 in your pocket over the first five years of ownership.
What does improving fuel economy for the nation’s best-selling vehicle mean for American gasoline consumption? Assuming annual domestic sales reach 700,000 vehicles and owners achieve an average fuel economy of 21 mpg, or an average improvement of 4 mpg compared to the 2014 lineup, each annual batch of new F-150’s would lower American gasoline consumption by more than 115 million gallons and save consumers nearly $500 million in fuel costs. That amounts to one-tenth of a percent of the entire country’s fuel consumption — from just one pickup series!
That’s impressive, but we shouldn’t assume the automaker or its peers are stopping at aluminum bodies.
Wow – thank you Government and thank you Ford executive; for giving a shit a shit.
So now I would like to thank Major Kong for allowing me to duplicate his thoughts on Pick up Truck drivers, that caught my attention:
There was a time when I wanted a pickup truck. This was many years ago. Back when Nissan was called Datsun in the US. Toyota and Datsun used to sell these cool little 4-cylinder pickups that ran forever, at least until they rusted away. I always thought those were cool.
Even “big” trucks back then were about the size of family sedans. They were fairly spartan, utilitarian vehicles there were mostly driven by people who had a need for one. They were work vehicles and most of them looked like they did, you know, work.
This was before the great pickup and SUV arms race of the last few decades. I still get a kick out of truck commercials, which all can be summed up as:
“My truck can beat up your truck!”
“Dude, if you own this truck you are so not gay.”
Today, even here in Central Ohio, the supersized pickup has become something of a fashion statement. I can’t count how many times I’ve been passed by a shiny new F250 Super Duty (or some such) all decked out like it’s ready to tow a bulldozer, hauling a load of air down I270.
But that’s not why I’m here today. It’s your money, I don’t tell people what to drive.
It’s not even the plethora of right-wing bumper stickers that these things seem to collect.
No, it’s how they drive them that’s pissing me off.
Now I will be the first to admit, I sometimes view speed limits as a starting point for negotiations. I am not, however, an aggressive driver. I keep proper following distance. I don’t weave back and forth between lanes. I don’t even really go all that fast. I tend to “run with the pack”. I like to have someone out ahead of me to find the speed traps. I will gladly let someone pass me because now they’re my “blocker”.
On this day it’s around 7:00 AM and I’m coming home from work. That puts me right into rush-hour traffic as I come up the east side of I270 from Rickenbacker Airport.
Traffic is moving right along but it’s a solid line of cars as far ahead as I can see. I don’t normally like to camp out in the left lane but I’m boxed in here. There’s nowhere to go. It’s the “Ohio Rolling Roadblock” as I sometimes call it.
That’s when I saw him. At least I assume it was a him because that’s who usually drives these things. I couldn’t see the driver anyway because he was so damn close. All I could see in my rear view mirror is a huge chrome grill and the word DODGE.
Now I know what he wants, and I’d gladly move over but there’s nowhere for me to go. Riding my bumper isn’t going to make the mile-long string of cars ahead of me go any faster. This time of morning you just can’t get there from here.
“The joke’s on you pal” I think to myself “this is my airport car. I’m not scared that you’ll hit it and make it any uglier”. Note that my airport car is a very well used 1997 Town Car. I keep it mechanically perfect but otherwise it doesn’t look like much.
Finally a hole opens up in the center lane. I’m just about to move over but apparently “Bubba” is impatient. He zips to my right, passes and then cuts in front of me. F*ck!
I don’t honk, gesture or even make eye contact. These days he might be carrying one of these:
Like I said before. I don’t tailgate. That 2-second spacing is my safety margin, not a convenient hole for you to stick your truck into.
All that work and Bubba is now maybe 20 feet ahead of me, glued to the rear bumper of the next car in the mile-long string. By my estimate he will arrive at his destination maybe 2 seconds before I do.
I watch and he repeats the same performance a couple more times. That’s a lot of effort to gain a few seconds at the other end. Hit one red light after you exit the interstate and it’s all for naught.
If this was a single instance I wouldn’t take the time to write about it. It’s happened more than once though.
You see but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.
– Sherlock Holmes
I like to observe people. One thing I’ve noticed is who usually passes me at high speed. Oddly it’s usually not the Porsche or Corvette. It’s usually one of three things:
1. A beat up 15-year-old economy car that doesn’t look like it should be able to go that fast.
2. A white van with something like “Joe’s Plumbing” on the side. Contractors always seem to be in a hurry.
3. A monster pickup truck or its SUV equivalent (Tahoe, Suburban etc).
There is something about these vehicles that seems to lend itself to aggressive driving. People seem to think “I’m invincible in this thing. Screw safety.” Actually if you look at the single vehicle crash statistics you’re far from invincible in one.
I get a chuckle when one of these things passes me on a snow-covered road. Yeah, I get it buddy, you’ve got 4-wheel drive. Actually so does my Audi, I just happen to know it doesn’t make you stop any better.
It’s when they try to use the size of their vehicle to intimidate other drivers that pisses me off.
“Golly mister , your truck is so big and powerful! Gosh we’re all scared down here!”
Meanwhile I’m thinking of upgrading my airport car. I’ve currently narrowed it down to:
1. Surplus Soviet missile transporter.
2. The “War Rig” from Mad Max.
3. Liebherr Ti 274
4. Terex Titan
I am open to other suggestions however.