Saturday, February 13, 2010

I don't get it...

What's the fascination with Really Big Trucks?

Hey, you know what's really big and gets lousy gas mileage? A school bus. But do you see folks lining up to buy one of those? I mean, other than the Partridge Family?

I don't care about cargo space; the only thing I need my vehicles to haul is ass.

60 comments:

Earl said...

Too many ways to answer that, but I figure some folks want to be a target, or think that is an almost armored vehicle, safety?

og said...

It's a balance between utility and economy. The Explorer is just about the perfect truck for me, because it's big enough to haul 90% of my stuff. If I did more machine reconditioning, I'd need a bigger truck, because the equipment is much bulkier. For the times when you need a truck, only a truck will do. Unfortunately, when you'd like to be zigging through traffic, well, you have a truck.


My formula has always been, if you find that more than 60% of the time you find a truck useful, get a truck. Below that, rent a truck when you need it and drive a car. (some people need trucks just by virtue of the places they live, or the places they go, like Mr James or Brigid)

All of the people I work with who have the "Big" trucks (cummins diesel, Powerstroke diesel, etc) use them to haul big gooseneck trailers, and for that nothing else will do.

To buy a cummins diesel truck, and just drive around in it, I will never understand. But I don't understand $5000 per wheel spinners either.

tomcatshanger said...

Quad cab 4x4 diesel pickup trucks are pretty damn comfy. I call em Texas luxury vehicles.

You have great visibility, being able to see over many other vehicles is pretty useful at times, and you are not likely to be ignored by someone changing lanes.

Back in 2002 or so, the turbo diesel F250s had pretty good pick up for a three quarter ton truck, and millage wasn't any worse than a half ton, and was pretty close to many quarter tons.

I never understood the attraction to little sports cars. You can't legally use most of their performance, which really seems silly to me, but is still the law.

pdb said...

What's the fascination with cars with low ground clearance that are hard to get in and out of and offer a lousy view of traffic, are expensive and fiddly to maintain and repair and use up expensive tires at an alarming rate (and you can't even rotate the tires front to back, 'cuz they're different sizes!), in order to offer the driver a multiple of acceleration and cornering capability beyond what would be safe, prudent and legal on public roads? How often does the Zulu Drei see a track day?

I chose a Jeep over a more economical, inexpensive and probably roomier minivan because the Cherokee offers much more off road and foul weather capability for a slight cost in efficiency. I only regret that nobody seems to make SUVs like it any more!

Heath said...

Hmm....

Big enough to haul a dozer or horse trailer? Check.

Quad cab to haul up to 5 friends? (or a couple big dogs) Check.

8 foot bed for hauling anything else? Check.

Belches black smoke at lights on command, and makes greenies seethe with rage? Check.

Does all this, while getting an easy 20 miles to the gallon.

I'm missing any "cons" to owning this critter..

Anonymous said...

"...the only thing I need my vehicles to haul is ass."

She didn't say nothin' about speed, ya'll...

AT

DaddyBear said...

Got a minivan to haul people and groceries. Then got a truck to haul lawn stuff, mulch, dirt, wood, camping equipment, hunting equipment, and just about everything else. Next vehicle will be a 4 door truck. I can haul people, groceries, and the sundry other things I wouldn't want to put in a nice van.

But once the kids are out of the house, it's going to be a small truck, and a small car with a big engine and stiff suspension. Gotta live sometime before you die.

Paul said...

Given the chance I would have a z-3 or miata for nice days and the Blazer or equivalent for every thing else. Off road retrieving dead deer or getting to work in the middle of a blizzard nothing beats a 4x4. However with the sun shines and the pavement is dry, I too wish to haul ass.

If you need to haul stuff get a trailer. Anything can pull more that it can carry. If you need to haul 20,000 pounds of something get a truck and trailer. However I don't see anyone hauling a tractor or grain bin into the suburbs. You guys need to get a grip.

Matt G said...

I find that 99% of all BIG trucks are silly things that are underused for whatever possible real benefit one might get from their modification.
When I say BIG trucks, I'm talking about ones with ladders to get into the cab, and headlights that just BARELY are low enough to qualify as legal (under 55")

At least they make more sense than the silliness that is a "Sports Truck." Hey, let's take a very useful vehicle, and deny the owners of almost all of its utility, while maintaining its drawbacks?

Mulligan said...

according to my ex's, all my vehicles are hauling an ass.

fast richard said...

So, ah, what vehicle for bear?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Most people in the comments are talking about trucks. Tam, I think, is referencing a TRUCK. Earthfucker size. One that will never be used for anything other than low speed passenger travel and occasionally short bursts of full power to demonstrate said power. You don't tow anything with your custom, high lift, chromed-out, extra tail pipe, job. And you probably won't go mud bogging with it. It not a practical vehicle for errands of commute.

About as necessary as a
Boss Hoss
motorcycle is.

It's attractive for its gaudy ostentation. I'm glad they exist, I appreciate the aesthetic, but even if I were made of money I'd not get one for myself. For practical reasons. Well, maybe if I was Bill Gates rich. But I'd probably not drive it more than 500 miles a year.

Jay said...

For some people, in order to haul ass, they need a really big truck.

Pathfinder said...

It's America - it is not a question of need, it is a question of want. BFD, if the guy want to trick out the latest Earthfucker, let him.

Washington does more damage in one day than anything like this will do in its - or anyone else's - lifetimes.

I have driven everything from a Miata (weird being able to read the numbers on the semi's wheel hubs - at eye level - and hoping to God the driver sees you) to my F350 quad-cab Turbostroke ranch pickup. Both have their value.

Butch_S said...

Seems like I vaguely remember someone whining about lacking the trunk space to transport her boomsticks to the range. ;-)

Ambulance Driver said...

I don't need something the size of an Earthfucker, but I do need cargo space, and room to sit.

I'm too young for a luxury car, and getting in and out of something the size of your Zed Three would require a crowbar and lubricant.

That is, unless you left the top down, and then I'd still catch all the bugs that made it over the windshield.

So for me, a truck is the only solution. Plus, I may only lock in my 4WD a half-dozen times a year, but when I need it, I really need it.

Tam said...

"Seems like I vaguely remember someone whining about lacking the trunk space to transport her boomsticks to the range. ;-)"

I don't recollect ever doing that: I've driven big long smokepoles like a Swiss 96/11 and a floptop Springfield around in the front seat.

I have said that it would be pointless for me to buy a .50 BMG rifle: Even if I had someplace worth shooting it, how would I get it there?

Frank W. James said...

I've owned a 4x4 pick-up for more than 35 years for a very simple reason....what Al Gore calls Global Warming and the east coast now understands as deep snow and ice during the 'cold' months. (Yes, I live out in the 'sticks'.) But the vehicle I really appreciate is the well used E-350 Ford long box van with the 5.4 gas guzzler. It has made a far better farm tool/supply/service vehicle than the farm pick-up as well as the almost perfect long range 'hunting' vehicle. In fact between it and the 4x4 I don't know why anyone would want to own a "car".

Oh yeah, I remember now....my wife won't drive either one because they are too BIG and hard to park or see out of...

Is this a gender thing?

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

As Pathfinder mentioned above, and as ummm, "someone else" posted recently:

"What’s “need” got to do, got to do with it?
What’s “need” but a fig leaf for desire?

And oh yes you did whine-strike that-"mention" the lack of range iron totin' space in the roller skate a year or so back...don't make me dig through the archives.

AT

wv: bangst...the misery and heartache one self-inflicts when one doesn't have space for all of one's "bangst"icks.

Kristopher said...

Buying one just to offend greenies is a perfectly good reason.

My Diesel 'Burb gets about 20 mpg, hauls anything I want hauled ( people or cargo ), and makes these enviro-nazies wet the bed.

And I can use it to crush my enemies before me.

Gewehr98 said...

All that EarthFucker Ford needs is a set of those replica bovine testicles hanging from the rear trailer hitch to be complete.

(This coming from a truck and Jeep owner...)

Lokidude said...

My truck is for hauling me, guns, fishing gear, my trailer, etc. It's not full-on Earthfucker size, but it's big enough to make granolas cry. That, and when you live in Wyberia, a truck is pretty much mandatory kit.

When I feel the need for speed and G's, I switch to my own version of the Nazi Rollerskate (64 Karmann Ghia).

When I need efficiency, the better half has a perfectly good Corolla that makes an excellent road trip car.

Flight-ER-Doc said...

I've got an MBZ 300D with sunroof for sunny summer days, and a fleet of 4wd vehicles (diesel Excursion and 2 diesel pickups, gas Yukon) for reality.

Your zed3 wouldn't make it up my driveway (which is paved, btw) in the winter time, and the trucks could be used to remove them from the sidehill...

Plus, I appreciate the commanding view I get of all the traffic.

Melody Byrne said...

"Oh yeah, I remember now....my wife won't drive either one because they are too BIG and hard to park or see out of...

Is this a gender thing?"

Oh hell no.

I'm a turbo diesel girl myself. My first "car" was a 72 Chevy C10 with manual shift and no power brakes. I prefer a truck.

Between the huge husband, the two kids, and the three dogs I spend a lot of time driving our Dodge Earth Sodomizer.

For us we needed two vehicles, the quick city vehicle and the huge 4x4 diesel with room for 6. One gets us into the irritating downtown parking, and one hauls stuff and gets us into the backwoods. With the amount of time we spend hauling stuff home from Costco trips, home improvement stores, and IKEA the truck is quite useful. That's even before you account for the rv that we're going to eventually build and the boat that we're planning on buying.

Kevin said...

They're handy to have. Can't imagine not owning a truck now - I can haul anything I want without having to rent/borrow. Quad cab diesel, I can fit six adults fairly comfortably. 4x4 so I can take my toyhauler to Glamis and not sweat too much about getting stuck (although it has happened..). Fuel economy is not too bad, given the size of the thing. There are downsides, sure - a bitch to park, noisy as hell, maintenance on that diesel is costly (15 quarts of oil!) but overall probably the best vehicle I've purchased.

RevolverRob said...

I'm a car guy. I borrowed a 4x4 SUV to go out in the field in January, it was very useful for that specific purpose in that it got us and two weeks of gear out to the middle of nowhere without a problem.

I then debated for a long time as to whether that would be a useful thing for me to invest in (a 4x4 SUV that is). Ultimately, I decided that no, because I spend 2 hours a day commuting by bus or car in a continually growing urband sprawl. The reality of needing any kind of SUV or truck is limited.

We do have a hobby in buying antique furniture and it's a little hard to haul in the backseat of a Saturn, so I realize some utility was there. After much debate we decided that the truck wasn't for us and instead have opted to purchase something with fold down rear seats and a hatchback later this year. Both of us like things that can "offer the driver a multiple of acceleration and cornering" over the ever day car. Fortunately, they invented just the thing, hot hatchbacks...

-Rob

Did it MY way said...

02 Chevie Silverado pick-up: Hauls every thing I need.

64 Corvette Conv: Hauls my ass on sunny days to the beach.

73 Corvette Conv: My need for speed.

2004 Roadtrek: My little MH that allows me to hide in the woods.

Need has nothing to do with it. Buy what you want and enjoy!

Jeffro said...

The road to town eats up and spits out sports cars. It's pickup truck country out here. 4wd is better.

Mud Man said...

I have a Dodge 2008 3/4 ton Power Wagon. I don't know I that makes it an Earthfucker or not. But I use this truck. I work in the oilfield. Mainly the western slope of the Rockies. Even in summer weather, one needs a major 4x4 to get around. This past week I was on the east coast. WV and PA, when said snow blizzard hit. I made it home, while counting dozens and dozens of non earthfuckers wrecked or in a similar fashion.

If I didn't need it, I'd still have a 4x4, jeep or something.

ZerCool said...

I don't care about cargo space; the only thing I need my vehicles to haul is ass.

And there's the rub. Some of us have different needs and/or desires.

I desire to hunt my own food - which means I spend two or more months every year bouncing into and across cornfields. I then need a place to put the maimed carcass of the bambis I murdered in cold blood.

I do most of my own home repair - which means a load of $BIGHEAVYPRODUCT on a regular basis.

We heat with coal. The coal dealer wants $45 PER TON for delivery. I can pull two tons on a trailer and make the trip on six gallons of gas.

MrsZ's folks have a cattle farm. With an immature heifer tipping the scales at 700-800lb, and the bulls punching 1800-2000lb, a Really Big Truck is needed to move more than one or two at a time in the trailer.

Or I could try this:
Hey, you know what's really big and has horrible recoil? A S&W .500Mag. But do you see folks lining up to buy one of those? I mean, other than serial killers?

You only NEED a .22 for punching paper...


You keep driving the Z, I'll keep driving my truck, and we're both happy. Deal?

Brandon said...

I think perhaps the point of the OP is being missed. Yeah, lots of guys use their trucks for utility, but the typical kid driving around the kind of truck linked in the OP isn't hauling anything but his own can and its requisite Skoal ring.

I see these trucks with the monster lift kits as the Hot-New-Country equivalent of this. There's is a fad I just don't get.

Brandon said...

Shoulda been "There is a fad I just don't get." Editing pass FAIL.

Lergnom said...

Even sillier are the folk in my neighborhood who take the big SUVs and make stretch limos out of them to rent for extreme formals.
We were coming back from our Friday night out when the GF says we're being passed by the Super Chief.
They'd taken a white Ford Excursion and extended it by about three wheelbase lengths with extra side windows and carriage lamps in between the windows. They should have gotten a grill plate that read Santa Fe.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Can also be a friendship-seeking aid: buy a truck, and you'll instantly have a new circle of friends, all of whom want your truck and your muscle to help them move stuff.

Your name will be listed in their email and cell phone directories with a big asterisk.

You already know what that's for.

Roberta X said...

You can always make money with a truck. Car, no.

Loneviking said...

Try hauling a half ton of firewood over an hour out on a little dirt road that beens rained on real good. You'll find out what those big trucks are good for. I have an F250 Super Duty, lifted, 4wd and back in the sticks here I couldn't imagine doing without it. Rain, snow, mud, haulin' and pullin', it gets it done!

NCDave said...

Since buying my first Blazer in 1973, I have never been without a 4WD truck. I now have a Suburban, and cannot imagine life without some form of truck. They and 4WD are necessities for beach driving/surf fishing, woods paths at the hunting club, and snow. There are regular occasions to need 4WD in my rural environment; I have come to the rescue of several people who were stranded in cars on paths where cars should not be. Couple the truck with a trailer of choice, and the utility is obvious. I can also say I enjoy the better visibility on the highway. For now, in the USA, we still have this choice to drive a truck, even if not deemed "trendy". I don't give a s%#t about trendy. Your faithful reader, David

JohnW said...

Tamara, dear heart, if you lived on this side of the 100th meridian you'd soon find that if you wanted to go somewhere worthwhile, if you didn't have compound-low 4x4 with good ground clearance, you ain't goin'. Or coming home, except in the Sheriff's Huey.

Kristopher said...

Just watchin the crapstorm now ...


( you really needed more hits? )

NYEMT said...

Pleasant Young State Trooper a few months back: "Sir, do you know how fast you were going?"

Me: "I wasn't really watching the clock, Officer. Probably over 75, but not more than 85."

PYST: "Well, I clocked you at 84 coming down the hill back there."

Me: "Well, see - I DID know how fast I was going."

PYST: "Where are you going, sir?"

Me: "To work, Officer." (Display badge with state seal prominently located in center.)

PYST: "Oh, well - have a good evening. Drive safely."

Me: "Thanks, son. You, too."

Red lights on top help. But my truck hauls pretty much what I need it to. Ass included. :)

Tam said...

1) I don't recall saying "Nobody needs a truck"; I can certainly see their usefulness or necessity.

2) I don't recall saying "Nobody should buy a truck"; it's a free country and people should certainly buy whatever the hell they want.

3) What I was saying is that I don't get the idea of Giant Truck as Object of Automotive Desire. From where I sit, it seems like having a certain favorite flavor of vitamin pill, but I guess some people have those, too. (I haven't checked with Google, but I bet there's a forum.)

Anonymous said...

You don't have to justify a damn thing on your own turf, TK...and the thread was entertaining as always; I kinda figure it was a lure, and it worked, me included.

And just in case I forget to tell you tomorrow, I <3 and admire you so very much, and I hope you'll continue to be my cybervalentine.

AT

Jeffro said...

What I was saying is that I don't get the idea of Giant Truck as Object of Automotive Desire.

That's cool - no reason you should lust for an extravagantly large truck. But when you've grown up and are immersed in a culture where trucks are required, it would also follow that they are appreciated as more than just a tool. So it should be no surprise to see them dolled up as a luxury item - even to extremes! Lots of legroom, even for NBA centers!

jimbob86 said...

While I absolutely believe this:

"Need's got nothin' to do with it."

.... becaue that is the antithesis of this:

"To each according to his need, From each, according to his abilities."

... sorry readin' Atlas Shrugged presently....

It is also true that, "For the times when you need a truck, only a truck will do." The converse is not true, unless you are trying to cross a whole western state on a single tank of gas or negotiate across the old town center of some Eurosocialist -burg, -nick, or -ville.....

The Freeholder said...

Well, lessee...

Because my truck can tow 17,000# at highway speeds all day without destroying itself? And I have a trailer that grosses 10,800, so this gives me a comfortable safety margin.

Because I' have high-centered a car in snow, but never a big tall truck?

Because it's what I want, and, as with guns, that's good enough?

I have no problem with what you or anyone else drives. I do have a problems with those who would dictate my resource allocation decisions.

Timmeehh said...

9mm is better than .45 acp

ZerCool said...

Oh, what the hell, I'll keep playing...

3) What I was saying is that I don't get the idea of Giant Truck as Object of Automotive Desire. From where I sit, it seems like having a certain favorite flavor of vitamin pill, but I guess some people have those, too. (I haven't checked with Google, but I bet there's a forum.)

I don't get the idea of highly-figured walnut and world-class engraving... but I'm pretty sure there's a forum! ;-D

I did miss the original intent - but as rephrased, I don't see the joy in itsy-bitsy coupes, either. Had one. Should have been either arrested or killed, but somehow neither happened. Much happier with what I've got now.

José Giganté said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Practical Gun Review said...

My father in laws Dodge truck is sweet to drive, and has tons of space. Looks like a luxury car inside. If I could afford one, I would get one. I like Jeep's in stead though. Like things big, like .45acp.

Tam said...

"I have no problem with what you or anyone else drives."

Where did I say I had a "problem" with trucks?

Jeez, defensive much?

Brigid said...

Does that thing come with an optional aerobatic parachute in case you have to bail out?

T.Stahl said...

My Audi spoilt me. I'm no longer interested in cars that'd give me less than 60mpg.

Though a Passat Variant 2.0TDI 4Motion would make a really nice family car...

Blackwing1 said...

We've got the best of all worlds:

1) 4WD pick-up for 3-months winter commuting (in Minnesnowta), hauling boat to mud landings, camping, and hunting.

2) 1WD for 9-months commuting (that's a motorcycle), with plenty o' acceleration, cornering, etc.

3) Wife's Subaru Impreza Outback, AWD, her winter get-around through anything vehicle; also summer high-mileage for two plus gear

4) Wife's summer toy...1997 Miata. High-mileage fun-car.

For mileage my bike will beat anything but a teeny-tiny hybrid, and YES, I do ride an average of 9-months a year even in MN...you just bundle up with the right gear and you can ride until after the first snows, and way before it's all melted in the spring.

Don Meaker said...

Need is just cover for want, as I heard someone say just recently.

I have a truck now, but used to drive a Chevy Astro, and a Fiat X1/9, and a camry station wagon. I am eclectic.

Cybrludite said...

I had problems with headroom in my old Crown Vic. SUVs command premium prices at the dealership, so a pick'em-up is what I drive. Plus, every few summers, I have to throw my worldly belongings into my vehicle and flee for higher ground. My Sierra holds much more than the Rodeo which preceeded it.

Sebastian said...

I felt the same way until I bought a house. My Element can haul back a 10 ft piece of timber. 12 feet is doable if you leave it hang out the back. I've done drywall sheets, no problem, hanging out the back.

Bill Seward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Freeholder said...

No, Tam, I'm not defensive. That was a declarative statement, last I checked. I honestly don't give a crap what anyone drives--or doesn't. It's their decision to make. As log as they aren't dragging me into it in some way, such as siphoning off my great grandkid's money to pay for the still accruing interest for Cash for Clunkers, I really don't care. Drive a Bimmer, drive a Ford EarthF****r or anything in between. It's your money.

Your original post comes off (and obviously, I'm not the only person who read it as such, given the rest of the comment stream), as the vehicular analogue of "Why do you need one of those guns?" You shouldn't be surprised that it's getting the reaction it's getting.

Bram said...

Tam - I'm with you. I am currently driving an SUV because of the need to haul kids, pets, and stuff. And my wife refused to give up her sports sedan claiming she can't drive a larger vehicle (I've seen her in action and she has a point). While it is practical, comfortable, and can make it up the driveway through a foot of snow, it's also boring as hell. I miss my manual transmission and cornering.

Sports cars were always it for me. Something that can really accelerate and handle the curves. I got all desire to drive large vehicles cross-country out of my system while in the military.

As we are signing papers in the Mazda dealership for the CX-9, I'm pointing out Miata’s and RX-9's and telling the kids that Daddy will be driving one of them as soon as they move out. Yes, I will be a middle-aged, mostly bald douche-bag in a sports car in another decade.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I'm still driving my Sonoma... 2wd, 4 banger, 5 speed, nothing special. 113k miles now, ~25mpg average yet still. Been to the shop off-schedule exactly once (fan clutch failed... in lockup. Someone earned their day's pay for that failure mode, makes a nuisance instead of an overheating nightmare). Hauls everything I've ever wanted it to, only been stuck once (my own stupidity in parking nose downhill in soft earth), ~10 second 0-60 is plenty fast, handles better than it ought, and is smaller than most cars these days and lighter than almost all of them (3050lb kerb).

They literally do not make them like this anymore.

the only thing I can't do is tow... 3000lb max, for some reason. GM must not want you stressing the engine out or something, everything's the exact same otherwise as a v6 that tows 5000lb.

heh, I even figured out it'll climb uphill in ice, you just have to find the balance point where the pass. rear is spinning just enough and the lack of drag swings the bed over so the wheel with 'traction' finds a balance point between the front wheels, and the drag in the open diff is enough to keep you moving. Plus you should see how people freak out when you climb a 1/4 mile hill at 20mph, yawed over at a 15-20 degree angle :-D