12th of July, 2015 · Comments
Each and every time somebody uses a pickup truck as a sedan to drive to work, pick up groceries, or drop kids off at soccer practice, that somebody is stealing energy from our collective grandchildren.
Not that I’m vilifying the pickup truck; I’m not. Pickup trucks are an indispensable tool that, in many cases, cannot be replaced with something better because nothing is better at hauling stuff from one place to another. And I don’t even make a distinction between the stuff that gets hauled. Folding chairs from a rental company are as important to me as hay for the horses is as important as all your woodworking tools, and so forth. There simply isn’t a better choice for hauling stuff than the pickup truck.
This is because at their heart, pickup trucks are four-wheeled motorized all-purpose buckets.
What they aren’t are townie vehicles. What they aren’t are highway cruisers. What they aren’t is easy to drive. What they aren’t are is fuel efficient.
I looked up some info on gas mileage. I decided that in an effort to compare apples to apples, I’d just tell you about Ford vehicles from 2014, though Chevy, Dodge, and even Toyota1 have very similar results from FuelEconomy.gov.
- F-150, two-wheel-drive, two-door, has a back seat: 19 MPG at best.
- F-150 Raptor, four-wheel-drive, four-door: 13 MPG.
- Focus sedan, four-wheel drive, four-door: 33 MPG.
- Fusion electric, four-door, 38 MPG.
In the spirit of crystal clarity, let me remind you that gasoline is made out of oil, and they’re not making more oil. Once the oil on Earth is gone, it’s gone.
Which means that, like I said, when you use your truck to make the six-mile jaunt to the grocery store, you’re using oil that my grandkids won’t have available.
But I get it. I get why people, usually men in my experience, load their families into trucks (as opposed to sedans) to drive to San Diego in: it’s a status thing, and there’s two sides to it.
First, the pickup truck is, as established, a tool. A low-mileage tool that, because of the big empty box behind the sedan-part you drive inside of, is difficult to drive through in-town traffic, loud on the freeway, and difficult to navigate parking lots in. Even their tires are expensive. So when trucks are driven as if they were sedans, it’s a status thing: “I am so important that I will take up a pickup truck’s worth of space. I also earn so much money that I can not-quite-literally just pour large portions of my paychecks directly into my gas tank(s).” We used to do this by driving Cadillac land-yachts; now we drive pickup truck land-yachts.
The other part is, I’m positive, peer pressure: “The boss drives a pickup truck, the coworkers drive pickup trucks, I’d better drive a pickup truck.” Have we no character?2 Must we kowtow to somebody else’s vision of manliness rather than build ourselves up with physical strength, skill, expertise, knowledge, and character that our grandfathers did?3
But again: if you need to move live goats across town to a nativity scene, a pickup truck is a far better choice than a sedan, even a crappy sedan. But if you’re using your truck to define your character, you’re doing it wrong.
update: I now also understand why diesel is such a big deal. You know, aside from biodiesel, which means you’re burning used french fry oil. That’s clearly not why we buy giant diesel-burning trucks. We buy them because the big, low, rumbling sound they make reminds us of being in the womb. It’s comforting, like a blanket or a teddy bear.
- Toyota’s trucks and sedans are the same as anybody else’s, but the Prius gets 50 miles to the gallon, 9 miles more than the competition. ↩
- No. Based on my experience with humans on earth, no, in all likelihood, you’ve got no character whatsoever. ↩
- Again, no. And why should we? It’s so much easier just to buy a vehicle that makes other ignorant and characterless men say, “that’s a nice truck.” See also: a flabby body covered in tattoos because tattoos applied to our bodies by others make us utterly unique and, thus, valuable in the world and it’s a lot easier than eating well and lifting weights to gain actual physical power. ↩
12th of July, 2015 · Comments