I live in Texas, and trucks are a religion down here. It seems whether or not the need for one exists, most folks want one — and the bigger the better. Last weekend the parental unit and I decided to go to an estate sale. We took the Ranger over his ’98 Ram because it averages 27 mpg, we had 60 miles to go, and by chance it was cleanest.
We’ve spoken many times in the last year and change about how much we’ve come to support buying for what you need instead of the shiny extras that look or sound impressive. Just to be clear, we at Toolmonger have absolutely no beef with professionals or hard-working people who require/use heavy duty trucks on the job or at home. There are about a hundred good reasons to have one. But I don’t off-road, don’t have a crew to be transported, and don’t pull a trailer. I commute and haul wood and project supplies to and fro, and that’s about it. I bought a truck that supported that and have never regretted it.
During the final leg of the journey it was made clear by the rather skeptical guy manning the turn-off that we needed to drive a few miles over prairie land, fields, and rolling hills to get to the dirt road we needed. Let’s just say I was very stoked. My Ranger was earning its overland badge.
When we pulled up and parked among a sea of F-250’s and Chevy Heavy-Duties with the only compact, four-cylinder vehicle there. I was positively beaming with pride. There was the obligatory teasing comments about “toy trucks” and well-wishers consoling me about my “teacup truck” and so on. It’s Texas; they do that here. However, I did notice that about half of them had “for sale” signs in the back of those sexy, sliding glass windows. And of course the guy with the big Hemi Ram kept complaining about how expensive it was for him to drive out to these things with gas being what it is.
After most of the lumbering bulks had thundered away I turned back to see my happy little Ford parked by a crab apple tree with the antique closet loaded in the back. It was then I realized I was looking at a damn truck commercial. Okay, sure, I drove a truck with 9″ ground clearance and no mud in sight through a few miles of field and on some semi nasty rock roads. I fully understand that’s no big deal, you know, at all.
The big win for me now over the me from a few years ago is that I didn’t sell myself on needing four-wheel drive, a 300+ hp engine, and enough torque on tap to haul off the auction house itself just to go pick up a big dresser in a field. I know it’s not much, but this is progress for me.
Note: Of course all this awesome manliness was a shade squashed when the auctioneer drove out the same way we came in a little Kia strapped down and stuffed with more crap than I was hauling in my truck.