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Trucks for the memories

My column of May 13th explored America’s love affair with trucks, a condition made evident by the top sales spot held by pickups.  I suggested the motivation for truck ownership goes beyond utility, including undetermined factors.

Whatever intangible cues may be in play, their mix certainly leads to tangible relationships between vehicle and owner that extend past mere ownership.

The following letter from reader B.M. exemplifies such a relationship founded in the allure of a pickup:

“My favorite truck was a 1986 Toyota 4WD, 22R engine pickup with no gadgets.  Manual everything.  I needed to put the hubs in before I went into 4WD.  A First Nations youngster to whom I gave a ride back to his families’ fish camp on the McKenzie River asked why I didn’t have a ‘radio in your vehicle’ in careful Canadian school English.  That little truck easily navigated the ‘road’ down to the fish camp.  I put a cover on the bed and went everywhere North and South that there was a passage through (never on an Ice Road HWY though the Ice Fields Parkway in January between Banff and Jasper could qualify if it was open).  Slept in a lot of weather in the truck bed with two Huskys.  Back in Spokane it was my go to the job truck.  It also hauled trees, shrubs, lumber, et cetera for my place.  Pulled some people out of snowbanks west of town.  Finally sold it after 150,000 miles when one of the later Huskys could no longer climb into the bed.”

To B.M., and I suspect many others, the memories created by trucks fuel much of the owner affinity.  She was equally enthused to pass that potential to another, adding, “My little truck was sold to the dad of a high school grad around Loon Lake.   The grin on her face when she picked it up was something I won’t forget.”  Let the new relationship and memories begin!

Others, like S.L., whose heavy duty vintage Dodge is used in a handyman and hauling endeavor, evaluate the practical aspects of their trucks.  He scoffed at his friend, who places no cargo besides golf clubs in his truck.  This friend cites resale value as a reason for truck ownership, but S.L. noted that he is not sure about the validity of that justification when considering truck fuel costs compared to operation of a smaller automobile.

Although S.L. says his truck is “strictly bidnizz,” I believe the relationship goes beyond that since he has named his truck, “Ol’ Blue.”

We have quite a love affair with cars too, but the inherent characteristics of pickup trucks appear to be even more captivating.  Again, the Ford F150 has led all vehicle sales in the U.S. for over 30 years!

So, whether it’s style, utility, high seating position, power, practicality, ground clearance, towing capacity, durability, safety, resale, or some other factor that draws you to a truck, chances are good that the relationship you form with it will be strong and enduring.

As S.L. summarized his golf-club-toting friend, “He’s happy, so whatever!!”

CORRECTION: In my May 6th column exploring a drive-scoring app, it should be noted that the entity responsible for the driver behavior app is EverQuote, not EverDrive as reported.

Readers may contact Bill Love via e-mail at precisiondriving@spokesman.com.




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