Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Men And Their Trucks II

Dale Matson

For those who own diesel trucks, it is often heard that Ford, Chevy and Dodge have one element. Dodge has the Cummins Engine, Chevrolet has the Allison transmission and Ford has the truck body. There are also arguments about the best years for trucks and most would say that Ford's best engine years started with the 7.3-liter diesel beginning in about 1999. Those trucks still have a good resale value.

There is an argument for the Chevy Silverado (GMC Sierra) during 2006-07 model years because the Duramax engine had the injector and overheating bugs worked out by then. Dodge had its most reliable diesels from 1996-98 with their 5.9-liter engines.

What diesel trucks have over gas trucks is power reliability and longevity. A diesel truck with a half million miles is not uncommon. I had a 2006 Silverado 4x4 with a 6.0-liter gas engine. It had 300 hp and 360 fps of torque at 4,000 rpms. Compare that to my 2005 Silverado Duramax diesel also with 300 hp but 520 ft pounds of torque at only 1,800 rpms. When it comes to towing, whether using a towing hitch or fifth wheel, the diesel is made for the job.

Today, I hauled a 6” brush chipper up the four lane (Highway 168). I was going 60 miles an hour at 2,000 rpm. It is a steady climb from about 1,800’ to 4,600’ in about 10 miles. It was like I had nothing hooked to the truck. I hauled small tractors, Bobcats, and chippers up the four lanes with my 06 gas Silverado and knew there was a load behind me. Trucks are versatile. We chipped brush today and threw the bigger logs in the bed to be hauled to our firewood pile. If we had used an SUV, that option would not have been available.

There is always the question of where to put your gear/equipment. Men who own trucks (not the posers) and actually use them for work need storage places too. The newer trucks have under seat aftermarket storage boxes. There are also aftermarket storage boxes that go behind the passenger seat of the crew cabs trucks. Many trucks have toolboxes mounted along the sides of the bed and or across the bed by the truck cab. The new Dodge trucks have storage chests built right into the fenders, which is a great idea. The main problem with storage boxes that are across the top of the bed is that they reduce capacity.

Bed liners are another feature that is available and necessary. They keep the bed from becoming dented and scratched. There is also a spray on material that works quite well at protecting the bed. There are bed caps and covers that keep material out of sight and out of the weather. There are also “slide in” campers that turn the truck into a travel recreation vehicle (RV).

There is also a certain kind of man that likes trucks to be like a fast car. They drove the Chevy El Caminos and Ford Rancheros. Today the Chevy Avalanche seems to be the preferred truck of the man who has a need to drive fast. They often have a few empty beer cans rattling around in the bed of their trucks. I won't say they are outlaws but they do seem to live closer to the edge.

Each man personalizes his truck with some decal in the back window or the back bumper. Some never wash their trucks and some wash them every week. Some see how much garbage they can accumulate inside the cab including on top of the dash. There are common traits that generalize to some extent. Men who drive trucks tend to be blue collar and conservative. Generally, there will not be rap music coming from the cab of a truck. They are less inclined to have vanity license plates. The higher the truck sits, the younger the driver.

And that is what I have to say about men and their trucks for now. I am tired from a days work using my truck.

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