A Conversation for US Pick-up Truck Culture
slartibartfast727 Started conversation Feb 19, 2006
My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150?thread= My 2001 F150 with a 6 cylinders gets 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mgp in town. Its acceleration, while not up to racecar standards, is plenty for the highways and roads in any part of the country I have ever driven in. It also has helped me with its cargo capicity to landscape 2 of my homes and remodel one of them, something the articles writer would have had to pay the stores to deliver. Oh and with a proper muffler, there is no more noise than any other vehicle. Obviously, the writer of this article must drive a little econo box and has a bad case of penis envy.
the_jon_m - bluesman of the parish Posted Feb 19, 2006
I drive a proper european family car that is based on modern technology and is also designed to go around corners.
MUD4FUN Posted Mar 28, 2006
I drive a pickup truck in the UK, it is a 2.5 diesel which I run on 100% biodiesel. The truck gets 38mpg (UK gallons) and produces less pollution than the average small petrol family hatchback - just 150g/km of CO2, far fewer particulates as well due to the cleaner biodiesel which is high grade NOT made from chip fat! It is also possible to get particulate filters fitted which reduce to near zero the particulates.
Just because a vehicle looks huge such as these pickups doesn't mean that they take any more roadspace than an average car, even a european one. My truck is only just longer than the majority of family estate cars. The reason it looks bigger is simply down to height and the fact that it is very square to give the most internal passenger space. In fact my truck is actually narrower than many executive saloon cars.
Pickup trucks generally have lower gearing than cars which means that their engines are not as strained when moving their mass. This not only makes them less polluting than you think but it means they also require less use of the brakes. A typical european petrol engined saloon has near zero engine braking which means as a driver you rely totally on your brakes. Not only is that dangerous but brake pads contain nasty ingredients and as they wear that brake dust pollutes the atmosphere and can cause serious problems with health. My truck only uses a set of pads every 60k miles because I can use the natural engine braking of low gearing and diesel engine. A typical european hatchback uses 3 sets of pads in that same mileage. Where do you think the brake dust goes?
Further more because my vehicle seats 5 people as well as having a large cargo bed it means my family only needs one car to perform all the task we need such as hauling building materials for our cottage renovation, long motorway trips to visit my parents, shopping trips, pulling my daughters horsebox and riding gear etc, and we use the 4WD in the winter as we live in a very rural area in the north of england which gets severe weather. Previously we ran a single cab pickup truck plus my wife had a 4WD SUV. We now run this one truck, cutting our overall fuel bill, halfing our annual maintenance costs and reducing by 60% our overall vehicle running costs.
Finally, the relative simplicity of their construction and over engineered chassis means that they last far longer than a typical family saloon car. In fact on average a pickup truck will last 3 times as long according to all the motor manufacturer data I have seen. In some cases such as Land Rovers some 20% of all vehicles made since 1950 are still in existence. This means that new vehicles don't have to be made to replace them. The environmental costs to the planet for each new car made are hundreds of times worse than any vehicle will make over average mileage in exhaust emissions.
You may also be unaware but from september this year (2006) the UK is introducing new legislation that will mean you will get an on the spot fine and points on your licence if your child (under 4'6" high is not in a proper car seat. The child seat must be secured using a 3 pont diagonal belt. Booster seats are no longer permitted. I can assure you that modern child seats are huge and take up alot of space. I have two children under 2 years plus one teenager. There are very few if any european saloon cars or smaller vehicles that can fit 3 adults plus two children in their child seats. Most existing vehicles only have lap straps in the middle of the back seat which means they will no longer be legally able to carry children. We hunted around for a suitable vehicle and not even the big MPV's were big enough to allow the kids to fit under this new legislation as the 2 rear most seats weren't accessible due to the child seats having to be fitted to the middle row. This meant a large WIDE pickup truck or van was the only option. From spetember this year you will find an MASSIVE INCREASE in the number of larger vehicles being driven around schools.
I suggest that before you make such silly remarks about vehicles you should fully research them. You will be surprised to learn that I am a keen environmentalist and I live a semi-alternative lifestyle being mostly self sufficent where possible. I am a great believer in reducing pollution and waste. In my case the Large 4wd pickup I drive is balanced out by reductions in other areas, the main one being the fact it allowed me to go to a single vehicle family. True, that isn't the case with many owners but then that is not a fault of the vehicle itself.
MUD4FUN Posted Mar 28, 2006
One more thing - the comment above mine implied that modern technology was more efficient than older technologies. This is nonsense. Modern european diesel engines may well be achieving 'great' fuel economy in new vehicles but the truch is that the gains are simply to do with light vehicles and more efficent drivetrains than any improvement in engine technology. If you replaced a 30 year old diesel engine in a 4WD pickup truck with a brand new unit you'd suffer a dramatic INCREASE in fuel consumption as these modern engines produce less torque at low revs which is what you actually need to reduce pollution. They are more polluting as well. A typical EURO 4 2.5tdi diesel can produce 228g/km CO2 whereas a 30 year old one would produce just 170g/km. Modern engines rely mostly on cumpter technology to achieve any gains and computers go wrong regularly in the harsh environment of a motor vehicle.
As an example of where modern technology fails I will use my own home heating system: I run an AGA style cast iron range cooker. This runs on solid fuel and the design is 160 years old. I currently run it on Welsh anthracite which is a smokeless fuel, highly efficient, produces little ash but has enormous heat output. My stove uses just £300 a year of solid fuel and this provides all cooking, hot water and heating in our cottage. Close friends of ours living in near identical sized cottage a few miles away have had their house converted to a brand new, high technology gas/electronic central heating system. In just the first quarter of using it they exceeded our entire annual fuel bill. Their cottage is now regularly colder than ours and they now suffer from dust allergy. Our solid fuel stove is not only more efficient and cheaper to run but it actually self cleanses the air in the house and removes any allergy causing dust etc.
If and when our government finally start to give incentives for people to use biofuels we can start using solid biofuel which has a neutral CO2 output (ie. It doesn't add any extra CO2 to the atmosphere than it consumed in growing.) Our 160 year old stove requires NO modification to run solid biofuel. Our friends will have to spend thousand to convert their 'modern' system to run on such fuel.
MUD4FUN Posted Mar 28, 2006
I have also just discovered that the latest Dodge Ram truck, one of the largest ever made is available with a diesel engine that is warrantied to run on 100% biodiesel by the manufacturer which means, as you know, it will actaully produce ZERO new C02 (as the C02 it does produce is the same as was consumed by the rapeseed etc as it grew)
NO european manufacturer will warranty their diesel engines for 100% biodiesel for good reason - they will NOT run on it. Your modern technology diesels rely so much on computers and fine tolerances that they become unusable with pure biodiesel. The only bio fuel you could use is the 5% blend available now at most forecourts but that is hardly very environmentally friendly when 95% is non sustainable fossil fuel. The most prolific manufacturer, Volkswagen, has 'developed' its new diesel engines to such a state that they will never be usable with biofuels and they will take years and millions of pounds to design new engines. My pickup truck has done 12k miles so far on pure 100% biodiesle with no problems despite being 'old fashioned' which makes you look a bit silly driving along in your modern euro saloon which is actually doing MORE damage to the environment than my 3 ton truck!!
You should also be asking yourself why the government still refuses to promote bio fuels which we can even grow ourselves on land paid for by the taxpayer as 'set aside' rather than rely on foreign imports of fossil fuel. Even George Bush, who lets face it, is regarded my many as a fool, has realised biofuels are the key to avoiding reliance on middle east oil. The US will be producing 30 million gallons of biodiesel each year by 2010 and their huge pickup trucks will be running on it.
Much of the original post made out how irresponsible pickup truck drivers are and how much pollution they cause but in fact soon they will be at the forefront of bio fuel usage. Until recently the only reason US drivers chose petrols was because of their governments policy on pollution. They went for reductions in particulates rather than CO2 which meant that diesels were penalised and petrols encouraged. It is also why they never signed KYOTO. This will now reverse and soon your typical Volkswagen family saloon will be a worse polluter than a US full size pickup truck.
InlineSix Posted Apr 5, 2006
I own a 1977 GMC sierra. Been restored, replaced certain parts with one ton parts ok? now i got a 250 ci inline six engine in it, hooked to a 3-speed manual transmission, and a 3.40 rearend. now i get 22 mpg city, but i don't know my highway mpg yet. Now i'm thinking if my truck is 30 years old, and it weighs ALOT, it should be getting bad gas milleage right? but it's the combination of proper gearing and engine modifications that get you the good fuel efficency. I don't know where you get pickup trucks are slow, i got a 1/4 mile time of 14 sec. and a top speed of 140 mph, even with my 31" mud tires. And you know what it hauls alot of wood, i can pack that 8 foot box over the top, and it barely sits down. it's got a payload of 12000 lbs. i've built this truck and engine to be as powerful, and as fuel efficent as possible, next i've gotta put in a 2-speed rearend so that i got a whole lot of pulling power, with all the benifits of high top speed. you got questions? i've got anwsers.
ouiskiandzoda Posted Sep 10, 2006
I drive a small truck. I appreciate the satire reflected in this brilliant piece. Check your thin skins at the door, please.
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