Trucks Are Not Sexy

Case in point.

Do you really need a truck? Hey, maybe you do. I’m just asking! Maybe you’re a contractor or a landscaper and carry around a lot of tools, or you haul firewood.

But if you don’t frequently cart a bunch of stuff around, you might ask yourself if your gas-guzzling truck is worth its keep. So many trucks I see have nothing in the back. Nothing. Just empty space. Usually there’s just one person sitting in the cab. I’m talking about huge jobs–big as Sherman tanks with loud clattery diesel engines. All that noise and energy just to convey one person around town.

Trucks are an extremely inefficient use of energy when they have no cargo. They’re also really inconvenient. Stuff might get stolen if left in the bed, or rained upon. Of course, you could have a camper shell–that would protect your cargo but also limit your load. Plus loading and unloading is more awkward with a shell on.

Not so long ago my only vehicle was a ’87 Toyota truck–a small, 4-cylinder job that got an averaged 27 miles to the gallon. I could fit about half a cord of firewood in it if I built up the sides a little. I hauled lumber, tools, all kinds of stuff. Helped several friends move.

Nothing holds a candle to that old truck’s fuel efficiency today. Twenty eight years later, the 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma gets an averaged 22 miles to the gallon. What happened, Toyota? Haven’t you ever heard of progress?

These days I make do with the cargo space of a ’99 Rav4. I get about the same mileage as my old truck. On those rare occasions when I absolutely need a truck, I borrow or rent one. If you don’t need to haul stuff on a regular basis, you might consider doing the same. Save money, energy, and reduce your emissions.

Besides, small cars are more fun. Sexier too. Really.



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