So, I've made the switch from a subcompact into a full-sized 4-wheel drive pickup truck about a couple of months ago. I didn't want to maintain two vehicles, so I had to bid my venerable Prius goodbye in favor of a meaty, diesel-powered Ford Super Duty. One of the first things on your mind would probably be, "Why did this crazy lady switch from a practical eco-friendly car to an all-American fuel guzzler?"
Well, I have a handful of reasons that I switched from hybrid to pickup, but they're not as relevant to why I am writing this piece. What I would like to share with you, the reader, are some of my experiences that actually taught me something about life. Weird, right? Well, I thought so too, but it happened anyhow, and I'd like to pass them onto other people who might find these insights useful.
Your Vehicle and Your Image
While I've always thought that the "bling value" of your wheels had an effect on the way people perceive your level of wealth and prosperity (because people who buy Porsches and Ferraris aren't doing so because they're good value for your money), I didn't know that the type of vehicle also had a hand in it.
Let's go back to the bit about my switch from tree-hugger to CO2 belcher. Well, aside from that shift in perception, some of my pals are suddenly assuming that I would suddenly become the go-to gal when it came to moving transporting heavy objects and taking off-road treks into nature. I mean sure, my new vehicle could do perform well in those situations, but that doesn't mean I'm up for it. I had different reasons for having a larger automobile, and frankly, nature trips and becoming the gang's free moving service weren't in that list.
Men Still Assume Too Much
Just last week, I drove to the local Walmart to do my grocery shopping. I was pushing my cart to the open parking area where I left my ride, and started loading the goods onto the back. Some guy driving another large and new pickup truck (a Chevy, I think) was parked next to me, and he was eyeing my new wheels appreciatively. He attempted to make conversation by starting out with, "Nice truck. Is it your boyfriend's?"
"Nah, I'm single right now." came my reply, and I couldn't really conceal the fact that I was a little annoyed at that question. He got the hint, and shut his trap. No, I wasn't pissed because I admitted that I wasn't seeing anyone (oh society). What ticked me off was that he assumed that a gal like me wouldn't be an owner of a large pickup. I'd imagine he wouldn't have to ask if he saw me loading groceries into a station wagon.
Big Wheels Rule
There is definitely a great feeling coming from the sensation of riding a larger vehicle, towering over everyone else on the road. Driving a pickup means you're a whole half or more higher than a person driving a regular sedan, and the big wheels also help in negotiating through rough roads and making your presence felt amidst other motorists.
If it's great driving a pickup, I'm already curious as to the kind of feeling you'd get if you were at the wheel of a monstrous Freightliner semi truck. I catch myself browsing through truck sale and auction sites like NextTruck Online, wondering if could actually afford a big rig.
Fuel Costs Can Bite Into Your Budget
I did mention that I came from owning a hybrid, so imagine my surprise that I actually had to make more visits to the pump than I was used to. When hybrid or fully electric pickups become an affordable thing, I'll definitely consider trading my current vehicle in and going for that. I suppose there's a monetary price to pay for the stuff the I learned, after all…
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is still getting the hang of parking her huge pickup truck. Stacey and all of her close friends can actually fit in it, too. They have a blog, Word Baristas.