Last week was my one year anniversary on the farm. Having declared at the outset three easily achievable goals for myself within that first year – a fence, a generator, and a truck – I found myself down to the wire and running out of time. At the last possible minute, I totally lucked into a beautifully kept low-miles 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4X4 that I spied last Wednesday while looking out the window of my office at work. By Friday (yesterday), the title was in my sweaty hands and my trifecta of first year farm-life goals had been fulfilled (whew!)
Things I like about my first-ever truck:
1) It’s surprisingly fun to drive. Must be that Hemi under the hood. Or the aftermarket stainless dual exhaust that rumbles your butt every time you tap the accelerator. Or the howl of that aftermarket intake/filter/throttle body set up under the hood. Maybe the herculean grip of the aftermarket cross-drilled and slotted four wheel disc brakes with oversized four-piston calipers. A hot rod truck? Nah, I just bought it off a pure motorhead retired mechanic who rebuilds late-60s Chevelles and El Caminos and drops Chevy small blocks into Jeeps for fun. My Japanese bullet train can still run circles around this behemoth but, I must admit, there is a certain satisfaction to being the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious thing on the road. Good God, somebody stop me –I think I’m turning into a Murkan!
2) It has four wheel drive. No, I can’t laugh at driving in a foot of snow quite yet (gonna need proper snow tires for that). But at least I now have options beyond the former pull-over-leave-it-and-walk-home whenever it gets a teeny bit mushy out.
3) It has room to haul tons of crap. Four tons to be precise. This baby’s storage compartments have storage compartments. The bed is only a smidgen over over six feet long but that’s not an issue since the truck has the factory tow kit and is rated to pull 8,000 pounds. The extra row of seats in the cab fold up to reveal all kinds of bins and tool boxes. Very macho…and utilitarian.
4) I paid cash for this truck. That is an extremely satisfying feeling.
Things I don’t like:
1) I’ve lived so long (nearly a half-century) without a truck, that I catch myself looking out the window at the thing in the driveway and wondering “What now?” I thought I’d start hauling and schlepping from Day One but that hasn’t happened. Anybody need help moving?*
2) This beast gets absolutely atrocious mileage. You can look it up but all I’ll say is that I’ll be lucky to get (and stay) in double digits as I haul and schlepp “stuff” from there to here. So why buy a gas-hog with WWIII right around the corner? Well, after a full year of searching, I simply couldn’t find a better truck for under $10k. There was zip-nada out there. Sure I could’ve found a dirt-cheap rusted-out retired fleet truck beater but there was still no guarantee it would get better mileage and it would’ve likely crapped out on me right when I needed it most (no thanks!) So, I’ll just resign myself to looking (and sounding) fabulous (not to mention gloriously Murkan) as I burn up the last remaining gallons of those precious liquefied dinosaurs that nature will never make any more of ever again.
Now, who wants to go for a ride??!!