By on August 22, 2014

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You know it’s true: When you have a particular car on your mind, or when you’re driving a car that you don’t normally drive, you’ll see more examples of that car on the road than you would otherwise. The mind’s funny like that. Good thing it is; the ability to ignore things most of the time is all that keeps us sane.

Last week I found myself driving a previous-generation Chevy Tahoe, a 2009 model, quite a bunch. It was an LTZ with all the trimmings, robust and healthy after ninety-four thousand miles under the Albuquerque sun. There was a lot to do. A lot of things to move in, and out, and around. Eight truckloads of trash and cardboard, which would have been six in a Suburban but it would have been fifty in an Accord Coupe so I knew better than to bitch about it. The sheer ponderousness of the thing depresses and annoys me, the space it covers on the road. The last full-sized truck I drove on a consistent basis was a 1996 F-150 XL Supercab five-liter, bright red, loaned to me as a dealer demonstrator for 5,750 miles then returned to dealer stock. It must have been half the size of this pearl white elephant. Driving it in traffic is like swimming in thick mud.

Still, the Tahoe occupied my mind as the failure-prone five-point-three listlessly groaned it through traffic, and I saw all sorts of GMT Nine Hundreds. Escalades finishing out their leases, Suburbans with a hundred-pound mother flailing behind the wheel and a child the size of a roast turkey in the middle of the middle seat, gloss-red regular cab Silverados doing cable installation. By the time I saw the fiftieth black-with-tinted-windows Yukon Denali, my sensitivity to them had almost slipped back beneath the waterline. But there was something different about this one.

It was… scruffy. And not in the neglectful-country-club-mother way, either. These are the station wagons of Ge,eration X and so a lot of them wind up with door dings and floppy dealer-installed running boards and a couple too many clear-vinyl prep-school stickers on the back window. No, this one had been ridden hard. Every panel had damage, some of it nontrivial. The windshield was cracked. The windows were rolled down, which was unusual in itself, and there were at least five people in the thing. All of them were short, weathered, dressed in Carharrt, Hispanic. Were I twenty-one and fanatically left-wing again I’d ostentatiously pretend to think that they were Argentinian graduate students or Goldman Sachs bonus babies on the way to a spiritual resort near Taos, but now that I am twice that age and firmly seated in reality the way old brake pads weld themselves into a rusty sliding caliper, I can say without too much self-consciousness that they were obviously some portion of a Mexican construction crew. I loitered near them as we traveled north on State Route 315 and I could see the outlines of various shovels and implements through the limo-dark rear side windows.

The driver turned his head towards me and gave me a look that is universal across every North American border: hey, moron, why are you driving right next to me on a nearly empty freeway? So I called up a reluctant downshift from the Tahoe and pulled away, resentfully aware that my man there in the Denali almost certainly had the 6.2L and could have dropped me without a problem.

“Hey,” I noted to a cabin primarily occupied by thirty-something collapsed guitar-sized cardboard boxes, “that was a work truck. A Yukon Denali work truck.” Then I laughed.

I’ve known quite a few Mexicans in Ohio, many of them workers in the building trades. It’s not uncommon for them to own the very nicest full-sized truck they can find. They’ll use said truck to visit job sites and to haul things when necessary but by and large their F-150 Lariats and whatnot are at least as clean as my recently-detailed Nine Eleven most of the time. This Yukon wasn’t one of those. It wasn’t someone’s pampered ride. It was there to work. Dirty inside and out. Had I been able to get a good look at the interior, I’m certain that the leather would have been cracked, filthy, worn through the dye on the outside bolsters where short people struggle to get up and into the seats. The steering wheel would be shiny at best and crinkly at worst. Why would you use a Yukon Denali for this sort of thing when a crew-cab Silverado or an LS Tahoe would hold up better?

Well, maybe he wanted that guaranteed six-point-two. I sure would, after a week of listening to the mouse motor in the Tahoe struggle to turn those big off-road tires. But I’m guessing that he chose the Denali based on cost. It was cheaper than a Tahoe or even a regular Yukon SLT.

Remember the Grand National Problem? The sporting variant of any car eventually assumes a resale-value advantage that utterly dwarfs the original difference in price between it and the “cooking” version. My Accord V6 six-speed cost a bit less than a V6 Touring automatic sedan but if I wait fifteen years to sell it I bet I can get two or maybe three 2014-model Tourings for what mine will fetch on Craigslist. The people who buy used cars are younger, poorer, more aggressive, and more excitement-oriented than the old folks who take delivery of new ones. (They also want their Porsches to have a steel top, which leads to used 911 Turbo S convertibles with all the options going for considerably less than stripper 911 Turbos.)

To the Grand National Problem, we can add the Yukon Denali problem. New-truck buyers want Yukon Denalis to carry roast-turkey-sized kids to tumbling class. Used-truck buyers want something entirely different. They want work trucks, because they’re planning to work with them. As a consequence, genuine heavy-duty work trucks fetch GTI-vs.-Golf money on the secondary market. If you buy a Big Three diesel 3/4-ton truck and take even the most cursory care of it, you can expect that it will be worth serious cash more or less eternally. In particular, the Dodges seem to retain insane value even with half-a-million miles on them. There’s someone out there who needs to haul something to a job site and he really wants that truck, as long as it’s mechanically sound.

On a whim, I called up eBay and looked at what 2008 Yukon Denalis were fetching. Then I looked at what 4×4 Silverados of the same year cost. Guess what? The Denalis were in better condition, they had way less mileage, often well below 100k when the work trucks were at 125k or more — and they cost the same, or less. The older you get, the more advantage the Silverado gains. By the time they’re fifteen years old, the Yukons are going for about half what the Silverados cost.

Remember, dear reader, that a Yukon Denali is just a Silverado with nicer stuff. If you had enough time, you could make a Denalirado by bolting on the front end from the SUV onto the frame of the truck. People do it. Well, most of the time they do it with Escalades to make Escaladarados or something like that.

Speaking of the Escalade… Six-year-old Escalades are priced dead even with 4×4 Silverado Z71s. Unless you absolutely wanted the open bed — and most of the people who do physical labor with a variety of tools would rather have that space enclosed and lockable — why would you buy the pickup? The smart money’s on buying the SUV.

Construction laborers are pretty smart people by and large. I realize that’s not the common opinion but I’ve rarely met a long-serving laborer who didn’t have a keen understanding of the value of a dollar. For well over a decade now, these guys, particularly in the Midwest, have been buying used conversion vans instead of used plain-white vans. They pay less for them and they get better-condition vehicles with lower mileage. So what if the thing has stripes on the outside and velour on the inside? You’re just going to beat the thing to death anyway. It’s a tool. Get the best tool possible for the least money possible.

I’ll start looking out for Denalis and Escalades on job sites. I like the idea of it for a few reasons. The first is that it demonstrates just how thin the veneer of prestige is on these monster crapwagons. Were I fortunate enough to be having a new house built, I’d insist that the work crews drive used Escalades. Park ’em all in a row, with wiring and lumber and raw mulch seeping out from their open tailgates. Let the neighbors think about that for a minute. Let them think about what message they’re really sending by going to a Cadillac dealership and paying double the Silverado’s price just to get some pimp juice.

It’s also a testament to the strength of the GMT900 that it does pretty well in these applications, particularly with a decent powerplant attached to the transmission. If the images of HiLuxes carrying the Taliban helped further Toyota’s reputation for reliability, perhaps seeing a bunch of beat-up ‘Slades carrying toilets and ceramic tiles would get the word out to the people who are currently lining up to pay just under fifty grand for the cheapo variant of the Lex-GX.

Last and certainly not least, when I see a Denali carrying construction workers I’m seated just a bit deeper in reality as a result. The biggest challenge you’ll face as you enter middle age is reconciling your potential with your reality. As a kid they told you that you could do anything. As an adult you know what you’ve done and what’s left. Think of that showroom-new Denali as a spoiled child with “unlimited potential”. He could carry an ambassador or a starlet or a titan of industry, maybe that Christian Grey fellow that all the Vassar girls with the postgrad work in women’s studies wish would tie them up and smack ’em around a bit. The potential for a new Denali is limited only by the advertising and the available equity in one’s McMansion.

Six years later, which is like twenty-six years in human terms, you’re carrying construction workers to a rutted job site, and you’re wearing three different brands of tire, and there’s a distinct tang of urine in the air. That’s life for you. The untimely departure of your potential and the imminent arrival of your reality. Make peace with it; it’s all you deserve, and all you’ll get.

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239 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: The secret second life of gilded trucks....”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    “as the failure-prone five-point-three listlessly groaned it through traffic”

    What’s particularly failure prone about the 5.3l?

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      I was wondering the same thing

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Me too. Other than the oil consumption issue with the AFM our ’07 Tahoe has been trouble free for the first 7 years/100K. I haven’t put in a single new part in the motor, including normal wear items like plugs & a serpentine belt.

        • 0 avatar
          Tim_Turbo

          Me 3 (4)…..I do think there were a few issues with the 5.3 that had the cylinder deactivation. But other than that foggy recollection I can’t think of anything that particularly stands out.

    • 0 avatar

      Other than some head castings in the 2004-5 models that are prone to develop a crack and leak coolant…the 5.3 is about as rock-solid as any V8 ever to come from the General.

      Funny, my BIL has one of the above 5.3’s in his ’05 Chevy Express van…complete with the faulty heads and leaking coolant that he watches regularly.

      He was here over Memorial Day, and it was up to…uh, 470,000 miles. And only now can any discernible valvetrain noise be detected. You know, like those good ol’ Gen I engines would sound at about 80,000.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      plastic intake manifold, fuel inject rail, ac compressor 3 times now, are what I’ve had go wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Me 4.

      I’m not aware of the GM Vortec 5.3L in the late GMT800s or GMT900s as being failure prone. I’ve always understood that the GM 4-speed auto attached to the GM 5.3L V8 is a pretty bulletproof combination.

      I know that axle seals on the GMT800 and early GMT900 were a weak point – along with the front differentials on 4X4 models (the Eaton locker in the back is pretty solid)

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Out in New Mexico they apparently die like flies — they burn through oil then come to a halt.

      I heard tell, as they say, about a fellow who bought five Silverados with the engine and replaced all five before the 150k mark.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Jack Baruth
        Ah, dust and dirt. The biggest enemy of modern engineering.

        These style of vehicles are design for use in LA or NYC. Why would you use a 4×4 off road?

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      Failure prone?? WTF is he talking about? Those things, like any other LS motor, are about the opposite of failure prone. A friend of mine has transplanted 3 junkyard 5.3’s into older trucks (Late 80’s) and even the “worst” of them, out of a 2000 Sierra, was PERFECT inside, except for a timing chain replacement, nothing else was really needed. The crosshatches on the bores were still there! He put new valve springs on and changed the exhaust valves out (They were a little cooked), and put an oil pump on it, but it wasn’t really necessary at all. It had 140,000 miles on it. Every measurement he took was within factory specs. Every one! And this was the worst (most miles) out of the 3. As far as power goes, I drove a 2000 Sierra 1500 ext cab 4×4 and had no complaints about power at all. My old 82 Blazer, I had lots of complaints about power when I had it, not the Sierra.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The obvious reason to buy an SUV instead of the pickup truck it’s based on is that the SUV can carry more people — as your experience shows. There are various bed covers available for pickups that make the bed at least as secure as the interior of any vehicle — perhaps even better since many of them don’t permit people to see what’s inside. And, if you have to carry something that’s higher than the bed (or higher than the inside of the SUV), that’s possible, too.

    The GM full-sized pickups and the SUV’s based on them have a deserved reputation for durability. Just consult any True Delta or Steve Lang’s site. Ford still sells more than anyone, but is has had its issues with engines: the disastrous 6.0 and 6.4 turbo diesel and, to a lesser degree, the intercooler condensation problem for the Ecoboost V-6. The Cummins diesel in the big RAM pickup has all of the longevity that one would expect from an over-the-road truck engine. Unfortunately, it also sounds like an over-the-road truck engine — rumbling along even under light load — and weighs a good 1/2 ton all by itself.

    The prevalence of older high zoot SUVs at construction sites may reflect nothing more than supply and demand. Lots of people bought them new but don’t want to keep them for 10 years, so they trade for something else newer.

    If you’re moving a lot of stuff with a Tahoe or similar, consider grabbing a U-Haul trailer and effectively doubling your cargo capacity. Another benefit of these vehicles is that they do a competent job of towing a decent-sized trailer . . . something that crossovers do less well.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Funny I was gonna suggest the U-haul trailer too. I can rent a tandem axle enclosed U-Haul trailer for about $45 a day. I have had one behind our Tahoe many times and the Tahoe tows it like it’s not even back there. Of course if you pay attention to the warning on the fenders your not to exceed 45 MPH….LOL

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      ^Truth. Actually, the comment about Gex-X station wagons couldn’t be more spot on. We had a Wagoneer in the early 90’s, but switched to suburbans for the rest of my upbringing – they had more interior space (important with a family of 4 where the 3 guys all ended up over 6′,) they were cheaper to maintain (dad was an ASE, and it was really easy to work on most of the GM Body-on-frame stuff) and they could haul 7-10 people pretty easily (making Mom the default Youth Group Taxi.)

      Also, the reason why you see so many of the nicer SUV’s at job sites (new or used) is the idiotic Tax breaks people get if they write them off as a business expense. 5 years ago, it was Roofers and Landscapers with their own company, but I know quite a few guys in construction who have self-incorporated for tax purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      The 5.3is seriously under powered carrying around all the heft of the ho, and the Silverado to express, the transmission is the only redeeming quality of these vehicles, 8.1 vortec with Allison transmission not included.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Underpowered?

        On what planet?

        The three ton Chevy Avalanche sprinted from 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds. That’s faster or as fast as most cars in the C-segment today.

        Whenever I read someone saying that under 9 second vehicles are “underpowered,” it is a huge indicator that they didn’t start driving until the mid-90s. To put things in perspective for 0 to 60 time:

        1982 Toyota Celica – 12.2 seconds
        1986 Audi 5000S – 11. 6 seconds
        1985 Honda Civic S – 11.1 seconds
        1983 VW Rabbit GTI – 10.6 seconds
        1985 Toyota Corolla GT-S – 10.5 seconds
        1982 BMW 528e – 10.3 seconds
        1992 Chevy Caprice Classic LTZ – 10.3 seconds
        1984 Honda CRX – 10.1 seconds
        1982 Mazda RX-7 GSL – 9.9 seconds
        1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 – 9.7 seconds
        1984 Honda Prelude – 9.7 seconds
        1983 BMW 318i – 9.6 seconds
        1990 Mazda Miata – 9.5 seconds
        1982 Ferrari Mondial 8 – 9.4 seconds
        1985 Dodge Omni GLH – 9.4 seconds
        1986 Acura Integra RS – 9.3 seconds
        1985 Ford EXP Turbo Coupe – 9.3 seconds
        1986 Porsche 944 – 8.9 seconds
        1995 BMW 318i – 8.8 seconds
        1989 Nissan 240SX – 8.8 seconds
        1988 Pontiac Fiero GT – 8.7 seconds
        1989 Mazda 323 GTX – 8.7 seconds
        1984 Toyota Supra – 8.7 seconds
        1990 Ford Probe LX – 8.7 seconds
        1997 Audi A4 Quattro – 8.7 seconds

        http://www.car0to60.com/

        There are some legendary cars on that list above (and some crap boxes I rolled in for comparison sake). I just don’t get people who wail, “under powered,” in this day and age – having grown up and learning to drive in an era where 100 to 120 HP was asked to drag around two tons, or where 70 HP was asked to drag around 2500 to 3000 pounds. And in many cases tied to a 3 speed slush box.

        We live in a golden age of horse power right now – and 8.7 seconds to 60 (a full one second improvement from a decade earlier when a Z-71 Avalanche with the 5.3 did it in 9.6 seconds) is a darn good number, by any standard – especially a three ton truck.

        The view is that it wasn’t under powered, but it wasn’t exactly slopping over with power either.

        The Vortec 8.1 big block was a torque monster – but noisy and incredibly thirsty. There was a 3/4 ton Avalanche from 2002 to 2004 model years (they became increasingly rare) with the Allison tranny and 8.1 under the hood.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Underpowered compared to vehicles that don’t weigh three tons. You know something is heavy when it has a big, modern V8 and still can’t outaccelerate a NA four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I’ll bite, 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – something I don’t think anyone would called under powered.

            0 to 60 – 8.5 seconds

            Then there is this recent comparo from 2014.

            http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2013/06/2013-light-duty-challenge-acceleration.html

            Interesting both the GMC and the Silverado had the 5.3L under the hood, but the GMC did much better in the testing.

            0 to 60 time isn’t just about the horsepower under the hood.

            It’s about the gearing, how the power gets to the ground (FWD vs RWD vs AWD) the transmission and the programming.

            You could easily build a truck that could rocket to 60 faster than NA sedans as an example – however it would be rather useless as a “truck” in the load and towing department. This is actually documented pretty well. The Silverado in the above linked test is one of the fastest trucks tested 0 to 60 – just 7.5 seconds – but towing a load is the slowest by a wide margin.

            The GMC has different programming, or different gearing, or both – slower 0 to 60, but one of the fastest trucks carrying a load, and toward the bottom pulling a trailer.

            The Tundra is pretty consistent in each of the ratings – which supports the view of it being a somewhat ho-hum, but solid “truck” that does all things truck rather well, but not exactly spectacular.

            Each of the big 2-1/2 through the ages have built special edition trucks that were made to go fast (and no I don’t mean the abomination SS-R) but when you read the fine print can’t tow (or have minimal rating) and aren’t built to carry much load.

            So – are they “better powered” because they are faster, but useless as a truck – and for that matter a performance vehicle beyond going fast in a straight line.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Lots of people call the 2010 Raptor underpowered, at least that version, which had the 5.4.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Every 5.4 Raptor was underpowered once the 6.2 came out.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            People don’t buy an SUV like a Tahoe or ‘Burb to drag race or carve corners. Anytime you wanna back a Sonata up to my boat and move it from point A to B let me know. I could use a good laugh. It goes just under 4 tons sitting on the trailer with fuel and gear. Our Tahoe will drag it down the interstate all day long at 70 MPH.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          My first car was a 77 grand prix landau in powder blue with a mock top and wheel louvers with rallye wheels and a 301 v8. The transmission is the only redeeming quality of these vehicles, woe be the man that uses any of the stable mates of the 5.3 for work, they aren’t up to the task. Load it up with ladder racks and tool bins and workers and they wear quickly. Much faster than their Contemparies, they can’t plow and don’t haul well and the front ends are for crap. They may still go backwards and forwards but don’t expect much else to work for long.

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Not only all that but he got the trans comment wrong. The 4L60/65E based on the 4L60/700R4 from the early eighties was imo a turd and the culprit behind any performance deficit these trucks might have.

          The list of faults is long, the 1st-2nd gear spacing is terrible. 1st was made too low to compensate for the lack of power back in the day and the resulting gap has most modern vehicles stuck with that box falling on its face upon reaching 2nd. My trans am did it and I often shifted well past power peak to avoid the soul crushing bog of 2nd gear. And that was with my modded torque monster 350TPI!

          The unit is weak, it was weak when new it was weak during the 90s power wars and it was weak in 65E form when it was forced to suffer between both un heard of power and curb weight with only powertrain management making it possible at all.

          Powertrain management! The single worst think about my 04 Silverado! The truck has avoided all the many pitfalls of being a GM truck, it is rust free the interior is solid and squeak/rattle free the only oil loss came from a faulty filter. But any chance of existential joy is killed at the flexplate by PM.

          Rolling into the gas in 2nd with the shifter one notch past D and the thing pulls, it even makes a good sound and given enough pedal you may see the high side of the tach but except for some pre meditated hooning with some prep time to set up you will never have fun in this thing.

          If GM had introduced a 5 speed with decent ratios and let up on the MPG obsessive shifts these trucks would be ten times better.

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        Drove a ’01 ‘burban quite a bit, and they seem underpowered until you put your foot into it. In normal driving the trans shifts at 2k RPM and it takes a lot of throttle to kick it down a gear. The drivetrain is really set up for fuel economy.

        If you want performance, put it in Tow/Haul mode and plant your right foot, and listen to that LS scream!

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Its amazing how many people never use T/H mode and complain about performance while towing. Also try placing the shifter in 3rd around town, it will liven up noticeably without the rough shifting of T/H.

  • avatar
    Carilloskis

    In 2008 I was shoping for my first car going into my Junior year in college, previously I had used my parents cars, but as i had a full ride and some savings I decided I wanted a 4×4 crew cab pickup, the reason being that my little brother and sister where freshman at the same school and we where all big into skiing. I looked at 2004 F150 fx4s and xlts the first year of that body style and they ranged from 26-32k for ones with resonable miles. I decided that I should look at suburbans since my family had one of those I found a loaded 2005 suburban z71 4×4 which had all the luxary features (heated memory seats, power pedals, dual climate control, bose audio sytem, etc) for $15k with 46k miles on the clock little above average for a car thats 2.5 years old. I ended up buying the suburban and sold it in 2011 with 98k miles for $12.5 and used that as down payment on my Ford Raptor. The GM trucks and SUVs are pretty dependable with plentty of parts, avalible, so for a college kid on a budget or a construction crew you can offten get a better vehicle for less money.

  • avatar
    319583076

    “The biggest challenge you’ll face as you enter middle age is reconciling your potential with your reality. As a kid they told you that you could do anything. As an adult you know what you’ve done and what’s left.”

    Well said, JB. Meditate on this.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Mediate on not being a hateful prick. You typing the word ‘meditate’ is a sick joke.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      “The biggest challenge you’ll face as you enter middle age is reconciling your potential with your reality. As a kid they told you that you could do anything. As an adult you know what you’ve done and what’s left.”

      What a depressing attitude! Yes, it’s true that you likely won’t play third base for the Cubs, but there are so many things you might actually really excel at, no matter your age, most of which held no interest for you in earlier in life. Recalibrate, re-evaluate, explore the possibilities and re-invent yourself. There’s tremendous joy to be found in the process.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    “My Accord V6 six-speed cost a bit less than a V6 Touring automatic sedan but if I wait fifteen years to sell it I bet I can get two or maybe three 2014-model Tourings for what mine will fetch on Craigslist”

    Not so sure about that. No one will be able to drive a manual transmission by then…and even now manuals take a resale hit harder than any automatic of the same car.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      That’s a common misconception. While it might be true for some models, vast majority of cars equipped with manual transmission will command higher resale and will be easier to sell privately. At least this has been my experience. Manual transmission automatically filters out 90% of clueless idiots, so it is just easier to deal with potential buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        As a dealer told me, “not that many people want a manual transmission, but those that do really want it.”

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          10 of the 11 vehicles I own or have owned have/had standard transmissions. 4 of those have been new cars. 2 in the last 5 years.

          My sole slushbox resides in my current beater – a ’96 XJ Cherokee.

          I really want manual transmissions in my vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Exactly this. You will pay through the nose for a BMW wagon with a stick for example. You would have to be a fool not to sell one privately.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            That’s the gist of it. Dealerships love to tell you the “nobody buys manuals” lie, then give you $1000 less on a trade in. They then immediately advertise it as “RARE 6-SPEED MANUAL” (if it’s actually a sought after car and not a Versa S or something) and try to get MORE than the slush version.

            Private party is certainly the way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      So far there is more demand for manual transmission 15 year old cars than the supply. Part of the reason may be that there is significantly more risk of expensive repairs with a 15 year old automatic transmission than with a manual. The other major reason is manual transmission cars were rarely stocked by dealerships and took more effort to buy.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    “The GM trucks and SUVs are pretty dependable with plentty of parts, avalible, so for a college kid on a budget or a construction crew you can offten get a better vehicle for less money.”

    Good for you getting a full ride…but a college kid on a budget does not spend even $5000.00 on a car.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “……but a college kid on a budget does not spend even $5000.00 on a car.”

      Everyone’s situation is different. You, nor I, know his. It may be hard to believe but some college, and for that matter, high school kids make good money. Computers and modern technology have opened the gates a wee bit wider and some enterprising youth have jumped through.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        hubcap
        did you bother to read his post?
        Did you miss the part where he said he had a full boat ride to college and had a very good chunk of change to spend, and ended up spending $14K on a SUV?

        That is not a college kid on “a budget”. I wasn’t downing him at all.

        • 0 avatar

          I graduated debt free and bought my Miata in my junior year, for around $5k USD. If you have good summer jobs and good saving habits, it’s not a stretch.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Derek
            A Miata! Hairdresser wagon!

            I pictured you to be more a Mustang-Camaro type.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t discriminate. Variety is the spice of life :)

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al, you haven’t been paying attention. Derek has written of his Miata often. These cars are as rare as hen’s teeth in Brazil, however, whenever I see one I smile. One of the best Japanese car designs ever. I only drove it once, in city traffic, at low speed, but it seemed perfectly reasonable and the kind of car I’d definitely enjoy. Have no idea why anyone would call it a girls’ car. But what do I know right? I tend to like small cars and their design when good is very good. In my eyes, much more appealing than the big off road things you and so many others here enjoy so much. As Derek said, variety is the spice of life, and I surely wouldn’t say no to a Mustang. Though I might to a Ranger. To each their own.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Hey, Marcelo
            I haven’t ‘spoken’ to you for a while, it’s great to here from you.

            We have quite a few of them here in Australia. The odd thing is guys tend to drive them as much as older professional women;)

            They are quite a nice vehicle in all aspect from handling and especially the fun factor. They are reminiscent of the British sports car of old, small, economical and a blast.

            My comment to Derek was a tongue in cheek remark. Sort of a manliness, macho thing. A payout (that’s an Aussie term and used as a form of endearment and a laugh).

            I’m what we call in Australia a $hit stirrer, but in a good way, maybe politically inappropriate at times.

            But I don’t bow down to the 5%. They can kiss my Royal American A$$.

          • 0 avatar

            I suspected you were being tongue in cheek ’cause you do seem to appreciate almost all sorts of cars. Thanks for the clarification.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo
            I consider myself luckier than most. I travel the world several times a year.

            I enjoy anything mechanical, even a staple gun, but, my biggest enjoyment are fast, very fast vehicles, ie, fighter jets.

            I liked them so much I dedicated my life to them.

            Also in my travels I do frequent museums and explore local cultures to see what makes societies.

            I love humans and our diversity.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Derek, you are in the minority or managed to make 30K a year at your summer jobs to pay off school and afford to eat every year.

  • avatar
    Dan

    “It must have been half the size of this pearl white elephant. Driving it in traffic is like swimming in thick mud.”

    That’s one of the things I love about these trucks. Driving like Baruth in traffic is like swimming in mud.

    Then you notice one day that you didn’t notice you’ve been boxed in for two miles now by the same four mouthbreathers, driving ugly cars that only tasteless losers would buy, none of whom understand why there are two travel lanes, or that they’re running merely 5 over when the road was clearly built for 25 over, or that there’s a half mile gap to the next clump of traffic ahead, SO STOP HOLDING YOUR CIGARETTE LIKE A FAG AND INSTEAD FSCKING LET ME BY.

    You can’t win at traffic in a boat, but once you learn not to try you can’t lose at it either. The stress goes away. The joy does too, but a big seat up in the air with a decent stereo to listen to while imperturbably bouncing a little bit because it’s always bouncing a little bit isn’t a bad place to be.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Dan,
      You had a good point right up until the point you started gay bashing. Was that necessary?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        It was necessary to illustrate my verbatim train of thought. If I let myself get derailed in self censorship then I probably wouldn’t post anything at all, a loss the world wouldn’t notice, but I don’t come here to lie.

        I find traffic frustrating, any negative reflection on actual gays was wholly incidental, and that’s the truth.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          OK, Dan, gay bashing, all in caps, is necessary for you to truly illustrate your thinking. You simply cannot express your authentic self without it.

          But why stop there? Can you find a synagogue nearby that you could paint swastikas on, you know, so you can illustrate your train of thought?

          The next time you are in traffic, might you be passing a homeless man who could use a beat-down, because that’s what is required to truly express who you are?

          Do you ever get cut off by an African American, and wish you could blow his brains out, to further your self-expression?

          I am guessing ‘no’ on most of these questions, Dan, but the point is this: Words of prejudice lead to acts of prejudice.

          It’s a slippery slope you are signing yourself up for.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            VoGo
            Leave the homeless out of it. Homelessness has nothing to do with race, skin color, sexual preference or religion.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Funny you mentioned the slippery slope as that’s precisely the logical fallacy upon which you built your tirade.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            PonchoIndian,

            Are you complaining because he is denigrating the homeless by lumping them in with homosexuals, blacks, and Jews; or is it vice-versa?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            CJ

            I’m actually not complaining, I could care less how others think of people different than them.

            I just hate to see this crap spiral out of control like the last time when the t-word was used and my freakin email was blown up with all the crazy back and forth the two sides took. If I knew how I’d “unsubscribe” from the post emails before this blows up.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Religion is voluntary, so is “homelessness”.
            Race, gender, nationality and sexual orientation are involuntary.
            The former are reasonably subject to scorn, and the latter are not.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            These sort of things can be debated ad nauseam the only resolution being it brings out the worst in people. Let’s stick to things we can mostly agree upon.

            Examples include: Panther love and cyclist hate (j/k).

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          ” If I let myself get derailed in self censorship then I probably wouldn’t post anything at all”

          That’s what I told security at Walmart when they caught me walking out of the store with a TV. I said, ” If I let myself get derailed by paying for the TV then I probably wouldn’t shop here at all”

          Thanks, Dan, your intellectual impotency is only exceeded by the size of your loud, bouncing SUV and the tiny stereotype it represents

      • 0 avatar
        bikephil

        Yeah, queers are people too!

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Everything is relative. Drive a 3/4 ton crew cab PU like I did for a number of years and then hop into your wife’s old Tahoe and it feels like an absolute sports car. I suppose if I drove her new A4 long enough then yep it would feel big.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I can vouch for that. Go from a JD tractor, even a late-90’s model (hint: It still rides like a tractor), to a Ford Super Duty. The seats are comfy and the ride much more composed, but you start to crane your neck because you feel like you’ve lost all ride height. Go from that to an 8-year-old F-150, and you’re practically driving a Cadillac in comparison, only now you wonder, even with 4WD, how you’ll ever have enough ground clearance to make it over that waterway bisecting the field. (Of course, you’ve still got 8 inches of ground clearance, but that seems like nothing compared to the 12 on the F-350, or the 2 feet on the tractor.) Go from that to a car…wait, no you don’t. We don’t own anything that rides lower than an AWD CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “SO STOP HOLDING YOUR CIGARETTE LIKE A FAG AND INSTEAD FSCKING LET ME BY.”

      Oh, if only I could still smoke…. *somehow* I’d find you on the road and box you in while holding my Camel straight like Arte Johnson’s nazi.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yeah, your stream of consciousness pretty much dumped a turd into what was otherwise looking like some pretty good punch.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      No such thing as “merely 5 over” the speed limit. If it’s one over, it’s speeding, and you should be treated accordingly. At 25 over, you should have to walk for six months.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Interestingly, despite Jack’s impression of “half the size”, the F-150 was 17 inches longer, and the same width as the Tahoe, per Edmunds.

      (I concur completely about “winning at traffic”.

      I keep my F250 in the right lane, rarely passing, because I’m usually going noticeably under the limit on the freeway.

      It’s most comfortable – with a literal ton of cargo, and sometimes a trailer – at 62-65, and lots of I-5 around here is a 70 zone…

      Once you remember you’re driving *a truck*, not a performance sedan, and act accordingly, it’s all good.)

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        I do think it was a LOT lighter, however. The beltline was lower, the hood was shorter, the doors weren’t as thick, the dashboard wasn’t as Byzantine.

        I miss that truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          It was a lot lighter. Even discounting the different ages of the vehicles, and the probability that the F-150 was 4×2, all the extra doors, seats, other passenger amenities, and of course the roof and windows add a lot of weight to the shorter-wheelbase Tahoe.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Great piece.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Be here next week when Jack turns this endless fascination with his aging self to the topic of stool softeners as an analog for subprime financing and cash on the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Funny. I’m older than Jack so I’ve got some insight on stool softeners.

      In my neighborhood, we see a lot of high-zoot Escalade and Range Rovers of 2005-2009 vintage. They seem to mostly be owned by people who don’t maintain them to the standards of safety and longevity you’d expect. Whether that’s economic pressure or carelessness is anyone’s guess.

  • avatar
    hurricanehole

    Being in the trades image is big. Alot of guys don’t want to drive up in anything but a V8 pickup. Even though they know that a van would be more practical. Around here in NC a hispanic crew usually has three or more people in it so with an older suv they all get a good seat which wouldn’t happen in a van or most pickups. These type vehicles also have presence. Since the recession there is less judgment on what a person drives. Now trades people drive whatever with less first impression judging. Bringing up diminished (or realistic) expectations was a great finish.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      You have a point, a friend of mine is the foreman of a crew of electricians. They have a tendency to argue about which color looks best on their F-150s.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The answer is yellow. A yellow 2004 FX4 model, with the gray paint on the lower panels. Fits right in at a construction site.

        I once tried to describe to our Japanese exchange student how I at one point wanted a yellow Escape with the gray plastic cladding on the bottom, and she said, “…like a school bus?” I guess it sometimes takes a REALLY outside opinion to truly destroy our fantasies.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I’ve seen their lineup, seems to be metallic blue and red are the most popular. Oh, and chome accessories, gotta have those.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Blue Flame is a popular color. All shades of red sell pretty well too. I’d prefer that Forest Green Metallic if it wasn’t so dark; in the wrong light, it’s close to black.

            Blazing Yellow, as FoMoCo called it, was practically a halo color in the first years of the 11th gen F-150’s. Also available on the Ranger and Escape, but doesn’t seem to have been called “Blazing”.

            The spiritual successor to that was Amber Gold Metallic, only on the ’09 F-150 and Focus, which ended up being a love-it-or-hate-it deal. It either looks gilded, or looks like mustard.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      My handyman friend was frustrated looking for a decent V8 pickup from the late ’90s. This was a few years ago and extra cabs with a campershell were going for going for around $7.5K. His price range was $4K. Then I suggested SUVs. Expeditions are basically the same thing. They were going for $4K on average, if clean and around 120K mi. He negotiated a ’00 Expedition down to $2,550. He’s been happy ever since. It’s basically a crew cab XLT with a lockable cargo area.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Here in northeast Ohio the foremans will drive the king Ranch limited or platinum -f-150 the electricians still drive ford work vans, except for the one guy with the sprinter who when you ask how that’s working out. As the tears well up in his eyes will yell out, “I can stand up in the back before turning around and walking off muttering under his breath. The Hispanic workers almost universally drive gmc Yukon xl Denali and non as these make excellent work vehicles and kid taxis. The Amish still arrive in big white ford 15 passenger Yoder Toters with a trailer full of their equipment and the laborers all drive beat up suvs

      • 0 avatar
        Eiriksmal

        I literally laughed out loud at this. I worked at Penske Truck Leasing for a while in 2010-2011. They have a handful of Mercedes-branded Sprinters in their consumer rental fleet. They were lovely to drive, wonderful to stand in (even at my 6’2″!), and the customers absolutely loved them but they were the most miserable pieces of equipment to maintain.

        The Chevy Expresses and Ford E-Whatevers would rarely have issues, but the Sprinters were non-stop stressors for the poor fleet technicians.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    “All of them were short, weathered, dressed in Carharrt, Hispanic…..I’ve known quite a few Mexicans in Ohio, many of them workers in the building trades. ”

    What you encountered was a truckload of illegal aliens (not “workers”), paid under the table, stealing jobs from Americans. What you encountered was a beat-on Yukon, with huge safety defects, likely unregistered and uninsured, purchased off Craigslist and paid for in cash.

    What you encountered was a little slice of the Third World, destroying Ohio and the rest of the nation.

    And by the way, the driver “turned his head” because he thought you were INS……

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      O_o

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Wow. I didn’t think we had anyone left here who was actually sincere, just those who were saying such things ironically.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Sketch,
      Unless you spend your time stalking Jack as well as the people riding in cars next to his, you don’t have a clue who was in that Yukon.

      You don’t know their ethnicity. You don’t know their citizenship. You don’t know the status of their documentation. And you certainly don’t know if their car was insured or registered.

      What you know are your political convictions, backed by your predilection to blame others for your problems, and you will twist whatever facts you require to fit them.

      What you have forgotten is that this is a nation of immigrants. We are the people who created Ohio (after stealing it from native Americans).

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        How can you go about stealing something from “The Native Americans”, when none of those guys considered the land they lived property in the first place?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          By herding them onto reservations? By purposefully infecting them with communicable diseases to decrease their numbers? By signing treaties, and then reneging on them?

          Those are good ways. What is your point — that differing cultural perspectives on the land gives interlopers the right to banish people who have lived there for centuries?

          All I am asking is that the poster refrain from anti-gay language. Do you have a problem with that, Stuki?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @stuk- how do you think you’d react if I showed up on your front lawn and plunked down a flag right smack dab in the middle of it and said “MINE”?

            At one time countries like England, Spain, and France were “super powers”. They colonized countries under the guise of religious and technological superiority. The “savages” were better off with us was a common mentality.

            Just because a culture does not have a written history of land title does not ENtitle another culture to take it over.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          “none of those guys considered the land they lived property in the first place?”

          Oh, yes, one did! An episode of Kung Fu had this one native American tycoon guy who was meaner and badder than any white guy. He liked belting out “Private Property!” when Kwai Chang Caine made sad faces at his behavior.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @petezeiss – your attempt at sarcasm points out where most of our knowledge about Aboriginals comes from.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Sarcasm, hell! I’m tellin’ ya… I seen it on TV!

            I suppose you’re now going to tell me that marketing Eastern mysticism in the ’70s was merely a cynical commercial ploy targeting clueless, cosseted middle-class youngsters of the immediately post-Vietnam era.

            How can you live with such negativity?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @petezeiss – 2nd comment is on the mark. Still….. TV plays up stereotypes whether they be of First Nations/Aboriginals/Indians or South East Asians.

            “Clueless” sums it up rather well.

      • 0 avatar
        sketch447

        VoGo, please go away…..
        It’s painfully obvious what was the status of that truckload of illegals. Why? Because the same picture is repeated over and over on our highways. Ask any cop and they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s a valid car issue, albeit an ancillary one…..

        We are indeed a nation of legal immigrants. Even so, that doesn’t give untold millions the right to flood our borders and use our resources. There just aren’t enough jobs and the social services pie is getting cut thinner and thinner. (If you paid taxes, you’d know this.)

        Spare us the native American guilt trip. It’s gotten old. The American taxpayer has been supporting every “native american” ever born, for centuries. I’d say we’ve done our payback, and then some. The “indigenous peoples” (as I prefer to call them) were guilty of genocide against eachother and they treated women like dogs. Why aren’t you squawking about that??

        Be clear on this VoGo: This is not the proper forum for you to vent your unwashed lazy liberal nonsense. This is an auto forum. We don’t need people like you here. Go back to HuffingtonPost dot com. You can sip your lukewarm herbal tea while reading liberal bloggers and waiting for your Social Security Disability check.

        Do you even have a drivers license? I mean besides picking out your clothes, hasn’t your mother gotten tired of driving you around?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Bravo, sketch447! Bravo!

          But honestly, I don’t know why you even bother to engage this twit. The worst thing that can happen to the know-it-alls and twits on this site is to be ignored, and have the knowledgable B&B carry on a conversation around them.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @sketch447
          “The American taxpayer has been supporting every “native american” ever born, for centuries.”

          Wow – higher than average suicide rates; higher than average alcohol and drug addiction; higher level of incarceration; higher infant mortality; lower life expectancy etcetera sure does show that tax payers funds have been put to good use…..

          and who’s land were “Americans” standing on when those tax dollars were earned?

          Your comment is highly patriarchal and is why First Nations peoples are in the shape they are in.

          “We benevolent whites care for those poor inferior savages since they can’t care for themselves.”

          I wonder if your rant would raise the same level of indifference if we substituted the word “black” for “native American”?

          Guilt trip?

          I don’t feel personally responsible for the harm done by my ancestors but I do have a personal responsibility to change my beliefs so I don’t harm my fellow man in the present.
          I do have a responsibility to change my beliefs so I don’t harm future generations.

          We do have a responsibility to correct past wrongs that continue to stifle those in the present.

          Ever been on a reserve?

          This forum is appropriate since others have gone down this path with their comments.

          It is appropriate any time and anywhere to express one’s opinion when it comes to countering antiquated harmful beliefs.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Great rant Lou.

            But you must remember the world is also made up of those who fear.

            They need something to blame or feel good about.

            This guy is as bad as a greenie.

            He’s blinded by his own insecurity and ignorance to live in his little world.

            I do feel sorry for him.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Sketch,
          I am 50 years old. I own my own home, support a family of 5. Drive 3 cars with a valid drivers license. Work full time, and pay taxes.

          All I ask is that posters cut the prejudiced language and treat people fairly. The truth is that no one knows the documentation status of the people Jack passed on the road. Even they themselves may not know whether they quality for asylum – the rules are certainly complex.

          To call them “illegal” is to make an assumption about which you and I have no direct knowledge. Calling me names and make a lot more assumptions about my politics and living situation (all wrong, by the way) doesn’t change that.

          And I will not go away.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @sketch – Here’s where you got racist. Yes some illegals draw off the system. But to discount the tens of millions that come here and willing do all the degrading, disgusting jobs Americans claim don’t exist, when they’re “looking” for work, then turn around and claim illegals take all the jobs, is beyond stupid. And racist.

          All the while, these 10s of million illegals are paying into the system with stolen SSNs and never filing a tax return. The system “somehow” that allows that. It’s broken for a reason.

          Never mind all they pay in sales tax.

          The Feds can easily stop the flow of illegals by enforcing the penalties for hiring the undocumented. Looks like the Feds have zero intention of doing anything remotely close to that…

          Or do you really think they would hop the border if all they could do is spend the moneys they made back home in Mexico/Honduras/etc? Or basically go on a ‘no passport’ vacation here? For what? An illegal trip to Disneyland???

          Yes there’s a legal way to work in the US, but the Feds would rather it be done the wrong way. For obvious reasons. So those opportunities are severely limited/capped. For a reason.

          And of course once they have the correct permits and legal right to live/work here, they’re not looking to do slave labour. Why would they? Use your brain… Or are you ignorant too???

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It might do you some good to turn off the TV and radio for a few days and go outside.

    • 0 avatar
      Frank Galvin

      There will come a day where you will stumble and hopefully fate will extend to you a brown hand, calloused from years of hard manual labor. Regardless of where they are from, they work, provide a service, and probably provide for others. Try some kindness, and place your blame elsewhere. There are plenty of shiftless native born Americans who couldn’t lay brick, grade a walk, or tile a patio.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        pretty sure no one would have a problem with them if they came to the country LEGALLY like people have had to do for the last 100 years or so…

        I would have no problem with them if they contributed to the society that they benefit from.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You have no knowledge whatsoever as to who is here legally and who is not. You do not know where they were born, the citizenship of their parents, their green card status, or whether they qualify for asylum.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Nah, I’m pretty sure he would have a problem with them anyways. This way he can double down…

          But how can you say they don’t contribute? So who’s using who?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Hey DenverMike
            regardless of what you think about me I don’t have a racist bone in my body, so you can take a walk.

            The issue I have with illegals is that they don’t pay taxes, don’t pay into health care and have a hugely higher participation in crimes. So that is my stance on “don’t contribute”
            The other issue I have with hiring illegals is that it takes work away from the guy who has to pay insurance, workman’s comp, contribute to health costs etc…because he is doing business the legal way. See the never ending circle here?

            VoGo…not sure what the hell you’re talking about. I have had first hand experience of illegals using ss#’s to illegally get a job. In fact I know of one individual who used a social from someone who died in the twin towers. If that is the kind of person who is going to stay in the country illegally, and we’re ok with that than there is a huge problem with the mentality of it.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            @PonchoIndian:

            ” I don’t have a racist bone in my body,”

            What BS! All of us who are honest with ourselves do. And then you go on to show how thinly veiled yours is with those ridiculous sweeping generalizations.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @PonchoIndian – odd, you don’t mention the fine upstanding capitalistic industrialists that exploit er hire/employ them.

            Criminality is not an exclusively Hispanic thing.

            First Nations and African-Americans also have higher than normal rates of criminality.

            When ever you have people with nothing to lose they will latch onto anything to improve their status.

            The socioeconomically disenfranchised of any ethnicity are disproportionally represented in criminal statistics.

            Us whites would be in the same position if we were in the same position. (I can’t see a better way to explain it)

            It is a complex problem made worse by oversimplifications and generalizations and those statements often begin with the word “they”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – Just admit you’re racist. Would you rather us know you’re STUP!D???

            “…The issue I have with illegals is that they don’t pay taxes…”

            You’re a little confused. Yes they don’t file a Tax Return, but they sure do pay taxes. Billions to Trillions. You said so yourself here:

            “…I have had first hand experience of illegals using ss#’s…”

            So which is it?

            Do they or don’t they pay taxes?

            “…a hugely higher participation in crimes…”

            Compared to whom? Since we have to guess how many are here, how do you know so much?

            “…The other issue I have with hiring illegals is that it takes work away from the guy who has to pay insurance, workman’s comp, contribute to health costs etc…because he is doing business the legal way. See the never ending circle here?…”

            Since they’re using a SSN, aren’t those things getting taken out of his and her paychecks? And can they collect when injured or laid off?

            “…and we’re ok with that than there is a huge problem with the mentality of it…”

            Who’s OK with it? It’s not up to you or I. But DC is addicted to the avalanche of cash that industry dumps there. So the circus continues.

            Seriously though, do you really think we don’t have the technology to stop the nefarious use of hijacked SSNs? Are you that naive?

            But obviously Americans refuse to do the dirty, disgusting, dehumanizing, and or, labour intensive jobs that pay minimum wage. Too easy to collect welfare, food cards, section 8, etc, instead, that by the way, illegals cannot get.

            So are we the victims? Or are the illegals the one’s victimized here? Sounds like a symbiotic relationship. But end of day, we take the good with the bad. That’s life in the big city. Must be more good than bad. Illogical otherwise.

            So again, who’s using who???

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            LouBC
            @PonchoIndian – odd, you don’t mention the fine upstanding capitalistic industrialists that exploit er hire/employ them.

            I actually have expressed my anger towards those who exploit the situation. Highdesertcat is a good example of someone who exploits the situations.

            Also, Please tell me when “illegals” was specifically meant to only mean hispanics? I never said anything specific like that.
            I don’t even want to get into the issues with african-americans and their high crime rate. Its a sad thing in my opinion (and you don’t even know the color of my skin).

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            DenverMike
            Now you’re calling me stupid? I give some examples and you take them and run? That’s a pretty intelligent way to hold a conversation.

            We both know that some illegally use SSN’s. We also know that many work under the table. Is either one right?

            Are you “stupid enough” to not understand that it is very easy to not pay taxes using a stolen ssn?

            So once again Denvermike, since you are soooo smart. How am I being racist by being upset that we don’t enforce our own laws regarding immigration? I know many folks who have entered this country legally and worked to get their citizenship. These people deserve respect. The people doing it illegally, and the people not enforcing the laws and the business people taking advantage of being able to hire for low wages are the true problem here. What exactly is racist about that?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – It’s racist to point out a group’s negatives, consumption of resources/services and ignoring their vast contribution to the US economy and GNP.

            Meaning the 10s of millions of illegals just trying to carve out an honest living where they can and wherever it’s offered.

            It’s not illegal to them if laws aren’t enforced.

            And for jobs you damn well know nobody you know will take. Except illegal. And they’re lured here. Corps are known to go deep into the poorest regions of Mexico to recruit.

            But you and I both personally know plenty of American citizens working under the table, and while drawing unemployment or disability the whole time!

            Do you really think the billions to trillions illegals don’t collect/refund are just sitting somewhere unused?

            It’s the corrupt system that allow for and promotes illegals coming here to work. Does that also bring with it some negatives? No doubt. But to just focus on those alone is racist. Or ignorant. You choose…

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            DenverMike

            You seem to be making up your own definition of “racist”. You also like to try to throw out the ignorant card a lot. Not quite sure how my disgust for the whole system or my feelings about it are even remotely racist.

            If it makes you feel better calling someone ignorant and racist then carry on. In reality, we somewhat agree on the problems, you just like to become the White Night for whatever reason. Its a hell of a lot easier to throw up your hands and say let it continue than actually making a statement that things are f’ed.

            You can continue on your rant and name calling. Its all good, it just won’t really fix anything and isn’t at all accurate.

            There is NO reason why the illegals cannot do things the correct way and become citizens. The fact that they aren’t and continue to remain illegal is a complete disservice to the country and to the hard working people who worked very hard to get their citizenship. If you don’t believe that just ask someone who did enter the country legally and worked to get their citizenship…their feelings will mirror mine.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – You’re still stuck on the racist/ignorant notion 10s of million illegals are more of a burden on tax payers than those simply putting in an honest and hard (and long) day’s work, for far less than minimum wage.

            It’s corrupt system that I don’t agree with either. But there far less “legal” opportunities to come to the US and work than the 10s of millions of job openings readily available. Why do you think that is? Follow the money!

            And once immigrants have the legal right to work here, they magically no longer have to dig ditches in 100+ degree heat, shovel sh!t, have their face in hotel toilets all day, etc. These and other jobs like them need to be done. Some too disgusting to mention…

            You get it yet?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Denvermike

            normally I respect your opinions. Once you start the BS with the “do you get it?” and such nonsense you just come off as too much of an ass to even bother discussing things with. I don’t know you and you certainly don’t know me so I believe it’s pretty hard for you to judge me from 1500 miles away. I’ll just bow out, let you think you’re right about everything and leave it at that. I’m not sure why you jumped on my case to begin with, other than the obvious, that you didn’t really read and digest my initial statement and just took it and ran on your rant.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – Well give me an argument that makes sense already! Finding one that doesn’t make you look more racist and ignorant is kinda hard isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “There is NO reason why the illegals cannot do things the correct way and become citizens.”

            You obviously haven’t gone through that process. The system is entirely designed to keep everyone but the connected, moneyed and the ultra-determined out.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            DM
            What exactly makes me a racist?

            You seem like the kind of Liberal that thinks anyone who doesn’t agree with Obama or thinks he is doing a piss poor job is automatically a racist…sorry buddy, that isn’t how life works. Wanting people to come to this country legally doesn’t make me racist.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            danio
            I have worked with many people over the years who have successfully become citizens by going through the system. They didn’t know anyone.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Did they tell you about how pleasant the process was? How much it cost them?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Danio
            I understand that it wasn’t an easy process. Why should it be an easy process? Every single one of them was proud that they worked to earn their citizenship (their words not mine).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ponchoindian – based on the original story, the Hispanic angle was alluded to, and this thread has been focused on Hispanics.

            Have I made any assumptions as to your skin colour?

            Your blog name would hint at First Nations/Aboriginal.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – It’s illegal now???? When did they make being an illegal alien illegal??????

            And I’m a liberal Obama hugger???

            You can hide behind the “oh that’s not legal” skirt all you want, but your racist ways still show thru like size XXXL granny diapers!!!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Denvermike
            you’re off your rocker boy

            You are the only person who has ever called me a racist. You really do make me laugh.

            Of course when you constantly change the definition of a racist during a discussion I suppose anyone can fit under the canopy you’ve created.

            May I suggest you move out of Denver. I think the thin air has really screwed with your brain.

            One question…how come it is always the self proclaimed “good people” and “open progressive” people in society that have to stoop to name calling and labeling of others?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Lou BC

            Would my skin color make any difference in the conversation? Would you look at my opinions differently? What if my wife was a different nationality or skin color?

            I wasn’t going to take DM’s bait. He seems to have enough of an issue accepting other people’s opinions without calling them idiots or racists. This was my first and last time discussing anything with him.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @PonchoIndian –
            “Would my skin color make any difference in the conversation?”
            The conversation with me – no.

            “Would you look at my opinions differently?”
            Not really.

            “What if my wife was a different nationality or skin color?”
            Not really.

            My answers above come with the caveat:
            In some cases one does need to consider race, upbringing, socioeconomic status etc. in the discussion to understand where someone is coming from and how to best communicate with them.
            That isn’t racist, that is being aware that my paradigm may be different from someone else’s and therefore modifications to my approach may be needed to facilitate communication.

            A blog is unidimensional and most of us do not have Baruth’s skills with language.

            “I wasn’t going to take DM’s bait. He seems to have enough of an issue accepting other people’s opinions without calling them idiots or racists. This was my first and last time discussing anything with him.”

            DenverMike does have a habit of using the kind of debate tactics that were deployed upon you.

            I do appreciate your feedback and you’ve remained surprisingly civil under the circumstances.

            In life we do not need to agree with each other all of the time, we need to understand, accept and grow.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @PonchoIndian – When did I change my definition of racist? You’re judging an entire group of people by a few you’ve cherry picked to represent 10s of millions. The rest is you sidestepping your original statements with nonsense of my geographic location and voting habits.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @sketch447
      Now is a great time for the US to increase immigration.

      Why?

      Because it will increase you economy and bring in new consumers.

      What do you think made the US what it is?

      All of the immigrants of yore. Were they legal? They rocked up to Ellis Island and were given a home, the rest is history.

      You and your type are going to be the down fall of a great nation.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        My grandparents had to wait for five years in Germany after the end of WWII to legally immigrate to the US. The five years of waiting post-WWII followed the destruction and confiscation of their farm in Poland and years in German agricultural labor camps. They didn’t exactly “rock up to Ellis Island”, whatever that means.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          Your Grandparents were a bit too late in the Immigrant cycle.

          He is talking about prior to Immigration Quotes in the 1920’s. If you got here you were in.

          @AL Immigrants as proportion of population is past its previous peaks.

          The US immigration laws have gotten much more friendly since the 60’s getting rid of racist policies. Plus we have diversity visas. I believe we are also the largest destination for refugees/asylum seekers in the world. This is great as it allow people who maybe aren’t educated but are looking for a better life.

          People complaining about Immigrants here has gone of for centuries. But, at the end of the day what would we be without Immigrants? Nearly every single person i know has an immigrant family member somewhere in their tree. I have a few myself, mostly Germans and one Italian. The rest are old stock colonial’s.

          The us has 45,000,000 immigrants currently. 14.3% of the population. Nothing to scoff at. We have nearly 20% of the worlds immigrants as well. Mind you Australia has 27.7% immigrants to population so you are ahead in that respect.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            He didn’t specify the year range, so frankly I think he was just repeating an immigration fallacy by lumping all white immigrants together. On the other side of my family, my grandfather emigrated from Italy in the early 30s and spent eight years working in a factory and learning English. Only after passing the citizenship test was he able to return to Italy, marry my grandmother and bring her to the US legally. I think most people recognize the value of immigration, but that is not the same thing as a lawless, open border policy.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I had a Hispanic crew painting rooms in the delapidated house I just bought for myself. At $15/hr each. I pulled up in my 1987 Volvo one day early. Lunch time. I offered to buy them lunch. We jumped into their cream Lincoln Navigator with cream leather seats to go to the deli. I felt I should be careful not to mark up the seats. Then I took my Volvo with all the tools it has in the trunk and went to work on the new sailboat I am building.

  • avatar
    C. Alan

    I had the same experience a few years ago when trying to find a 4×4 beater to drive in the moutnains of California. A 2000 vintage silverado were still fetching funds north of $6k, with about a gazillion miles on it. I found a 1999 Suburban 2500 for $4k with 130k miles on it. I drove it for two years, and sold it for $3500. With all the seats folded down, you could get a 4×8 piece of plywood in the back, and that worked out just fine.

  • avatar
    phlipski

    Here in Texas pickups reign supreme. Everybody wants one to haul air around… I was in the market for a truck years ago to pull a boat, and stupid me thought that a pickup would certainly be cheaper than the SUV that is built on the same chassis! Boy was I in for a surprise when all I could find for $1000 was a 1978 chevy pickup with carburetated engine that struggled to start and run cold and was a complete rust bucket. Most decent late 80’s, early 90’s full size pickups were at least 3-4 grand! Compare that with plenty of late 80’s suburbans with efi and 3 rows of seats for a grand or less! So I ended up with a suburban (paid $1000) and it was the better purchase in hindsight because of the fact that you could lock everything up in the back, and if you put the seats down you can haul a 4×8 sheet of plywood with the rear doors closed! Ended up selling that truck 4 years later for $950. So my suspicion is that those construction workers have made the same economic discovery as me. Coupled with the fact that a full size SUV is inherently more useful than a full size pickup for pretty much all things with the exception being you can fill your pickup bed with a load of dirt and shovel it out – not so much for the suv….

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      You know I started looking for a used 1/2 ton PU years back to tow a boat and ended up with an SUV. For the same reason as you, I could get more truck for the money. But after owning both 2 PU’s and 2 SUV’s you’ll never in a million years convince me an SUV is more useful than a PU. Never.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    This same phenomenon is likely to happen with the glossy-on-the surface/cheap-beneath-the-surface McMansions built since the late 90s. They will devolve into de-facto rooming houses once the kids grow up and move out and Mom and Dad want something smaller. Some neighborhoods will maintain the living standard, but the other slapdash subdivisions that went up during the boom years will gradually slide into the hands of the lower economic classes.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s already happening. Today, the people with lots of money to spend on housing are increasingly spending it on location rather than size and features. Cities and older walkable suburbs are getting more expensive, while McMansion subdivisions are staying flat or even declining.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Last year I test drove an 02 Expedition Eddie Bauer edition, maybe it was a 98 (which was the more rounded of the two?), and I liked it. It was going for $3,000 but it already needed tires all around and the diff was leaking.

    Did not want that enough to care.

    Re: traffic. I tend not to look at doofs on the road because they’re all oblivious and I end up whipping myself into a lather if I spot their cell phones firmly planted at their ear and their speed keeps varying 20mph, going from 55 to 35 and back again. My fuse is short enough.

    Did I mention Minnesota is a fairly homogenous state? We have hispanics, those of Middle Eastern dissent, and black people. Those that I’ve met personally have always been hard-working and good people.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It would’ve been the ’98, based off the ’97 jellybean F-150. But the ’02 was part of that generation as well. Maybe you meant ’03, which was the first year of the 2nd gen Expy.

      And yes, we’re more-or-less homogenous in temperament, if not ethnicity or even ideology. A second-generation Somali couple from Minneapolis, a Hispanic family from Worthington, the Swedish-descent bachelor farmers from up by Alexandria–all of them could get along reasonably well and even voice their disagreement with each other’s beliefs at the end of the day with a handshake and a nod of the head. MN is truly the best state, except for all the road salt. The winters are there to weed out those who aren’t strong enough, but all the road salt seems to do is ensure nobody drives any car made before 1985.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Jesus F*cking Christ. Do JB’s articles normally spur this kind of hatred in the comments section, or is the B&B especially miserable today?

    I’m voting it’s the machismo / misogyny undertones that brought the internet tough guys out to play.

    Edit: great article. Just sickened by the B&B

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, but not all the B and B, just the usual ones being even more sour than usual. Depressing really.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        It’s pathetic. These projections of ‘intellectual superiority’ and hatred wouldn’t fly in a setting where these antagonists would have to look their target in the eyes. But these pieces of sh1t let it fly when they have the safety of the internet cocooning them.

        F*ck them. I mostly loathe them for making the comments section less welcoming to people who can actually add value to the discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      mfgreen40

      Your first three words show hatred to some of us.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I was just about to say that. Not that I disagree with your feelings to some of the more unsavory elements of the B&B that have come out of the woodwork today, but meeting hate with hate just begets more hate. The best strategy is to maintain a sickly-sweet composure with an undercurrent of biting sarcasm, or if you can’t do that, just the biting sarcasm. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          My language doesn’t purvey specific hate to anyone unless they are easily offended or deeply rooted in religion. My apologies if it offends you. It’s not going to change how I communicate no matter how unintelligent/offensive it may be.

          My grandma reminds me about my unsavory language, so at least take solace that I speak the same way to everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Except for the Fit there aren’t any interesting cars being discussed today, so don’t apologize.

            I’m sure it’s been a while since anyone here has watched a spaghetti western or samurai movie and your verbal lunging across tables is always entertaining.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            You seem like a well adjusted, rational fellow, can we be friends IRL?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            The article about the industry analysis during the last manufacturing recession was very interesting. But I also experienced a lay off during that recession and felt the squeeze…

            I am overly apt to call people out. Chalk it up to growing up as a manufacturing plant rat. It’s not a very good quality, but this entire comment section just made me sick and angry. Everyone needs to chill out. And if they can’t chill out due to life being sh1tty, the first round of bourbon is on me. Life is too short to be miserable. Tolerance, people. F*cking practice it.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            319583076, so long as you don’t judge stranger’s financial decisions and draw conclusions based on spelling and grammar, we can be friends ‘in real life.’

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            Cool. No ill will toward anyone on my part. Well, maybe a little toward the bigot above, but he only got the O_o, not words.

  • avatar
    stuki

    You’re a good writer, Mr. Baruth….

  • avatar
    Russycle

    “In particular, the Dodges seem to retain insane value even with half-a-million miles on them.”

    There’s a reason for that. I’ve had a neighbor since 1998, and he’s had the same Dodge diesel pickup as long as I’ve known him. Granted, he takes good care of it, but it looks exactly like it did the day I met him–parked outside mind you–and I’ve never heard of him having any trouble with it.

    Not something I’d want to drive every day, but I love being able to borrow it when I need it.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Part of that is due to the Cummins Tax, much like the Toyota Tax. But a well-kept Dodge Ram 3/4 or 1-ton would keep most of its value, I would think, even without that tax.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Used diesel trucks in general command quite a bit of money on the secondary market here in rural PA, but Cummins Dodges are the top of the heap. Old high-mileage Ford 7.3 diesel trucks command pretty solid money though, even a ’97 F350 with a good amount of rust will still find itself with a 7 grand price tag.

      Looking at the latest classifieds I have, I find a 2007 Ram 3500 diesel with 139k for 28 grand and a 2003 F-350 7.3 diesel with 148k for 20 grand.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I don’t see large SUV’s recycled as work tools in my part of the world. Most industrial roads are gravel and 2 – 3 hours to a work site means a vehicle is ready for the scrap yard or “as is where is’ auction after 3-4 years. That is especially true for a fleet truck. We don’t see many 1/2 ton trucks as work vehicles either. The cargo capacity sucks on most of them. Try to fit a 3,000 lb tire into the back of a Tahoe.

    As usual, well written Mr. Baruth.

    Mentioning Hispanics in work clothes brings the best out of people.(sic)

    Where are all of those Homeland Security types in their Raptors?

    Are we all going to get together later for a “tea party”?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – It’s a completely different scenario in Canada. I can tell without even looking, fullsize SUVs hold better value than the pickups they’re based on, in Canada. So naturally, you’d hardly consider one to take the place of a pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – I did say “I don’t see large SUV’s recycled as work tools in my part of the world.” Do I need to specify Nothern Canada? I suspect that most of the B&B know where I am from by now.

        This story was about USED SUV’s being used for work. I’ve never seen a new SUV used as a work vehicle other than for carrying large crews. The diesel Excursion was extremely popular among reforestation crews because it was based on a 3/4 ton chassis. when Ford stopped making them companies switched to “crummies” (pickup with passenger crew box in the back)or 3/4 ton passenger vans. I have never seen companies buy used SUV’s or even used pickups.
        Work seasons are too short and the country too harsh to take a chance on used vehicles.

        Suburban’s and Tahoe’s have become too sissified to cut it as work vehicles in my world.

        I am sure things are different where money is more tight. I wasn’t implying that what I saw was representative of the rest of the planet.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou_BC
          Maybe in DiM’s part of Canada, Winnepeg and at that, living in a government subsidised inner city apartment he doesn’t have the opportunity to really see what goes on in his world;)

          He could be handicapped by his economic, demographic and geographic location or even isolation.

          This would have a tendency to create a distorted view of the world.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al from Oz – we see time and time again people who are trapped by distinct concepts or thought patterns. By definition paradigm.
            Racism, sexism, exceptionalism, conservatism, liberalism or any other “ism” one can care to list is bound by its own distinct concepts and thought patterns.
            We try to use logic to rationalize our “ism”/paradigm but ultimately it is based upon emotion.
            Emotion is next to impossible to defeat with reason.

            (Any guy who is married aught to know how that works.)

            Unless we confront the emotions that make us believe what we do we will not change.

            It is hard to see through someone else’s eyes when your own eyes are clamped shut.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            I do think you comment is great.

            It just made me realize the difference between people who can utilise logic effectively in their lives.

            It’s called empathy and sympathy.

            I would hazard to guess fan’s somehow link sympathetically to an inanimate object like a vehicle.

            Whereas if you use empathy or have an understanding of how ‘others’ feel it leaves you room to use logic instead of becoming emotionally driven.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – logic is an effective tool but we must be aware of the emotions that control how we wield it.

            I’ve said this before and it is true, people do not search for the truth, they search for validation of their beliefs.

            I’ve seen fanboys mine the internet to find one shred of vague truth to justify why their brand is the best and I’ve seen bigots do the same to rationalize why they think they are superior to another.

            We think that logic is driving the elephant that is emotion. It is the other way around the elephant drives the passenger.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            You are similar to myself in this regard.

            We both tend to probe these people to find out how they tick and what drives them.

            I do know there is one person on TTAC I continually probe. That’s Pch101.

            His logic is completely driven by emotion to the point where he has conflicting arguments regarding similar principles.

            This can only occur if you are emotionally driven by paridigms, in his case it’s politically driven, with nationalistic fervour.

            DiM, I don’t understand as completely, other than he has some sociopathic tendencies, even anti social.

            These guys are interesting ‘specimens’ to observe.

            Also, I do enjoy the way their arguments develop. They seem to only concentrate on the ‘moment’ regarding responses, completely disregarding their previous arguments.

            There is a lack of consistency in their debate. The only consistency is their inconsistent retorts, which inevitably tends to support a very generalized concept or view.

            Simplistic is a word.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – I do find both interesting. Pch is intelligent and I suspect that arrogance makes him believe he is vastly superior to anyone else.

            My “chicken tax” debate with him was hilarious. He even restarted the discussion with me on a recent Canadian sales thread.
            No hard feelings there……. ha ha.

            There are multiple good posters on this site with a depth and breath of experience and knowledge that is often impressive.

            The Editorial staff are excellent.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC
            Both DiM and Pch101 are intelligent and have great knowledge. But unfortunately emotion and paradigms handicap them.

            Emotion is reducing their capacity to maximise their intelligence.

            Sort of like knowledge. You can be knowledgeable, but if you don’t have the ‘tools’ to use that knowledge you are as useful as a broom.

            We’re all emotional, but it’s how we manage emotion. Emotion has handicapped many great minds throughout history and created some wacko’s as well.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Lou_BC – I never said anything about new SUVs. Nor did this story. Only you. Your 1st clue should’ve been “hold better value”…

          Yes we all know you live in Canada. The “BC” right after the “Lou” kinda gives it away.

          But don’t fullsize pickup trucks tremendously outsell fullsize SUVs in Canada? And don’t all those eventually hit the used vehicle market in Canada? Does Canada have the same shortage of used pickup trucks (vs SUVs) the US has? I hate to keep repeating the obvious, but you’re not so sharp today…

          So do you think vehicle prices aren’t directly tied to supply/demand? Or did you think the construction trades (as this story spells out) prefer folding down the seats and stuffing bulky tools, compressors, augers, ladders, shovels, paints, materials, chemicals, sod, manure, sand, grave, and everything else related, in or on top of SUVs, instead of the (used!) pickups they would normally/typically use?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – looks like Denver is still touchy about getting blown out of the water on the chicken tax debate too.

            @DenverMike – go re-read what I said on the Canadian sales thread. Canada has import tariffs that were supported by USA car companies. All of our trucks come from the USA. Our trucks are more expensive that US ones.

            But hey, I can repost all of my scholarly articles on the chicken tax if you want. BTW, one of them was penned by a Canadian University.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Why do you keep bringing up the last Chicken tax debate here? You lost it anyways! Then you slithered away!! As you always do…

            It’s OFF topic, but bring it, if that’s what you want!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – What does Canadian tariffs have to do with you enjoying much affordable and plentiful used pickups in Canada? An oversupply of cheap used pickups would be a paradise for deprived used pickup buyers in the US. We’re resorting to (used) SUVs if you recall the subject of the story.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – the dance continues……….

            You make a brilliant comment earlier then go back to the stupid mind games.

            Yawn…. I’m tired and don’t feel like playing any more.

            Carry on with the mental masturbation.

            Probably isn’t the first time you’ve done so to a computer screen.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – “You make a brilliant comment earlier then go back…”

            I’m on an even keel, just stating what’s true, regardless of the topic or thread. It’s you that’s flip flopping.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Denver – not sure where you got the jdea that used trucks are plentiful in Canada….If you want to be vague and general then yes.
            I see plenty of current gen F150’s, the previous gen is fairly common and the gen before tbat rare. Any trucks from those generations that are in good shape are expensive. Same for GM trucks. GMT900’s are common, GMT800’s lesss so and anything older is rare. Same can be said for Dodge . The climate kills longevity. A buddy of mine lives on Vancouver Island. The weather is mild. Older trucks have high miles and tend to selll for a premium.
            I’ve never bothered pricing BOF SUV’s but since they tend to be women driven family haulers most likely will hold value well.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Reading is fundamental. I didn’t say used pickups were “plentiful”, plain and simple. You missed the part of “vs SUVs”, in Canada.

            So yes, don’t bother pricing used fullsize SUVs in Canada. I can tell you right now, they don’t see the severe drop in value they see in the US, again vs pickups.

            Supply vs Demand. In the US, SUVs for sale greatly out number the pickups. Used SUVs are hard to get rid of while used pickups don’t sit for very long.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Denver – I’ll take your word for it this time around since you gained a ton of respect from me with your “racist” reply.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I used to work construction around Boston. Our tile contractors were Italian guys from Rhode Island. They all drove Tahoes / Yukons. Take out the third seat, throw in some rubber roofing, and voila best place to keep tiles and the tile saw. These guys would drive them into the ground, and would have a family rig on the weekends. Pretty smart move.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The thesis of this story can be boiled down to “Trucks make good trucks, even if they spent their first few years being misused.”

    Nice to see trucky SUVs being used to do trucky things.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Jack channeling well again. Though the GMC Denali truck package was not introduced till late 2001 (2002 models) I saw them being driven to job sites as early as 2006 or so.

    The GM BOF SUV platforms wear like the great GM sedans of yore that would go on for 100,000 plus miles without breaking a sweat. These are the true successors to the B-C-D body cars with the added benefit of their truck/wagon shape allowing the carrying of vast quantities of cargo/people.

    If you are a used car buyer looking for something nearly un-kill-able, you could do much worse.

  • avatar
    George B

    GMC Yukon Denali work truck is interesting, but how does it compare to a Ford Expedition with a great horned owl behind the grill?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFMjSTAYAy0

    Nothing like a pissed-off owl to make a mundane family vehicle more menacing.

    I recently had a chance to buy a used Explorer for a low price. Probably a good deal, but it was pretty miserable to drive.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Compared to crossovers, body-on-frame SUVs (even used) have less passenger room and cost a lot less. Pickup trucks can do all of the jobs just listed. There’s a brown 2014 Tundra at my school with a bed topper, and it looks amazing. Probably one of the coolest trucks I’ve seen. Take the topper off for dirty work, put it back on for family use. Pretty easy.

    The idea of using a Yukon Denali for construction work is disgusting; I feel sorry for the Yukon. Using any higher trim vehicle, especially of a vehicle that isn’t a truck, for dirty jobs just doesn’t do it for me. (I loved your Fifty Shades of Grey reference, by the way).

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      I run an electronics recycling company. Our next truck will be a Suburban.

      I don’t care about the trim level, but of course I’d love all the goodies!

      To me, it seems no stranger than using a Ford cargo van. The Suburban can seat more people in a pinch, is 4×4, and enclosed. Plus, I can tow a 5000# trailer in one if I have to.

      Seems like a good choice to me- especially considering the money that you’re saving up front.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The big disadvantage of a Suburban versus a cargo van is that it will have far, far less interior space. A 2015 Suburban has 121 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear and middle rows folded. A shorty Express 1500 (which will shortly be discontinued) has 240 cubic feet of cargo room — exactly twice as much, although it’s three inches shorter. If you really want to carry stuff, then a unibody van is even better, but you’ll give up most of the towing capability.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I’d love a full sized van, like an Express 3500. Sadly, they are not cheap out here. I get vehicles from a man who fixes them up.

          He likes Suburbans a lot, so that narrows the choices.

          ——————-

          A lot of people would assume that the Suburban has roughly the capacity of a 1/2 ton pickup. In my case, it will, because of payload limitations.

          The biggest thing to me is the fact that it’s enclosed. Computers + Rain = Bad.

          Of course, when your price range is $2000, your choices get limited.

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            Your answer is a used conversion van with the seats removed, find one that a son is selling for his grandparents who no longer drive. Fastest deprecating auto out there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Computers + Rain = Bad”

            Let’s put that on a t-shirt.

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          It’s already been discontinued.

  • avatar
    Andy

    Captain Obvious (and too lazy to read all the comments, sorry if I’m the 75th person to point this out), SUV vs pickup truck is sort of a silly comparison for actual workers. Especially the short wheelbase Yukon/Tahoe. Sure they can do a lot, and the platform is the same. But I bet old Sierra Denalis still have it on old Silverados, price wise.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    Hm. Wonder if this is what’s going to happen to my ’04 Durango after it’s time to replace it. It’s a Limited with the Hemi and all the trimmings, plus the factory off-road and tow kits. It’s also basically worthless compared to an otherwise similar Ram pickup. $40K truck when it was new 10 years ago, I bought it four years ago for $10K, and I bet I couldn’t get four thousand for it now. Big depreciation. Still cleans up nice though, even with all the drywall sheets, concrete block and other crap it’s hauled. I think I’ll actually miss it when it’s gone.

  • avatar
    bortlicenseplate

    “[…] that Christian Grey fellow that all the Vassar girls with the postgrad work in women’s studies wish would tie them up and smack ‘em around a bit.”

    Glorious!

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      I need a new thesaurus. The one I use doesn’t list smirking-at-battered-women-because-they-all-really-crave-it as a synonym for glorious.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Indeed. I’m glad someone agrees with me.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I sort of get Jack’s point.

          I work with a ton of women whom are professionals(not in a hooker sense of the word). They all were head over heels over “50 Shades of Grey”. A lot of husbands got laid because of that book.

          In some respects that is a metaphor for SUV’s (not the getting laid part). They project an image of status and family but can be used and abused on a job site.

      • 0 avatar
        bortlicenseplate

        Petezeiss, I don’t think you need a new thesaurus, and I’m guessing there’s one of 2 scenarios at play here:

        1) You missed Jack’s allusion – a bit of a non-sequitur though it was – to some women who present themselves as wholly prudent and virtuous, but who have fetishes that would violently contradict those airs. It’s a cliche but they’re out there, and for my money, it’s funny to consider.

        There are men who fall into this group, too, of course, and it’s equally funny. For a car-related example, you may be familiar with Max Moseley’s troubles with privacy and the press.

        2) A more likely scenario: you do actually get that rough consensual intimacy is a thing that exists, and you’re simply trolling for an argument based on straw men and faux-outrage.

      • 0 avatar
        bortlicenseplate

        You don’t need a new thesaurus. I’m guessing there’s one of 2 scenarios at play here:

        1) You missed Jack’s allusion – a bit of a non-sequitur though it was – to some women who present themselves as wholly prudent and virtuous, but who have fetishes that would violently contradict those airs. It’s a cliche but they’re out there, and for my money, it’s funny to consider.

        There are men who fall into this group, too, of course, and it’s equally funny. For a car-related example, you may be familiar with Max Moseley’s troubles with privacy and the press.

        2) A more likely scenario: you do actually get that rough consensual intimacy is a thing that exists, and you’re simply trolling for an argument based on straw men and faux-outrage.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “rough consensual intimacy” is a good metaphor for the entire sales experience when buying a new vehicle.
          Cue Ruggles.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          bortlicenseplate,
          misogyny gets more air time simply because it’s more socially acceptable. Would it be as interesting of a read if it had the sexual roles reversed? That would also mean we would be on Jezebel reading tripe.

          I don’t like Jezebel and I don’t like what you would call a ‘straw man.’ Give me something in between.

          People can voice opposition to something they find offensive without going into a god damned pseudo analysis like you did. Here’s an internet gold star. Good effort.

          • 0 avatar
            bortlicenseplate

            @tresmonos, your misogyny comment makes no sense because unsurprisingly it disregards misandry: male/male prison rape jokes get a free pass in today’s society, while any jokes about female sexual assault victims – again, not what Jack was talking about – are not tolerated (and rightfully so, of course).

            Re: “straw man” vs. Jezebel, it’s not my job to educate you; do your own homework. That said, if there were an “in between” it’s irrelevant here: you’re refusing to acknowledge the context of Jack’s original statement, ergo straw man.

            Finally, you know what’s worse than “pseudo-analysis”? Faux-outrage in the service of stirring the pot, granting validation-hungry narcissists an undeserved platform at the expense of meaningful discourse. It’s toxic and there’s more of it everyday.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Now that I drive a giant unnecessary full sized truck, I look around and notice that NO ONE is driving them as personal vehicles anymore. Yet part of the logic I used to convince myself to buy it was the eventual resale value down the road.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    Can’t say that I’ve seen many SUVs pressed into being work trucks around here, though some of the painters will occasionally drive an old minivan (typically a 90s Dodge Caravan). Trades guys like to be able to bolt on overhead racks, gardeners need vertical clearance for lawn mowers, and everyone seems to prefer throwing their crap over the side of a bed rather than into a hatchback. Not to mention all of the bullish!tting that seems to take place in and around the bed and tailgate. In this market, the Tundra and possibly the Titan would be the smart money buys.

    I have noticed similar price inversions as Jack referenced with M3s (coupe 6MTs vs vert SMGs) and BMW wagons (3er Touring vs 5er Touring).

  • avatar

    This may be a regional midwestern thing. I can’t say I’ve noticed too many luxury SUV’s as work trucks here in Baltimore, and I suspect part of that is that luxury SUV’s still carry some cache among urban African-Americans. You are more likely to see an older Escalade with some big rims in an inner-city neighborhood than at a job site. Even non-luxury body on frame SUV’s have some street cred – I see plenty of blinged-out older Durangos and Explorers.

    For work vehicles, I’ve seen everything from ex-Penske and UHaul trucks to amazingly beat up 20-30 year old pickups (with giant homemade wood sides if you are a scrapper or hauler) to old minivans.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No doubt, it’s a regional thing. The further south you go, meaning closer to Mexico, the more expensive used pickups get. Mexico consumes up to a million of our used pickup annually. To compound that, several years ago, Mexico banned the import of all cars (including SUVs, CUVs, vans, etc.) except for 10 years old. But Mexico still accepts 10 to 25 year old pickups for import. That’s pickup’s secret 2nd life!

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Yup, I see the same thing. They’ve become ghetto rides of choice in urban cities, because they’re cheap and project some status. They’re also big and intimidating, which appeals to this subset. Tradesmen either have pick-ups or minivans around me.

      Not sure it’s good for people of low/mod income to be blowing their money on gas for these pigs but you can’t dictate what people drive. Well, you could but of course we won’t here in the U.S. of A.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        I see the same thing in NYC. That said, I’ll resist comment on the priorities of those under economic constraints. That would make me just as guilty as skor and PonchoIndian of sweeping generalizations about groups.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    All trucks are work trucks, eventually. I like to see it. Its one reason why I bought a pickup truck. They segue from first car to second to third to giveaway and give good service for their new niche all along the way. My first truck was a vehicle that I could use to take very pretty girls out on dates when it was new. By the time it passed from my hands, seventeen years later, strangers would ring the doorbell and try and buy it from me. I wondered what they would pay, but I didn’t know, because they couldn’t speak English.

    Very occasionally you see an old truck that is not trashed and not tricked up. Usually an older truck will have at least an aftermarket set of wheels that invariably looks worse than stock. Almost as many have been beat to death. The ones that have been well-maintained for a very long period of time look the best. Kind of the Gary Cooper of automobiles.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Mama’s…must be in Charleston..lol. As for the trucks, that is all we drive over here in Saudi at my Command. The oldest is a 2001…the newest is a 2009. They are holding up rather well in this harsh environment. Though the newer ones seem to have more power and have a nicer interior, I actually prefer the 2001, as the windows have a much better line of sight. Bigger windows are a must if you want to be able to see all of the crazy drivers running around downtown Riyadh. The Yukon/Tahoe has won me over. Probably wouldn’t buy one in the US, but they fill the bill here.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Denali was my favorite Old Spice. Then I went to the dollar store and shopped generic which proved gentler on my hide & wallet.

    Don’t they shuttle politicians around these days? You know Govenor’s motorcade with dark tint & cherries.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    It’s been my experience that only racists think that everyone is racist. If that doesn’t apply to you, bravo. There are a lot of better reasons to be pissed off at people .. going after a group, any group, is pretty damn lazy.

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