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NY Times goes on safari to Texas, struggles to understand natives’ love for their “trucks”

NY Times goes on safari to Texas, struggles to understand natives’ love for their “trucks”

“People in Texas will buy trucks even if they’re not going to haul anything heavier than raindrops.”

I remember traveling to Texas when I was in private practice, meeting a lawyer who was investigating a possible investment fraud case who wanted me to get involved.

I’m pretty sure it was in San Antonio.

What I remember most about the trip was the lawyer’s “truck,” or as we say in more refined circles, pickup truck. It was yuge. I don’t recall the specifications on it, but I’m guessing it had as many cylinders as could be had, had a full backseat with its own doors, and was yuge (but I repeat myself). Pretty sure I needed a ladder to get into the vehicle, though my memory might be a little hazy on that part.

The other things I remember is that while we were driving, it began to hail. Not hail like we have in the Northeast. Hail the size of f-ing golf balls. He quickly headed for a parking area under an apartment building, and we waited it out.

I never got involved in the case. And I don’t think I’ve been in a “truck” that yuge since.

That’s a long way of getting me to an article in The NY Times which is something of a cultural perspective on how little liberal northeast media understands about the country.

I’ve seen this phenomenon before. In April 2009, I wrote about how media covered the Tea Party movement in rural upstate NY, Looking At Tea Parties Through Binoculars, Like On Safari:

I attended the Tea Party in Corning, NY, yesterday. There was a good crowd in this relatively small town in western upstate NY (several hours from NY City), several hundred in total. Corning is home to Corning glass and Steuben glass. The entire region has been hit hard by the exodus of jobs to less tax intensive parts of the U.S. and abroad.

I don’t remember which speaker said it, but one of them described how politicians from New York City come up to the region so that they can say they have visited the countryside, and stare at the inhabitants as if through binoculars, like on safari.

And that description was a metaphor for what is motivating the Tea Parties and fueling the outrage….  But you wouldn’t know that if all you have are binoculars, and you are on permanent safari.

The NY Times went on safari to Texas, and it has an article about a peculiar love of the natives for trucks, Rodeo Offers a 90-M.P.H. Glimpse of Texans’ Truck Mania:

Tim Spell has noticed a peculiar condition that affects Texans’ mental, physical and automotive well-being.

“I call it ‘truck-itis,’” said Mr. Spell, the former automotive editor for The Houston Chronicle. “People in Texas will buy trucks even if they’re not going to haul anything heavier than raindrops. I was interviewing one guy. He had a 4-by-4. I said: ‘You live in Houston. Why do you have this 4-by-4?’ He said, ‘Well, I own a bar, and 4-by-4s are higher, and I can climb up on the cab and change out the letters of my marquee.’”

Whether for high-up urban letter-switching or more rural and rugged purposes, pickup trucks are to Texas what cowboy boots and oil derricks are to the state — a potent part of the brand. No other state has a bigger influence on the marketing of American pickup trucks.

Having diagnosed the symptoms and named the disease, the Times tried to understand by taking a safari to the Texas Truck Rodeo:

This year’s rodeo, held in October at the Longhorn River Ranch here in Dripping Springs, in the Hill Country outside Austin, left me with a new appreciation for the word truck-a-thon….

At the outdoor awards ceremony, everyone gawked at the two-handled Truck of Texas trophy. In the end, it went to the 2017 Ford Super Duty. A mere five voting points separated the Titan from the Super Duty. John Rieger, Ford’s Super Duty brand manager, gave the trophy a long kiss in the glow of the headlights.

The Houston Chronicle says “the F-250 Super Duty [is] so common it’s practically the unofficial Texas taxi.” The Providence Journal calls it a “fuel-guzzling behemoth.”

In Texas, reportedly, they call the next video Truck Porn:

I know there are many Texas readers here, so perhap you can help the NY Times understand the love of truck.

Twitter reacted also to the notion that it was frivolous to spend money on a truck with more power than needed.


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Whiskey Bravo | January 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

As a Southerner, I will say what I have said to all my Yankee friends:

North: 1
South: 0

Halftime Score

    I’m Northern-born, but self-Southern bred.

      Same here. Born in New York City (like I had any choice in the matter), raised mostly in upstate New York. Then the Air Force sent me to Mississippi (12 years), and I moved to Texas (30 years). I usually refer to myself as a “Texan by choice”.

      Sanddog in reply to pfg. | January 3, 2017 at 12:31 am

      Born in the Pacific Northwest. Thank God we escaped! I lived in the South for 28 years and in the SW for 12. I have no plans to ever live north of the NM/CO state line.

      hvlee in reply to pfg. | January 3, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Occasionally still see the bumper sticker: “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.”

      Native of Atlanta, once a fine Southern city.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to pfg. | January 3, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Me too, Detroit, now NC. Which means, of course, that we are worse than Yankees. Having come south and stayed, we are Damn Yankees.

    Estragon in reply to Whiskey Bravo. | January 3, 2017 at 2:25 am

    We should “celebrate diversity” by recognizing regional differences in taste. Texans love the feel of riding in a truck; New Yorkers love the fermenting stench of a urine-soaked subway car.

    To each his own!

not like they are buying something useless like a copy of the NYT…..

My lil truck(s) have always been UTILITY vehicles.

They’ve pulled heavy trailers.

They’ve hauled everything I could heap on them in moves.

They’ve brought the goat feed/chicken feed home, along with the lumber, metal roofing, and court exhibits, along with the faithful Golden Retriever who gets the back seat.

I know there are high school kids in Texas with $60,000 4x4s on lifts that will never drive them in mud, or haul anything heavier than hamburgers.

It’s all cool with me. And I love that crawls all over a NYT pansy.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Ragspierre. | January 2, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    And I love that crawls all over a NYT pansy.

    When I moved to Texas in 2000 from Vermont by way of California, where I was born, and then Arizona, where I could have been born a 4th generation Arizonan (my godparents in Phoenix were the ones who hired Sandra Day O’conner out of Stanford), I was told that I was going to end up owning a Bubba truck in no time.

    Hasn’t happened yet.

    Although, the thought that a pansy libtard NYT writer might defecate and urinate in their trousers at the mere thought of this Texan buying a truck could cause me to buy one. 👿

    P.S. Happy New Year Rags! 😎

Seriously, now; this spotlights one of my favoritest things about America.

It’s a big country, with a big population, and there’s no end of real characters with major enthusiasiams.

But these enthusiasms are easy to live with. A mania for big trucks is harmless.

In some parts of the world, the enthusiasms aren’t so harmless. Chopping off people’s heads, for instance.

We don’t have that sort of thing here. Or at least we didn’t, until someone started to import it.

Countries and populations make their own beds, and they get to sleep in them. Make America Great Again by letting Americans (and legit immigrants) be Americans.

Interesting to see regional differences in percentage of makes of trucks. That said… it is a “strange” world…. such as my Dodge Ram 2500 Longhorn Diesel with Leer cover truck’n down the Seward Highway with the BBC World Service on the sat radio….. a mere 450 hp and only over 800 pound feet torque from the Cummins. As Top Gear noted… the single best selling vehicle is the F150. That shows how detached NYC is from the USA….. but we knew that already.

Yes… these are a few Ferraris in Alaska. One of the oncologists I know has a Porsche GT3. Just a summer car…. biggest problems driving in Alaska… rocks and moose…. hence… my wife demanding I drive something big enough to not have the moose come through the windshield.

    Anonamom in reply to alaskabob. | January 2, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    We’re not in Alaska, but we have a similar driving situation here. I drive a Toyota Sequoia and my husband drives a Tundra. There are rich people in town who have “summer cars,” and a few whack-a-doodle libs who insist on driving vehicles with a “smaller carbon footprint.” I shudder to think what would happen to them if they hit a moose or an elk. Nope, nope, nope. The only vehicle with four wheels that’s not built on a truck frame is a John Deere.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to alaskabob. | January 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I had wondered where all those Ford trucks were going that supposedly gave that company top sales for decades. Now we know – Texas (and the rest of the south?)

    Around us in NW MT, Chevy (and GM) trucks are king, even with a Ford dealership in the next town east. Right time of day, and you can sometimes see a half dozen lined up at the grocery store. Seems to run 80% Chevy/GM, 10% Ram, maybe 5% Ford, and 5% everything else (esp., I think, Titans). My guess is > 90% 4×4 (it does snow), and, of the Chevy/GM 1500s, better than half are Z71s (off road version). Pretty much everyone has one truck, and some have two. One friend has a gas and a diesel, latter for towing. Another friend has a new Ram diesel and several older trucks for dirty work. Etc.

    This carries on to the SUVs, but not quite as much. A lot of Suburbans, but also a large number of Tahoes and Yukons. At one point, a couple years ago, I had a Chevy 1500 Z71 pickup, a Tahoe, and a GM 2500 Suburban (which I sold).

    The nice thing about driving Chevy/GM there is that one father/son shop does the bulk of the automotive/light truck repair in town. The father had been a certified Chevy mechanic before going off on his own. They are really, really good – even the son can do top notch Chevy truck work in his sleep in record time, at a low price. A couple years ago, they popped a tow hitch and wiring into the Tahoe in short order, and for minimal cost, after I had been told by 4 or 5 other people that it wouldn’t fit, due to the oversized spare tire. Took one look, told me it would fit, knew where a good used one was, and had it back to me the next day. Got a slightly used exhaust system in the pickup last summer for under $100 (parts and labor).

      Grandpa in reply to Bruce Hayden. | January 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      But Fords are much better than GM products. Stronger, faster, better looking, more comfortable, etc. The list goes on and on.

I drive a Chevy Tahoe, but it’s still considered a “truck” much like any soft drink is a “coke.” I live in Austin proper, but I find plenty of uses for it:

Sometimes I tow my boat. Normally I keep it at the marina on Travis, but sometimes we like to haul it up to LBJ or one of the other area lakes.

I’m putting deer fence around my hill country property, and I have a 16-ft utility trailer that I use to haul pipe, fencing, concrete, etc for that project. BTW I’m pretty sure that whatever money I’m saving by building my own fence is going to my chiropractor.

And then there is my dog, I don’t go many places without my dog. I usually leave the back seats down and he loves it back there.

Oh yeah, a couple times a year I’ll go hunting and that 4×4 sure comes in handy then.

I used to work for a silicon valley company and when I’d go visit the office there I invariably wound up riding in some co-worker’s Prius or other similar thing. I always got a kick out of those little cracker-boxes… I couldn’t do hardly any of the things I need a vehicle to do with one of those virtue-signaling toys. But hey, to each his own.

    AmandaFitz in reply to Paul. | January 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I used to drive a Suburban- and there’s no other vehicle I’d rather have if I still had kids at home! NO OTHER VEHICLE beats a “Burb” for road trips with kids and dogs. I love big trucks and wish we had one for our country property because there are so many times I need to haul stuff, but an “extra” vehicle isn’t in the cards. What else can haul a horse trailer or a load of hay on a gooseneck trailer or a boat or a load of lumber or…..When the “zombie apocalypse” comes, those New Yorkers will try to steal big trucks!

      Bruce Hayden in reply to AmandaFitz. | January 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I bought my GM 2500 Suburban used, and it was definitely used to haul hay. Took awhile before the smell of hay was not the predominant smell in the vehicle.

      Friend, has a maybe 10 year old Suburban, and was looking to maybe replace it this year, despite having had constant mechanical problems with the upgrades over that time (my Tahoe is about the same age, but is the low end, and hasn’t had nearly the problems). Nevertheless, after all the reviews, and a test drive, he decided against it, because they have gone so urban. More likely to be seen in downtown DC in a motorcade, than out on the farm. Went with a van instead.

How many kegs of Shiner can you yankees carry in a Porsche? I didn’t think so. I bet you a dime to a donut that one of our littlest girl Texans could stomp a mud hole in that NYT reporters butt if she wasn’t such a lady.

    alaskabob in reply to Bob00. | January 2, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    The NYT reporter might break a nail.. and then HE would be upset.

      That seems mighty presumptuous of you. Are you sure that’s the proper pronoun?

        alaskabob in reply to Paul. | January 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        Not at all…. if your wardrobe contains footie pajamas and you prefer hot chocolate… then spot on. Now if you have Bunny Boots and prefer Alaskan coffee (one part coffee… two parts Jack) I can make allowances.

Henry Hawkins | January 2, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I’ve always driven pick up trucks, a long series of small Ford Rangers, interrupted once by a basic Ford F-50. There are some people who treat a truck (or any vehicle) as a piece of apparel, an extension of self, real or perceived. There are others who view their truck as a tool, a way to tow boats, haul yard trash, move furniture and appliances. Most, I suppose, are a little of both.

I currently drive a 2010 Ford Ranger, picked out because it had zero power features (to later go wrong), and minimal fancy options. I have to roll up the windows by hand! BY HAND! If I want to lock/unlock the doors, I have to use the key… MANUALLY! These sad facts have not been a burden.

I’m pretty sure that if I won the lottery for $2.5 katrillion, I’d splurge by going out and buying a new option-less Ford Ranger when they start building them again.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 2, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I also drive my trucks until they die, when I pull the plates and walk to the dealership for a new one. So far I’ve gotten at least 280,00 miles and as much as 320,000 miles out of each truck. I’ve never gotten more than $500 for a trade-in. Total wrecks, lol.

      Tom Servo in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      You did amazing! I took my Dodge Ram Hemi to 170,000 and, although it was still running great, decided it was time to sell it for something a bit more sporty. I kind of felt like I was cheating on America when I got my V6 Toyota Tacoma, but I’ve had it 2 years now, and it still is amazingly fun to drive and does everything I want it to, including being better on ice and slick surfaces than any truck I’ve ever driven before. (I gotta hand it to the toyota engineers, at even the hint of a slick road my Dodge’s hind end starting wanting to pass the front end on even the slightest turn)

        alaskabob in reply to Tom Servo. | January 2, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        My Lexus 1999 LX470 has 180,000 and engine is still great… that’s 18 years in the Great White North …. temps down to -40 and the body and accessories will fail first…. best car i have ever had… replacing it will be painful… emotionally and financially!!! Sticker shock deluxe…

      In my small family business, we have nothing but F250 and F350 4x4s. All gassers.

      I have 2
      me bro has 2
      me son has 1
      me nephew has 2
      me Pappy has 1

      Over 40 years, I’ve taken 5 of them over 200,000 miles, 2 of those going 250,000 before they limped to the dealer.

      And that’s hauling 100 gallons of diesel fuel, hundreds of pounds of tools, etc and quite often pulling trailers with as much as 12,000 pounds on them.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Never have quite understood this. Full sized trucks just last and last and last. Regular cars – not as much. My pickup has 250k, my Suburban was nearly 300k when I sold it, and my Tahoe has maybe 150k. All original engines. Guy who works on them tells me to expect 300k or so, and he has one in town that topped 500k. Nothing big breaks (though I did need a new transmission in the Tahoe a year or two ago). Just not cost effective buying new ones.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Bruce Hayden. | January 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm

        Let me add that if I do buy a new pickup in the next couple years, it will because my significant other refuses to ride in the one I have. She calls it the Black Beast. I call it the Black Beauty in response. But, you can maybe understand that, since her last car was a cherry red 500 SL (fairly fast Mercedes convertible) that I had to take my shoes off to ride in.

JoeThePimpernel | January 2, 2017 at 3:58 pm

A metrosexual struggling to understand that which differs from it.

How could anything outside of it even exist?

Three words: Low Water Crossing. Many parts of Texas do not have culverts beneath the roads to channel rainwater runoff away from the road surface. Rather, the runoff is allowed to flow over the road surface, creating a localized flooding condition and leaving behind a layer of slippery, wet mud.

In addition, many areas of Texas are flat or very slightly dished, resulting in extended and/or heavy rains leaving behind a three to four inch deep lake where roads and fields used to be. This problem is exacerbated by the underlying clay and limestone, which prevents rainwater from “soaking in” to the ground.

Thirdly, Texas is big. Northeasterners don’t realize how big. It is possible to drive over 850 miles in a relatively straight line completely within the state (Orange [eastern border] to El Paso [western border] on I-10).

And while many people who own pickup trucks may not haul things on a regular basis, there are times when only a pickup will do. Bringing home a side of beef for the 4th of July barbeque, for instance.

Finally, why not? Many of us can afford it. Our taxes, rents, gas prices, insurance, general cost-of-living are all lower than up in Yankee Land.

For the record: I live in San Antonio and I drive a 1993 Saturn SL-1 sedan (with 5-speed manual transmission).

    Morning Sunshine in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    “Thirdly, Texas is big. Northeasterners don’t realize how big. It is possible to drive over 850 miles in a relatively straight line completely within the state (Orange [eastern border] to El Paso [western border] on I-10).”

    reminds me of my first year after college in upstate NY. I had a (guy) friend from El Paso Texas, and my friends from MA, CT and NY asked if I would see him over summer break. I live in Utah. Northern Utah. “Um, no – He lives in Texas.” “But that is only a few states, not too far.” “Um, yeah it is.”
    No concept.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Morning Sunshine. | January 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      My significant other has been popping back and forth between Phoenix and NW MT on a routine basis for maybe 30 years now. Her ex still does it up and back every month for half the year. Roughly 1,000 miles, with only UT and the narrow part of ID in between. And, about the same to CO, where we are now, with only WY in between. And, 800 miles from Denver to PHX, where the two states actually touch. Now, we fly back and forth (relatively cheap on SWA through Spokane), except once every year when we are hauling a lot of stuff up or back.

      Yeah a person that lives in upstate New York drives 850 miles can go all the way to the Florida Keys. Only one problem, there is no empty space between there and New York. Mostly all cities.

    Bob00 in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 2, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Don’t be encouraging those northerners to move down here. Didn’t you get no learnin in skool about the last time they tried to make us act right.

I like big trucks and I cannot lie…

It’s a Ford F-250 4×4 for me. Cue Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor grunts!!! Gotta be able to sling some mud when getting to the deer stand!

If for no other reason than a truck has a frame under the body that will keep my wife and family safer than in my Saturn SL2 wagon, keeps me spending the bigger bucks to own one.

    rabid wombat in reply to mrtomsr. | January 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Exactly! F=MA. For those sitting in their five star Honda Squeeks, you will end up being a hood ornament. A Suburban for the wife and kid – the Texas station wagon.

    As mentioned by others, the ability to get out. The biggest rains I have had to deal with were in the neighborhood of 15 inches in 24 hours (nominally three times in the past four years). The big rain (I was not hear at the time) was close to 39 inches in 24 hours. Clearance is your friend.

      rabid wombat in reply to rabid wombat. | January 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Here, not hear

        Valerie in reply to rabid wombat. | January 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm

        Suburbans are good for snow, too.

        I wanted a mommy van, big enough for me to go to the back and put coats on the kids. What I got was a Suburban. It had four wheel drive, and was big enough to extract courtesy out of Maryland drivers.

        We got plowed in on our cup-de-sac one year, with about a foot of snow and a neighbor’s car slewed across part of the street. The plow drivers passed us up for three days, but by about the end of the first, we drove that truck through about a foot of snow, and made ruts for our neighbors to get in and out.

        Snow was rarely a big deal where we lived. It would be gone within a week, but not being stuck was really nice.

Why do I drive a pick-up? Because it’s useful, and it’s what I want to drive.

The fact that it seems to irritate northeastern metrosexuals is a bonus.

    Barry in reply to rinardman. | January 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    “The fact that it seems to irritate northeastern metrosexuals is a bonus.”

    It is a bonus, but then just about everything normal people do irritates the commies…

    They ask me “why” I drive a Suburban. ‘Cuz I want to. When I tell them I have two, I get double bonus irritation points.

DINORightMarie | January 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Is there anything about Texas that a NYT reporter understands?

…and as I boarded the aircraft that would take me back to civilization, I looked back upon these simple primitive people and the crude yet powerful vehicles they drove. Soon I would be back to the land of Starbucks and hybrid Toyotas, while the roar of gas-guzzling V-10 engines and the stench of diesel would continue in this pre-enlightenment community of crudely-roasted BBQ and cold beer. While I sipped on an imported mineral water during the aircraft taxi out to take off, I could not help but think how to extend the helping hand of progressivism to these people, these Texans in the mist.

Subotai Bahadur | January 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Used to drive a 4 WD Chevy Suburban, which is basically an enclosed pickup with 3 rows of seats. Got it because I had 3 teenagers, and the ability to separate 3 teenagers on a long drive was a big plus. But once I had it, the higher, easier, ride on cross country trips [from the mountains of Colorado to Kansas City is a long ride]. In Colorado we have slopes and sometimes a whole lot of snow. 4WD comes in handy. Especially when all the “Smart Cars” are off the side of the road, upside down and covered with snow.

And the stronger frame can literally be a lifesaver. We have a lot of deer here. Dumbest critters G-d put on earth except for felons. They will jump out from cover in the middle of the night and try to cross an interstate in front of a solid wave of traffic going 70 mph. I say try, because they don’t make it. Compare what happens to a Prius that hits a deer at speed -v- a Suburban. I have. The coroner got involved with the Prius crash. I had to change a broken headlight with my Suburban.

Now I got my Suburban before GM became Government Motors, and will never buy another GM vehicle. But a big Ford P/U sounds awful attractive.

    Dumbest critters G-d put on earth
    deer are the smarter cousins of moose.
    moose are dumber then cows…almost as hard on a vehicle when hitting them too. can mess up 18 wheelers.

I thought the Ford F-250 diesel was the state bird of Texas.

I used to live on Padre Island by Corpus Christi. One Sunday morning my wife and I were heading out towing our travel trailer for a trip. Got up around Hondo and noticed a nail in one of the trailer tires. It was around 9:00am and just about the only thing open was a Walmart. Pulled in and started to change the tire.

I had had some heart work done a bit ago and was taking blood thinners. While I was messing with the jack I must have scratched the outside of my arm. If you have ever taken blood thinners, you know how much you can bleed from a small scratch. Anyway…. a couple of folks in their Sunday best saw me bleeding. They stopped and asked if I needed help. While I was looking at the blood all over my arm and pants about 4 more people in those evil pickup trucks stopped and all of a sudden there were two guys jacking the trailer and getting the tire changed.

Wonderful people. You could bleed to death in Times square and people would just step over you. In texas they jump to and help a stranger without hesitation.

Now you’ve done it prof. Pickem up drivers can’t help but brag on their choices. You do realize you could be starting a new civil war with your article don’t you?
Of course GM is the real leader of great pickem up trucks.

Picked up the mid size GMC Canyon two years ago. It’s actually about the old full size pickem up truck of about 10 years ago. I’ve been getting 24 mpg at 70 on the highway.
An absolutely awesome truck and a buddy bought one after I took he and his wife for a ride.

Here in Wyoming, we also drive large pickup trucks. For the stated reasons above and one other that Texas and other southern states lack. That is right, snow. That stuff can get mighty deep in the winter time – on the level and in drifts. I would love to see that New York Slimes reporter tool around in his/her pregnant roller skate in six inches of the white stuff, when back there they shut down schools for one little snowflake that hits the ground

    Here in Texas we try to keep our snow up by Dallas and points north. However, we have – occasionally – had snow here in San Antonio.

    True story: Our Hero (hi there!) is an Airman First Class stationed at Keesler AFB, Biloxi MS, right on the Gulf Coast (as in the Gulf was one half mile south of the base main gate). Winter of 1977 KAFB was having the runway resurfaced, so my airplanes had been moved to Gulfport Airport, 15 miles straight down the road. We get the Great Snowfall of 1977; one quarter inch that completely paralyzed three counties. Schools closed, businesses closed, roads closed, etc. So, I’m happily barreling down Pass Road in my USAF-issue Chevy Step Van when I get pulled over by a Gulfport police officer.

    “Why are you driving so fast in these conditions?” (or words to that effect)

    I look down at him from my lofty perch and reply, “Officer, I learned how to drive in upstate New York.”

    “Oh. Have a nice day!”

      Bob00 in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      I remember seeing that snow storm on the tv. San Antonio drivers don’t get much practice driving in the snow.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Rusty Bill. | January 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Kina reminded me of my time in the DC area. Remember barrelling down the Suitland Parkway at the speed limit (55?), and then finding myself stuck behind traffic doing maybe 10 mph. Every time it showed an inch or two. It wasn’t even that slick (and, I had 4 (illegal in MD) studded snow tires). I could play dumb tourist (with the studded snow tires) because I had CO plates.

Our OC California family drives 2 suburbans and a Ford expedition. Now I know why, we lived in Houston, TX for 2 years in the 90s.

Down here in the northern part of the Mexican desert they have let out school because it might snow. No really! It doesn’t rain much here so I got rid of my Chevrolet that was built in an adjoining country and bought a small Nissan build by those poor ignorant southerners in Mississippi. I like it and my dog likes it. I made sure about that before I bought it. It’s just uncivilized to make your dog ride in the bed when the Texas heat is driving most folks indoors. I think he’s a little upset because it doesn’t have leather seats, but he’ll get over it.

I think its the difference between a nanny-state “one size fits all” mentality and an independent one.

Liberals/New Yorkers – Most trips don’t require a truck so nobody should buy a trick.
Conservatives/Texans – Some trips may require a truck, so I will buy a truck.

And of course, liberals tell other people to do one thing and they do something else – in the DC suburbs and California, there are plenty of people hauling around their one or two preschoolers in huge $50k SUVs – Lexus or Cayenne being popular.

Those NY Times trolls silvering across Texas – bet anything they’re bad tippers.

My 93′ Dodge Dakota was far and away the best pickup I ever owned. Over the 20+ years I owned it, it had carried 3,000 lbs. of gravel until the tires almost popped, towed a 30′ travel trailer 500 miles, and hauled all the lumber and concrete to build an entire house. The transmission finally gave up the ghost so I had it crushed. What I want to know is why Dodge no longer makes Dakotas with 8′ beds. All they sell are those sissified “crew cabs” with the 6′ beds. Bastards.

Henry Hawkins | January 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm

Ain’t nuthin’ uglier than a pickup with a crew cab.

If the roads around NYC were up to the standard size used in Texas, they would have large trucks too.

Texas “raindrops” are only slightly smaller than Alaskan “raindrops”. If there weren’t for pick-up trucks out there, the Coast Guard would have to patrol highways rather than by-ways in Texas and Alaska.

I’ll bet that nimrod couldn’t even drive a stick shift. That is the only way to drive a pickup.

    Sanddog in reply to Stan25. | January 3, 2017 at 12:53 am

    It’s becoming more and more difficult to find a vehicle with standard transmission… including trucks.

      amatuerwrangler in reply to Sanddog. | January 3, 2017 at 4:14 am

      Amen brother. When I bought the Ram 2500 in 2003 they could only sell the 5-speed in Kali; the 6-speed on the Cummins did not pass emissions muster. And it took some looking to find a 4×4 diesel stick shift. Roll up windows that open and close without a key in the ignition. The “back seat” is handy for things that you want to keep; dogs ride shotgun. I did have to settle for cruise control (that I like) and cassette deck.

      How much fuel is saved when bringing home 20 bales of hay in a Prius? Not much since its 20 trips…

Article didn’t even mention – NO ONE shoukd drive a FORD…I prefer GMC….

Richard Aubrey | January 3, 2017 at 8:43 am

Got a relation in, of course, Austin who is seriously concerned about this issue.
“But they don’t NEED those trucks,” he says. Being in Austin, I suspect he is concerned that people make choices of which he does not approve and we may need a government agency to rule on whether your need justifies buying a truck.

Seems to me that if the indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest should be left to live their primitive lives untouched, then the same should apply to those of us between the Hudson and the far-left coast. No attempts should be made by the Gov’t to interfere with our traditional and sacred culture.

Since moving to Oklahoma, I’ve bought Explorers for many of the reasons already discussed – hauling boats, equipment, and so on… And, since there are so many big trucks out here, to protect myself in case of an accident.

Professor – on your story about the big hailstones – the driver ducked into the parking garage probably to protect the truck but also to avoid more severe weather, such as a tornado.

I’ve noticed that a lot of car dealers are installing shade structures over their lots to cut down on the storm damage, reduce insurance costs and make it cooler to walk through the lots in the summer.

I had a little Ford Ranger and then when the boy bought himself a Little Giant power hammer it got squashed. I have a Tundra now. Lesson is you never know when you are going to need a big pickup. Better be prepared.

(Yeah, I was Yankee once too. I got better.)

Henry Hawkins | January 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm

New Yorkers = Metrosexuals
Texans = Jethrosexuals

I find it interesting that this blog post, by a law prof from NY state, has generated more responses than almost any that I can remember here. And, interesting to find so many regulars are really truck nuts underneath their civil postings. Probably own some guns too… Who would have guessed?

    alaskabob in reply to Bruce Hayden. | January 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Why yes I own more guns than trucks…. A well armed truck is a polite truck. Heavy calibers are important up here. Know a lot of guys and gals with very heavy armament… Haven’t heard of any snow rhino or rogue mastodon attacks in Anchorage have you? Of course not… they KNOW we are out there to stop any rampages. How many dog owners in NYC name their dog “Rigby” and now many vanity plates say “HnH 375”?

    I haven’t owned any guns since that horrible canoe accident…

    Sanddog in reply to Bruce Hayden. | January 3, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    No truck but I do have an Armada built on the Nissan Titan platform. I thought about a smaller vehicle but I need the space for all my guns.

Ah, the NYT, where a trip anywhere west of the Hudson River is a “safari.”

    Elliott in reply to Owego. | January 4, 2017 at 7:47 am

    My eldest is an IT director in Manhattan. He said they really are ridiculous and ignorant about a lot of things but can be kind and funny too. So they don’t know what they don’t know which is why he earns so much and where he is for the time being. He works with media (cable television) companies to fix their H1b’s “mistakes”. It is very expensive to fix “money saver’s” boo boos.

buckeyeminuteman | January 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I think big trucks are a country-minded folk thing. We’ve got plenty of big ones in O-HI-O. I love my truck and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…except a bigger truck.

Why the cultural affinity for pick up trucks in Texas? My grandmother’s family moved to Texas to breed horses in 1840 from Virginia. They bred very fine horses of every kind. Saddle, pack, wagon, dray, farm, carriage and an occasional race horse. There was a huge market that was growing for well bred animals and even more profit if they were trained. Why were horses so valued? The area is huge. The towns and settlements far apart with days of travel involved. The better bred, bigger, and trained the horse the higher your odds of surviving the journey. The same went for farm, dray and carriage horses. They are vital transport and for work. This has been transferred to pickups. And people loved their horses and treated them very well. My father and grandfather certainly did and they loved their trucks too. I drive a Range Rover often in the middle of nowhere in Texas.

If someone wants to really make a liberal upset, go tooling around with the ultimate in lager trucks. Say a Peterbilt or any other large hunk of metal. That is total heresy in their world. That means someone is earning a dollar or two. Can’t have that, no.siree Bob.

I’m not a New Yorker, but a semi-urban midwesterner. I don’t get the truck thing either. People buy trucks and never, EVER haul anything in it. It’s just for toting their fat ass around. The worst are the ones who hang “truck testicles” off the back. Every time I see those I want to castrate their truck.