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Ennis Daily News

The need for trucks clarified

The auto industry did not have a good year in 2008. In the years leading up to this fiasco, many carmakers emphasized the production of big cars with low fuel economy.
I know Texans love their trucks. In some places, your status can be determined by the brand of your car. In places like Los Angeles, people drive Mercedes and Audis in hopes of impressing their peers.
Here in Ennis and other semi-rural areas of Texas, the bigger your truck, the more impressive it is. I drive a small Pontiac hatchback that is constantly dwarfed on the road by huge trucks and SUVs. I never really cared about having a big vehicle. My car gets good gas mileage, and is the perfect size for my five foot, four-inch frame.
In the past three years, I have visited both Paris and London. Trucks and SUVs are extremely rare in those cities. The streets are occupied by both cars and bikes. The cars are small. They have to be small in order to fit into the tight parking spaces on the streets.
A Ford F-250 driving down the streets of London would be shocking to Londoners, who value their little pockets of space in such a crowded city. Many people drove Mini Coopers, which looked to me like toy cars. However, this didn’t stop me from wanting one.
In Paris, Smart Cars are everywhere. For those of you who have never seen a Smart Car, they are about half the size of a normal-sized sedan. Two can fit into a parking space designed for one regular-sized car.
Since I only visited the very populated areas of England and France, I do not know if people drove bigger cars in rural areas. They most likely do.
However, even though I do drive in rural areas, I still don’t think I need a truck. I have my sights set on a hybrid for my next car. Gas prices are lower than they have been in recent years, but I still would like to invest in saving our planet by using less gas.
I always wonder about the need for a truck. I know that a truck is essential for farm work, but lots of people who don’t have farms have trucks. My dad is one of them, and I tease him about it. He likes his truck, and it does come in handy occasionally when he helps someone move.
But Wednesday morning, I finally got it. I understood the appeal of a truck. I was driving down a two-lane road on my way to work, when I saw that a truck with a trailer was parked perpendicular to the road, completely blocking my way. I sat there, dumbfounded, wondering what to do. A truck came up behind me, but didn’t slow down. It drove around me and around the parked truck, into the ditch, and back onto the road.
Wow! That was such an eye-opening experience. The truck could drive off the road without worrying about damage! There was no way my car could’ve handled that. In a rural area, trucks are almost necessary. You can pull a boat to the lake, help someone move, get some farm work done and even drive when a road is nowhere to be found.
I probably still won’t buy a truck, but they definitely will have my respect from now on.

Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Jan 23 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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