Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Truck

Someone at a supporting church volunteered to let us borrow their truck for a couple weeks.  I haven’t ever driven a pickup truck, but I figured it was no problem.

I was expecting an Isuzu or a Toyota. It is a Ford F-150 with power steering, power brakes, an automatic transmission, cruise control, air conditioning and a great radio!

It rides like a dream.  It’s no effort to steer. It has a powerful motor, no trouble pulling onto a highway.  People steer clear! It’s big! But it’s easy to drive and no problems. At 70 mph the gauges don’t even waiver: oil pressure consistent, gear box temperature no movement, engine temperature no movement, the gas gauge dropped only ¼ between McCandless Township and Erie, PA.

So after 440 miles I went to fill the tank.  It was about 7/8ths empty.  I started to fill it… It kept on and on and on…

In the end it was $58 to fill the tank with 28.9 gallons at $2.02 per gallon.  If my math is right, that’s about 15 mpg.  [My first car, a Plymouth Fury with a V-8 318 cubic inch engine, got about 12 mpg… but gas was cheaper in 1980.]

I was shocked at the cost, not overwhelmed but very surprised.  I don’t know trucks.

My brother-in-law said, “I wondered what you’d think after you filled the tank.”…

So, I thought about it… My Fiat Punto in NL get about 36 mpg (5-6 liters / 100 km).  When I fill the 30 liter (about 8 gallon) tank, it costs about 60 Euros ($67).  Gas in NL costs about 1.53 Euros PER LITER (that is converted $6.09 per gallon).  So, $2.02 per gallon sounds pretty good.

I still need to drive 880 miles with the truck, which will cost about $120.

If I rented a small car, the cost would be about $1100 (If I can get the waiver for insurance using my VISA card, I’d still pay $600 + gas at 36 mpg [24 gallons at $2.02 mpg = about $50]). So, I’d pay $650 at least or at most $1150.

Unless my math is off, the truck will save us over the next two weeks about $1000 of rental costs or at least $530.

So, thanks, good friends!  It’s a great ride at a great price!

Now where am I going to park a truck near the Pittsburgh Athletic Association for Steve & Renee’s wedding? 

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