The best truck I’ve ever owned is a little Ford Ranger. It was the first (and only) vehicle I’ve ever bought brand new. The year was 2002, and there was a lot going on in the automotive world. My Ford Escort, which was the first vehicle I bought without family advice or help, was pretty well worn out. It had made it through my children’s high school years, multiple repairs and was becoming a liability for getting to work. CKB logistik
I knew I wanted a truck. I like to garden and do small wood working projects; hauling dirt, manure and long boards in a station wagon is an incredible pain — to say nothing of wearing the car out faster because it is being used in ways for which it was not intended. I’d had a couple of trucks — an old blue Chevy I bought for $300 that was on its last wobbly legs, and gave up the ghost in my custody. I’d also had a tiny black truck on which the bed came loose, making it a road hazard.
In 2002, the selection of used cars locally was pretty limited, and the bank was reluctant to loan money on them, so I bought my little Ford Ranger brand new. I was proud of that little truck, and at first I worked hard to keep it free of scratches, the dirt scrubbed off of it and all the things you do with a new vehicle.
But as time went along, I got tired and the truck got some dings and nicks. I hit a deer, and knocked the grill a little bit loose. It got repaired, but it was never quite the same. Another night as I was driving home, a deer came charging up out of a ditch and put a large dent in the passenger side door. The third time a deer ran out in front of me, things got pretty serious. There was a lot of traffic that night, and the deer became very confused in all the head lights. It ran across in front of me, then doubled back across and ran up the road ahead of me. I hit the brakes, slid, hit them again, see-sawing on the wheel to aid in stopping without going into the ditch.
I got the truck stopped, took a deep breath, and WHAM! someone hit me from the rear. I had an old air conditioner in the back of the truck that I was planning to take to the drop off for aged AC’s. She hit me so hard that air conditioner hopped out of the back of my truck onto her hood. She was pretty mad, and tried to say it was my fault for being stopped, but once I explained to the highway patrolman what had happened, she got the ticket.
Little truck got repaired at her insurance company’s expense, but she was never quite the same after. Getting rear-ended that hard doesn’t do a truck’s frame any good, or the U-joint. The tail-gate got a little temperamental about closing, and the driver’s seat now sticks when adjusting it.
It’s still a good little truck. Its little four-cylinder engine chugs a little bit when I’ve got a big load of pet food and kitty litter or when I buy garden rocks. But I can put it down in second gear and walk up most any hill you please, even with a load. She’s a trim little truck and can park in tiny places, which is an advantage till I lose her behind an SUV in a parking lot. The air conditioner hasn’t worked just quite right since she wouldn’t move from a stop sign two years ago when the U-joint finally went out, but the heater works good. Even by today’s standards, she gets super gas mileage.
But the best thing about my little truck is that she is all, completely paid off! She is all mine, and has been for two years. She’s not done that proverbial thing (knock on wood) of falling to pieces the second she was no longer under warranty. She just keeps on going, getting me to the places I need to go, and bringing home the stuff I need for the things I do.