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Keep on Truckin'

Renee-Lucie BenoitKeep on Truckin'. This is a famous phrase that was coined in the 60s by cartoonist R. Crumb.

However, in ranch and farm country the phrase has an even bigger significance. Trucks are de rigueur in the country. That means they are a necessity. But what is a truck?

In my youth, which I admit was somewhere back in the prehistoric era, we called them pickup trucks. Don't ask me why. That's just what we did. Then as time went on it got shortened to just truck and pickup was rarely used. The problem is, people are now using the term "truck" for every last vehicle out there that isn't a passenger car! Out here in the country we have the equivalent of the 50 Inuit words for 50 kinds of snow but instead for trucks.  There is a simple but big difference between what is a truck and what is not. Unfortunately it still is all too common even out in the country that people apply the term "truck" to the wrong vehicle. My intent is not to scold. My intent is to set the record straight in a friendly way because I love you all and I want you to be correct. I, too, did not know the difference.

When people refer to their miniature, half- or three-quarter ton pickups as trucks I feel like I need to say something. Sometimes my husband does, too. Oh, all right, mostly me. Before I met him I was guilty of being clueless. He informed me like the kind patient person he is.  Now that I am in the Circle of Trust — also known as the Circle of Trucks — I have gained the ability to Know Things. Yay. Much better position to be in. Good positions are rare in life. My husband Knows Things. He tells me all the time.

Just so there's no guessing, a pickup is a utility vehicle weighing less than a ton. Pickups are for, well, picking things up. Bagged dirt from Home Depot or Lowes, lumber from same if you have a rack, plants from the nursery. We use the horse trailer for livestock panels and taking crap to the dump (so we don't have to tarp it). We don't have a truck. We have a pickup.


Photo by Fotolia/andrey snegirev

As an aside please do not call your SUV a truck. It is not a truck. It is an SUV. A Sport Utility VEHICLE. Yes, I know. Yes, it might be built on a "truck" chassis. But see where you were misled?  It's a misnomer from the get-go.


Photo by Fotolia/RobertNyholm

Trucks, on the other hand, are heavy duty vehicles weighing over one ton. They often haul heavy stuff. Here are examples of trucks.  Fire trucks, semi tractors aka semis, dump trucks, water tank trucks, logging trucks, etc.


Photo by Fotolia/Jaroslav Pachý Sr.

Now that you know the difference, you might happen to be in conversation with someone in the Circle of Trucks.  You will now sound smart and informed. You will sound like a card-carrying member of the Circle of Trucks. It's a good thing.

So when you go to town to get stuff you are most likely doing it in a pickup. It's all right. Now you know. Let's start a movement to get our terminology straight and Keep On Truckin'!