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SUVs and large truck thoughts and opinions
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GothicAvatar96
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Joined: 23 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.04(Fri)22:33    Post subject: SUVs and large truck thoughts and opinions Reply with quote

Hi guys I just wanted to see what everyone thought of this subject . It seems to be a touchy topic lately and I've been thinking about it a lot . I mean does the average soccer mom or businessman who lives in the city need a ginormous truck. And is it right to tell people what they can or can not spend there money on ? I myself fell into the whole "bigger is better" mentallity when I made my latest vehicle purchase. And to be quite honest I'm rather regretfull for buying the biggest dodge hemi I could find . And what about the economic impacts with gas prices and most importantly the environmental impacts. Should there be more laws and regulations or should we ride it out like the gas shortage in the 70s? Just a little curious as to how my aqua friends feel about this .
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kilted
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Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Location: Hendersonville, TN

PostPosted: 2005.03.04(Fri)23:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own a small gas guzzling car, but at least it is fast, fun to drive, easy to park, and less likely to kill or injure other motorists. I have never liked large automobiles, but my dislike is based on safety concerns and drivability instead of environmental concerns, plus I have never been convinced that a large automobile could make up for any of my personal inadaqucies... not that I have any Shocked
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uLtRa
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003
Location: Southend, UK

PostPosted: 2005.03.05(Sat)5:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people should be responsible, in the Uk now we have these like eco-warrior people mainly in London that stop SUV's and urbans 4X4's in the street, follow them home from the school pickup and there has also been tyre slashings! Why do you need a 4X4 in the middle of Surrey? Completely uneeded I feel. Everyone has the opinion that "oh only one car won't make a difference" but if we all just stay away from them then it WILL make a difference to pollution, global warming etc. Then again if I was a millionaire I'd find it real hard not to go out and buy a huge hummer just for the hell of it.
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FishAddict85
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: Oklahoma, USA

PostPosted: 2005.03.05(Sat)7:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I just wrote an essay on them. Haha! Yeah, but my main concern with them is how they rollover like crazy and are a hazard to the roads, and how inexperianced drivers tend to perfer them. Heck, they are just as safe as any other car. Also wrote about how they guzzle gas. But yeah....big SUVs need to get off the road! We got along perfectly without them before, we will be okay. Rolling Eyes
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GothicAvatar96
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Joined: 23 Dec 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.05(Sat)18:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys make great points hell I even forgot about people rolling them over and feeling over confident in bad conditions. *sigh* Crying or Very sad I don't know I just don't have very high hopes for out futer as a species. Whats gonna happen when weve hollowed out ourr world like a giant egg. Fossil fuels arent an endless resource. Also we have "eco warriors" here in the US its an organization called ELF earth liberators .. some or other . There cause is noble but I can't condone such barbaric behavior . [setting houses on fire, spray painting SUV's]
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TTYdrop
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Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Location: Shropshire, UK

PostPosted: 2005.03.05(Sat)18:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate driving my dads SUV in the mud/snow, handles really bad, doesn't feel safe at all. Its slugish too and it just can't corner. I've got the same amount of room in my estate, slightly better mpg and loads more power and better handling. SUVs are just status symbols, unless you live in the middle of nowhere and need to get through drifts and mud slides Very Happy
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2005.03.05(Sat)18:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish people would be more environmentally aware when making auto purchases. But, I am totally against any more governmental regulations and/or laws aimed at personal liberties. Personal responsibility should be all that's needed...yet most Americans are basically wasteful pigs, who live for today as though tomorrow will never come. Every car regardless of size should be required by Federal law to get 25 mpg...no exceptions. If you want big, it will crawl along at a snails pace and not suck down any more fossil fuels than the little vehicles that can scoot along at a much better pace. IMO it should all boil down to regulating the manufactures regarding mpg...build 'em any size they want, they just have to get respectable gas mileage.
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2la
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: St. Paul, MN

PostPosted: 2005.03.06(Sun)3:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

As SUV-bashing seems to be en vogue these days, and seeing that I despise the concept of fashion of any type, let me put my two cents in as an unabashed SUV-owner as well as pose a philosophical question or two. First, blaming SUVs for being more prone to rollovers is like blaming a .45 magnum for putting bigger holes in people than a .22. Tersely put, it's kind of a "Well, duh" kind of thing. But that SUV/large truck does nothing without the input of an operator behind the wheel--same as any other vehicle or piece of equipment of any type. Don't blame the SUV for rolling over any more than you would blame the .45 for killing someone. Both can do more damage in comparison to their smaller counterparts, true, but the fact remains that damage can still be done regardless of the equipment you're using. In other words, it's the responsibility of the users of heavier equipment to know the limitations of their equipment and of their own capabilities to handle that equipment. The SUVs aren't the ones with the brains, after all (those on-board computer don't count). If Harris and Klebold wielded handguns instead of semi-automatics at Columbine, would that have made their crime any less shameful?

People who drive buses and semis and other commercial vehicles need special licenses that certify their training on how to operate their respective vehicles, and I would not be opposed to being subjected to proportionately similar requirements for operating a vehicle larger than a sedan/minivan. But categorically suggesting that these larger vehicles on the whole are bad is silly and short-sighted, IMO. Let me give you an example: Since moving to Minnesota last summer, I crown a new "World's Worst Driver" practically on a daily basis--and I'm not kidding. People here speed and weave, they tailgate you even in the midst of heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic, the won't let you change lanes if they get so much as a suspicion that you would like to, they'll almost never slow down on the highway to let people merge from the on-ramps (and in fact show a marked and belligerent preference for speeding up to changing lanes), they "anticipate" green lights when stopped at the intersection by rolling their vehicles halfway across the marked or unmarked crosswalk before the light actually turns green, hardly anyone signals exits or lane changes anymore... I could go on and on.

Last fall I was car number 3 in a chain-reaction of collisions involving four vehicles. Car number 1, which got the whole rear-ending-fest rolling, was not an SUV. Nor was the car behind me. The car in front of me was a '70s or '80s model Chevy truck. I drive a '92 Pathfinder. Both cars behind me were totaled. Totaled. The truck that I hit in front of me got a nice dent in the tailgate and a shattered rear camper window. My car had elements of the front and rear fenders slightly displaced but came away nearly scratchless despite taking a pretty good jolt (as evidenced by the state of the vehicles between which I was sandwiched). The traffic had been stop-and-go for a while before we hit a relatively clear spot in the highway and got going at a good clip. Then the traffic slowed to a stop again. The only thing I remember hearing was a loud crash before I was thrust into the truck ahead of me. No screeching tires or anything, no evidence of tire tracks at all, so the driver of car number 1 clearly was not paying attention to what was going on in front of him (phone? changing CDs? I don't know...). His carelessness--not his vehicle--caused the accident, and did I mention that it wasn't an SUV? And that mine was and sustained minimal damage and that I was unhurt? You guys may be scared of the damage I can do (though by today's SUV standards my Pathfinder would qualify as a sedan in size!), but I believe I'm much more justified in being more scared about what these road-warrior-maniacs might do to me, regardless of what they're driving themselves. I'm certainly glad my vehicle was sturdily designed and constructed enough to take the licking. It gets 20mpg. It was also a gift from my older brother seven years ago, fully paid for, and has gotten me through some pretty severe cold weather as well as a cross-half-country move while tugging a 12' trailer filled to the brim with furniture and possessions. Would anybody really fault me for not selling or trading it in for the $2,000 it likely wouldn't actually fetch in exchange for a newer and smaller car with its subsequent monthly payments but 5 extra miles per gallon (per Steve's example)? If you would, would you fault me any less if I told you I routinely work 80 hours a week with many 30-hour shifts over the course of the year and don't have any more of salary to show for it than an entry-level accountant would garner?

In regards to fuel conservation, I'm all for maximizing the resources at our disposal. But if you're pointing toward predominantly SUV- and large-truck-drivers to shoulder this responsibility, how fair is it if you say nothing of the gas-guzzling sports-car drivers, private yaught and plane owners, the snowmobile and Sea-Doo operators, people riding three-wheelers and ATVs, etc? How about those engaged in debatably 'necessary' pursuits such as Formula 1 racing or NASCAR or drag racing? Is it fair to impose strict fuel economy standards upon the people that come to witness these events but not upon the those who participate in them directly (and for prize money, no less!)? I don't pose these questions in any attempt to strike anyone's nerves (and certainly not Steve's in particular, which might otherwise be assumed given my question about auto-racing). Indeed, I don't want my rights trampled on or excessively curtailed any more than I'd expect anybody else would. But at the same time, I feel like SUVs are getting a bum rap without real consideration of the underlying problems, be it in regard to fuel economy, safety, or otherwise.

2la
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2005.03.06(Sun)10:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

2la wrote:

In regards to fuel conservation, I'm all for maximizing the resources at our disposal. But if you're pointing toward predominantly SUV- and large-truck-drivers to shoulder this responsibility, how fair is it if you say nothing of the gas-guzzling sports-car drivers,


No highway driven vehicle (exception for freight/delivery trucks) should be exempt from the fuel mileage laws. A sports car would be required to get the same minimum gas mileage as a truck, SUV, sedan, coupe, or econ-box. Everyone shoulders the responsibility. However, it has to start with new manufactured vehicles. No reasonable person would suggest that currently driven vehicles must conform, all current vehicles would be grandfathered. If laws were passed today the effects would take a decade to be felt. I've seen reports of 2035 as the year when we will enter into an extreme oil crisis...30 years before times become very scary unless we act now to stem the flow.


Quote:
private yaught and plane owners,


I'll admit I have no answer to this problem. I will say this, my father in law has a 46 foot yacht (not that large admittedly) with twin diesel engines, he can run all day on $15.00 of fuel...it only does 6 knots due to hull design. He has a Zodiac dingy with on outboard motor that will use that much fuel in 30 minutes at full throttle.

Quote:

the snowmobile and Sea-Doo operators, people riding three-wheelers and ATVs, etc?


When most folks are looking for conservation of fossil fuels they look for where they can affect the greatest savings on fuel. By overwhelming numbers the greater impact would be felt by demanding better gas mileage from SUV's, Trucks, and Sports Cars. Don't three-wheelers and ATV's get about 30-40 miles per gallon?

Quote:
How about those engaged in debatably 'necessary' pursuits such as Formula 1 racing or NASCAR or drag racing? Is it fair to impose strict fuel economy standards upon the people that come to witness these events but not upon the those who participate in them directly (and for prize money, no less!)?


Is it fair to charge $4.00 for a hot dog? No one is suggesting imposing the fuel economy standards on the people attending the race...the point is to impose strict fuel economy standards on the manufactures of new vehicles for sale. No hardship is placed on anyone personally. Performance may suffer dramatically on the new versions of trucks and SUV but that seems a very small inconvenience to the greater good in the name of longterm fossil fuel conservation.

I'm not opposed to having fuel saving measures added to auto racing. First and foremost NASCAR should switch to unleaded fuel. Races could be shorten in length, and it would be simple to allow a maximum number of gallons of fuel per competitor per race weekend. While these measures wouldn't make much of a dent in overall fuel conservation, it would help place focus on a crucial long term problem. And allow auto racing to be proactive in a much need cause.


Quote:
I don't pose these questions in any attempt to strike anyone's nerves (and certainly not Steve's in particular, which might otherwise be assumed given my question about auto-racing). Indeed, I don't want my rights trampled on or excessively curtailed any more than I'd expect anybody else would. But at the same time, I feel like SUVs are getting a bum rap without real consideration of the underlying problems, be it in regard to fuel economy, safety, or otherwise.


Clearly I didn't see it that way either. I think there are safety issues that need to be addressed with regard to bumper heights on 4x4 trucks but I agree with you on the roll over issue. And I want to stress that I'm not suggesting your current SUV or next years newly manufactured SUV's conform to the proposed fuel mileage restrictions. But within 5 to 10 years those restrictions need to be placed on all newly manufactured autos, trucks, and SUV's. I believe without question that the greatest challenge and the greatest problem facing the United States is fossil fuel dependency. Not to in any way trivialize the issue, but terrorism pales in comparison to what's ahead for our children if we don't institute some serious fuel conservation measures. We all seem to have this misguided belief that an alternative fuel source will be developed and save the day. That's a huge gamble to take given the small time frame we are working with.
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DixieKitten
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Joined: 10 Mar 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.06(Sun)13:06    Post subject: Well... Reply with quote

Hmm this is all quite interesting.

I recently made an 8 hour trip with my husband, a great pyrenees (thats 100 lbs. of dog), a collie, three cats, his Army gear, and all our personal bags... somehow I don't see how that would have fit in a Honda Civic...

We were all very comfortable & happy, & my Escape gets more than 20 mpg on the highway...given, it's not one of the new hybrids, but I do like the extra horsepower Smile

My vehicle is probably one of the smallest SUVS out there - and I do tend to hold the giant "land barges" in contempt if you are just shuttling yourself to the grocery store & back, etc. But SUVS exist because, well, some people need them.
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