Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Small SUV, please

I occasionally go to remote sites that have bad access roads, and for those I need something with all-wheel drive and clearance to get all the way to where I need to go (otherwise, it's a loong hike). The rental company's default appears to be a giant-ass SUV and/or extended-cab pickup truck (and sometimes those inexplicably don't have the all-wheel drive that I specifically requested, but I digress).

Here's the problem: a huge SUV is not only heavy (as I complained about a long time ago), but it's decidedly less maneuverable than a smaller vehicle. If you have a bunch of remote locations to check, that's a huge number of 78-point turns as you attempt to turn around in tiny clearings and wide spots in logging roads.

The other thing about a huge SUV, often with out of state plates, is that it's a big old flashing light saying "I'm associated with big government/big business and I'm not from around here" and that can be downright dangerous in many areas. At the very least, it makes things awkward when you're residential sampling or trying to find something you need in the only store within 30 miles.

I once ended up with a Kia Sportage while I was on a drilling job in the mountains. The drillers thought it was the most ridiculous thing they'd ever seen, and then it turned out that they couldn't get their pickup truck up to the drilling site after a rainstorm and I became the primary crew transport because my silly little Korean box could.*

I have zero ego bound up with my choice of vehicles (unlike certain coworkers), so I'm always happy to take the runt of the lot.

*Point to the pickup truck, it was carrying a full water tank and had bald tires. Point to the Kia, I wasn't nearly as willing to hit the hill at maximum speed to try and get over a particular steep/slippery spot.

1 comment:

lyle said...

Sounds like you need a Jeep like the ones that are rented in the San Juan Mountains of Co, and get all over the trails there. (Also at Moab). Of course you could (if you could find one) use a VW bus, interestingly the tour guide we used in Moab many years ago used them as the vehicles for his tours. It turns out they do have granny gears.