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The Trucks Are Too Damn Big

Illustration for article titled The Trucks Are Too Damn Big
Image: Tesla

When I enter my neighborhood I am always shocked at the number of vehicles my neighbors park outside on the driveway instead of in the relative warmth and comfort of their garage. Every house in my neighborhood has an attached garage with room for at least two cars. This isn’t just a simple choice to make, either, as in northern Nevada the summer sun bakes paint and cracks dashboards, while the extreme cold winter nights require a frigid morning window scraping routine.

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Of course, some of these folks are parking outside because they hoard junk and are forced to store everything in the vehicle house, which is a totally different conversation. Today we’re going to focus on those Americans who choose to buy vehicles that are too large for their garages. It’s an epidemic and it needs to stop!

My next door neighbor has a big diesel Chevrolet dually that he parks outside next to his wife’s Tahoe. Fitting both in the garage would be a nightmare in stock guise, but to make matters worse both of these have been lifted too tall to even fit under the garage door. It’s not hard, these days, as manufacturers have made garage parking a god damn nightmare by building vehicles which get larger with each subsequent generation.

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The average suburban two-car garage is 18 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Twenty freakin’ feet. And that’s not enough for these behemoth buying (and building) monsters. The freshly redesigned Chevrolet Suburban is just 2 inches shy of nineteen feet. And while it’s still a pie-in-the-sky Tesla fantasy, the Cybertruck is a massive six inches longer than the Suburban!

This would be little more than a minor annoyance if it only affected owners of massive vehicles, but the rest of us have to live on the same roads you do. And more importantly, in the same parking lots. Parking spots at WalMart aren’t big enough for your new long-bed Ram, so you’re forced to take up multiple spots or wedge into one that just plain doesn’t accommodate you.

Some parking lots and apps are starting to charge oversized fees for crossovers and super oversized fees for bigger vehicles in large cities like New York. SpotHero, an app you can use to pay for your parking space, recently stated that about 11% of its customers are paying these oversized fees. [This paragraph was updated to clarify that the garages and lots are charging the extra fee, not SpotHero]

An automotive analyst at firm IHS Markit, Stephanie Brinley, told USA Today, “We never quite know where the end is going to be. People buy what they want to use. Whatever their personal reasons are, however it fits in their life, they’ve decided it’s worth it to them. That’s not critical, it’s just a fact.”

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She may not want to be critical, but I’m sure has hell going to be.

We get it. You big truck folks love to inconvenience yourselves to ostensibly look cool or whatever. If it was just the hundreds of extra dollars in fuel, or the extra hours of time scraping your parked-outside truck this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But the extra damage you’re continually doing to our shared environment, the extra space you take up in traffic and in parking lots, and the extra tax on our shared infrastructure are selfish and disgusting.

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It’s time you stopped inconveniencing yourselves, and all of the rest of us, with your vehicle choices.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

46mod
Mod Motor Guy

Bradley, Bradley, Bradley......

Look, I get it, some of you guys think that cars are killing the planet, especially if they dare sip a tad more gas. My 2009 Ford F150 gets better gas mileage, has more room, and pollutes FAR less than the “smaller” full size trucks before it. You simply cannot complain about a 5.4L V8 that gets almost 18 MPG. My first Ford pickup had a 5.8L V8 that achieved 10 MPG with a tail wind, and emitted enough hydrocarbons from the four barrel carburetor that a flick of a Bic within 5 feet of it might have “whooofed” it.

More importantly, I can drive the F-150 because I WANT TO. I can afford to, this is ‘Murica, and you can simply COPE with it. I personally think cars that can fit in the bed of my pickup are bullshit, but I won’t diss anyone for driving one.

Call me selfish and disgusting all you like, but my truck makes me a LOT of money by getting me back and forth from something referred to as “gainful employment”, hauls everything I need to, PLUS my family. It does it all, and it’s one vehicle.