Monday, April 28, 2014

Editorial: I Don't Understand the "Bro" Truck

Image courtesy of OC Weekly
Not long ago, during a power outage, my fiancee and I went to our local Denny's to grab breakfast since we could not cook. Mid way through our meal, a lovely senior couple was seated next to us. As they finished ordering, the husband spotted a jacked up Ford F-150 pick up truck pulling into the parking lot. He watched as the driver slowly climbed out of his car and struggle to extract his child from the rear of the cabin. The husband then turned to me and asked, "son, do you know why people do that to their trucks? It seems pretty stupid." I could only agree with him and laugh, because I too fail to understand the reasoning behind the "bro" truck.

For those of you who do not know what a "bro" truck is, look at the image above. It is quite simple, really: a pick-up truck or heavy duty SUV with a jacked up suspension and huge tires. They look silly, are woefully unstable, and generally give off the image that you are overcompensating for something. Let us also not forget the cost that goes into making your perfectly good pick-up truck or SUV look like a monster truck rally reject. Why do people do it? I honestly cannot tell you why, but here is what I fail to understand about these rolling monstrosities.

Image courtesy of Cars 101
Let us begin with what pick-up trucks and SUVs are designed to do:  be utility vehicles for hauling large loads or cargo and to travel off road. Considering how high some of these "bros" jack up their trucks, the utility part seems a bit moot since you would need a ladder to reach the cargo bed. But what about the off-roading part? With that much suspension travel, you might think, "well, wouldn't that be perfect for driving off road?" Normally, yes. The problem is, have you ever seen a "bro" actually take one of these rolling cod pieces off road before? You know a person has taken their four-wheel drive pick-up, SUV, or even rally car based sedan or wagon off road because the car is caked in mud and dirt. Returning from an off road expedition with your car still dripping with mud is a badge of honor among true off-roaders. On the other hand, "bros" seem more concerned with keeping their adult sized "big-wheels" clean rather than using it for its intended purpose.

The other thing I fail to understand about the "bro" truck is passenger and driver ingress and egress. Looking at the first picture above, you would imagine that getting in and out of that thing must quite difficult and has to involve a step ladder. Adult sized passengers and drivers aside, what happens to your kids? Even with the step ladder and running boards, your child still may still get hurt getting in an out of the vehicle. Why take that risk just to look "cool?" "Whatever, dude. I'll just put a bigger ladder on it so I don't have to worry about getting in and out of my truck." Fine, but what if your big ladder gets in the way of that massive ground clearance your truck has? Unless your ladder retracts back into the vehicle, you can say goodbye if you drive over a big rock.

Image courtesy of Flatbiller 
Perhaps someday, someone could explain the reasoning behind the "bro" truck. Driving behind them is a real pain, and it just looks ridiculous. Unless you actually plan on using your obscenely expensive suspension set up to go off road, why bother? Power modifications? I can understand that. Many drivers are often in the pursuit of more power. A slightly raised suspension and big tires ? Sure, you see that on a lot of off-road capable vehicles. But making your truck less stable, less aerodynamic and less fuel efficient but never actually exercising its potential seems extremely counter intuitive. I just do not get it, but to each their own.

Tags: automotivetrucks