Driving Slower: Why Bigger May Be Better

The 2012 Ford F-150 XLT that taught me to slow down.

The 2012 Ford F-150 XLT that taught me to slow down.

While my Jeep is in the shop this week (it needs new brakes, a coolant flush, and an oil change… for starters) I’m driving a Butler truck – a 2012 Ford F-150 XLT – and loving it. I confess to being drawn to trucks – the bigger the better – and the ones I choose are usually, ahem, flashy. Yes, I’m that girl. I confess, it always seemed to me that my love affair with bigger rigs had to do with their size, power and, it has to be said, the approving glances from other drivers. But this truck is fairly well stripped down – no extra gizmos or gadgets, not even a back-up camera. And it doesn’t even sport that throaty exhaust I adore so much. Nope, it’s just your basic truck and yet… I still love driving it.

This truck makes me so happy!

This truck makes me so happy!

It’s embarassing to admit that it took nearly a week in this truck to figure out why the driving experience is so enjoyable. The truck makes me a better driver. My Jeep is tiny and turns on a dime. And despite play in the steering wheel the Wrangler still reacts pretty quickly to anything I ask it to do. The truck, however – any big truck, for that matter – isn’t that flexible. All that mass requires more planning before turns, and more focus, even if just to keep the thing between the lines. I drive cautiously. I check the mirrors more often. I change lanes long before necessary. In general, I drive slower, literally moving through my day at a more liesurely pace.  I couldn’t rush if I wanted to.  And life is better as a result.

I hope that’s a mentality I can hang on to when the Jeep is healthy enough to once again hit the road.

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