DIY DIVA
DIY diva

So, About That Work Truck…

July 8, 2013 | 42 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

For the last six months I’ve been saying that I need to figure out the right “truck situation” for the farm, but honestly, I haven’t been highly motivated to find a new vehicle. Not after a year of driving a hundred miles a day with crap gas mileage, not after the third flat tire this year, not after the Xterra straight-up died on me a few weeks ago and needed a new starter.

If the universe was giving me the message that it was time to get a new car, it was much too subtle. Apparently I’m the kind of person who needs to lose control of their vehicle on a gravel road and flip it a few times before I’m like, “Oh, hey, about that work truck I’ve been meaning to get for the farm…”

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“That’s definitely going to become a priority. Also, how the shit do I get out of this car?”

(There was some propping of doors and scaling of car seats that occurred. You’d never think that a decade of DIY would prepare you to dislodge yourself from a tipped-over vehicle, but it turns out that all of that wedging myself under sink cabinets and climbing roof rafters does eventually come in handy.)

I am totally fine by the way. Like, I literally did not get one scratch on me from this debacle, and that includes when I walked barefoot over the glass before I realized some windows were broken out. I seriously get more beat-up doing farm chores on any given day.

The car was not so lucky.

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In the scheme of things, this could have been so much worse in so many ways. Luckily my mother prays for me. A lot.

And it’s always sad to lose something that has been on so many adventures with me, but given the way the frame was bent from that little bounce on the roof, I’m guessing this is the end of the big yellow car. It’s a bummer, but as my grandpa says, it is what it is.

So now I have to get down to the serious business of finding a vehicle situation that suits both a rough life on the farm, and a hundred mile commute every day. And that the chickens approve of.

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Really, Nugget?

Right now I’m thinking I’ll end up with a car that gets decent gas mileage for the drive, and an old pickup with a good towing capacity for the farm. Or, maybe, a hybrid truck for a decent price that could pull double duty. Either way, I TOTALLY GOT THE MESSAGE, UNIVERSE. I’m on it.

So the moral of this story is, 1.) when you fishtail on the gravel, don’t over-correct by making a hard right and slamming on the brakes at the same time, and 2.) there’s a lot to be grateful for on any given day… don’t wait until you have to climb out of a wrecked car to remember that.

DIY diva

    Comments

  • meryl rose


    I’m SO GLAD you’re okay!

    My step dad just got the Ford C-max. Out the door it was $26k and it gets 47 mpg. My Fiesta gets about 35 combined at it was $19k out the door.

  • Juliet


    So glad that you are OK! I was involved in a multi-vehicle crash at rush hour in Detroit about 6 weeks ago. I am still getting over some minor injuries, but you can still swell up for about 2-3 days after an accident. Watch out for stuff to still be happening. And yes, I’m dealing with the car mess as well.

    • Kit


      Glad you’re okay! I think it’s worse when you actually hit something and come to an abrupt stop. This looks bad because the car flipped over, but honestly didn’t bang me up at all. Hope you heal quickly!

  • Amy S


    oh my goodness!!
    I am so glad you’re safe and completely ok! That is definitely a blessing right there! Here’s to hoping you find the right new vehicle for the job!

  • Bill


    Good to hear you are okay. That doesn’t look to bad, nothing a little elbow grease and was can’t buff out. And maybe a few gallons of bondo.

  • Kate R


    SO glad you are okay! I imagine you’re going to be awfully sore & bruised in the next few days. I see lovely shades of black, blue & purple in your future.

    • Kit


      I’m actually not sore or bruised, thankfully! I did find a tiny little glass sliver in my foot today which is the extent of my injuries (and to be perfectly frank, could also be from that glass I smashed on the bathroom floor and never cleaned up properly.)

      • Kate R


        My first thought was … Un-fricken-believable! Seriously! But then I thought, nah, this is Kit we’re talking about. If you haven’t lost any fingers or toes yet, why should you get any bruises from a little ol’ vehicle roll, lol!

  • Sarah In Illinois


    You are a lucky lucky girl!

    My brother has a long commute and got an 06 Volkswagen Jetta diesel. He really likes it. Gets good fuel mileage and is an attractive car!

  • Ken


    Whooooooa. Awesome that you’re okay!

  • Jackie


    I literally gasped when I saw your yellow xterra. I’m so glad you are okay. I think a car for the mpg, and a pick up for the farm makes good sense. Unless of course you also have to drive 100 miles to the nearest Lowe’s too.

  • meg


    well, shit . . .
    glad you’re ok, and I hope the insurance payout is enough for the farm truck of your dreams!

  • phil


    I’m really glad you’re OK Kit, that must have been fairly gut-wrenching.

    For new car(s), you also might consider the Mr. Money Mustache strategy (which involves power tools.) http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/08/turning-a-little-car-into-a-big-one/

    You’ve probably already been to that dude’s blog, it’s fairly well-circulated these days, but maybe another of your readers will appreciate it?

    It seems like 4wd would be a fairly handy feature on gravel, especially in the winter up there. It’s a little bit tricky to pick the right car for your jekyll/hyde needs, but it seems like the smallish 4wd hatchback + trailer solution might do pretty well for you?

    I took a 3 month road trip this spring in a pickup with a contractor’s lid that I built some cabinetry to fill out, and the setup worked surprisingly well, but that’s a totally different use than what you’re talking about. I’d never, ever commute in it. (for shits & giggles, here’s a video of it… feel free to ignore. http://bailinphil.com/trip/30/ )

    Good luck! I hope your next post involves the normal misadventures with gardening and chickens, no more life-threatening posts please!

    -pl-

    • phil


      urg, I wish I hadn’t linked to my own trip blog, which is only distantly related to your situation. It feels like skeezy self-promotion… bad call on my part. I really have no desire to promote it, I wrote it for my family and (real-world) friends, who have reasons to care. Feel free to edit or delete either of these posts if you want.

      • MarieRoxanne


        next time you could send a private message in an email instead. I hope it didn’t inconvenience you by others commenting on your post!

      • Kit


        No worries, man. Around here people are allowed to click on whatever interests them, as long as it’s not spam!

  • DaveD


    Here’s a thought….
    The Xterra looks to be driveable? Why not make it road worthy enough and use it as a beater? Then get an efficient car for the commute?

    • Kit


      Um… not so driveable, actually.

  • MarieRoxanne


    WOW, glad you got out of that one okay. And a hard lesson to learn about what not to do.

  • hjc


    Yay for praying Mommas…glad that you are okay!

  • GG


    So glad you’re okay – seems like a miracle when seeing the pics of the Xterra! I wouldn’t recommend making any sudden moves or slamming on the breaks on gravel ever, no matter what car you’re driving. Good luck on the car search!

  • carrie @ brick city love


    Glad you’re ok! Totaling my last vehicle is how I ended up with my used ’06 Chevy Colorado. Inexpensive but shitty gas mileage. I was able to use the insurance money to buy the truck outright though, so my only car payment is gas. Which is pretty much the same thing. Good luck!!

  • Teresa


    So glad you’re ok!
    If you’re going to go the two different car routes… I suggest sticking with a hatchback for your primary car- That way you can always fold down the seats and carry things you may need to pick up en route anyways, without having to make extra trips :) (my GTI has carried all sorts of things like gutters, pvc for a drainage project, or 2×4′s in my case)

    Good Luck!

  • John @ AZ DIY Guy


    Ouch! Too bad about the truck, It’s been an iconic, bright-yellow piece of your site since I first started following it. Glad you’re ok.

  • Hil


    Wow, I’m glad you are ok! Good luck with the car/truck shopping…

  • Kala M.


    Holy Crap! I’m glad you are OK. Too bad you don’t live in CT because me and the Hubby work for an Automotive group. We have plenty of cars and trucks.

  • Chaucea


    O.O

    Holy fuxxor! Whew, really glad you’re okay. Geezus.

    Yeah, get a nice, comfortable and safe car that gets really good gas mileage, and then get a fuck-all truck for around the homestead (we’ve gotta Toyota Prius and an old Toyota truck–works out really well for gettin’ things done around here.) :-)

  • Stephanie @ Sandpaper and Glue


    jeez louise- glad you’re ok!! next on the farm chore list: training the nuggets to dial 911 in case of future emergencies :)

  • Sunshine and Paint Pots


    Glad to hear you survived in one piece, and good luck with the replacement vehicle/s shopping. Perhaps you can take Nugget along with you and see which one s/he(?)feels most comfortable on the bonnet of?!

  • David


    See, I go away for awhile and get back to find this!

    Glad you’re ok.

  • Anonypilgrim


    Oh, no. So glad you’re ok.

  • Jodi


    Gosh! Can I just join the chorus and say that you are made of steel AND I’m glad you’re OK? What other crazy person’s blog would I read?

    I don’t have any recommendations for cars, but I think the “beater truck” and “sensible car” makes some sense.

    Keep on truckin’. Why don’t you make a planter out of the truck? It’s a nice shade of yellow.

    • MarieRoxanne


      That would make a huge planter! LOL

  • Breanne


    Yikes!!! I’m super glad that you’re ok!

    You sure don’t live a hum-drum life do ya?

  • Jen


    Ah, crap. So very glad to hear you are okay! But I always thought you were sort of super human so escaping from this unscathed just goes to prove it. Again.

  • Mandy


    My first thought was, holy crap, I hope she’s okay…then my mind went all, “NOOOOO!, not the sweet yellow XTerra!” I’m so so so glad you’re alright and hope you find a good balance between MPG and towing/hauling capacity.

  • KC


    Wow – you only have to find yourself hanging form the seat belts once in your life… SO glad you are safe. I bet your mother is so thankful you are too.

    I rolled a truck many moons ago when a trailer fishtailed in the snow and I just couldn’t get it straightened out. No injuries at all, but boy, I couldn’t drive in the snow for a LONG time. There was this video tape that played in my head for a long time.
    Since I don’t have a daily commute anymore I do well with my “go-to-town” or road trip car- Toyota Highlander(24 mpg)and my 2003 V6 Toyota Tundra that makes 20mpg!! I spent months on Craig’s List looking for it, they didn’t make too many of them. Its also a manual transmission which is hard to find these days. And If you invest in a contractor’s rack you can haul ANYTHING!! I’ve put a roll of 16′ fiberglass panels up there, plywood, rafting frame, and a 16′ piece of lumber is easy peasy. And it tows really well too when necessary. Love my truck!
    Hope the insurance pays out well so you have lots of options.

  • Jo @ Let's Face the Music


    The prayers of mothers are potent! I must say this doesn’t surprise me. I can totally see you as a stunt woman. Not sure of the opportunities for that line of work in your neck of the woods. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  • jb @BuildingMoxie


    Whoa! glad to see you are okay. ~jb

  • Steph Nelson


    I sold Nissans for a bit and always thought the Xterra seemed a little top heavy, glad you made it through unscathed! My mom over corrected and ended up in a ditch, it’s easy to do sometimes! I second the hatchback idea someone already mentioned but at this point you probably already have a car/truck/vehicle. :) Off to catch up on the other posts!!!!!

    • Kit


      I am totally going to use that as my excuse! Not my fault, the car was top-heavy.

  • Jeff


    Whew, that looks like one nasty accident Kit. Glad you’re okay and not shaken up. Whatever vehicle you get make sure it’s safe :)

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