As an update to my previous blogs Just call me “Tracker Trucker Max” and Now I’m “Truck-less Tracker Trucker Max”, I have recently taken possession of my upgraded truck, which is so tasty that I think it may be appropriate to add the “Esquire” honorific to my moniker.
You have to remember that I’m not tremendously knowledgeable about cars and trucks and suchlike (there are mollusks living in the ocean depths that know more than I). All I know is that it’s a honking big Dodge Ram with a really nice extended cab that can comfortably hold five big men (plus an additional small one in the front if necessary). I also know that it’s a robust maroon-ish color, if that helps.
The thing is that I wanted two enhancements to my truck. My wife (Gina The Gorgeous), also known as “She who must be obeyed”, likes to plant flowers in pots and baskets on our front and back porches… lots and lots of flowers… more flowers than the human brain is equipped to understand…
Thus, the first enhancement was to get a truck liner. I took a look on the web, but there are a baffling number of alternatives, the two main choices being “drop-in” and “spray-on”, but each having a lot of sub-options. Rooting through all of these possibilities made my head hurt, so I drove the truck over to my friend Freddy Louis at his Auto Accessories Shop (www.freddielouis.com). Just to make sure we’re all tap-dancing to the same drum beat, when I say “shop”, I’m not talking about a little “hole-in-the-wall” operation. As you can see in the picture below (which I just snagged from his website and blew up, which explains the fuzziness), this is a substantial operation.
In my case, based on my anticipated usage requirements, Freddy recommended something called Rhino
spray on truck liner, which he said had excellent protective and non-slip properties. The result is very tasty as illustrated in the photo below. It’s difficult to describe what this looks and feels like, but it’s got a sort of firm
sort of texture. All I know is that when I visited the store recently and put things in the back like a case of water and a variety of other items, they hadn’t shifted at all by the time I got back home.
There is one problem (isn’t there always). We have a spare bike that my son Joseph no longer uses and that I need to transport to the local Goodwill Store. The problem is that now I don’t want to put it in the back of my truck because I don’t want to muss-up my nice new bed liner (grin).
The second enhancement was to have Freddy’s crew install a back-up camera system
. This is because reversing this beast when parallel-parking is a non-trivial task. Prior to the installation of this camera, I had to keep on getting out of the truck to walk back to see how well I was doing, all of which makes one look something of a plonker. In the photo below, the camera lens is the round black circle (directly above the number ‘2’) in the chrome protrusion that’s part of the frame holding the number plate.
Originally, I was worried that I would need a display screen to be installed in the cab, but in fact the display is part of the rearview mirror as shown below. As soon as you put the gear-shift in reverse, the left-hand portion of the mirror (the lighter area in the image) changes from being a regular mirror into the electronic display.
As an aside, Freddy said something about the mirror actively dimming when it gets dark outside. I’m not sure how this works, but I have noticed that when I’m driving at night I see the cars behind me perfectly well, yet I’m no longer dazzled by their headlights, so this really is jolly clever.
Admittedly, using the back-up camera does take a little getting used to, but I can now reverse down a road keeping my wheels exactly six inches from the curb and come to a stop mere inches from a car parked behind me. Meanwhile, any bystanders gasp with awe, squeal with admiration, and hold up white cards showing 10 points for technical accuracy and another 10 for style.
The only remaining question is how to broach the subject with Gina that perhaps it would be advantageous to everyone around her if we were to install one of these systems in her car (grin).
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