On the Big Island, you see a lot of pick-up trucks; they’re ubiquitous. While driving on the Kona side last week in the rural areas south and mauka (up-mountain) of Kailua, something struck me as odd. Then it hit me. I wasn’t seeing nearly as many BA pick-up trucks here as in my usual stomping grounds around Honoka‘a and Waimea.
A BA truck (my definition) is a larger framed pick-up that has been jacked up away from its tires. They sometimes come with BA tires that stick out from the frame. These trucks are intimidating as hell, obstructing the view in front, or tailing me on the highway – not everyone drives with Aloha. Often the only thing I see in my rearview mirror is their grillwork, or worse, their license plate!
The rural Kailua area seemed similar to our side of the island; same mix of farmers (coffee versus vegetables) and hobby farms with horses and trailers, although we have the big cattle ranches. Was I noticing a real difference in the type of truck here? I decided to conduct a bit of research. On the Kailua side, I counted 159 regular pick-up trucks and 8 BA trucks in 45 minutes: 5%. Heading home along the Upper Road and approaching Waimea, I counted 79 regular trucks and 27 BA trucks in 45 minutes: 34%.
Tom, my former statistician, would want to know the factors that made the two samples different and perhaps explainable. In the Kailua area, I was driving slower along back roads; many of the trucks were parked. Driving to Waimea, I was on a major highway going faster, and I didn’t have time to count parked trucks. Clearly I needed to conduct more research.
So I counted pick-up trucks again in Waimea a couple of days later. In 30 minutes, I tallied 117 regular trucks versus 42 BA trucks: 36%. It’s still shaky research, but the numbers sure seem to show a difference.
Maybe the disparity is the cattle ranches on our end of the island. Maybe BA trucks are useful in cattle ranchers’ work. I asked a local rancher who has 1000 cattle. He uses 10 pick-up trucks to manage his operation and he told me that none of them are BA trucks. So much for that theory. He laughed, “I’m betting that none of them jacked-up trucks has ever been off road. Most of them are owned by young guys using their whole paycheck to pay off their $60,000 trucks and living at home with their parents.”
And given the fierce winds that blow in Waimea, this preference for BA trucks is even stranger. Waimea winds even shake me in my ground-hugging Civic. So these trucks must sway considerably. Why would people put themselves in jeopardy of having their truck tip over if they don’t need a jacked-up configuration? I’m thinking it would actually be a pain in the A to drive one. I recall seeing a young woman approach the passenger side of one of these trucks. The floor of the cab was at the level of her waist. How does she get into that thing?!
Yup, I don’t understand the appeal of BA trucks. But, if that’s what people manifest in their own paradise, cool. Everyone’s paradise is different.
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