The End of an Era

Today was the end of an era for my truck. My 2003 Ford Ranger was getting old and tired like an old dog. So much so, the past few weeks I was starting to get afraid to drive it far away from home. I work as a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block to Home Depot and Lowes and have been given some new stores to call on in Indianapolis and surrounding cities. I didn’t feel confident anymore that my truck could stand all the extra miles without breaking down. The last thing I wanted was to be in West Lafayette, Indiana and have to call my wife to come pick me up three and a half hours away because my truck broke down.

My truck starting falling apart a few years ago when quirky little things would break, like the interior lights or a remote door opener that wouldn’t open the doors all the time. I lived with the quirks because they weren’t a big deal to me. As much as I hate buying new vehicles I prolonged the pain for as long as I could.

As time progressed, bigger and bigger things would go wrong. My gas gauge would no longer work and I had to count the trip miles so I knew when I needed to buy gas. The radiator leaked antifreeze so I had to add it every once in awhile. The door molding that contained the door handle and power window buttons broke off and I had to close the door by grabbing it up by the window. Then the truck bed started to rust through, the rear gate wouldn’t open and my CD player stopped working.

I never fixed anything because every time I got a quote it was nearly a $800 to repair. Plus, at the time, I really didn’t feel like spending that much money on a truck with nearly 200k miles on it. Then about a week ago, I noticed that one of my struts was poking through my truck bed. I asked a co-worker about it and he told me that if it broke while I was driving, the bed would fall down onto the tire causing me to wreck which would be bad news. Everyday I checked the strut poking through my bed and noticed it was getting worse. In the back of my mind, I knew I didn’t have much more time.

My driveway doesn’t slope to the left. My bed was leaning that much because of the strut popping through.

I ended up getting 263,700 miles from my Ranger. When I originally bought it back in 2003 it had 23k miles on it. My goal was to drive it to 200k miles and accomplished that goal nearly two years ago. Once I achieved that goal, my new goal was 250k miles. Then last fall when I passed 250k miles, I was praying it would last another 50k miles, but knew that probably wouldn’t happen. I’m satisfied how long it lasted although it was tough to see it go today. My 2003 Ranger was a good truck that didn’t give me too much trouble. The engine ran good and the transmission was still smooth after all those miles.

My new vehicle is a 2011 Ford Edge with 25k miles on it. This SUV is nearly loaded with all the bells and whistles. It has power everything, a dual sun roof, navigation, tow package and built in satellite radio. I plan on buying a trailer so I can buy plywood and my wife can take her furniture to shows. I’m also going to tint the windows and buy better speakers for my radio. I always wanted to upgrade my stereo system in my Ranger, but never did. So a better sound system is my new goal for the Edge. Oh, and 200k miles.

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