Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Age-Old Texas Argument: Tailgate Up or Down?

When I was a kid, my dad would have me jump out of the truck and put the tailgate down before we jumped on I-20 to head to the lake. He explained to me that the tailgate being up caught a lot of wind and made the truck burn more fuel. And he was the smartest guy in the truck, so I believed him.

So, I was shocked a few years ago when I started seeing people argue about this. Gas prices had skyrocketed and everyone was trying to squeeze every last inch out of every tank. The MythBusters crew even did an episode where they tested it and found that mileage is indeed better with the tailgate UP(!!!) I had run across the same findings on and a few other places. The smartest guy in the truck took a great fall...

Well, the Ford engineers must've recently had the same argument, so they tested (and filmed) it on the new F150. The tailgate up camp wins again: Which is more fuel efficient, driving with a pickup's tailgate up or down?

Sorry, Dad.

And while we are on the subject of saving fuel, here are the 109 hypermiling / ecodriving tips ... from the Ecomodder forum. My two favorites are at the bottom - numbers 106 (Drive Like You Pedal) and 108 (More Bob Marley and Less Megadeth).

May you get more miles out of whatever it is that gets you around.

PS. In researching this article, I learned that there is a band who call themselves "Tailgate Down." But you will have to go find them for yourself.