Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Field Scrub Jay (Reliabus rustica dodgii)

Every biologist needs a field truck. During my thesis work I had access to field trucks provided to me by Boise State University. On previous jobs I was provided a truck by the Idaho Fish and Game. As I now transition into an independent consultant role, I need a good reliable field truck to transport and compliment the field motorcycle I already own.

There are a number of critical requirements for a good field truck - reliable, cheap, and reliable. Did I mention cheap? Some of my jobs pay, some don't... None pay very well. The biggest non-requirement for a truck is that it be pretty. Field trucks provide a required utility which often contradict or are incompatible with niceties. For example. one cannot hesitate when the "road" narrows to a goat path through scratch prone Ceanothus brush and you must be willing to get bird crap on the seats.

I recently acquired my truck! It was cheap and it is not pretty!

The Scrub Jay

I call it the Scrub Jay. The mix of blue, silver, and primer grey with a little rust brown mixed in provide the perfect blend of colors.

The truck has reasonably low mileage, but hadn't been driven in a few years. I spent more to bring it into reliable shape than I paid for the truck itself. I basically replaced everything made of rubber under the hood and everything that "pumps". The result should be a reliable truck to get me to where the birds are.

My biggest concern is that it's a Dodge. My late father always told me to never buy a Dodge. He apparently owned one once and after a number of incidents my mother refused to push it any more! In college (the first time), I owned two different Plymouth Dusters. Both died horrible deaths - engine seizure on one and engine fireball on the other. I am apparently a little slow in learning... a decade or so ago I bought a Dodge Durango. After that piece of crap I swore I would never again drive a Dodge. Here I am - a Dodge owner again... Karyn says she won't come and get me when it breaks...


woodchuck said...

You know about IBO'S original truck don't you? The "Piecer?" It was the best and the ugliest!

Allie Marie said...

This looks awesome.