I drive a big truck. Really big.

Via Rob Schuham
on Jul 18, 2010
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Truck me.

So I’m probably not your typical Elephant Journal blogger/writer. As I’ve mentioned before, I lead a life that some readers would call dichotomous and hypocritical. I would probably call it balanced.

I ride my bike and walk a lot. But when I do drive, I drive a truck.

You see in my pursuit of this so called adventurous lifestyle I lead, I haul a lot of gear for myself, my kid and my friends. Mountain bikes, road bikes, dirt bikes, skis, snowboards….you name it. On some weekends, my truck is bursting with outdoor tools, unless I’m starting the adventure directly from my house.

I don’t just drive any old truck though. I drive a big truck. I used to have a Tundra, which I traded in for an even bigger Ford F-250. Meaning I can now haul a metric ton of yoga mats. Actually, I can probably yank the yoga studio itself to a new location if the landlord is too uncooperative.

Lest this sound like a plea for redemption, I bought this beast for a few considered reasons:

First, I wanted a higher-MPG, clean-burning diesel engine. Yeah, yeah…relative to a hybrid, the mileage is a joke. However these next generation diesels are extraordinarily clean burning, and the technology that goes with it is pretty fascinating, including urea tanks which capture particulates that most of the “clean” diesels you or your friends drive spit into the air.

The second reason (and potentially the most important) I obtained this thing is that wanted to run biodiesel. For brands like AMG and Undercurrent client Clif Bar, we were a part of the biodiesel revolution. We ran B-100 in our promo/sampling vehicles when it was a gamble to even run B-20. Years of backing up to restaurant kitchen doors, changing clogged fuel filters and systematic networking to get our vehicles to cross the continent, resulted in helping biodiesel producers create an actual grid. In my case, and by my calculations, I not only get a few more MPGs with this drivetrain, but even if I run just B-20, I’ll have a significant net reduction in my household vehicle-based oil consumption footprint.

The jury is still out on the net environmental impact of biodiesel, as most EJ readers know. Some biofuels are definitely problematic. For example, razing rainforests to grow sugarcane to create Brazilian ethanol is effed up.

There are, however, some carefully and more sustainably produced biofuels will result in a lower environmental impact. This creates a bit of a buyer-beware situation, and it will take everyone’s own research to create demand for the right biofuels.

Some of my friends roll their eyes at my truck habit, and judge it pretty harshly. That is, until they need to borrow it to pick up their new dresser.


About Rob Schuham

Rob Schuham is a strategist and creative writer whose career has taken him around the world. Rob started AMG, an international agency, 15 years ago to “do what has never been done before” for brands in the interactive and experiential space including Adidas, Nike, Clif Bar, Levi's, Izze, Toyota, The NBA, American Express, ESPN, Warren Miller and many others. Rob is also a founding partner of Undercurrent, a New York and London-based think-tank focused on strategy and applying a digital worldview to the challenges of complex organizations including GE, PepsiCo, Ford, CNN, Virgin and others. Before creating his own agencies, Rob was on the marketing team at Schwinn for several years, but really grew up in advertising at (TBWA)/Chiat/Day in San Francisco and Ayer Chicago and New York.


6 Responses to “I drive a big truck. Really big.”

  1. Ryan Oelke says:

    I'm really enjoying EJ posting these sorts of articles. Definitely courageous given the crowd:) Meat post and a big ass truck post in less than a week?? NICE.

    Well, Rob, as long as your not eating a veal sandwich while driving your truck, plowing over kittens, some of these folks might give you a pass;)

  2. Yah, our mission is not to please our choir, but to see our choir communicate openly with those who may not already agree. And finding a "mindful" way to haul tons of stuff, children, and adventure it up? Our kind of post.

  3. Ryan Oelke says:

    awesome:) keep on rockin!

  4. rustygman says:

    This site is generally about yoga, general spirituality and sustainability. It seems to me that people with an interest in this soon come to the conclusion that the path to happiness and awareness is not about having loads of ’stuff’. So you need a big truck for all your ’stuff’ Mr Schuham. I wouldn’t be too proud of that. I see you are an adman so your life is built around selling stuff and consequently you think stuff makes your life better. Maybe next time you go to the woods with the family you could leave your polluting dirt bikes at home and become a thoughful visitor to nature not a noisey intruder. Your article opens many debates there is not room for here but your comments about the mpg of your truck overlook the enormous carbon footprint of its manufacture alone. I am staggered that anyone would think your article was ‘our kind of post’ to me it sums up the crass vulgarity of overconsumption.

  5. stacy says:

    Rustygman – this is actually quite funny – Mr. Schuham is the epitomy of a "stuff" guy – I don't think I know of any one else that is more proud of his stuff.

  6. Apologize for my poor english, I think its a informative piece of your writing. Well I be suffering with having alot of difficulties in this condition but this blog helps me