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Old 12-30-06, 07:07 AM   #1
RonH
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pick-up truck drivers

What is it with people who drive pick-up trucks and always leave the tailgate down? Are they trying to make the truck look bigger or longer? Is it because they feel "inadequate"?
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Old 12-30-06, 07:09 AM   #2
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They seem to think that dropping the tailgate lowers wind resistance. I believe its just a myth.
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Old 12-30-06, 07:09 AM   #3
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I dont know, but I have heard that they think it gives less wind resistance and therefore better gas mileage....but they proved that it doesnt on myth busters
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Old 12-30-06, 07:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
What is it with people who drive pick-up trucks and always leave the tailgate down? Are they trying to make the truck look bigger or longer? Is it because they feel "inadequate"?
It's actually to reduce drag and improve gas mileage. You get a 1-2 mpg increase in fuel mileage with the TG dropped.
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Old 12-30-06, 08:49 AM   #5
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It serves to clean the junk out of the back of the bed.....that's my guess.
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Old 12-30-06, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
It's actually to reduce drag and improve gas mileage. You get a 1-2 mpg increase in fuel mileage with the TG dropped.
This is from evidence produced from when I drove a pickup truck
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Old 12-30-06, 08:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
It's actually to reduce drag and improve gas mileage. You get a 1-2 mpg increase in fuel mileage with the TG dropped.
Not true, Tom. Mythbusters did several tests and proved you actually get ~1 mpg LESS then with the gate up. Truck engineers design them to take advantage of the airflow in and around the empty box.

If you missed it, they first used a wind tunnel to examine the flow of air and how it affected the truck's aerodynamics. Yeah, big deal, right? then they took two duplicate trucks and drove them until they ran out of gas. Same speed, same roads etc. If I remember right, they did it twice, swapping which truck had it's gate down and both times the truck with the tailgate down ran out of gas about 30 miles before the one with the truck up. Given a gas tank somewhere between 15 and 30 gallons, that's around 1 mpg or less.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:09 AM   #8
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My brother's ute gets very very bad mileage either way. It does though go faster with the tail down.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiahh
Not true, Tom. Mythbusters did several tests and proved you actually get ~1 mpg LESS then with the gate up. Truck engineers design them to take advantage of the airflow in and around the empty box.

If you missed it, they first used a wind tunnel to examine the flow of air and how it affected the truck's aerodynamics. Yeah, big deal, right? then they took two duplicate trucks and drove them until they ran out of gas. Same speed, same roads etc. If I remember right, they did it twice, swapping which truck had it's gate down and both times the truck with the tailgate down ran out of gas about 30 miles before the one with the truck up. Given a gas tank somewhere between 15 and 30 gallons, that's around 1 mpg or less.
Mythbusters did a followup and tested hard bed covers, tailgate off and a net type tailgate and found the net tailgate was the best.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:17 AM   #10
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I didn't shut mine all the way and it dropped down.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:22 AM   #11
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See- Toilet Lid.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:37 AM   #12
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See- Toilet Lid.
That only applies to female pick-up truck drivers, though.
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Old 12-30-06, 09:53 AM   #13
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I always figured thier latches were broken...
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Old 12-30-06, 10:30 AM   #14
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1mpg is too little a difference from one test to validate or invalidate it. It would take a closed track to truly validate it, so both drivers can be going exactly the same speed, and do the exact same maneuvers.....then they could validate it at "real driver" speeds (aka too fast) to see if it's just lead foots that see any benefit.

Really, I do think the tailgate up or down does not matter much at all, I just thought MB's tests were lacking, much like how their ice bullet test was. They do really well on some myths, but medicore on others.

and some folks just don't care to flip the tailgate up at all, whether out of laziness, or maybe the latch ont he tailgate is broken and they don't care to fix it.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
What is it with people who drive pick-up trucks and always leave the tailgate down? Are they trying to make the truck look bigger or longer? Is it because they feel "inadequate"?
If so, then the ones driving pick up trucks doing wheelies must have put Viagra in the tank!
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Old 12-30-06, 11:01 AM   #16
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I've got a Hillbilly Hotel (cap) on mine, so the issue id moot to me.
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Old 12-30-06, 11:39 AM   #17
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Also, it's to hide the license plate so popo can't see that it's expired.
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Old 12-30-06, 11:48 AM   #18
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No, they aren't trying to make it look bigger. Most likely they load stuff in and out a lot and probably get tired of throwing the tailgate up and down.

Its really not a good idea to leave the tailgate down while driving. It can bounce around a lot, putting a lot of extra stress on the cables and joints, not to mention the gate could possible even come off while driving.

When down, though, it is easy to see things that are right behind you so maneuvering in tight spots can be a little easier.

I drove my old F150 about 4000 miles one week a few years ago (NJ to CO and back) and didn't notice any difference in gas mileage between tailgate up or down.
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Old 12-30-06, 11:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
Also, it's to hide the license plate so popo can't see that it's expired.
its illegal here to have your tailgate dropped when you are driving.. and even if you remove it, you have to have a net or a pole or something in case anything in the back slided out.
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Old 12-30-06, 11:50 AM   #20
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It's an image thing. Like a plumber flaunting his butt crack.

Oh, my eyes. I can't see again!
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Old 12-30-06, 12:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
What is it with people who drive pick-up trucks and always leave the tailgate down? Are they trying to make the truck look bigger or longer? Is it because they feel "inadequate"?
You know, did it ever occur to you that some of us drive trucks because we use the capacity to haul stuff and/or people? Geeze, some of you guys try to present an image of what you think a cyclist might agree with, and instead insult most of forum.

And you're a Mod?

To answer your original question...

To save gas. It works. All I have to go on is my gas milage calclations. 2 -3 mpg. Mostly freeway driving.

I know what hapended on Mythbusters, but they weren't driving my truck.
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Old 12-30-06, 01:34 PM   #22
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And you're a Mod?
Hmmm... good point. Hadn't noticed that. Kind of inflammatory post for a mod to be making.
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Old 12-30-06, 01:43 PM   #23
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Mythbusters is full of beans, which is often the case. My toyota would get about 2 MPG better mileage with the gate down, but a tonneu cover gave me a solid 6 MPG better. This was averaged in each case for 6 months, tailgate up, tailgate dropped, and tonneu cover. I stayed with the cover until I put a cap on it.

The cover really showed the air flow. At anything over 30 MPH you could see therear portion of the cover sag down with the air coming over the cab, and it dropped lower as speed increased. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a Mythbuster to understand that without the cover, that airflow would be directly assaulting the front of the tailgate.
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Old 12-30-06, 01:49 PM   #24
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The same reason I leave the door to the fuel filler open. My short term memory is verkakte.
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Old 12-30-06, 01:55 PM   #25
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Oops, my bad. I thought this was a thread about pickING up truck drivers. Guess I'd better save that story for another time.
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