Superman’s Dodge Ram isn’t the only heroic truck
Hollywood has had a love affair with trucks for a long time. When a studio wants to show the protagonist as a powerful but still down-to-earth hero, they put him behind the wheel of a truck. Sometimes the truck itself is the hero; Think of the Mater crane in the “Cars” field. The latest in a long line of truck links is the “Man of Steel” version of a Dodge Ram pickup with print ads and TV spots linking the vehicle and the superhero. Following the film’s New York premiere, the custom-painted Superman-themed truck will be auctioned for charity.
On screen, these trucks and their GMC / Chevy Duramax, Dodge Cummins or Ford Powerstroke engines do some amazing stunts, even transforming into world-saving intelligent robots like Ironhide in “Transformers” whose alter-ego was a GMC diesel. Your truck may not pull off Hollywood-quality stunts, says Gem State Diesel master technician Gage Burlingame, but a well-maintained diesel engine can handle some notable real-world heroics. “When you need your truck to pull a stump or tow a horse trailer, you’ll be glad you chose something with enough power to get the job done,” he says. “Diesel maintenance takes a little more effort, but it pays off in reliability and power.”
Burlingame recommends regular maintenance visits for diesel engines. “All engines require occasional maintenance, but because diesel engines are made with precision parts, they must be inspected frequently. A diesel fuel injection pump that needs cleaning can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent. and depriving a truck of its towing capacity. Think of the particulates and pollutants entering the fuel lines as kryptonite from your truck. “
Manufacturers compete to put products in the latest blockbuster of the summer because it is one of the best ways to showcase the virtues of their trucks. However, what you may not know is how many trucks are working behind the scenes to make the movies happen. Filming on location, trucks haul trailers full of equipment through rough terrain or maneuver through narrow streets that don’t allow for a larger vehicle. The volcano in “Dante’s Peak” was done with special effects, but the rocky landscape was pure Idaho; When the production was filmed in historic Wallace, Idaho, part of the crew made the 400-mile hike from Meridian, Nampa and Caldwell in a fleet of trucks.
Without the power and reliability of diesel trucks, you wouldn’t see some of the spectacular stunts from the movies. Whether you have an older model or are looking for a new truck, show your diesel some appreciation as it goes about your everyday heroics.