“Help! I’m stuck in mud and I can’t get out!” was my cry on Twitter last weekend as I managed to get myself stuck on a wet, sloppy and muddy dirt road just off the Perimeter Hwy. close to St. Norbert. My goal for that day was to see if I could get the Toyota Tacoma dirty enough to look like it was driven through a swamp.
Mission accomplished. Well almost. I definitely got the Tacoma dirty and it wasn’t without moments of despair and frustration. After an hour of “being stuck”, I finally managed to rock and roll my way out of this predicament. I was pretty excited and happy that I didn’t need a tow truck to get me unstuck. My celebratory tweet was simply, “ I’m out! I’m out!” and all my friends were relieved that they didn’t have to bail me out during the final round of the Masters.
In the time I was in the Tacoma, trying to figure out how to get out, I learned a few valuable lessons that day when it comes to driving trucks for fun. One, bring a friend with you and make sure they have a bigger truck with a fully equipped winch. The second lesson, check that the truck is equipped with all-terrain or mud tires. The Tacoma was fitted with winter snow tires and as I demonstrated, not particularly efficient when the wheels are buried under a foot of mud. The third and most important lesson is learning how to engage 4WD properly. In my case, a quick read through the owner’s manual indicated that I had to put the vehicle in neutral as I switch from 4H to 4L. And that was how I finally rock and rolled out – switching between reverse and drive repeatedly for 20 minutes.
After all that, I had a muddy Toyota Tacoma and a harrowing tale that dominated my Facebook and Twitter timelines for a couple hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon. My friends and followers were definitely entertained with my newbie calls for help.
I’m not a truck guy because I’m not in a profession that requires me to tow or haul anything. However, when it comes to ripping around for a week, I’m easily swayed into being a truck guy. When it comes to reviewing trucks, I have a dire need to drive through the back roads of rural Manitoba. Driving around Winnipeg with 10 bundles of the Filipino Journal isn’t exactly testing the hauling or towing capacity of the Tacoma.
As a smaller truck with a short flatbed, the Toyota Tacoma still has a place in the city. I was able to easily parallel park the Tacoma in and around downtown and shopping centre parking lots. The backup camera proved to be quite useful and the camera display is embedded into the rear view mirror.
The 2013 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab V6 is a truck and built to haul and tow things. It has a towing capacity of 6,400lbs and is equipped with a 4.0L 6-cyclinder engine. The MSRP on our tester model was $37,600 and included the TRD Sports Package.
As one last and final lesson I have learned for the next time I go mud hunting; get someone else to clean and wash the truck. I spent a good hour spraying off all the mud stuck in the wheel wells. With the truck all clean, I was able to settle on to my couch to watch the final holes of the Masters last Sunday.
Photos by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal