N is for Neutral

by Katie on June 27, 2011

I got a new truck in February. Okay, not so new to the California dude we bought it from. But new to me, nonetheless.

It’s basically a replica of Brandons, just one year newer, without the running lights across the top, a different color, and minus the scratches, dings, dents, bumps and bruises acquired from an accident-prone farmer driving you around for eight years.

Since this truck is a replica of Brandon’s, we were also expecting it to replicate the awesome fuel mileage Brandon’s truck gets, for a full-size pickup. Only mine hasn’t been quite so awesome. Close, and good, but not quite awesome status.

We’ve been trying to figure out where the issue may be, and I swear it went down a full mile per gallon after we had a minor repair done a couple months ago. Brandon isn’t quite on board with that one.

So, I’m new to the whole four wheel drive, diesel engine thing. (And power windows and automatic transmissions, for that matter.) Still getting my feet wet, if you will.

One day, while out on the farm, I needed to engage my four wheel drive. Just to be on the safe side, of course. But engage it nonetheless.

When I went to remove the gear from “4L” I took a look at the other options on the gear:  4H, 4L, N, 2H.

I put it back into “N”, but then got to thinking about what I saw. Which is where we always tend to run into a bit of trouble.

So I sent Brandon an innocent little text message:  “Hey, I can only get my truck to go into 4L or 2H on the 4wd gear. Not N. Could that be affecting my mileage?”

Within seconds, I receive this back:  “No, dear. N is for neutral. It is supposed to be there. Nice try.”

This is where I need to add a little disclaimer. I know “N” is for “neutral”. I mean, I would not have survived one day on the farm without knowing that. My question in the whole matter was if there was some sort of 2L gear my truck was in according to the four wheel drive thing. And I thought the “N” in question only referred to the four wheel drive capabilities, not the whole truck.

…And I’m guessing none of that made sense to anyone. Brandon definitely didn’t understand my logic either.

To make matters worse, Brandon was out loading a hay truck when I sent that message. At the time, he was standing right next to one of the guys who routinely puts the hay on the semi for us. Let’s just say my little question made his day.

Hours later when Brandon and I were together, a text came through on his phone from the hay loader:  “N is for neutral. Still laughing…

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