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In Living Color

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

            Have you ever wondered why there are so many white pickup trucks on the road today?

            For a while, I thought it might be illegal to drive a blue truck or we were back in Henry Ford’s days when he said anyone could buy any color car they wanted from him as long as it was black.

            Every major manufacturer today either consults with, or has “colorists” on staff, to advise them on the best color to package their product in. For trucks, the best-selling color is white and has been for years. 

There are several logical reasons why: white is the only color that doesn’t fade; the color white reflects heat so the pickup cab stays cooler than say a black truck; white trucks actually get better performance in hot weather because air conditioning is used less, making the truck more fuel efficient; white trucks last longer and have a higher trade-in value (red, orange and yellow have the worst); companies like white trucks because they can buy them year after year and know they’ll still be available and they don’t have to paint them to have a uniform colored fleet; white trucks appear bigger than they are; names and advertising stick out better on white trucks; and white trucks are safer, having 12 percent fewer accidents than black trucks because they are more easily seen, except in blizzards, of course.           

            I think one of the biggest reasons white trucks are so popular is they don’t show water spots, dings or dirt. Years ago, we had a white Ford Econoline truck we called Ewe Haul, because we hauled sheep in it. We bought it from my grandpa for $500, and to my knowledge, it had never been washed in its lifetime and it still didn’t look as dirty as a clean black vehicle after two minutes on a dirt road.

The “colorists” also say the color white projects a sense of honesty, purity, freedom, good taste and elegance. Although, I must say, I didn’t feel all that elegant driving the old Econoline full of sheep that looked like a bulldog with its flattened nose, engine inside the cab and one thin layer of sheet metal between the driver and a concrete bridge abutment. One can say all the nice things they want about white trucks, but to me, they are still B-O-R-I-N-G!

            The colorists have discovered some fascinating things. For instance, silver, white and black trucks have the highest resale value and red trucks are often the most overpriced. On more domestic matters, did you know men prefer white bedrooms while women prefer blue? Did you also know the Yellow Taxi Cab Company painted its cabs yellow because they were easier to see? 

            The colorists don’t have all the answers though, and they still don’t know why men like yellow-based red, while women prefer blue-based red. Or why bronze induces a very negative response. 

They don’t know why old-time cowboys hardly ever wore red shirts while they practically became the official uniform for miners. Colorists also don’t know why weightlifters can lift more weight if they wear blue shorts, why more people buy blue toothbrushes than they do red and why yellow and red stimulate hunger – which explains the color of McDonald’s signs.        

            I’m so glad they’re making a few trucks that aren’t white, but we have to be careful in buying a colorful truck because the color we pick says a lot about the driver. Yellow means they are frivolous, weak and are stressed out; beige and tan convey a sense of power and blue; and green mean the drivers have arrived financially.

When men reach their obligatory mid-life crises, they are most often drawn to black and red trucks. Red especially communicates a sense of freedom and excitement. Dark brown means they are a depressing person while silver means they are highly complex. Dark blue conveys a sense of respect and responsibility, while orange and grey means they are cheap. The color orchid makes people nauseous.

            Even though green is the color of money and makes people feel wealthy, green trucks are hardly ever stolen. But, this is still not incentive enough for me to go out and buy a truck the color of split pea soup with orchid trim. 

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