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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ford and Chevy Pickups Assist California Farmers Plug Levee Breach

As chances are you’ll remember, drought-ravaged California has these days acquired a lot precipitation that they will be snowboarding in Tahoe until August and the decrease elevations are beginning to appear to be Louisiana bayou. Programs calibrated to cope with a predictable quantity of rain (learn: not a lot) are failing, as exemplified by a specific levee in Tulare Lake Basin, a farming area within the San Joaquin Valley.

The issue with long-drained Tulare Lake is that it periodically likes to reappear after heavy rains, which completely bonks the intricate water-delivery programs that feed the farmland. And yesterday, after a levee failed, native farmers got here up with a fast and impressed answer: Drive a pair vehicles into the breach.

This concept instantly raises variety of questions, most notably whether or not two of the realm’s least-favorite half-ton vehicles can be heavy sufficient to cease up raging floodwaters. To get forward of that drawback, our dam-building maestros stuffed the beds of the vehicles—a Chevrolet Silverado and a Ford F-150—with an quantity of grime absolutely past their rated payload, an insult that will look trivial in comparison with what occurred subsequent.

On this video posted on Twitter by farmer Cannon Michael, we see the F-150 already sunk within the levee hole, its mattress and roof lined in dense-looking soil. “How did they do this?” you may ask. Effectively, we see precisely how they did {that a} second later because the Silverado makes the final word sacrifice and joins the Ford for a fast dip.

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Much less safety-conscious fellows may try some form of stuntman drop-and-roll out the driving force’s-side door because the truck headed for its watery demise, however these guys appear to have had a special (and surprisingly efficient) plan: put one thing heavy on the accelerator, drop the transmission into gear, and stand again.

The Chevy seems to have a column shifter, making this gambit barely much less harmful, however our muddy protagonist nonetheless must step energetic as soon as the LS V-8 goes into drive. Which he does, stepping again to admire the briefly autonomous Silverado make its quick journey from atop the levee to down into it, the place it lodges towards the F-150 and certainly appears to largely impede the floodwaters from reaching the orchard on the alternative facet. The blokes within the video appear happy with the end result, anyway.

Given extra time and heavy gear, they may’ve gone a barely totally different route. In response to a 1997 story within the Los Angeles Occasions, Tulare Lake levees have been strengthened with crushed automobiles throughout floods in 1969. However these presumably weren’t pushed in underneath their very own energy. That, we will all agree, is the innovation right here.

We hope the plan labored out and the truck-based dam held up. But when, a number of months from now, you see a blue Silverado or an extended-cab F-150 4×4 on the market actual low-cost within the San Joaquin Valley, possibly be additional thorough on that pre-purchase inspection.

Headshot of Ezra Dyer

Senior Editor

Ezra Dyer is a Automobile and Driver senior editor and columnist. He is now primarily based in North Carolina however nonetheless remembers the right way to flip proper. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and as soon as drove 206 mph. These details are mutually unique.

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