Ford and Chevy Pickups Help California Farmers Plug Levee Breach

As you may possibly be aware, drought-ravaged California has currently acquired so considerably precipitation that they’re going to be snowboarding in Tahoe until August and the reduced elevations are starting off to search like Louisiana bayou. Techniques calibrated to deal with a predictable total of rain (read through: not substantially) are failing, as exemplified by a unique levee in Tulare Lake Basin, a farming location in the San Joaquin Valley.

The problem with extended-drained Tulare Lake is that it periodically likes to reappear right after weighty rains, which totally bonks the intricate h2o-shipping programs that feed the farmland. And yesterday, after a levee failed, area farmers came up with a rapid and encouraged alternative: Travel a pair vans into the breach.

This notion straight away raises range of concerns, most notably no matter if two of the area’s the very least-favored half-ton trucks would be heavy adequate to prevent up raging floodwaters. To get ahead of that challenge, our dam-making maestros filled the beds of the trucks—a Chevrolet Silverado and a Ford F-150—with an sum of filth definitely beyond their rated payload, an insult that would seem trivial compared to what took place next.

In this video posted on Twitter by farmer Cannon Michael, we see the F-150 by now sunk in the levee hole, its mattress and roof lined in dense-looking soil. “How did they do that?” you may possibly check with. Nicely, we see exactly how they did that a minute later on as the Silverado would make the best sacrifice and joins the Ford for a brief dip.

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A lot less basic safety-aware fellows may possibly endeavor some sort of stuntman drop-and-roll out the driver’s-aspect door as the truck headed for its watery demise, but these guys seem to be to have had a unique (and surprisingly effective) plan: place one thing large on the accelerator, fall the transmission into equipment, and stand back.

The Chevy appears to have a column shifter, creating this gambit marginally a lot less perilous, but our muddy protagonist nevertheless requirements to step lively when the LS V-8 goes into push. Which he does, stepping back to admire the quickly autonomous Silverado make its short journey from atop the levee to down into it, wherever it lodges in opposition to the F-150 and in truth seems to primarily impede the floodwaters from achieving the orchard on the reverse side. The fellas in the video seem pleased with the end result, anyway.

Provided additional time and significant equipment, they might’ve long gone a a bit distinctive route. According to a 1997 tale in the Los Angeles Moments, Tulare Lake levees were strengthened with crushed autos for the duration of floods in 1969. But those people presumably were not driven in below their possess energy. That, we can all concur, is the innovation right here.

We hope the program labored out and the truck-primarily based dam held up. But if, a couple months from now, you see a blue Silverado or an extended-taxi F-150 4×4 for sale actual inexpensive in the San Joaquin Valley, possibly be excess extensive on that pre-acquire inspection.

Senior Editor

Ezra Dyer is a Car or truck and Driver senior editor and columnist. He is now centered in North Carolina but nevertheless remembers how to flip proper. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once drove 206 mph. People specifics are mutually exclusive.