This morning as I drove along the motorway I fell in love with cruise control. You'd think that at the ripe old age of almost fifty one I would be completely familiar with this functionality. But the truth is my new ute is the first vehicle I have ever owned that has cruise control.
For years I was quite satisfied with my late model Toyota Hiace vans until I decided on a changes and bought a ute two years ago.And cruise control? An effete option and besides why would you have it on a vehicle in this country anyway as we don't have the long straight highways that would make it worthwhile to have?
There was nothing wrong with the ute, it was a major improvement on the van in terms of ride comfort and safety, but it was really a bit rough around the edges in comparison to a car.
Enter the new model utes now on the market from all the main manufacturers over the last year or so and the the change in the ute market and the change in the expectations of many of the people that buy them. Just as many people buy them as their daily transport or to transport their toys around (like me) as do the businesses, farmers and tradesmen.
Ok they are still small trucks and they drive like trucks but they have a lot more of the standard options that you would expect in a decent car and the new one is simply a quantum leap ahead over the old ute.
Roll forward to a month or so ago. I had been debating for ages whether to upgrade. I really agonise over this kind of decision. It's not about whether I have the money but whether I should spend it. You know the arguments. Sinking money into a new vehicle is a waste and yeah I could have paid the cash I put into a new vehicle off my mortgage but....... For me being able to buy new vehicles is a sign of success in my day job and I enjoy the new vehicle smell. No doubt my attitude would be a bit different if I wasn't lucky enough to qualify for a fleet discount which takes some of the pain away.
Fast forward to rolling down the motorway this fine Saturday morning in light traffic. One click and flick of a switch and there I am cruising along at 102 kilometres an hour. Assuming that my speedo is accurate I suddenly realised how slow the traffic flow really generally is even when there are very few cars on the road.
Make cruise control mandatory I say and maybe we wouldn't have so many bottle necks caused by people meandering along at low speeds on our motorways.
To easy right?