After the first installment looking at our utterly forgettable, but fine, I guess, 08 Taurus (with 42k on it), next up is our 2004 Suburban on this slow Oppo morning. This is a nothing fancy 1/2 ton 4x4 with 5.3 liters of LS goodness, an Eaton Auto locker in the back, load-range E all terrains and 89k on the odometer.
A few things are a bit tired from living outdoors in the high altitude desert for the last sixteen years, but otherwise it is in fine mechanical shape. The fleet department has kept up with maintenance and front end repairs making this probably one of the better steering GMT800 trucks still around here. It does have a few dents in the fuel tank skid plate, as this thing has lived a very substantial part of it’s 89k off road going to remote sites around southern NM.
We use this to carry groups of folks to remote places. I occasionally use it to scout possible sites or when I’m going to a remote site to only do one specific thing that doesn’t require the whole setup of my work truck. It’s leading a convoy of like 15 trucks from a variety of local and federal agencies to look at a watershed conservation project in a fairly seriously remote spot of Southern NM today, so the director asked me yesterday to fuel it up and load it up with some shovels, tow straps and a highlift jack should other folks in the convoy not be as skilled off road. For a number of us around here, not getting stuck is an important part of the job. My 2016 F-150 work truck spends hours per week in 4wd-low range.
Back in the day this generation of gm suv was a fairly common law enforcement vehicle in NM. This truck doesn’t have any logos, but does have the standard government plate. Twice now when I’ve been stopped along the side of a road in it I notice everyone slowing down approaching from the rear like it’s an unmarked cop car.
I’ve owned a couple of GTM400 suvs,so driving this is always a nice reminder of what a big step up the gmt 800 was. It’ll never be mistaken for anything other than a 1/2 ton truck, but a nice driving one. Brakes are good, ride is sublime and handling is there. The 37 gallon fuel tank is nice, and needed. The 5.3 moves with some gusto and makes nice noises when asked to, but it certainly doesn’t mind loafing along most of the time.
This has been a good truck for us, and it is probably the most used vehicle by folks in the office who aren’t usually in the field or otherwise don’t have a dedicated truck for them. The director probably uses it more than anyone else. It will probably stick around as long the paint stays somewhat presentable or until it starts requiring significant maintenance investments.