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Where to find the biggest one

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – December 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

In some circles, driving the biggest rig provides a superior status. And if you drive in those circles, a Hummer won’t do the job any more — it’s no longer the biggest.

That honor now goes to the Navistar International 7300 CXT, which is nine feet tall, eight feet wide, and 21½ feet long. It seats five, can carry six tons, and costs $95,000 for the basic stripped-down model without leather seats or a DVD player.

Navistar may be an unfamiliar name, but it’s descended from a manufacturer well known in rural areas. About 15 years ago, the International Harvester Co. kept its farm equipment line, but spun off the trucks (the pickups and Scouts that we called “Cornbinders”) to Navistar.

The big new pickup gets eight miles to a gallon of diesel fuel, and at 25,900 pounds, it’s just under the 26,000 pounds which requires a commercial driver’s license.

While the competition is getting larger, the Hummer is shrinking. The H3 model, coming next year, is 16 inches shorter than the H2, will cost less, and get better gas mileage.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine vehicles that get worse mileage than these behemoths. But on the other hand, fossil fuels are clearly a renewable resource (in the long run), and we’ve been assured that our country isn’t fighting a war to control oil reserves in Iraq; so maybe we shouldn’t concern ourselves with such trifling matters.