March 31, 2011

Ute Town

I've been thinking a bit about utes recently (as you do..).  We live in a part of the country where the ute reigns supreme as the vehicle of choice for many people.  Just to clear things up for my international readers - Australians say ute as a short form of utility vehicle.  Other countries often call them "pick ups".  In Australia a "pick up" means something entirely different... As I have said before on this blog, a "pick up" is what a single farmer tries to achieve when he heads to the pub on a Friday night.

Anyway - utes are a very practical vehicle for Australian farmers (and farmers all over the world).  You can put all sorts of things on the back, be it animal, vegetable or mineral.  There are different types of utes too.

There is the sensible farm ute.  These are the workhorses of the ute world and tend to be Toyota Landcruisers or the like.  We use these a lot on The Farm.   Toyotas, in particular, tend to go forever and be very reliable.  We carry hay, livestock, fuel tanks, fire equipment and all sorts of other essential stuff on the back of our farm utes at various times of the year.

There are also the cool, young country boy utes. These are more of your glamour variety ute (forgive me for using the words ute and glamour in the same sentence). This type of ute has attached shiny metal bits that serve little purpose and lots of sticker, decal type things. At least two heavy duty aerials also tend to hang off these utes.  I don't necessarily think you need the two-way radio to go with the aerials. Having at least two of these aerials seems important though.

Country boys use these utes to try and look cool and do something called "circle work" in paddocks. Basically circle work is like a donut or broggy - doing this keeps the young adult male amused for hours - or at least until they run out of fuel or some essential engine part falls out of the bottom of the ute.

Apparently a cool ute is very attractive to young females too - having a ute helps the driver to "pick up".  Plus a swag in the back also means the ute owner is always ready for action if he gets lucky.  Another necessary ute accesory is some sort of device to keep beer cold.  An Engel car fridge is the best, but a decent esky is OK at a push.

I am continually amused by some of the stickers I have seen on this type of ute..  My two favourites so far are

"No Ute, No Circle."

"Save a horse, ride a cowboy."

Apparently for maximal coolness you need a Holden ute.  Unless you are a Ford person apparently.  Basically these utes need to look the part and make a hell of a lot of noise to tick all the boxes.

Utes/Pick ups seem to be a cross cultural trend in rural areas.  I took this photo in Argentina.

An Argentine Ute

I doubt it would stand up to the rigours of circle work but I bet some Argentine farmhand has given it a try.

There is one other type of ute that we see around our area.  That is the old faithful ute.  Someone has owned and loved it for years.  It doesn't have any of the cool shiny accessories.  It is more like an old comfy pair of boots.  These utes tend to come with bench seats, a sheep dog and an owner who wears some sort of hat.

So there you go - a quick explanation of the ute.

An Old Holden Ute

Take care.  Hope everyone is having a great day.

23 comments:

I'm So Fancy said...

And just like that, I'm smarter. Thanks! x

Make mine Mid-Century said...

I had a Norwegian reader who was transfixed with the 'ute'. She even liked dropping the word in her comments!

Utes are brilliant. So are farmers. They're brilliant too!

Ute beauty!

The Distressed Mother said...

I do like a good ute. A friend of mine recently bought herself one for doing the school run after giving the Prado the flick.

Maybe I should head to the pubs in your area some Friday night :p

TDM x

Tai Tai said...

My ex-boyfriend had a ute - although he lived in Lane Cove, in the middle of Sydney. It had those metal things on the side that stop dirt getting in, a front bar thing at the front and one rather large arial. Ridiculous!!! It did feel quite manly at the time though I have to say. He "picked me up" that's for sure!! I love the old school ute in that last pic - so Australian.....

Emma said...

I have a crush on the Argentine ute! Perhaps the driver as well, I wonder if he plays polo?

Sydney Shop Girl said...

The Ute. A Cross Cultural Icon. I just knew it.

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I love a good ute. Those B&S ones, with all the stickers and aerials, however, I could do without.

harrietsplace said...

ha yes 2 aerials at an absolute minimum and preferably with Khe Sanh playing at some stage!
Have a lovely weekend x

Maxabella said...

I do love a ute. Those farmer boys know what they're on about. I agree that they are a chick magnet supreme!! x

Georgie said...

Oh I've seen some classics since moving to Queensland... 'drunk & nude' stickers, 'proven bull' stickers... and in the back... a 'lounge' complete with cocktail bar and stereo or even a billiard table! Georgie x

Sara interrupted said...

my work 'car' is a one ton Izusu D-Max ute. It's 8 weeks old and I have already put 6,000 kms on it - not sure how that happened. It's amazing what you can fit on that tray. It can also change into 4WD at 90 kms an hour, though why you'd be driving 90 kph and needing 4WD I've yet to figure out.

Joni Llanora said...

Very informative and delightful post. I must admit when I came here, I found the name funny but discovered how it came to be.

Andrea said...

For some reason, after time in the US maybe...I call the high set ones 'trucks'.

And the glamour ute - is not complete unless it is lowered, complete with a big bull horn sticker across the back window and a dude with mega attitude driving.

Yes, I live in a Ute town too...

A Farmer's Wife said...

So glad everyone appreciated a little ute love. The Farmer was not impressed that I didn't include a photo of his work ute - so watch this space cos it will probably pop up in the next post or two.

Ange @ A Cream Cottage said...

What a laugh! I'm a city girl and my husband just traded in our family car for a duel cab ute that I drive around Brisbane! I ran into someone the other day who was shocked when they saw me getting in my car and commented 'I didn't think you'd be a ute girl'!!! Thanks for sharing. Ange

A Farmer's Wife said...

Ange - just saw your comment - a dual cab is the perfect vehicle for any occasion. It's like a mullet, business out the front, party out the back...

rosie said...

Wow,just found your blog, and the ute story! must post a ute story on mine about my husbands ute!! you should see it!! looking forward to reading more!!
Rosie

Maxabella said...

I remembered this one from the first time around. An ode to utes deserved a rewind!! x

Clarabel said...

As a UK 90's teenager I was introduced to the 'ute' in Neighbours and Home & Away!

When I visited Oz a couple of years back I remember a Toyota advert about real aussie men driving landcruisers...it had me creased with laughter.

Visiting from rewind

MultipleMum said...

Those 'cool' utes stand out a mile in the city! They make me laugh. The boys that get out of them wear a uniform - blue singlet, blue jeans, flannie (if hot), leather belt with buckle and RMs. Thanks for Rewinding and for the giggle x

Charis said...

OK so when I saw the title of this post I thought a ute was a musical instrument! I stand corrected. Visiting via the Rewind :)

Dr Bron said...

Having grown up in a small country town, I know what you mean EXACTLY! City utes just don't do it for me...

Cath said...

I must say that attending a ute competition at a country race meeting was an eye-opener for a city girl like me... although perhaps not quite as much as attending the B&S that night! Love your take on an Aussie icon! Rewinding...