‘Yank Tanks’: Aussies bemoan the rise of large American utes
The anti-'Yank Tank' movement is spreading across social media, where Australian drivers are documenting every time super-sized, US-made pick-up trucks are too big for local roads.
An online movement criticising the rise of large American utes in Australia is gaining traction, with social media users denouncing the disruptive presence of 'Yank Tanks' on local roads.
In the Melbourne forum of discussion site Reddit, users have been sharing photos of models like the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 struggling to squeeze into parking spaces, or dwarfing other cars at shopping centres.
"Yank Tank blocking traffic," one post reads, alongside a photo of a Chevrolet Silverado LTZ parked on a Melbourne street – its tail-end protruding into the flow of traffic.
Another Reddit post features a photo of a Toyota Yaris parked next to a Ram 1500 captioned: "Ram vs Yaris at Chadstone".
"One for the Yank Tank haters/lovers – I'm 160cm tall, same height as its door handles," one user captioned a photo of an imported Ford F-650, which can measure up to 2.4m in height.
While the Ford F-650 isn't sold in Australia, US-based brands Ram and Chevrolet both offer their dual-cab utes locally.
The Ram 1500 is priced from $85,950 before on-road costs for an entry-level offering, up to $209,950 before on-road costs for the performance-enhanced, V8-powered TRX variant.
Larger Ram 2500 and 3500 models also sold here measure more than 6m in length, more than 2m in height and more than 2.5m in width.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Silverado is similarly massive and, in 2500 Heavy Duty spec, is priced from $163,000 plus on-road costs and measures almost 6.4m long, almost 2.3m wide and just over 2m tall.
For comparison, the largest Ford Ranger available in Australia – the Raptor – measures almost 5.4m long, 2m wide and 1.9m tall.
Despite their imposing size almost pushing them into light truck territory, the Ram and Chevrolet pick-ups can be driven on a regular Australian driver's licence.
Both Ram and Chevrolet models are imported into Australia and then converted to right-hand drive by Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the same company once responsible for turning Holden vehicles into high-performance HSVs.
The Ram 1500 is proving to be the most popular of the two models and has sold 3697 units so far this year, which is a 68 per cent increase on the same period last year.
The majority of complaints about these supersized utes online seem to be centred around their inconveniently large footprints, but some commenters did go so far as to label them “unsafe” for pedestrians.
While most new cars in Australia are assessed by local safety body ANCAP, both the Ram and Chevrolet Silverado models have not been crash-tested locally as they are technically classed as commercial vehicles and thus do not fall under ANCAP’s jurisdiction.
However, because the Ram and Chevrolet models aren't restricted in their production numbers, they still have to comply with strict Australian Design Rules (ADR) safety standards, while other low-volume conversion companies do not.