On an Island with a Monster Truck


After a great vacation to Hawaii five years ago, my wife and I decided to move to the pacific island. We decided there is no better place to be – we loved the warm weather and great views.

After moving to the island we found that there were several things that were different about living in Hawaii than on the mainland. Such differences include choices in clothing, language and family rites of passage. However, my favorite difference; almost everyone in Hawaii owns a truck.

We’re not talking small trucks either. I’m talking huge four-wheel drive monster. Four-wheel drive monsters that can take on anything from pavement to jungle or even climbing the side of a mountain. Consequently, I was so happy to trade in our compact car for a monster four-wheel drive truck that that alone could have sold me on living in Hawaii.

It was one of the best purchases we made living on the island. It enabled us to experience the greatest parts of the island – and these parts are most certainly not accessible by car. The following are just a few reasons why (whether you’re visiting or living in Hawaii) you need a truck.

Rain, rain – go away!

Living on the island was amazing but there was one thing that was very difficult to get used to; the rain! Some of our funniest truck-inspired memories were caused by rain, or more specifically, trying to navigate flooded or muddy roads in the new truck. Hilo, in particular, is the rainiest city in the nation and gets over 120 inches of rain every year.

That presents a problem at times if the only vehicle you have isn’t a truck. There were several times we were in town and had groceries; a birthday present, or even bags in the back of our truck and it started raining. We found out over time the greatest solution to our problems was to get one of those truck bed covers. These covers can be left snapped on or rolled back to leave the truck bed open.

Get to all the great beaches

Some of the greatest beaches on the island are not accessible without a truck. The trails out to the beach would entail a long walk or a four-wheel drive truck to get you to the sandy coast. Having a truck also enables you to drive your cooler and other beach props right to the place you want to set up your site without the arduous task of carrying them down seemingly un-ending jungle paths.

Waipio Valley

This breathtaking valley has one that most only see on postcards or travel shows. The road driving down into the valley however, is impossible to reach unless you have a truck with four-wheel drive. After we made the steep and windy drive down to the valley, it was well worth the trouble. At Waipio valley we were able to set up camp and stay for two nights right there on the beach. There were great adventures to be had once we got down there. Bike trails, hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling or stand up paddle surfing were just a few options we had to choose from.

Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes on the island, and this one also happens to be the largest volcano on the planet. At the top of this amazing volcano is an observatory for stargazing at night, or just getting a “feel” for the volcano up close, during the day. Unfortunately, because it is also the tallest volcano, it almost always has snow on the ground. Having a truck to climb the snowy terrain is absolutely necessary to get where you’re going.

As I said before, a four-wheel drive truck isn’t a luxury in Hawaii. If you ever want to be able to take in even a small percentage of what this beautiful land has to offer, you’re going to need a way to get there. Besides, I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than cruising the island with the windows down, and my beautiful wife by my side.