on heavy boxes, sciatic nerves, and minivans.

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That coffin-shaped thing in our backyard by the vehicle gate is a Thing of Great Surprise for the kids, destined to be put together by the handymen while we’re on our trip to the South. There is a Tarp of Deception on top of it for counterintelligence reasons, to keep the Great Surprise as such.

The Thing of Great Surprise comes in a single box that is eight by two feet and weighs in at over 300 pounds. Your humble correspondent, not being the brightest bulb in the cupboard, backed his minivan up to the vehicle gate and then unloaded that box all by himself, to stage near the area where the Thing of Great Surprise will be assembled. Your humble correspondent had to pop an 800-milligram Ibuprofen a little while ago, and will be doing very little in the way of bending at the waist for the next day or two.

Because our road is still muddy, it has a 6-ton weight limit on it. Because the freight service delivering the Thing of Great Surprise sent it in a semi, your humble correspondent had to chug out into town and take delivery of the goods in the Home Depot parking lot.  Once again I am impressed by the cargo-hauling abilities of that Grand Caravan. I have on occasion hauled a bunch of standard 8×4 drywall sheets in the back without trouble. I’ve hauled cargo and passenger groups with the minivan that I couldn’t have transported with any other vehicle. When the time comes to replace the Grand Marnier, I may just forego the AWD and buy another one of these. AWD is useful three months out of the year, while seven seats or 160 cubic feet of cargo space and a flat-load floor are useful year-round.

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13 thoughts on “on heavy boxes, sciatic nerves, and minivans.

  1. tacgirl2000 says:

    Hopefully a helpful piece of information. The problem of sciatica is often caused by both lumbar nerves being irritated (discs) which results in that nerve fire down the leg and leg numbness and lower back and rear end muscles spasming in order to protect those nerves. Surprisingly, unlike the common remedy of heat, a fairly large square blue ice pack (with a towel over it) that will cover the small of the back when you lie on it provides both pain relief and it is anti inflammatory as well. Being an ex-dancer, I don’t just read Sports Medicine books, I reminisce! :) Hope this helps!

  2. Fred2 says:

    I hear you concerning the minivan brother, it’s hard to find that combination of “will move people and stuff in general comfort” for that price. The scary thing is their fuel efficiency and handling aren’t awful for for all that.

    Though I had to laugh when that car mag raced an dog standard Odyssey against a bunch of “hot” 1950′s british 2 seaters ( and Aston, a Healey and an MG) and frankly it bettered or held it’s own against them. ( That and it does it with cup holders, A/C and heating that work, and it starts in the rain, and in the depths of winter and the electrics for everything that also work in all weather.)

    That being said you really have a bum back don’t you? 300 lbs? You have to be careful, but not THAT careful, if you lift it carefully.

  3. Will says:

    What I do with those large cartons: Open them in the vehicle, remove enough weight to get them manageable, and slide them out. Refill the box if it won’t be used immediately.
    A ramp is nice for this. One or two motorcycle ramps will help. You can buy the tongue kits for these ramps in Harbor Fright, IIRC. I would recommend making a wide (24-36″) loading ramp for this sort of duty. At least wide enough to roll a handcart/dolly on it.

  4. ZerCool says:

    During my stint at BBHIS, I was repeatedly amazed at just How Much Stuff people would pile in and on their ‘vans. Twenty sheets of drywall? No problem – and you know, I need a few sheets of OSB while I’m here, so let’s put ten of those up top, ok?

    I don’t remember where I heard it, but I seem to recall that Dodge is planning to end-of-life the Caravan lineup.

  5. nyemt71 says:

    I have a buddy who used to swear that his Volvo wagons (early 80′s vintage – he had three or four of them over a space of about 15 years) were the best 3/4-ton truck he’d ever seen. We had a 2000 Grand Caravan, which was a terrific vehicle. I’d have bought another without a moment’s hesitation if The Missus hadn’t decided that she wanted back into a SUV. Which of course has turned out to be an unmitigated POS.

  6. libertyman says:

    How about a DKW Schnellaster? Or a Citroen H van?

  7. Glamdring says:

    Marko you should try a Honda Ridgeline, they have AWD, seating for 5 adults, 5′ pickup bed, & a locking trunk.

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