Couple Put 1.2 Million Miles On Family Truck In 7 Years

Since last year the husband and wife team put 220,000 miles on their Chevy Silverado

Last year, Hugh and Tammy Pennington took their 2006 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD to a milestone rarely seen by other trucks, especially one so new. Their truck made it to one million miles in just six years.

A year later the truck is still going strong.

"It reads at about 1,220,935 right now," Hugh said. "It's still kicking pretty good."

The Penningtons are driving their truck on average over 500 miles every day. Tammy uses the truck for work and play with Hugh, a retired GM Delphi employee. They run a long haul business, bringing trailers and campers across Canada and the U.S. They also haul their boat over thousands of miles of freeway.

While making these runs, the couple also get a chance to see the sights.

"We still like to take adventures together," Hugh said. " I'm getting paid to see the world."

The hauling business was born out of Tammy's desire to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They bought the truck brand new in 2006 while in Georgia to help haul FEMA trailers to areas ravaged by the storm. Years later they are still going as strong as ever, though wear is beginning to show on the truck. They've got a little oil leak, so they are keeping an eye on oil levels.

Getting to a million

How can your vehicle make it to one million miles? The same way the Penningtons did it: Keep up on the maintenance. Change the oil religiously, change the filters at the same time.

Checking the fluid levels every couple of thousand miles will help alert you to any leaks or oil consumption issues. While changing oil every 3,000 miles is no longer the standard, oil should still be changed frequently, usually every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

The correct kind of oil in an engine is important as well. Using the wrong type of oil can really damage your engine. You should also consider doing the extra little things like having your engine flushed to cut back on build up.

The Penningtons also wash their truck after every long haul, especially in the winter. When they drive through Canada in the winter, there is a lot of salt on the roads which can break down the coating on the truck's paint. Salt and grime can be very bad for a car, whether from snowy roads or sea breeze in coastal regions. Washing your car often and correctly is important not just to longevity but resale value as it protects the paint and can save the important under carriage from corrosion.

Hugh said having a trusted mechanic certainly doesn't hurt either, especially when the little noise or knocks come up. By having these investigated early on you can save your car and save some cash by preventing a more catastrophic failure. When it comes to extending the life of your vehicle, being attentive to the little things can add up in a big way.

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