By the time you read my editorial for the month, the nation as a whole will have either elected a new president or re-elected the current one. So, despite your political affiliation, the upcoming four years will become even more important than the previous years, since time and technology have both decreased and increased, simultaneously. Like the President at the end of his term, with each passing year, we all try to squeeze every last minute out of the day to accomplish our goals.

One goal I certainly hope will be addressed either by this current administration or a new one is the state of gasoline prices. Yes, I know we have all heard of supply and demand, and I do not intend to get on any soapbox to explain my personal views regarding gasoline prices or the oil companies' pricing strategies. Nor will I begin to imagine how oil companies can deliver record profits to their investors while still claiming gasoline shortages. No, I will leave that question and most certain debate up to the people who are supposedly in the know.

One thing I do know is on the local level, meaning daily transportation, that can be addressed. These are areas each of us can do a better job to achieve the maximum fuel economy from our so-called "gas-guzzling" trucks and SUVs because I know, personally, I do not want to drive a too-small passenger car that gets 25 mpg. So, first and foremost, the key areas of absorption should be tires and tire pressure. I know it may be cool to run your truck on low-profile 24-inch rubber or monster-large 40-inch tires, but seriously, it is the little things that count. Check your tire pressure. This is something you should do on a monthly basis, regardless of gas shortages or not. Secondly, check the suspension. A poorly aligned truck or SUV will cause premature wear on those perfectly inflated tires.

When was the last time you actually tuned up your truck? And, no, I am not simply talking about changing the spark plugs. Did you replace the fuel filter, change the oil and filter, service the transmission, change the distributor cap and rotor, assuming your ignition is not electric, clean the fuel injectors and replace the air filter? These are just a few of the many areas you can look at to maximize the fuel economy of your truck or SUV. These are relatively inexpensive and should be performed as normal routine maintenance already, but they are areas most often overlooked.

Follow these simple tips and we will all emerge from these high fuel prices with finely tuned, well-performing vehicles, because I certainly have no plans to alter my fuel consumption or the vehicle I drive just because of high fuel prices. Like it or not, there is a huge population of people who actually need and want to use trucks and SUVs on a daily basis, so let's do our part to make the best of a bad situation.