Just one more

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I guess it’s time to get another truck to haul grain. But I gotta tell you, she’s been a good one. We’ve only had to make a few minor repairs.

For some reason, the emergency brake quit working back in ’02 and the truck was parked on a hill and it rolled backward with the driver’s door open. It hit something and bent the door around too far. But a hammer and a few metal screws fixed it almost good as new, though there are a few air leaks around the door, is a little hard to close, and has a tendency to come open around curves to the right.

Then the driver’s-side mirror broke when it hit a tree, but duct tape fixed that, though it blocks the rearview image a tad.

The motor runs great, except it burns a little oil. But a quart of oil every 50 miles is cheaper than a new engine, right? It does run hot when the temperature is over 75 degrees and is loaded with corn. But a quick stop by the water spigot each trip to the bin fixes that just fine.

The floorboard has a few holes in it, but watching the road go by underneath can be a nice distraction during a long day. Besides, the air coming up cools the lower half of the body, though it’s a little cool in the wintertime.

The steering components are not quite what they once were. In fact, the first 6 inches of turning the steering wheel hardly does a thing, but after that, it works just fine. Though it does seem to aggravate the worn-out springs problem, which makes a loaded truck drift somewhat from side to side on those country roads. You might want to make a note of that in case you see us coming down the road so you can pull over into that neighbor’s driveway.

The driver’s window handle broke off about 1984, but a pair of vice grips rolls the window up and down just fine. If you can find a pair. The inside door latch malfunctioned in ’92, but if you roll down the window with the vice-grips and reach outside, it’s really not that hard to open the door.

The push knob on the glove compartment became difficult at some time. That’s why we keep a hammer on the seat.

The speedometer cable broke a while back, but if you drive the speed everyone one else does, you’ll be fine.

The dump body doesn’t go all the way up, but if you pop the clutch a few times, it will throw the grain out the back. But not too much, ’cause there’s not much clutch left.

Only the right headlight works, but you’d be amazed how well one can see the road after dark.

As to appearance, the black spray-painted “Farm Use” letters on the white bumper contrasts nicely.

You know, having said all this, it’s really not such a bad truck after all. Maybe we’ll give it one more year. Just one more.