Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

Ode to an Old Truck

By Robyn Dolan 


Tags: vehicles, truck,

The old truck

Robyn DolanOkay, so it's not so old – only 14 years. But it's paid for. The air conditioning still works. In over 300,000 miles, I have only in the last couple years had to replace the alternator and starter. So now I need a radiator and a water pump. And the only reason I found that out is because we made a hay run to just outside Phoenix last week.  

This being July in Arizona, the Phoenix area is easily topping 100 degrees before noon each day. So hauling 3 tons of hay uphill all the way home was bound to have some effect on the cooling system. After the first stall, we turned off the a/c. Of course, the engine took quite a while to cool down so I could add coolant. At least we had detoured to Lake Pleasant for a picnic and a swim on the way home. A park policeman stopped by and asked if we needed help and I explained, with my best attempt at humor, that we were just "cooling off." Well, we finally did get our swim and picnic and got back on the road to home. After 3 more stalls, we made it off the freeway and officially back to Northern Arizona, with no more problems all the way home. 

Having replenished my own radiator, from lack of a/c in a hot truck all day, I am able to sit back and admire the stack of hay that will keep the critters fat and happy for another month. I reflect upon all the good times we've had in Big Red (actually maroon, but Big Maroon sounds too Gilligan's Island). Camping, woodcutting, hauling horses, cows and other critters. And all the practical tasks she performs – hauling hay, water, building supplies; hauling other cars out of ditches; pulling a homemade drag to smooth out a muddy driveway. Getting around on muddy and icy roads. Going where no jeep dares to go. Who wants a new truck anyway? Get me that radiator and water pump!

john
6/23/2014 9:12:42 AM

It really never depends on whether we have an old vehicle or a new one. If we maintain our vehicle properly then only it will run the best. As vehicles are machinery products so wear and tear is an obvious fact. To avoid the same we have to a bit carefully and have to maintain the vehicle and have to take proper care of it. When any wear and tear happen we have to get it corrected from a good repair center. I prefer to visit the http://www.medwayimports.com/Service.aspx when I think my BMW needs to be serviced and repaired.


roman
6/11/2014 8:08:35 AM

Hats off to the car owner for the maintenance of the vehicle because after 14 years the vehicles are not supposed to run properly but, here we come to know that its air condition and other parts are functioning well. A vehicle can run properly for a long period of time if proper care of the vehicle taken. So, those who want their car to perform the best and run for a long period of time have to maintain their car and also have to service it and repair it from a good car repair center if needed. http://www.carminesimport.com/land-rover-service/


john
5/30/2014 6:39:20 AM

It is a good article and from here we can understand the meaning of maintenance. After 14 years of running, the vehicle is still running good. If proper care taken then every thing will perform good so as cars. Yes, cars have problems and as these are machinery products so these are obvious thing. We have to do its maintenance in regular time interval so that our car will stay far away from errors. If we want to stay safe then we definitely have to drive safe. For safe driving along with attentive driving we have to take proper care of the vehicle so that it will never breakdown. http://performingimports.com/services/bmw-repair/


robyn dolan
7/13/2009 2:45:48 PM

Thanks you guys - the extra verses fit perfectly into the "ode". Bill, thanks for 800radiator.com, am checking it out. When I first moved here I didn't realize how many farms were in the Phoenix area. Now it saddens me to watch them disappear, I agree, for what? Lori, yup, nothin' like the memories made in a good ole friend of a truck. Cindy, thanks, hope you and yours have many more good times too. I suppose Big Red could use a facelift one of these days... And Nebraska Dave, "So here’s to Big Red, Ranger Rick, and all the other hard working trucks out there. May they live long and prosper." I salute you!


nebraska dave
7/12/2009 7:18:18 PM

Robyn, rural trucks are the backbone of this country. They go where high priced city trucks tremble to think about going. As you have said they will haul or pull any thing they are asked without so much as a hesitation or a grumble. Their steadfast faithfulness is a tribute to how rural America functions in this day and age. Big and small I salute the trucks both farm and business. For years I wanted to own a truck but alas only having enough vehicle expense funds for one, which had to meet the needs of a family, exempted owning a truck. As the years past by and the family dwindled down to only me, I finally got to own my first truck. He’s a beauty. He was born in the year 2004 and is Sonic blue with the biggest engine that could be had in that year. He’s only a two wheel drive with five speed standard shift because we mostly cruise the highway and haul small stuff. He’s a Ford Ranger. From the shores of South Carolina to the glitzy lights of Las Vegas from the gulf coast of Texas to the boundary waters of Canada, he is known as “Ranger Rick – Ricky for short”. We together man and machine have traveled all across this wonderful land. He has pulled his weight many times over. Just the other day, he was loaded with 100 seventeen pound retaining wall blocks for a project we worked on. A total of 1700 pounds trucked down the road to the job site in the little Ford Ranger that could with not a single complaint, quiver, or sputter. He is an example of what all trucks can be. So here’s to Big Red, Ranger Rick, and all the other hard working trucks out there. May they live long and prosper. “Let’s roll” and “Get ‘er Done”.


cindy murphy
7/11/2009 10:03:46 PM

"Who needs a new truck anyway?" I know exactly how you feel, Robyn. My truck turned 20 years old this year! A little S-10 with a big ole honkin' engine and an extended bed, it's seen a lot of those camping and hauling days you mentioned. Though its tiny cab was impractical as a main vehicle once the our daughters were born, I couldn't give her up; she's got a place in the garage when the hauling involves kids instead of stuff. She's all polished black and shiney chrome now - a facelift to prevent the rust from showing her age - but she's still a workhorse when duty calls. Hope you and Big Red have many more good times together.


lori
7/10/2009 1:01:57 PM

Sounds like a keeper to me! In fact, the way you discribe it, it'd be kinda like gettin rid of a family member! Some things just can't be replaced, and when the time comes that you have no choice, I'm sure the "new" replacement will never be as good as this one!


glendaleaz
7/10/2009 8:58:56 AM

Having lived in the valley since childhood and made a monthly trek across the mohave desert to Southern Cal it is inevitable that eventually something in the cooling system would give. I found 800 radiator. Called them and they delivered it out to me that same day. I was impressed. No this is no add for them but I drive a 95 Ford that has 208k and everything still in working order thanks in part. I have a deep appreciation for Arizona's rural inhabitants and a hidden envy that cannot be explained. I guess its the lack of 'more' that we are beaten over the head with here in the valley. The Valley... conjures images of rolling hills and green meadows if you didn't know better... Really in our case though it means the pit of dispair with endless concrete, asphalt, traffic, and tile roofs. It is sad what has become of the west valley. Some think its the greatest thing ever but I miss all of the west valley farms. We still have some here and there but it like 200 acres here, 400 there... Hickman's Egg Ranch was bulldozed and turned into overflow parking for the stadium and the stadium sits on what was once a dairy farm. I miss them both and remember them fondly. We have suffered growth for the sake of growth and since 1973 the entire face of the west valley has changed. Nothing New really, just MORE of what we already have. More Wal-Marts, more Walgreens, more Subway's, more Papa Johns, Blockbusters, AutoZones, and so on. Oh but we have Football and Baseball and Hockey now! Like that is somehow worth the trade off. I miss the peace of mind. The quiet. The cooler evenings provided by the irrigated farms. Please, enjoy what you have always and know that there are many others who appreciate your experiences up there and as well know and appreciate the value of a darn good truck! Take care. Bill