Bring Home a Truck


My brother bought a truck in Brattleboro, VT he says “lets go get it.”  With what? I didn’t have a trailer at the time. So we borrow a friend’s truck, which is not registered, or inspected. Brother has a ‘big ben” 5th wheel attachment for towing trucks. Its air operated and the pistons don’t work. We get over there to haul this truck, which is a 1973 white cabover that has been sitting for 14 years. First you have to saw the tree down that is growing up thru the frame. We get it hooked up and some one to come over with a big fork lift to lift it up so we can pin the big ben up. I notice that there’s no hubcap on the front wheel, which the truck is resting on. Brother says “ah, don’t worry.” Famous last words. Now were ready to go, well almost. As I walk around this unit I notice there aren’t any plates on either truck. Oh brother dear, what do we do about plates, inspection stickers? He says not to worry because that’s the small part. We don’t have any lights, safety chains and we can’t unhook it any way. So off we go. All is well and good till we come around Keene. Brother is driving and says oh $%*# as he is looking in the mirror. I say what’s the matter. The front wheel on the white isn’t turning. Not good I think see how were doing 65 m.p.h. we stop I go back and sure enough the wheel doesn’t turn. He moves the truck back and forth a little and all I hear is crunch, crunch crack. That can't be good. As we stand there on the side of rt9 scratching our heads trying to figure out what to do next, I realize were stuck. With 2 unregistered uninspected trucks that we cant even unhook the back one. Damn, were stuck at the scene of the crime. I rummage around and we find some bar and chain oil. Pour that into what’s left of the bearing. Brother dear rocks the truck and after a while the wheel starts to turn ever so slowly. After about 15 minutes, of looking over your shoulder for cops, the wheel makes one full turn. I say that wheel bearing will never make it home; the wheel is going to fall off. Brother says what choice do we have, good point. So off we go again! A few more stops, to pour more bar and chain oil in, and we make it back to Deerfield. Need less to say we had to cut the race off the spindle when we got home. Now you would think the story should end here. Brother bought it for the tranny. After looking the truck over and noticing that the mileage is only 200,000 he says, suppose it runs? One battery, a little fuel and it roars to life. This is bad I think. I know what is coming next. I think I’ll run her he says. So some new fuel tanks, because the old steel tanks had holes in them, and one more battery and he’s off trucking. Now wouldn’t you at least service this poor old truck? Nope, now I said "new tanks", to this truck. But he didn’t even give it new fuel. Brother dear, drains out what’s left in the old tanks and pours it in the “new” ones. He did break down and buy 2 new exhaust clamps for the stovepipe he found. At that time I had a deal hauling shavings from Pittsfield, M.E. to the Mass line. So you guessed it, off he goes one night. Remember the part about the batteries? 2 old batteries, some old fuel, some new fuel, one fuel filter, and off he goes. About an hour later that night the phone rings, can you bring me a filter and some jumper cables? A buddy and I go to the rescue. After an hour or two we discover there’s a blockage in the tank. It seems his 6 yr old daughter was playing in the yard and told him she dropped a rubber disk in the tank. Ok were fixed again and he’s off. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. He did complain that the tires were square, can’t imagine that. They are old bias ply tires that have been sitting for around 15 yrs. He tells us that it was hard to drive because people kept talking to him on the c.b. The guard at the mill see’s the 2 towns on the door, one says Bronson, F.L. the guard asks “are you from F.L.?” brother says a couple of guys down on 495 say the same thing to him. At the very least wouldn’t you have changed the fluids? Checked the air in the tires that sort of thing. No not brother dear. The thing that really gets me is he does this kinda regular like. He hauls shavings for a few months before retiring the truck. I need to tell you about the time he bought an Astro in F.L. but that’s another story.

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