Updated: Feb 20, 2018
Maintaining acreage without a truck has it's challenges, one of those is needing to rent a truck when large loads need to be moved. In the past I've used a couple local places to rent trucks from but one truck in particular is great for dump runs because it has a flat bed with 3 fold down sides. After many trips together, that truck and I had a whale of a Saturday together.
My mom, who is a spry 73, was in town for this particular project, which was to load up 2 separate piles of cabinets, mirrors, light fixtures and other 70's decor that we had removed from the house almost immediately after moving in. The heaviest of these materials were the old cotton drapes from every window on the main level. After sitting in the rain for a few days they had to weigh at least 50 or 60 pounds per set! 1 Liter of water weight 2.2 pounds and I'm telling you, each one of these sets had to have soaked up 10L of water. Short story short, loading this truck up on a rainy muddy day was quite the chore, and I'm a big guy. Once everything was tied down, my oldest son and I were ready to go to the dump...or so we thought. I had no idea at this point that in MAKING THE DECISION to drive through my yard to throw in the last of the refuse, I had also exposed myself to a frustrating, 4-hour, muddy ordeal from which 1 clear lesson was learned.
The route that made the most sense with such a heavy load was down the yard, through an opening in the fence, North along the pasture, up through the cattle gate and out. My son and I were rumbling along – the combination of working on our property, getting the garbage out and rolling the big truck together had us giddy, then, I slowly turned left to head up through the gate and my rear tires spun. I remember a sense of worry coming over me immediately as I turned to my youngster and said "uh oh."
Over the course of the next 3 hours I used many combinations of plywood, chicken wire, coarse gravel, treated 2X6's and tree branches in an effort get enough grip to get up to the gravel driveway that leads to the main road. My son stayed with me the entire time, his belief that "we" would get the truck out was unwavering, I remember believing in my own father the same way when I was a kid. Towards the end he said, "Are you getting frustrated daddy?" Covered in mud, back aching, hands with cuts and cracks, I asked "what makes you think I'm mad?" he answered, "You're being very quiet." I guess going quiet when I'm frustrated is a good thing, should have done a better job of that back when I was playing baseball for a living.
Putting the truck in drive and reverse, drive and reverse, over and over and over again. Moving 4X8 pieces of plywood in between attempts, horsing around lumber, moving gravel from the driveway to the mud with my hands, then drive and reverse again AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. I was so determined, yet so foolish. Foolish to think I could drive a load that heavy with rear wheel drive truck and foolish to think I'd be able to get it out. When it was all said and done the rear bumper of the rental was up against one of my adolescent Douglas Firs and i was a broken man, nearly in tears of anger and failure. By that time, the sun was fading and even my loyal companion had given up.
I called a tow truck, he was near the area, he showed up in 15 minutes and winched me out in 10. He gave my son, who was very impressed and excited by the whole process, a tow truck fridge magnet and he told me I would never make this mistake again. "I've been towing people out of this mud all week," he said. "Experienced semi drivers, other tow trucks, police officers and home owners." "You don't realize how bad of an idea trying to drive in wet grass is until you try it. Everybody does it once."
We went to the dump, unloaded the truck, returned it, had a satisfying shower and a great d
inner as a family. What could be better than that? The next day I was so worn out I felt like I had the flu, aches and pains, fever and the rest of it! Even as a former athlete, I had given so much of my physical and mental energy to that one task I needed 2 days to fully recover.
The farm got the best of me that day and as you see bolded in the 2nd paragraph all of this happened because of a decision I made, in order to learn, I must take responsibility for that. However, the mistake I made and the utter foolishness I felt when my wife finally came out and saw that truck backed up into a Douglas Fir isn't what is important today writing this post, all that matters is the lesson I learned, the effort I put forth, the time I spent with my son and the ultimate completion of the task.
"You don't realize how bad of an idea trying to drive in wet grass is until you try it. Everybody does it once."
When I took the picture of the truck here, up against the tree, where it was finally towed out of, my son politely said, "You took a picture so you won't ever forget what you did."
He was right!