There’s something about a much-loved, hard-worked, weight-pulling farm truck. You know, those pickup trucks that a farm would be at a loss without. Some double as soccer-mom-vans, taxis, picnic tables, benches, offices, and school buses. Some are for farm use only. Some are first cars, some are old favorites, and some are family heirlooms.
I’ll start by saying, I’m truck-neutral. I was raised around Fords, I’m dating a Chevy, my brother’s a Dodge, my stepfather is a Jeep, and I’ve seen some really nice foreign-made trucks out there. A good work truck is a good work truck, and the rivalry is, in many ways, based on the farm community’s need to ALWAYS have something to tease someone about. (Just like a good tractor is a good tractor!)
Farmboy’s truck is a perfect example of the history a single automobile can have. It’s a ’96 Chevy Silverado 1500. It’s an extended cab, short-bed machine that has lived multiple lives through multiple family members. Bought new by Bossman (Farmboy’s dad), it was his primary car. They took it on family vacations, hauled a camper behind it, and worked it hard on the farm. That truck earned its keep several times over. When Farmboy’s sister got her license, the Silverado (which I refer to as Betsy) became hers.
Now, Farmboy and I started dating before either of us could drive. Our first two years of dating required his sister driving us everywhere. Even before we could drive, we had good memories in that truck. By the time we we graduated high school, Besty had reached 200,000 miles.
It was the day after our senior prom. We were going on a day-trip to Indiana. It was quite the family affair. After we hit that milestone, Farmboy even called Bossman to celebrate. I actually think he called his sister, too. All owners of Betsy, current and previous, celebrated her longevity. Betsy is still kicking, even after two
years of going back and forth from college. (As of today, Betsy sits above 227,000.)
In fact, Betsy has helped move my overabundance of girly belongings to and from college a few times.
Betsy obviously isn’t the only farm truck I’m in love with. There’s Old Smokey, the ’95 GMC Sierra (diesel) that shakes when you push it past 50. The seat won’t move, so I have to have a pillow behind my back to drive it. The first time I hauled seed corn was in the back of that truck. (That first run was nerve-wracking. Now, it’s not so bad to have thousands of dollars worth of something in the bed of the truck…acclimation is a wonderful thing.)
The crown jewel of Bossman’s fleet of farmy trucks is the one I currently call “The Beast.” The Beast is both a family vehicle and a work horse. That truck has earned its keep already, it’s a 2008. The Beast has a crew cab that sits size comfortably. It’s got an 8-foot bed. The hood of that truck is eye-level to me. If
you want to learn about proper fine-handling of a large truck, try to take one of those things through the drive-through at Mickey D’s. If you don’t do it, you have a bunch of hungry, angry farmers wondering where their Big Mac’s are while they’re trying to harvest on empty stomachs. If you do it, but ding something up, you got a bunch of hungry, angry farmers wondering why you couldn’t go through the drive-through without breaking anything. (Or, you’ll have some good-natured, not-angry farmers who will just laugh at the fact that you’re crying.)
This is just one family. Their fleet of farm trucks are easily a pivotal part to productivity. These trucks are personal vehicles, business investments, and the safe carrier of precious cargo. Much like the work horses of the old days, farmers would be lost without the trucks that make everyday tasks easier. So, next time you’re driving down the road and you send up behind that pickup truck with hay or seed in the back, don’t just think of it as an inconvenience. Chances are that truck is very important to someone, and to their business.
So, what about you guys? Do you value your farm trucks as something more than just a piece of farm equipment? Do you have any especially interesting stories about old farm trucks? Leave a comment sharing, it may get featured in a future post about farm trucks. (I know have more stories to share!)