Ode to a Farm Truck


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!)
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6 thoughts on “Ode to a Farm Truck

  1. Well, this isn't about our farm truck and the truck doesn't really belong to a farm, but the story is related to using a truck for farm-related activities so I'm going to share it anyways (I know, you're like 'Get on with it already!). Here you go:The school where my dad teaches has a (just guessing) 2004 black Dodge Ram 2500 that they use for hauling stuff around so, as you can guess, the ag program uses it A LOT. Well, one New Years Eve, the student that was assigned to doing chores was taking the water tank out to the pasture for the cattle. Unfortunately, there happened to be a large amount of water that had gathered, frozen and softened up in the middle of the field. Said water was also covered in snow so it could not be seen. Said student happened to drop the rear end of the truck into the water and bury it in mud and water up to the bumper. After half-burying a skidder and having another student drive his family's tractor (it was green for anyone who wondered) to the school, the Dodge was saved from the mud hole to live another day. And the principal didn't find out for six months ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh sheesh! Farm trucks, hoorah!One morning when I was about 12 or 13 I'd say, my brother and I got up early to go detassel. It was a damp, foggy morning. One of the rules at our house is NEVER be late, but that morning, my dad wasn't around to take us to meet the detasseling crew.Faced with the prospect of being late (eegads!) or in trouble for driving the old farm truck(which by that time was at least three different colors and offered a direct view to the blacktop through the floor board)before I had a license, I chose the truck, of course.Because you're only in trouble if you get caught. There was no doubt I'd be "caught" if I was late but driving without a license the 6 mile trip across the township? Not so much.So my brother and I loaded up to head out for our day in the corn field. But starting the old '77 Ford wasn't easy. You see you had to jiggle the gear shift while turning the key and pumping the gas pedal. So reaching down for the key with my right hand, stretching for the gas with my right foot, and reaching over the steering column to "jiggle" at just the right moment was precisely choreographed and away we went.Whew. We weren't late.And we didn't get in trouble. At least not that day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I LOVE these stories, guys! It's a perfect example of how something so simple as a TRUCk can bring fond memories. These trucks serve a purpose, but they also tend to find a place in our hearts.

  4. When I was a kid Dad's truck was a 1964 3/4 ton manual shift on the floor Chevy. My older (15 years old) city cousin was visiting a few days during planting season. Dad needed the truck taken down the road 3-4 miles to another field so he asked Tim to take it. He got this funny look on his face, but said "OK".He eventually showed up grinning from ear to ear. He jumped out and told Dad "That's the first time I ever drove anything! Had a little trouble with the gear shift but I figured it out."Dad just couldn't imagine being 15 and never driven before.

  5. Mike, that's a great example of how reliant farms are on the help of everyone, including the kids. Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad your dad gave your cousin an interesting first driving experience!

  6. Cute sentiments! I get very attached to my vehicles, farm truck and commuters. I just sold my jeep, and the 05 F350 is now the all-in-one family vehicle. I know all about drive thrus, those are a breeze. Parking the thing is still a pain in my arse LOL.

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