Farm Progress

Front Porch: That truck might never come home again!

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

July 28, 2017

3 Min Read
WOULD YOU BUY THIS? Several FFA members wanted to buy my old Ford farm truck, but my son beat them to it. Obviously it sat around a lot, especially during the winter.

More than a decade ago, my old white Ford pickup finally conked out. It was already well-used when I got it. I purchased a used, red Ford F-150 long bed with a five-speed transmission. It became the farm truck. It hauled hay, hog and sheep feed, lumber and more.

It also was the training vehicle for any of our four kids who wanted to learn how to drive a vehicle with a stick. Daniel passed the test. Ashley killed it 10 times while going 50 feet in the pasture on her first lesson. We don’t call her “Crashley” — lovingly, of course — for nothing.

Popular among teenage boys
Several years ago we bought a Ford F-150 with club cab seating so we could all go somewhere together — typically a sheep show. I kept the old red truck for those “tough” farm jobs.

Some teenage FFA boys who would stop by fell in love with it. It must be a country boy thing. One begged me to sell it to him. “No, I think I’ll keep it around and save miles on the other truck,” I always told him.

“How did you get that dent in the bed and the other dent with white paint scratches?” another boy asked.

“Well, one belongs to me and one to my son,” I said. “I was loading junk on the bed with a neighbor’s skid-steer loader one day and didn’t realize the bucket didn’t stick out that much farther than the wheels.”

That was crunch No. 1.

“Then that same fall my son was driving it up the dirt lane on a greasy November morning, and the rear end slid into the freshly painted white posts of the fence.”

That was crunch No. 2.

“I just figure they add character, making it worth more,” I told the boys, smiling.

Popular with my son
The old truck had been sitting more lately. It sat outside all winter, got covered with snow, and didn’t move in a couple of months.  I started thinking maybe I could live without it.

“Hey, Dad, can we borrow your truck for the weekend?” Daniel asked one day this spring. “We have some stuff we need to move.” He and his wife, Katie, live near Noblesville.

“Sure, I’m not using it much,” I said. “Last time I used it, it got hot — must be a small leak in the radiator. You better put in some fluid.”

He did and they went off on their merry way. A couple of weeks later, I got a call.

“Dad, would you sell us this truck?” Daniel asked. “It would sure come in handy.”

What the heck, I thought. It was mostly sitting here. It would be a chance to save on insurance and license and tax fees. So we made a deal.

Later the FFA boys stopped by. “Where is the truck?” one asked.

“I sold it,” I said.

I could see their faces getting red.

“I sold it to my son,” I said. “He needed a truck.”

“Oh, OK,” one boy said, calming down. “I guess it’s OK if you sold it to your son.”

Getting their approval really made me feel better — right! I felt a lot better when Daniel left the lights on it a few weeks later and had to buy a new battery. I wasn’t happy he had to buy a battery, but I was sure tickled I didn’t have to pay for it!

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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