1960s Trucking

Hauling things were much different back when I was young. Many ranchers and cowboys had a set of sideboards they’d put on the back of their pickup and then a horse and sometimes two would be loaded in the back. I can remember how unstable a 1/2 ton truck was with that much weight swaying back and forth and the high center of gravity. Many of the old-timers weren’t very accomplished drivers, either.

While we did that some I think of something now that seems much more risky. Hauling a JD 450 loader in the back of a 5 yd. dump truck. We would drop the tailgate, back up to big dirt pile or a dirt bank and drive it in.

Cecil Lewis was always in a hurry. I guess that’s what happened one day when, as soon as I drove up in the back, he threw it in gear and headed out. We were down in a dirt pit, so there was a steep incline coming out, so when the truck started up the grade the loader slid right out the back. With me still on it. That was a jolt.

He got out and said “Dammit Ronnie Gene (he always called me that when he was annoyed) why didn’t you set those brakes”.

He once again backed up to the dirt pile in the pit and I circled back around and we re-loaded it. This time he gave me enough time to put a chain or two on it.

This truck and loader are representative of the ones in the story.

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