A Head-Plant In The Mud

I was about 17 years old. Lake Travis was really low like it often is. We had a bulldozer and a Cat 12 Motorgrader down along the bottom land, cleaning up and leveling out so when the lake came back up it would………no we knew it wouldn’t stay smooth but Cec had a good idea. Something to keep me busy. My helper was, David Jordan, my one day in the future brother in law. He was a couple of years younger than me.

If I remember correctly it had been a fairly uneventful day, that is until I started out on top with motorgrader. Just when I got to the top of the embankment it jumped out of gear and headed backwards into the almost dry lake bottom, the muddy lake bottom. Of course it had no brakes. When the back end hit the mud, the momentum caused the front wheels to come right back over the top. It had done a complete backflip.

I was able to seperate myself from the big yellow beast, by leaping and diving into to soft mud, which in turn resulted in my head being completely stuck in the mud.

Once I was able to extract myself from the mud, it was on to getting the engine on the machine turned off. It was running upside down with all 6 tires sticking straight up in the air.

With the engine finally turned off, we were on with getting it uprighted. In a matter of minutes a winch truck and dozer had it flipped back over.

It looked remarkably in descent shape. The air breather and exhaust both had been broken off and with it running upside down, it had sucked mud and sand into the engine. The engine was completely trashed.

Cec was not pleased but he just ranted for a few minutes. It wasn’t like I had made the choice for it to jump out of gear.

I’m not sure a young David Jordan knew what to think.

This is a very similar looking machine.

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