The GMC Toro-Flow

Back in about 1967 Cecil Lewis, my dad, went off somewhere, probably Austin or San Antonio and bought a 1964 GMC truck. That GMC had perhaps the weakest engine ever put in a truck.

This Is A Similar Truck

It was a single axle with a winch that he paired up with a single axle float type trailer that he had recently purchased.

Now here’s the deal, that float trailer was an oil field float. You knew that because it had a rolling tail bar on it and it was built extra heavy duty. Anything going into the oil field needed to be built strong. Where various pieces of metal were joined together, the pieces were riveted. The frames along the sides were double beams, with rivets connecting them together, like you see in older bridge structures.

This Is A 3 Axle Oilfield Float – you’d be hard pressed to find a single axle one.

What made this all so strange and memorable, was why they built the trailer so stout, yet it only had a single axle. That trailer could have had 3 axles under it and hauled loads much heavier. Now while we are on the subject of heavy, that float trailer was a load to pull, even before you put anything on it.

So when Cecil came in with this new purchase he was already fighting a losing a battle. But then to see how weak that truck was, it almost became comical. He expected to send Kenny and me off hauling a D-7 Bulldozer up and down those hills all around Central Texas. That little truck would barely pull that trailer empty. But add about a 20 ton dozer on it and it was seriously inadequate.

It bogged down and stalled out a couple of times. He’d send another truck to rescue it.

Cecil didn’t let that bother him. He started out the next move by escorting the truck, driven by his 16 or 17 year old son, Kenny. When they approached the first steeper grade he motioned for him to pull over to the side of the road. He backed up and jumped out and grabbed a chain out of the back of that 1/2 ton pickup, joining the 2 vehicles together. Then off they went sailing over the hill, the one that has previously caused a stall out.

After that I knew what my new job would be when a heavy load was going to move.

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