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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | May 16, 2014

I don’t believe I am much different from most farmers, because I have caps for going to town and caps for staying home, as in sweat stained and dirty.

You get a good clue about where I am going next by looking at the top of my head.

Just recently I discovered that I am probably like many farmers in that I have a go-to-town pickup and a staying-around-home one.

The going-to-town truck is much like a car with lots of options, usually clean, and very comfortable.

The staying-around-home truck is, well, not so nice, cleaned much less frequently, and suffering from an advancing case of rust.

There are places where the rust has gone through the metal.

So between the dust and the rust, its days of glamor are in the past.

My choice is Ford, but it does not matter – Ford, Chevy, GMC, or Dodge, or anything else – each has it loyal owners.

My F150 is the go-to-town truck.

The stay-around-home truck is a black F250. It has been referred to as Old Blackie, one of the few times I have actually given a name to vehicle.

When it was new back in 1990, it had to be quite a showy piece as it has all the right options and the diesel engine.

I bought it with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer about 10 years ago. It had been taken care of, still looked good and ran good, too.

But it was bought as a work truck and that is what it has done since its first days here.

Its main work has been during spraying when it carried the shuttle in back and towed the 1,000-gallon water trailer.

Most years it had a barrel of diesel fuel in the box.

When it wasn’t working, it sat still until it was needed. That is my way of saying it tended to be neglected.

By now the rust has taken out the metal over the rear wheels and there are places where it has rusted through in the box.

The air conditioner and the cruise control do not work.

The passenger power window only works from the passenger door switch.

The driver’s door has been slammed so many times the outside mirror does not hold its position. I fixed that with two hose clamps.

And the diesel engine does not start as easily as it used to. A can of ether is needed both winter and summer to get it started.

It seems to lose its prime in the pump when not started every day. A short snort is usually sufficient.

What repairs does one do with an old pickup that is used just a few thousand miles a year?

As long as I can get it going with just ether, probably nothing. Ether is cheaper than injection pump work.

It just recently lost its brakes. That is getting repaired.

I keep it for a couple reasons. One is that it gets those dirty jobs that I don’t want to use my go-to-town truck for such as hauling bags of trash to the dumpster or dirty things in need of repair.

The other reason is just plain loyalty to an old truck that has provided good service to me and its previous owners.

Old rusty pickups are common and not that desirable. It has more value to me than to anyone else.

It may not be the prettiest truck around, but I still enjoy every time I drive it – dust, rust, and rattling diesel.

Just as long as I have a can of ether in the cab.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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