The Fence Post Articles
Just as in everything in life, there is the good, the bad, and the worthless. On used 4×4 trucks, I usually recommend an extended warranty if of course you get the right one. We’ve all got friends who bought truck extended warranties and when they tried to use it, it was worthless. The biggest reason I’ve seen was clutches.
Don’t get worried about missing an opportunity to get a good deal on a warranty. Your credit union, insurance company, or the Internet can help you find a good
warranty. Some companies will let you try out the warranty first. A high
percentage of the time you will never need the extended warranty, just like life
insurance and crop insurance. And on cars you use it even less. 4×4’s have twice
as many of the expensive parts which is why I recommend it on a used 4×4. Just
one major repair will cost as much as the warranty. You won’t always know how
the truck was used before you. It might have been raced to the airport often, or
used to chase coyotes or it might not have even been serviced once. I know
people who trade cars every couple of years, and never change oil, filters or
anything else. You have to decide your own risk tolerance. But always ask a lot
of questions and make sure you get answers before you sign.
Extended Warranties and County Graveyards.
worked for the Washington county road crew for 5 years in my early twenties. I
enjoyed running the bulldozer. What I didnt enjoy was digging graves. In our
county there are a lot of small towns and of course a lot of small cemeteries.
And guess who gets to dig the graves. I did learn how to run a backhoe, which
helped latter when I had my own backhoe service and was offered more grave
digging opportunities for little known extinct communities.
of these old cemeteries in the south part of the county had the grave makers
(tomb stone) buried with fill dirt during the dust bowl. Now that was spooky
digging a hole and not sure exactly where one grave started and another ended!
That reminds me, on our honeymoon we took the train to Glenwood Springs and of
course had to visit Doc Holiday’s grave like all honeymooners do. And we did
see a lot of mooners on the train ride (those nasty rafters in the river next to
the train tracks.) Oh were was I, it’s quit a climb up the mountain to the
graveyard, and the tombstone said they aren’t sure Doc’s buried there. In the
Doc Holiday bar back in town, the legend states, it rained on the day Doc
Holiday was buried and the wagon couldn’t climb the hill so they buried Doc at
the bottom of the mountain. Oh well, I don’t suppose it matters a 100 years
later if us grave diggers were very accurate.
a funny feeling when you are down six feet under digging out the edges with a
shovel. Some of these cemeteries were in sandy soil. You had to be very careful
with each scoop of sand. It’s funny now that I live in Denver and am a
transplanted city slicker, I remember waiting at the cemeteries to finish my
job with the backhoe and these darn city slickers, would be out there 130
miles from Denver and be out of gas. With gas stations 20 miles away, we also
became AAA of the prairie, gassing up cars and covering caskets.
Bragging on my truck, and
calving time again.
Bragging rights, I say
Competition, created American Free Enterprise.
For 3 of the 10 years I’ve sold trucks, I was an auto
broker. Most of the time working for AAA Auto Club, buying vehicles for their
membership, I’ve sold all the major makes and models. Most people become loyal
to one brand. But it’s good to compare. Competition is what improves things. The
Japanese taught us valuable lessons in the 80’s on how to build cars that lasted
and were economical. As much as we complained about Japanese auto makers taking over our markets, American pickup trucks in the early eighties needed major
improvements. Do you remember the holey frames on the Fords in 1980 and 1981,
where Ford wanted to save weight on the trucks by punching extra holes in the
frames. How about the saddle gas tanks on Chevy’s and GMC’s in the eighties,
that caused a class action lawsuit for side impact collision fires, and did
anybody else have to weld their eighties Dodge truck bed seams a few times to
keep the sides from flapping in the wind when the tailgate was down.
We as humans are such emotional buyers. We become brand
loyal. We seldom do what’s best for us. And of course marketing rules the earth.
That’s why the best diet in the world is shutting off the TV! I know how much
I’ve gained watching pizza commercials.
Back to trucks, competition helps us in
so many ways. The top brands usually alternate leadership with each new model.
But there are differences in areas like diesels and transmissions. I continually
compare models to see what’s new. I don’t believe in buying any vehicle the
first year it comes out. I know it’s exciting and all, but no matter how hard
manufactures try, there are a few recalls that pop up after a few thousand
vehicles are actually on the road.
I remember my dad having a Massey Ferguson model 92
combine. He thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and of
course so did I. Then one summer I ran my uncle’s model 95 John Deere. I
couldn’t believe it. The engine wasn’t buried in the middle of the combine, it
was on top where you could actually check the oil and change spark plugs. And
another thing, the main belts weren’t buried in the middle either; they were on
the outside of the combine, so you could actually change them without learning
the latest cuss words! I saw combines evolve for the better and I’ve seen trucks
evolve. Driving an empty 4×4 three-quarter ton in the 70’s meant seeing the
local chiropractor and dentist after being bounced like a basketball! And now
they drive like cars. Trucks and combines are a lot alike. They both improve
over the years; their owners get very attached to them and love to defend them
as the best at the coffee shop. The manufactures fuel these feuds by one-upping
each other with horsepower, size and new gadgets.
My first driving experience was in dad’s 53 Ford F-250.
I became very good at jackrabbit starts. That lesson came in handy later when
I drove our 47 two ton Chevy hauling hay. The jackrabbit starts gave my
brother Steve, a few tumble off the back of the hay truck. I finally mastered
easing the clutch. I’m certainly glad that I learned to drive in the country.
I would hate to learn on I-25 in Denver! I usually recommend getting your
children a pickup as their first car. I think they are safer, haul less friends,
and can last till they have kids.
My dad’s only new pickup was a 1972 ¾ ton GMC. 72 was the
last year Ford or GM made a bed that was thick enough for me. Back then you
didn’t need a bed liner. Competition in pickups is fiercer than sport cars. I
like to see the major improvements. Even if you stay with one brand and buy
every 5 years you will see differences in ride, power and lack of noise.
It’s calving time again.
Missing calving time again, I remember well, pulling on the
Carhart insulated bib overalls, boots, stocking cap and mittens in the middle of
the night to check which heifer was going to calve in the middle of this
blizzard. One of my favorite animals to help during a blizzard was a first time
Angus heifer. You hear that a cow won’t charge over its calf to hit you but that
heifer did! You get a good look at those big brown eyes when they are in your
face! And I’m there to help. But I did get her and the calf into the barn. For
three days I had to rope my new close friend to let her calve nurse three times
a day. After I had the rope haltered on her head, I would let her chase me
around the pole until it was snug and then I could get the second rope on her
back leg. After three days of this ritual, that heifer thought her calf was just
the best thing see ever saw. I think when I return to ranching I will try fall
calving experienced cows.
Extended Warranties and County Graveyards: By MrTruck