The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


Taking our beloved truck to the crusher/junk yard

This will be the last picture taken of our beloved truck.

The dealer traced the problem to a bad injector pump. The price for such an operation was so high I can't bring myself to print it here.

We talked about several options. Rebuilt pump, take the old pump to get rebuilt in Bristol, sell truck on Craigs list. In the end we took the easy way out and had it towed to a local crusher.
super winch wire harness
Of course I took the Super Winch wire harness off along with both batteries and the tailgate. I just couldn't stand the thought of that sexy, red tailgate getting crushed like a pancake.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Sorry to hear about the truck. We've been there way too many times- a well loved vehicle finally gets to the point that the cost of repairs are more than the cost of the vehicle. It happened to my Husband's (also Mark lol) beloved Subaru. I ended up keeping the front grill and making a "valance" out of it to hang on the curtain rod in his book room. Maybe such a sentimental thing could be done with the tailgate of the truck? :D
Comment by MamaHomesteader Tue May 29 17:50:00 2012
Is the price of getting a refurbished pump and fitting it more than buying another truck? What about getting a pump from a breakers yard?
Comment by Roland_Smith Tue May 29 19:53:06 2012

MamaHomesteader --- Thanks for your kind words! I'm hoping the tailgate will be enough to get Mark past feeling crushed.

Roland --- We looked into the junkyard option, refurbished pumps, etc. Unfortunately, all were going to cost at least $1,000 for the parts, before we even started considering the labor. Since we got the truck for $1,500, that didn't seem worthwhile. You would have thought that even if we wanted to get rid of the truck, selling it would be worth more than crushing it, but that didn't turn out to be the case.

Right now, we're going to hold off on buying anything else and think about our options. We've heard from several people that a diesel truck was a bad choice for someone who was only going to start it up once a month, so we definitely wouldn't go with diesel again. And we're not actually sure whether we really need a truck given such light use. It might be more cost-effective to simply hire our new helper to haul things in his trailer than to keep a truck running once you factor in repairs ($740 in the last year), gas, registration ($44 per year), insurance (about $100 per year), inspection ($15 or so), and taxes ($34 per year).

Comment by anna Tue May 29 20:05:15 2012
shame to see your truck go to the scrapers.maybe someone with the parts available will pick it up and put it back in service.deisel stuff is exspensive.if it was my truck on gasoline about 300 bucks would put a fuel pump in it. luv all your garden pictures so much earlier then here in Canada Rein need spell check on dieslel
Comment by Rein Tue May 29 22:38:42 2012

Guess we were both the wrong owners for it; I ran it infrequently too. I know you liked it more than I did. I have a photograph somewhere offline of the truck in a field with a camper on it, and a satellite internet dish raised above that. That's the memory I'll keep of it..

But, this wake is a perfect time for an embarrasing story about the truck I've never told anyone. I was in North Carolina and stopped at a small campground for the night. Parked the truck at a site, and went around and into the camper, to check my cat had survived another drive and start dinner.

As I was up on the bed over the cab coaxing the cat out, the truck started moving. Forward. Down the slight hill it was on. I don't remember getting out of the camper, but I do remember running alongside the truck, getting the driver's door open, and being unable to get in or mash on the treacherous parking brake before it accellerated away from me.

About 40 feet on, it crossed the campground's ring road, and shortly plowed out and into a freshly planted field! The entire truck made it into the field before stopping. Somehow it was not fully stuck and I managed to drive it out, leaving some quite obvious ruts behind.

Returning to the campground, I found my cat hiding unhappily, and knives and silverware scattered all over the inside of the camper. I never did hear from anyone at the unmanned campground or any annoyed farmer .. I think it was a corn field.

I always checked the parking brake twice after that. If you ever wondered what happened to the front fog lights, well now you know.

Comment by Wed May 30 01:07:46 2012

Rein --- If it was just a fuel pump, we'd definitely have replaced it. Unfortunately, injection pumps are a lot more expensive than plain old fuel pumps. Bought new, an injection pump is about $1,500 for this truck. Refurbished, it's around $1,000. (The age of the truck is part of the reason for this.) I wish there was a $300 option, but there wasn't.

Joey --- I was considering asking you if you wanted to buy her back, but I didn't want you to feel any way obligated, and I had a feeling that Mark loved her more than you did. :-) That's quite a story!!

Comment by anna Wed May 30 06:10:08 2012
Do y'all have a vehicle that could tow a small utility trailer? We looked into shipping our farm truck out to our new place but have decided that it is more practical and less expensive to sell it now and buy a utility trailer instead (doubles as extra space for when we move). One less engine to maintain, too...
Comment by mitsy Wed May 30 11:17:54 2012
Mitsy --- That's one of the options we're considering too. We actually have a utility trailer, although it would have to be licensed and we'd have to add a hitch to the car and figure out what the hauling limit would be. It sounds like you've thought through the same issue we're staring to ponder!
Comment by anna Wed May 30 12:12:57 2012

You might be able to adapt the golf kart to pull your steel yard cart? But if that doesn't have enough power, you hight look at a 4x4 ATV for that kind of duty.

An 4x4 ATV with a small 4-stroke would probably cause less damage to your "roads" compared to the pick-up and would use relatively little fuel.

Of course if you could use your solar panels to charge the golf kart, that would be a very nice and renewable alternative.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed May 30 12:16:45 2012

Roland --- There seems to be a difference in how the golf cart ruts up the road when it pulls versus carries. We actually have a heavy hauler that hooks right to it, but stopped using the heavy hauler because it seemed to make the golf cart rut up the road too badly.

Mark has been very impressed by our helper's ATV. (It's been very dry, though, so not a fair test.) It doesn't carry nearly as much as the golf cart, but that could be fixed with adding on some kind of bed the way we did with the golf cart.

But Mark fixed the wheel today, so the golf cart is back on the road!

Comment by anna Wed May 30 15:51:29 2012

You have a point. And it makes perfect sense when thinking about it. If you hitch a trailer behind a vehicle, you need more traction to pull it. But since the extra weight is on the trailer and not on the drivewheels, the extra mass doesn't translate into more traction. So you'll probably have more wheelspin.

Have a look at those 6x6 ATVs from e.g. Polaris.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed May 30 17:18:14 2012
Roland --- I've seen those 6X6 ATVs, and their amazing abilities are only matched by an amazing pricetag.... :-)
Comment by anna Thu May 31 07:32:44 2012

You might consider a cab forward micro-truck like mine.

Sure-footed as a mountain goat, carries a decent load, and great mileage. And it just looks so cool!

If you did decide to go that route, I recommend checking with your local sheriff about street legality issues. So far VA has no laws about it apparently.

Comment by Eric Burke Thu May 31 09:28:31 2012
The grounds crew at my college had a truck that looked very much like that. (I believe it was a Daihatsu?) I'll bet it would do an awesome job here, but I also suspect we'd have to hunt far and wide and maybe even buy it new to purchase one. I'm pretty sure I've never seen one locally....
Comment by anna Thu May 31 16:40:53 2012
Saw one of these on Craigslist a month or two ago.
Comment by Errol Thu May 31 20:41:07 2012
Daddy --- I should have known you would be able to hunt some down! We're still going to hold off on thinking about buying anything new for a few weeks or months. I want to see what it's like without at truck, and ponder whether we really need one. I may tap you to look for one later, though, if we decide in that direction. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Jun 1 07:50:33 2012

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