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


Farm truck

Spreading gravel on a drivewayWhen we first moved to the farm, we teamed up with our movie-star neighbor in a chicken-share arrangement.  I can't say for sure whether our neighbor got enough eggs to make the deal worthwhile, but we certainly benefited.  In fact, our whole business was built around those free chickens.

So when B.J. turned up in our life, lacking transportation, we decided to try the same sort of deal, this time from the other side.  He hunted down a quality used truck, we bought it and paid the first year's insurance and fees, and he'll use that truck to do some much-needed hauling for us.  The truck-share is born!

B.J. tells us her name is Shelley, and, yes, it was love at first sight.  Sure, they had a long-distance relationship for the first couple of weeks, and B.J. put in a lot of time talking Shelley's father around (and dated a few other trucks in the meantime).  But they finally got hitched and are a hard-working team already.  Congratulations, B.J. and Shelley!

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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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I am not clear on how this is working, but it sounds like a win-win situation.

Do I have this right? You own the truck, B.J. uses the truck for transporation while he is working with you, no cost to him other than fuel and hauling things for you for the next year. So this is basically the exchange of the use of the truck for the labour of hauling?

What happens after the first year?

Comment by Maggie Tue Mar 5 10:02:54 2013

Maggie --- We decided to let B.J. own the truck. For the first year, we'll just pay gas for hauling, then after that we'll start paying him mileage to help pay for upkeep (but he'll also be responsible then for insurance, etc.). If for some reason he has to move away before the first year is up, he'll have to pay us for the truck if he wants to keep it.

It sounds like a sweetheart deal for B.J., but since he owns the truck, he has the incentive to give it a lot of TLC (whereas it would languish away, used once or twice a month if it were ours). I can already tell it's going to be a good deal for us --- B.J. has been checking the oil every other day to learn the system, keeping an eye on the tires, etc.

Comment by anna Tue Mar 5 10:36:16 2013

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