Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dumpy Doesn't Dump

Yep.  Yesterday was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.  I wonder why that is?

It started off with Olivia.  She got into a hornets' nest or something.  She came in from being outside covered in welts.  Pam made an appointment at the vet for Wednesday.   Three dogs, two cats, and a horse.  Something tells me that our vet is going to be on a first name basis with us and our critters.

Then I hied myself over to our property.  My foot was healed up good enough that I could operate farm machinery, so I dragged the smoother around parts of our land that I couldn't get to before because it was too wet.  Everything was going fine until I buried Bessie up to her axles AGAIN in a low wet spot.  It took me about an hour, but I dug her out just as Earl arrived to start digging the foundation.  Yeah!

I moved Dumpy the Dump Truck a little closer to the backhoe so Earl could fill it.  After about an hour, he had it full.  I drove it over and backed it up to where I wanted to dump it.  How does this thing work anyway?  I recognized everything in the cab but two levers.  Those two levers must operate the dump.  I pulled the red one and I heard gears grinding.  That must be the PTO for the hydraulic pump.  I pushed in the clutch and put the pump in gear.  The other lever had an arrow on it marked "raise", so I moved it.  Nothing happened.  

After some putzing around, Earl came over.  I told him the problem.  Earl had never operated the dump truck so couldn't offer any advice.  We decided that it must be low on hydraulic fluid.  We searched all over Dumpy but couldn't find anyplace to add fluid.  We even crawled under the truck.  We found the pump, which had only two lines, both running to the hydraulic cylinder.   No fill. 

Deciding that we needed help, we drove over to see Mr. Bleyl.  Earl bought the truck from Mr. Bleyl several years ago and maybe he could tell us.

Mr. Bleyl is 89 years old.  He was in his side yard cutting logs.  He had gotten his chain saw stuck in one and was just climbing out of his log loader after picking up the log to reduce pressure on it.  We exchanged pleasantries.

"Do you remember that Ford dump truck you sold me?" asked Earl.

"A Ford dump truck?  I don't think I've ever owned a Ford dump truck.  Chevies, no Fords.  Of course, my memory ain't what it used to be.  Are you sure you didn't buy it from my brother?"

"No, I bought it from you.  Your brother is dead."

"I know my brother is dead.  I don't remember owning no Ford dump truck."

"Well, maybe you can help us anyway.  Do you know how to add hydraulic fluid to a dump truck?"

"Sure," said Mr. Bleyl.  "You add it right to the hydraulic cylinder.  You raise the bed and make sure you prop it up good.  A lot of people have been killed adding fluid when the bed comes crashing down."

"Well that's as stupid as shit," said Earl.  "We need to add fluid because the bed won't go up, and in order to do that we need to raise the bed?"

"Yep.  Oh, I remember that truck now.  I sold it to you for $2,200.  You jewed me down from $2,500."  Sorry for the "jewed" comment, but that's what he said.

"Do you want to sell that log skidder?" asked Earl.

"No, I need that."

"Did you cut all these logs by yourself?" asked I, waving to an immense pile of logs.

"Yep.  Got no one to help me."

"Aren't you too old for this shit?" asked Earl.

"I'll be 90 in a couple of months, but it gets me out of the house.  Otherwise, I'd just fight with the wife."

"I think I'd rather fight with the wife." offered Earl.

"Maybe next year I'll stop."

And with that, Mr. Bleyl jumped into his log skidder and drove off into the woods.

To say thanks, Earl and I used a wedge and got Mr. Bleyl's chainsaw unstuck for him.

Back at the property, Earl and I had to figure out our next step.  The dump was full of rocks and dirt.  We decided we needed to unload it in order to raise the bed.  First Earl tried to lift the corner of the dump bed with the front bucket but it wouldn't budge.  I suggested that we lift the whole truck from the front.  I wrapped a chain around the front leaf springs and hooked it on the bucket, but it still wouldn't budge.  How much does this thing weigh?  The bucket was able to lift the front end of TODD the Trailer and that weighed 13,000 pounds.

Earl and I devising a plan.


Finally, Earl used the backhoe to scrape most of the load out of the bed.

I had climbed up on the truck to survey the situation.  On the dump body, over the cab, is a lifting hook.  I had Earl pull the backhoe up to the side of the truck and I hooked a chain from the lifting hook to the backhoe's hook.  It still didn't budge.

I climbed off the truck and went over to the backhoe.

"That's enough for one day.  It's time for a beer."

And with that, we left everything where it was and discussed the situation sitting in the shade and drinking beer.  Pam and Bill came by and we all drank beer.  Everything comes into focus when you drink beer.  

"Tomorrow, I'll bring my 20 ton jack over.  That will do it." said Earl.

"20 tons?   That's like 40,000 pounds, ain't it Earl?" said Bill.

"I'm too old for this shit." Earl replied.


  1. You sure sound like you are having fun!! This one is even better than the horseradish story!!!

  2. Just a thought, is there a locking lever or something to hold the bed in the down position ?

    Bill Kelleher