A Life Lesson from Buying a Truck

Nearing the end of my weeks in the Pacific Northwest I knew I would require a vehicle to transport all of my belongings to my next destination back in Colorado prior to my departure for Australia in a year’s time.

At the time I didn’t want to merely rent a U-haul truck and drive across country as I would be spending a single winter in the mountains near my eldest brother and driving down to the Front Range to see other family and friends.

List of Vehicles Owned

Ages 26 to 27

Scouring the classifieds I looked for a truck which would not break the bank and would provide enough room for the things I still considered owning. Everything was sold or given away to others.

This is when I found a guy in Granite Falls, Washington selling a 1981 Ford F150 Hi-boy with over 200,000 miles on it and a price tag of $3,500.00 USD. The owner was selling it as they no longer needed to haul trailers of horses through the mountains and down to Texas. This was the trucks only purpose with its big powerful engine.

We struck a deal with a single condition that it was inspected by a mechanic. As it turned out the local mechanic and the owner of the truck knew each other which for some reason I wasn’t comfortable with at the time and backed out of the deal.

Life lesson: Put your trust in good people and it will be returned ten-fold.

Shortly after backing out of the deal on the ’81 Hi-boy, I found another Ford F150. This one was a 1979 F150 with a new metallic green paint job 35-inch tires and a lift kit. The truck shined like a new penny. As with the first truck, I didn’t trust the seller and wanted it inspected by a local mechanics shop. The guy was a miserable prick to everyone. I should have backed out of the deal but went forward with it.

Somewhere outside of Ogden, Utah on my trip to Colorado the truck broke down. I had to pull off the Yamaha SECA II from the truck and drive it up to Ogden to find a tow truck. The truck was towed to a yard in Ogden. Overnight someone broke into the yard and stole things out the back of the truck including a tip jar with more than $500.00 USD.

The following day the owner of the garage said it was my fault for having valuables in the truck, and it would take him a few weeks to get the necessary parts to fix the truck. I pulled what I could from the truck strapping it down on my motorcycle then I left the truck in Ogden and road the motorcycle some 360 miles arriving at my older brothers house 6-hours later.

When we returned to Ogden nearly a month later, my older brother decided to drive me out to the shop himself. He had words with the owner about stealing things out of my truck and told the guy to reduce my bill by at least $500.00 or we would be pressing charges for theft.

The guy didn’t press my angry brother on the issue and deducted $600.00 from the bill. My total for repairing the truck was $750.00 USD. Outside we checked the truck to ensure it was operational as well as to see if anything else was missing from it. All seemed in good order and we departed Utah for the return trip to Colorado.

In November of 2001, the truck was sold for $2,750.00 USD and the motorcycle sold shortly thereafter for $1,250.00 USD, as I continued purging all of my belongings in preparation for the soon to be departure in February 2002 for Australia.

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb