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Back in high school, I worked part time after school at a veterinary clinic. We had to move, because the grocery store a few spaces down was expanding, and in the process was going to take out an empty store right next to it, a consignment shop, our vet clinic, and the video store on the other side of us. We found another location about a half mile away.When I was in the tool business, I wasn't thinking one day and I loaded about a dozen floor jacks
in the back of my little Nissan pickup. They each weighed probably 75 pounds.
As I drove over the Vincent Thomas Bridge my steering was as light as a feather and I realized that my front tires were close to being off the ground! It scared the heck out of me!
I quickly found homes for those jacks!
Well, over some break...either the Friday after Thanksgiving, or a Friday around Christmas, we moved. Only problem...the movers showed up that morning, drunk. They backed the truck in behind the building, kind of cock-eyed, put the ramp down. But then, while one of the guys was standing on the ramp, they moved the truck. Pulled forward, so the edge of the ramp dropped off the curb, and then backed up, and when the edge hit the curb, the ramp, well it kind of popped upward, and threw that guy off. At that point, the doctor sent them on their way, and we just rounded up a bunch of pickup trucks to do the job.
Granddad let me borrow his '85 Silverado...the one I still have, and that I overloaded with dirt a few years ago, overheated it in DC, pulled out a tree stump with, and did other abusive things to over the years. Back then, it had a camper shell on it, which meant that, while you couldn't dump dirt in it, you could pile things higher, than if it didn't have that shell.
I didn't even think about it, but when it came time to move all the dog and cat food over, we just kept piling it in the back of the truck. And piling. And piling. And not even keeping track of how much weight was going in back there.
When it came time to drive it over to the new store, I noticed that the steering felt funny...way too light. The exit from that shopping plaza was down a fairly steep hill, and then there was a right turn out onto the main road. I remember going down that hill, and the truck seemed to over-ride the brakes. And going around that turn, I swear it felt like it was going to tip! I got scared at that point, put on the flashers, and limped over to the new store at a snail's pace.
After we unloaded the truck, I took a tally of everything, and added up all the weights. Looking back, I wonder if I goofed somewhere, but I came in at 5,000 lb! In retrospect though, I wonder if that was anywhere near what it was. Personally, I'd think that for any given volume, dirt would weigh more than dog and cat food. But, when they dump a cubic yard in an 8-foot bed, it doesn't fill the whole thing up. The peak of the pile is above the top of the bed rail, but then it tapers out to the sides, and front and back. In contrast, we had that dog food packed in there tight. And to the ceiling of the camper shell.
Also, more food for thought...when I overloaded the truck with dirt, I really didn't notice much difference in the way it handled. It didn't list like the Andrea Doria when I made a turn. It wasn't any harder to stop. Steering felt about the same. And while I was gentle taking off with the load of topsoil, the extra weight didn't seem to strain the truck any. So I'm pretty sure that dog food load, if not 5,000 lb, was definitely heavier than the 2800 lob of topsoil. Plus, I guess the camper shell would have added what, maybe 200 lb or so? And that would've helped make it a bit top heavy.
Regardless, I always kept my mouth shut to Granddad, and never confessed to him about overloading his truck! B)
Maybe not inconsiderate, so much as unfortunate, but when I came home today, I happened upon a 90's GMC half-ton that was overloaded with topsoil from the dirt place up the road. Took this pic from the edge of my yard...sorry for the grainy quality, but it's an iPhone, and from this point was a few hundred feet away. I didn't want to actually go up close and take a pic, in case the owner was around!
I don't know if anything actually broke on it, but it was weighted down so much that the rear tire was rubbing on the metal of the wheel opening. I'm guessing it had a cubic yard of dirt in it, which is how they sell it at that place, and it probably weighed about 2800 lb. At least, that's what they told me when I made the mistake of trying this same stunt a few years back with my '85 Silverado, which is only a half-ton as well!
In my case, I lucked out though. Got the first load home, and when I dumped it out, I saw how little a cubic yard really was, so I went back and got another. And then, another. However, that third time, I was tired, so I just let it sit and took a break, deciding to shovel it out later. And then, while I was having a beer, I heard two snaps. Turns out my truck had settled down just enough that it put a strain on the exhaust, which was already rusty in places, and the tailpipes both snapped off at the muffler. I ended up getting a new exhaust, from the catalytic converter back, for about $300 I think. If that.
And I learned that the next time I needed dirt, to just get it by the dumptruck load. Even 14 cubic yards doesn't go *that* far! And it's worth the $75 or whatever they charge to deliver it!
Yesterday, on two separate occasions, I saw drivers put on their left turn signal, only to make a right turn! Is lysdexia that common these days? :p
On the subject of headlights, in a nod to the old Johnny Cash song, "One piece at a time", well the donor fender that my mechanic is cutting up to fix the rust on my '57 DeSoto is a single headlight model.
I just hope that when I pull the switch (or rather, turn the knob), all three of 'em come on! :p
Now that I think back on it too, it wasn't long before GM, and the others, learned how to milk a platform. In fact, the 3-year lifespan almost seems to be more the exception than the rule. For instance, with Chevy, a '49-54 is the same basic car. Then you have '55-57. '58 was a one-year only, although I'm sure it shared some architecture with the '57-58 Buick/Olds/Cadillac, as the cars started becoming more alike. Then '59-64 were the same basic car, although the styling evolved. '65-70 were the same, although there were minor changes in '66 and '68, and more major ones for '67 and '69. '71-76 was the same car. And for the grand finale of the big Chevy, '77-96 was the same basic car, although it did get a skin job for 1980, and a new body on the old frame for 1991.
And yeah, a lot more goes into a car these days, than 40 years ago. I guess if cars were built like they were back in the day, then not only would we be eagerly awaiting the new 2015 Impala/LaCrosse/XTS, we'd also be desperate to trade in our old 2010, because it was getting rattly, leaking God-knows-what, and breaking down and leaving us stranded from time to time!