Back in the day, I drove an old Flagyl truck with a Rolls-Royce engine, hauling gravel for Kirsch construction from Middle Lake Saskatchewan. It was a very quiet truck, but its top speed was only 35 or 45 mph. It was a good thing that I wasn’t hauling a perishable load!
Each of the old trucks I drove through the years taught me something, such as don’t park on a slope with no brakes (lesson learned). Turn the steering wheel the way you want to go when you start out because there was no power steering, and you needed a swamper to help turn the wheel if you weren’t moving. Drive with your thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel – another lesson learned the hard way.
Kirsch construction also taught me to be smooth on the clutch. They had five or six dump trucks, all of different makes. The only thing that was the same was that they were all old and worn out. Some of them had weak batteries or no starter. They overcame this problem with their D8 Cat. At night, any truck with a starting problem would pull up to the back of the cat. Each one carried a ten or twelve-foot chain, and the driver would hook it to the back of the cat and then to the front of his truck before he shut it off. The next one with a problem would pull up to that truck and do the same until all the trucks with starting issues were hooked up. In the morning, they would start the cat and then start pulling ahead. When a driver’s truck started, he would stick his arm out the window to let the other drivers know. Once they were all going, they would unhook and go to work.
This taught me to be smooth with the clutch and not to stall my truck. I learned something from every one of these trucks. How to drive smoothly and read the surroundings before you park or stop. There was no power steering, air ride seats or radios, and we used the original air conditioning unit called a 2-60. That is two windows rolled down while you’re driving 60 miles per hour. Mine did not work well either because, as I mentioned, my truck topped out at 45mph.