I was running for a company out of Calgary and returning from a trip to Edmonton. I had just passed Red Deer and was approaching the big hill when I noticed a truck pulled over. I thought I recognized it as my buddy Lou’s, Hayes Clipper. As I got closer, I could see it was, so I pulled over to check if everything was OK and chatted for a few minutes. Lou was under his truck, so I waited for him to crawl out, and he explained that he had been nursing a bad clutch and was trying to make it home to Calgary, but it seemed like everything had disintegrated, and he was not moving at all. After a few minutes, I suggested he lock it up and come with me, and we could deliver my load and drop my trailer in the yard and then bobtail back, and I would pull him out from under his load and then deliver his load and then come back and tow his truck home.
First, we delivered my load, dropped the trailer in the yard, returned, got Lou’s load, delivered that, and then headed back for the Clipper. We got back just as it was turning dark, so we crawled into our bunks for a while and waited until 3 am before heading out. Now Lou and I and two other guys had rented a small shop where we could park our trucks inside and do our maintenance, so that’s where we headed. After getting Lou’s truck inside, we slept a few extra hours.
I was up early, hopped in my pickup, ran over to The Blackfoot Truck Stop, picked up a couple of bacon and egg sandwiches and coffee, and returned to the shop. I woke Lou up and, while we ate, called my company and shut myself down for repairs, then we started tearing the Hayes apart. By three, we had everything out, and Lou was off to the dealer to pick up parts and some KFC for supper. We worked on it until about 9 pm, and by then, we were both dragging our butts and starting to make little mistakes, so we knocked it off, and both of us went home to our beds and caught a good solid sleep. I got down to the shop about 8 am just as Lou did, and now fresh and with a much clearer head, we went back to work and by 3:30, Lou fired up the Clipper and went for a test drive. After a couple of minor adjustments, everything was ready to roll. I spent the next day doing maintenance on my rig and then returned to work.
Neither Lou nor I were mechanics, but we had grown up repairing our own vehicles, so we managed to keep our costs down and help each other out when needed.
In Memory of one of the best friends and talented drivers I have ever known, Lou Norris, the Calgary Clipper.