Fred, Dad and I had an evening off, and Dad wanted to take in the sale at the local Auction Barn to see if there were any good deals on cattle. Now Fred and I knew that a lot of local farm girls would be trucking in there with their Dads, so we figured we might as well tag along and see what was up. At the barn, there were always two things going on – Cattle and other livestock were auctioned inside, and everything from soup to nuts outside.
Except for a very few gals that had cattle of their own for sale, the rest would be outside, so that’s where we headed. Things were going along well when we heard a loud crash and turned around to see a Case Backhoe loader in the parking lot had removed the tailgate from a Tandem Gravel truck, and his chain had broken or slipped, and he had dropped the tailgate. Without missing a beat, he merely slipped it aside, swung around and placed the loader bucket inside the box and proceeded to lift the front of the loader up until the front wheels were on the box level. I realized he was attempting to load the machine into the truck so I moved much closer to watch. He slid the wheels in about a foot, then turned the seat and used the backhoe to lift the rear wheels and push forward. Every once in a while, he would swing around and lower, (actually raise) the bucket to keep the wheels in contact with the truck box, then swing back and lift the back wheels with the hoe. Finally, after three or four wiggles, the Case slipped into the truck box. They then picked up the tailgate, put it beside the Case, chained the machine down, and drove away.
Later that evening, Fred disappeared with Beverly, and I managed to get the phone number of a young lady named Collette, but that Case still stuck in my mind.
The next day we were up at the pit, and our Case was just sitting there, so in between loads, I took it over to our loading ramp and tried loading it from the bottom to the top. It took me most of the day, but I finally had it figured out and I was sure I could load it into the back of our gravel trucks.
Two weeks later, we were on a job site with our Cat and the Case and a couple of our trucks. After the job was over, Dad loaded the Cat on the trailer and said that we could come back for it tomorrow unless I wanted to drive the Case the 40 miles home. This was when I called Fred over with our old B61 Dumper and, with a chain, lifted the tailgate off and, without one missed step, loaded the Case in the back, loaded the tailgate and threw a couple of chains on it and told Dad we were ready to go.
That was the first time I saw Dad look at me like I was some kind of magician, but he slapped me on the back and said, I don’t know how you figured that out, but that was one hell of a job.
Going to auctions can be fun. I learned a new trick, and Collette was all right and then some.