Happy New Year, everyone! Time to make some resolutions to ourselves that we likely won’t recall by next month. Hopefully, you have something exciting to look forward to in the coming year. As for me, I have purchased another old project truck to tinker with – a 1989 Freightliner FLD120 with a 3406B Cat and a 15-speed. While it may not look like anything glamorous or special to most people, I specifically chose this truck for the body style. It’s not a flat top and it’s not a condo – it’s got the somewhat rare 60” stand-up removable sleeper, which was common before the integrated condo sleepers were available. I encourage you to look back at my January 2015 poem that describes a couple of trucks my dad had in ‘89 and ‘90 that are the inspiration I draw on for the vision I have for this particular project. So far, I have bought the truck from a friendly gentleman in California and learned that it had sat through a flood that let water into the engine and rear ends, so that will be a major hurdle to overcome. But I think I can handle it. I made a call to my friend Gus Hulstein to ask if he had any connections with anyone who could tow it the 750 miles up to my place in Washington state, and Gus didn’t even hesitate to offer to do the job personally. So, within a week, he and his dad Jeff, along with Gus’ son Gerrit, were heading through the ice and snow in their classy cabover Freightliner on Thanksgiving night to go hook-up to my new-found treasure and bring it to me. And although they didn’t have an easy trip, due to the nasty roads, they took the opportunity to share in the spirit of my vision for the project and to spend the time together on a father, son and grandson trucking adventure. And they did it with a winning attitude despite the adversities they faced along the way. What a great group of guys! Thank you, Gus, Jeff and Gerrit Hulstein for all the help and the pictures you took along the way. I felt like the trip you made together reflects the same father and son kind of moments that I so fondly recall with my dad, and that’s why I’m inspired to build another rig that resembles one he once owned.
HE AND ME AND THE FLD
By Trevor Hardwick
I was sittin and reminiscin,
When I really started missin,
My old man, so I was wishin,
I could visit him, somehow.
So, my heart, it started burnin,
And my wheels started turnin,
Then my thoughts became a yearnin,
For the plans I’m making now.
I bought an old Freightshaker,
And I figured I could take ‘er,
And I’d do my best to make ‘er,
Look exactly like my dad’s.
She is rough around the edges,
But we yanked her from the hedges,
And the seller still alleges,
“Title’s good… the motor’s bad.”
I ain’t scared, I’ve gotta have it,
I’ve got a broken-truck bad habit,
And you can laugh at me, dag-nabbit,
But I bought an FLD.
“Nothin’ special” most would say,
I’ll just fix ‘er up someday,
Then she’ll sit in my driveway,
That’s just how it’s gonna be.
While she only moves by towin,
And her age is surely showin,
Someday soon I’ll get ‘er goin,
I just wish my dad could see.
In the meantime, I’ll be schemin,
In my mind, I’ll keep on dreamin,
‘Bout the day she’ll sit there gleamin,
In the summer sun, somewhere.
Just like dad, I’ll chase tomorrow,
No sense dwelling on the sorrow,
In the time that I may borrow,
I will visit him, right there.