| September/October 1986

1935 W. Union Road Norwich, OH 43767

On the morning of April 4, six of us Bill Fisher, Harold Pollock, Bob Herron, Bruce McConnel, John Mathews, and myself with three one-ton Chevy trucks and three trailers headed for Carthage, Missouri. I had been up all night trying to get lights on the trailer I intended to pull. After breakfast we were on our way. The way this trip started out I expected trouble and, sure enough, we had it. Not serious at first, just nuisance problems. The first problem was dirty fuel just as we were about to go through Indianapolis. Thanks to a fellow traveler we solved this problem on the road and were soon on our way again.

Everything went fine 'til we were on the other side of St. Louis. It was getting dark and one trailer had light problems. This required another stop in a rest area to trace out a broken wire and then we were back on the road. We arrived at Carthage about 12:30 a.m., found a motel 'The Guest House' and soon were all in bed. (I will have to pay Carthage, Missouri, a compliment. They have a beautiful old county courthouse situated on a hill.) We ate breakfast and headed out into the bush to the old Ben Markley farm where the auction was held last August to load the old 27-44 T-C tractor I bought. Here we encountered another problem. The old tractor didn't want to leave the spot it had occupied for over 30 years. Finally, with the help of one of our trucks that had a winch and the International farm tractor, we made it out to the road where we loaded it on the trailer. With three rows of spade lags on the rear wheels and the rough roads, we had to do a very good job of planking and blocking wheels. Back to Carthage for lunch and needless to say, now we had an added attraction for people to look at and ask questions about. We pulled out of Carthage and headed north on Route 71 for Nevada, Missouri a distance of 45 miles. We arrived there about 2:30 p.m. where I was to meet Blaine Griggs from whom I had purchased five more T-C tractors. After a short inspection tour of the fence row, we started loading again. After loading all five tractors, which consisted of two 21-32, two KTA, one 12-20, Blaine decided he would be good to us and said, 'Anything in that fence row you fellows want in the way of parts, you can have.' That was like turning the kids loose in a toy store! We ended up with three well loaded trailers plus we went back up the road and loaded more parts out of a grain bin. It was dark when we got everything loaded and chained. Blaine had a buddy helping sort parts Lyle Omekelet, from Eldorado Springs. That boy is a walking parts book. He could give the year and the model. I believe he could almost come up with the serial numbers!

We headed out of Nevada well loaded over Route 54 through the scenic part of Missouri, only we didn't see much of the scenery after dark. What a roller coaster up one hill and down the next one. Topping the hill at the Lake of the Ozarks all I could see was water. The road was there but it was almost like falling off a cliff. In the middle of all this my truck engine decided to foul out one spark plug, so I limped in the rest of the way to Jefferson City, where we found a 'Best Western' and stopped for the night (what was left of it). This was about 2:30 a.m. We were back up and going again at about 6:30. Everything was going fine 'til we got into St. Louis. Our lead truck missed Route 270 north, but we got out of that one and out the east side. After crossing the river one of our trucks decided it wanted to get hot. This was the start of serious trouble. We managed to coax it to Pocahontas, Illinois. That was where it literally gave up couldn't keep water in it! So there was nothing else left but to leave it. I am not acquainted with this section of Illinois but in the meantime, our load and predicament was causing somewhat of an attraction. A man by the name of Bob Swofford, a cast iron collector, arrived on the scene, stating that we were more than welcome to leave the truck and trailer at his house, which we did and proceeded on our way. We had no more problems 'til we got on this side of Columbus. We had been driving all night. Everyone was having a very hard time staying awake. We made it home here just after daybreak on Monday morning, April 7 after a total of 1,676 miles. I blew a trailer tire just as I turned in my driveway (our second flat tire). We unloaded everything and fell into bed.

We loaded my tow on a trailer and headed for Pocahontas, Illinois on the morning of April 12 to pick up the rest of our load. Still more trouble on this trip. One trailer tire shed all of its tread rubber just east of Indianapolis. Back on the road again, the engine started cutting out and drumming out of power. Dirty fuel again. We stopped at a shopping mall, dismantled the carburetor filter and found we had a ceramic type filter this time. Fortunately a Shell station across the way had what we needed. We made it out to our destination without any more problems, unloaded my truck and loaded Bob's back on the trailer. No problems here, but I did not get three miles down the road when I got the same disease the other two trucks had dirty fuel filter. So we drove into a rest area and changed the fuel filter. We drove on through to Mechanicsburg, Ohios where my daughter is teaching. We arrived at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. We got her out of bed, had breakfast, took showers, rested, and left on the last leg of our journey, arriving here at home about 12:30 p.m. But the trouble wasn't over yet. I knew I was getting low on fuel. I barely made it off the exit to the nearest gas station, thereby switching between the tanks (in other words, running on the fumes). I made it the remainder of the way without any more problems. Another long trip completed. My only advice to fellow travelers be sure and carry extra fuel filters. I'm glad this trip is over!


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