Farewell Old Truck

“This is not an emotional purchase!” my boss instructed the salesman. “Simply give me your best price for our trade and the lowest price for the new truck, then we have a deal.”

I test drove the new, blue Dodge Ram and approved it as my next vehicle. Then a week passed as they swapped paperwork and signatures via Fed Ex. Just a good business deal. But something happened before I dropped off the Tundra: I got choked up as I gave it it’s last wash and vacuum.

What’s going on here? This is not my personal property, it belongs to my employer. I have no money invested, but I have 12 years invested in this buggy. I have driven it since it was new in 2011. We go way back.

I never got in an accident with it. Here it is at only 2 years old, still shiny, as I inspected a lawn mystery.

Here we are hauling pipes to install as planters at an elementary school. The tailgate often doubled as a work bench on weekends.

Almost all of the miles were put on in Florida. And we endured Love Bug season every year.

The back window got torn off once by the whirling brushes of a car wash, catching the handle and folding it upward. I was able to pound it back into shape and screw it back into place. But, when helping a friend with hurricane clean up, the tempered glass was shattered. Good bye window.

I thought the airbag would blow up in my face once when I hit a turkey vulture at 55 miles an hour. There was a violent thud that shook the truck as I passed through the cloud of black feathers. One dented bumper.

I thought the truck was a goner, when, at over 100,000 miles, it died. But it was only the starter and battery.

It went through 3 pairs of Michelin’s best tires, one set of brakes and shocks, and finally, a new windshield after 2 Safelite repairs for rock cracks.

We took down this oak tree next to our driveway with little regret. It survived Irene and Wilma with weakened leaning, but it threatened our fleet so we had it removed before Ian. It would have certainly dropped directly on the driveway.

As I drove from Fort Myers to Naples yesterday, the odometer flipped over to 297,000 miles, just as I surrendered it to the dealer. I looked forward to turning it over one more time, but I will leave that rare sighting to the next owner.

Good bye old truck. You have served me well.