The Old Red Truck

I think everyone has a favorite memory of time spent with their dad. Since this is a farm blog, and it is Father’s Day, I am going to focus this post on some special memories of time spent with my Dad.

Before we had grain carts and stock trailers, there was the old red truck. Whenever it was time to sell anything on our farm, grain or animals, this beast was pressed into service. It had a large wooden box on the back and a hydraulic lift that allowed the whole back to tip and dump out grain. When hauling livestock, it had a series of interlocking wood panels that could be added to increase the height and prevent animals from jumping out.  Inside the truck was pretty spartan. I think the radio worked, but not much else.

Since Dad milked cows, hauling livestock to sell was usually done very late at night after milking was done. One of us kids was usually sent along to keep him company and to keep him awake. Of course, we loved doing this because we usually got a can of pop and a candy bar as a special treat (don’t tell Mom!).

The old truck didn’t have a whole lot of extra horsepower, especially when it was fully loaded. It might reach a top speed of 55 mph going down a hill (and if you scraped all the accumulated dirt out from under the gas pedal). There was one especially large hill next to the Vermillion River that caused the old truck to sputter and cough as it struggled to make it up the slope. It was at this hill that Dad always instructed me to push as hard as I could on the dashboard. He had me convinced that if I didn’t help the old truck, we would gradually come to a stop and roll back down the hill.

As I grew a little older, I did figure out that my “help” wasn’t really necessary. However, I would still push on the dash anyway and Dad and I would share a few laughs over his joke. Those evenings spent driving to and from the stockyards are some of my favorite memories. Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, and to all you fathers out there!


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
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One Response to The Old Red Truck

  1. Pingback: The Old Red Truck | Kids say :

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