Windshield #4 and Hood #2

For the introduction to this series of posts about the life of an old farm truck and its extensive need for replacement parts, see “One Piece At a Time“. This post offers details on the fate of a windshield and hood of the 1977 Ford 3/4 ton pickup truck (“Old Brown”) that was the workhorse on the farm where I grew up.

If you are keeping count (See Windshield #2 and Hood #1)  and concerned that I am not divulging details regarding Windshield#1 or #3, I’ll make it simple. Country roads contain lots of rocks. Meeting vehicles on country roads with lots of rocks tend to result in projectiles flung at warp speed toward that thin layer of glass protecting the driver from the rocks. If you are lucky, the impact only results in a small chip. Old Brown was not lucky when it came to windshields.

One winter, Dad hatched an ingenious plan to fit as many tractors and vehicles in inside the machine shed as possible. If you want to see a true work of art, you should always visit a shed in which a farmer (or trucker for that matter) has dedicated themselves to fitting as many large metal, motorized objects as possible into the most perfect, most efficient arrangement possible.

This particular arrangement involved lifting the tractor loader bucket about 10 feet in the air, allowing Old Brown to be parked underneath. This extra space allowed for the feed grinder to remain hitched to the tractor and the north door of the shed to be closed when it snowed. This plan worked really well, until the tractor’s hydraulic system developed a small leak.

This leak caused the system to lose enough pressure that the loader bucket slowly sunk down overnight until it came to rest on the hood and windshield of the pickup. Even in slow motion, this impact caused enough damage to require replacement of both parts. Needless to say, the feed grinder sat outside the rest of the winter.

If you want to follow more of “Old Brown’s” adventures, check out the Farm Trucks page. New chapters in this ongoing saga are added as they are posted.


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 Windshield #4 and Hood #2

  1. Pingback: One Piece At a Time | Fence Post Diaries

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