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Thursday, September 13, 2012

UNCLE DAN Chapter 10

Hauling Cars by Truck
courtesy google search
After we scraped together enough money to buy the service station we were in business. We scarcely had enough left to make change for a larger bill. As days went by we would accumulate a pile of money, but then came the bills and they did a hocus, pocus trick and the money would (almost all) disappear.

The roofing company next door was short handed and we were short of money, so it was decided that one of us should work at roofing to help sustain us till the business improved. As it turned out we alternated roofing and working the station he one day and me the other. After working at roofing we worked till about ten at the station.  

While it seems we had made a bad deal the problem came about because what we purchased was the inventory and the goodwill of the regular customers. The station property was owned by a major oil company and they refused to allow us to do repair work on cars which was what we were depending on to make our money, the overhead being paid for by selling gas and oil. They threatened to shut down the station if we didn't comply.

It became apparent that there wasn't going to be enough money for two families so I returned to roofing and Uncle Dan took over the station with the promise to pay back my investment. During his time at the station Uncle became acquainted with several truckers and they told him about the auto transport business where you could either drive for a company or own your own truck.  He finally decided that was the way he needed to go. There were a couple guys who wanted to buy the station and finally a deal was done.

I felt good about it for now I would get my money back.  As it turned out Uncle Dan needed everything he got out of the sale of the station to buy a truck.  I objected to that for I wanted my money back but in the end I gave in because he had helped me out when I needed it.

The truck he bought was able to haul six large cars but it took forever to load it. The engine was a huge six cylinder motor with dual carburetors but because it had to be run at a low RPM it was slow running. It took over six hours to get from LA to the top of the grapevine while the new V eight trucks could make it in two and a half hours.  Once you hit the grade out of LA it was fifteen miles per hour otherwise you would over rev the engine at the low gears needed to get over the mountain.  

All in all Dan made good money but every time he would get ahead the truck would need repairs and would be costly to fix.

After he went on the road I didn't see much of him or the family.  After a couple of years struggling with that truck he sold it and went to work for one of the major haulers (He by the way did pay me the money he owed from the sale of the service station).  The company had new trucks with the powerful V eight engines and could go over the mountains easily.  He made more money working for wages without all the stress.

While working in the auto hauling business he traveled over the whole U.S. But wasn't home very much.  On one occasion I told him he needed to get his family into church as they were now getting to be teens. I remember telling him those girls needed to have some spiritual guidance before it was too late.
His gaze turned away from me and his voice faded as he spoke and said; "It may be too late already."

To be Continued - -  Uncle Dan working for the lab


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