Stuck in the New Truck

The Island King's truck died right about the same time his mother had a heart attack and between working and taking care of her, the truck just sat in the driveway.

A blown head gasket and something that he can't diagnose - a screaming noise whenever he tries to crank it but it doesn't crank – it just screams.

The body itself has been beat to hell and back and considering the rust on the underside, it's amazing that the bottom of the truck hasn't just fallen apart.

Two weeks ago I woke up to the Island King telling me that he was buying a new truck – right then.

He's obsessed with old 90's model Toyota 4-Runners and he'd found one on Craig's list for the right price and was going to buy it.

The new truck has a few things that need to be replaced (the driver's door has a small dent, the paint on the hood has faded, the collar that goes around the steering column, etc) but the new truck is the same color as the old one, so he's been able to pull everything that needed fixing off the old one and repair the new one for free.

The only difference between the new one and the old one is that the new one has a manual 4WD shift inside but also has locking hubs on the outside that have to be locked in. Our old one only needed the shift from inside the truck.

The day after he got the truck I convinced him to put it to the test and take me geocaching in the woods.

We got out onto Eglin Reservation, shifted into 4WD, locked the hubs in and off road we went.

Things were going good for about the first 200 yards but then the trail turned into soft sand and 10 feet later the back right tire sunk like a rock.

Hmm. This isn't the kind of sand that a 4WD has problems in so obviously the truck isn't in 4WD.

He spent a few minutes in denial, gassing it, rocking back and forth – things you don't do when stuck.

Once he became convinced that the 4WD was truly not working he cussed a lot and then set about getting unstuck.

First he let a lot of the air out of each tire

But that didn't work. Probably because while he was throwing his little temper tantrum he dug a hole the wheel couldn't get out of.

There was all kinds of stuff in the woods around us that we could have put under the tire but since he was already mad at me for laughing so hard about him being stuck he didn't want to hear any of my suggestions.

Which was fine – I was enjoying the show and if he'd listened to me we'd have been unstuck sooner.

At one point he told me to push and I just laughed. Sure, I can push your stuck truck out of the hole in the sand. Bless his heart, I wonder about him sometime.

We were on a power line with two roads and a small hardpacked area between them. He was convinced that if he could get out of the hole and have a running start he could make it across the weeds and up the hill out of the soft sand.

After an hour and a half he did it.

On the way home I told him that I like the old truck better.

It might be a rust bucket but we've NEVER been stuck and we've taken that truck places no vehicle, 4WD or not, should have gone.

And of course, the hub that's broken is the one thing that the old truck doesn't have.

The funniest part is that this happened on April 1st so I teased him all the way home about the April Fools joke played on him. He bought a 4WD truck that has a broken 4WD.

He didn't think that was funny.