Yesterday, i got up at 4:30 AM, and by 5, i was on the road with my brother for a three hour drive to look at yet another truck. It's been that way for the last month or so as we look for equipment to replace the things that we lost in the fire. Between the two of us,we have covered a good majority of the province in the last while looking for things. Some of it came together pretty easily, some not so much.
Early on, it was obvious to us that we were not going to be able to go with new replacements. The trick was to find the very best of the used equipment we could find for the best deal we could get. Insurance allowed us to replace a couple of our newer pieces pretty much straight across for pieces of equal value. Once we found those, the decision was rather easy. Some of the older pieces that were on the verge of being replaced before they were destroyed, we decided to add money to and try to find a piece that would give us a better unit for trade, further down the line. All in all, the tractors went rather well, finding the ones that would work for us was a relatively painless undertaking. The trucks have proven to be a bit more of a challenge.
We lost three big trucks. Granted, they were older trucks, but they were in really good shape. Each of them had been torn down and rebuilt, and rigged specifically for the jobs that we require of them. They were all painted to match, and when you lined them up in the yard, i'm going to say they looked rather impressive. Tractors are sort of my thing, trucks, my brothers, and i think he was pretty proud of them. As things progressed with the insurance, it was looking more and more like we were going to be able to replace one truck with the money we received from the three.
Now, i'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that this province is based somewhat on agriculture and trucking. Oil too, but i'm including that with trucking, because everything moves by truck here. You would think that in an environment that seems to be truck saturated, finding a nice used unit wouldn't be so hard, you would be wrong. There is nothing out there that has the base for what we need to work with. Everything everybody has for sale, is 2 to 3 hours away, and in wonderful shape. It's only after you drive the distance that you discover something that's ready for the trash heap.
Yesterday, we looked a lot of trucks and talked to plenty of salesmen. We met, "start $15000 high and drop significantly to impress you guy". We also met, " please buy my truck because it's been sitting here for 3 years, and although it will never, ever be road worthy, it's perfect for you guy". In the end, we agreed on a truck from an owner operator. He seemed to take care of it mechanically. It's pretty sound in that respect. Cosmetically though, it's going to be a work in progress. It's going to need a bit of loving. If we order a grain box to put on it today, it will be 4-6 weeks before that's ready, so i guess the that gives us some time, but the clock is running.
Calving is almost right on top of us, and seeding is right around the corner. It's going to get pretty busy here this spring. There's a lot to do, but i guess that's when we thrive.
............yesterday, our trip took us past the airport. It's funny how much doing that these days finds me longing to be on one of those planes headed somewhere with sand and fruity drinks. March is nearly over and that means i'm one month closed to my next holiday, i can't wait.