Friday, October 05, 2007

Truck Learning Curve

This is my new (old) construction truck. It's a nice looking truck and it has a powerful engine. If I push on the gas pedal the wheels squeal and burn rubber. But I wasn't sure I would actually get it on the road. Melbah and I answered an ad on the Internet. We both had the feeling that this was the truck to buy. We make an appointment and drive an hour and a half to a farm on the banks of Lake Huron. A young Dutch couple; Eric and Petra, meet us and we take the truck for a spin. The driver's door doesn't close properly and I see rust spots but we make a deal to buy it for just under two thousand dollars. The only problem is that it needs a safety inspection to be legal on the road. Eric tells us he has had it inspected just six months earlier. He promises me it will pass again and implies that he will take the truck back if we have a problem. This is the moment of my fateful mistake. I should have refused to proceed until he completed the inspection and paperwork, but I didn't. I decide to take the chance on it passing again. But the next day when I take it to the mechanic he comes back with bad news. Steve tells me the truck is a wreck. An engine mount is broken, a brake is installed backwards, there is a hole in the cab wall that needs welding and a body mount has rusted through. Then he shows me that the truck has NO EXHAUST PIPE. EEK. It looks like it could cost a thousand dollars or more to make it road worthy. I am very upset by this news. I phone Eric and Petra and tell them the news. At first Eric is very sympathetic and sets up an appointment at the mechanic's where he had the other safety inspection done. But when I take it in that following Monday, the other mechanic knows nothing of the arrangement. I phone Eric and ask if he will pay for this other inspection. He tells me I am on my own. He has had the weekend to talk himself out of his own ethics and let's me know I can kiss off. So here I am with a truck that is quickly becoming a white elephant. My sister and I go back to the Steve the mechanic and explain the situation. But mysteriously, he seems to not think so many things have to be done to the truck after all. I get out of there for five hundred and fifty dollars. I got off easy. I should have never bought the truck without having the safety inspection done. In fact, Eric and Petra should have paid for the transfer papers as well. But now I have a truck, and I have it working. Melbah and I even manage to find a white topper that fits that exact model of truck. And we got it for just fifty dollars. So now I'm in business. I build some plywood compartments inside and a pull out drawer and I'm ready to carry my tools. I learned a big lesson here. I am just happy I got through this with a truck on the road. Whew!

1 comment:

NeoAuteur said...

You're quite lucky. I had a similar ordeal a while back, but was not as fortunate.