And the road goes on forever...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Marc has the brilliant idea that we need to find a cut bank or wash so he can unload the storage shed from the flatbed. When he first loaded the shed onto the flatbed in Bend he did it the same way only then the shed was empty of contents and he used a cut bank. The only thing we find close by in our neighborhood is a wash; sand and all, and a little steeper than what I would have considered “safe”. You can see where this is going can’t you? For some reason he feels he needs my help and asks me to go along and “it shouldn’t take more than an hour.”

We get the truck and trailer situated in the wash and he starts the task of putting all the tires back on the shed axles. This alone takes well more than an hour, while I stand in the broiling sun just occasionally lending a hand to something. First one side, then the other, gets jacked up and tires mounted. Since he left the correct ball back in Bend, he has the wrong size ball for the hitch which causes problems from the get-go and will further complicate things as the task progresses.

Finally, he’s ready to pull the shed off the flatbed and he starts ever so slowly. Things go great until suddenly everything starts to slide, including the shed pulling the flatbed trailer along with it about a good four to five feet. The ramps crumple off the end of the trailer and everything comes to a screeching halt with my shouts “Stop, stop, stop!” Now what?

Apparently a small portion of frame steel had hung up on the flatbed lumber deck, ripping it, and causing everything to grind to an immediate halt. Marc jacks up that portion of the trailer that is hung up and places a piece of plywood as a skid plate under it; hitches up, and tries again. With gut-wrenching scraping and loud clangs, the shed breaks free and crashes down off the platform tearing off all the rear trailer lights.

I wish I could say this episode from hell ended there, but unfortunately, it didn’t. There was yet the wash for the shed to traverse back across and then Marc needed to get it to the lot, drop it and return for the flatbed. Once he reached the wash with the shed, it jumped the hitch not once, not twice, but three times until he finally just chained it to the Freightliner hitch and drug it far enough into a leverage point so it would weigh the hitch enough coming out the other side so as to not jump off yet again.

The unexpected slide the flatbed had done put it well below optimum level for the Freightliner to get hitched back to it since it was now sunk dismally in the belly of the wash. Thankfully, our neighbor Ron, worried we had been gone so long--now into a three hour ordeal; came out looking for us to see if we had problems. He helped Marc jack up the stabilizer foot high enough Marc could sneak the Freightliner into place for hitch-up but not before another mishap where it fell off the jack and ripped through the Rhino bed liner on the back of the Freightliner. Another trailer returned to our lot and the task is finally over with as I note I am covered in sunburn from the unexpectedly long exposure. What a day!