Profits Made From a Pickup Hauling Service

Rural entrepreneur Evan Green shares his story of using his hand-me-down pickup truck to hauls supplies and materials for money.

| March/April 1975

I've had a long and abiding love affair with old pickup trucks. The functional gracelessness of these relics of the 40's and early 50's speaks eloquently of country ways and simpler days. They're cheap to buy, easy to maintain and more aesthetically pleasing than their angular descendants. And, unlike passenger cars (which offer little more than transportation and a steady drain on the pocketbook), a decent old truck can pay its own way used for hauling service and even provide its owner with a part-time income.

A Profitable Pickup Hauling Service

A good friend gave me my first pickup after it tired of the steep and rocky road to his mountain cabin and poked a connecting rod out through the cylinder wall. It may not have looked like much to those who saw us towing it down the canyon to my backyard, but to me it was a thing of beauty: a 1949 Dodge half-ton with a flathead six-cylinder engine and a floor-mounted three-speed transmission.

After I got my treasure home, I spent two months up to my elbows in 20 years' accumulation of dirt and grease … installing another engine that had been carefully selected from behind a clump of weeds in the neighborhood junkyard. The truck also needed new shocks and a muffler, and I replaced the rotted-out bed floor with oak planks. When the pickup finally ran and passed the Colorado safety inspection, I was proud as a new father and ready for the Dodge to start paying its way. I figured it owed me something for the skinned knuckles and the hours of time I'd put into getting it back on the road again.

Figuring there should be a lot of light hauling opportunities in the area, I put some ads in the paper and passed the word that Mother's Trucking Company was open for business. Sure enough, I picked up a few odd jobs here and there … moving furniture, cleaning yards and garages, and hauling trash to the dump.

In the process, the old Dodge and I became fast friends. I'd keep it filled with gas and oil and it would perk along at 45 miles an hour, giving me a relaxing ride and an unhurried view of the scenery. Those who whistle along the interstates at 75 miles per hour in air-conditioned supercars miss the smell of haying time and the sights and sounds of the countryside.

In 10,000 miles of driving, the truck stopped only once … when a thermostat stuck and the radiator boiled over. Otherwise it was the soul of dependability. With a little help from an engine heater, it even started one crisp Colorado morning when the thermometer nailed to the porch read 32 below and lots of vehicles 20 years younger remained immobile in their driveways.

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