There are both benefits and curses to owning a car trailer. Especially if it has a winch. If there’s one thing I’ve learned; if you want your trailer to stay nice, and your WINCH TO KEEP ON WORKING, don’t lend out your trailer! That being said I’d never turn down helping a friend move a car.
On The Horizon
When Gary got an old FWD Plymouth Horizon from a shop that was closing I got the familiar call. “Hey could you move a car for me? It’s only about 5 miles.” I asked if it ran and was not surprised to find out no motor or trans and, oh ya, ummm one tire is flat too, so can I take my air tank. Gary liked potato juice best but his second love was cars and he was always planning something with the hulks he got. One more catch, he wasn’t around so could I just keep it on the trailer until later in the week. No problem.
Around lunch I hooked up the trailer and started off. I was sure it wouldn’t take any time at all. I lived in the country so there was very little traffic on the road and I was there in a few minutes.
I wasn’t sure why Gary thought this was worth dragging home but that was his problem. I backed up the trailer, set the ramps and pulled out the hook, everything looked good, or at least as good as the old Horizon could look. I aired up the left front tire and easily winched it up. I four cornered the car with chains and everything was ready. I hit the highway and headed home.
Sounds boring right?
Houston, we have a problem
As I neared my shop there was a long, slightly downhill straight away with a 90 degree turn and another long straight away. Just before the turn I thought I saw the Horizon move on the trailer but I decided that I was just seeing things. I turned through the corner and glanced back to check the car. I was just in time to see the headlights aiming skyward and I realized that the Horizon had decided to launch. Houston, we have a problem. The highway was empty as I quickly slowed the truck and trailer and started analyzing what to do.
The Horizon was now passing me on the left i the oncoming traffic lane and I was pacing it in my truck. About a mile down the road I could see a car headed towards me and the Horizon. I had hit the 4 way flashers and I started flashing the headlights to be sure the oncoming person would see what’s happening. I saw him pull over and stop and I still had at least a half mile to figure out what to do.
I knew, if need be, I could bump the Horizon off the road and into the ditch but I was hoping it would roll to a stop.
It did! Well kinda.
The little Plymouth angled off the two lane highway, went down through the ditch and slowly went up a wooden fence post. There was Gary’s Horizon, literally up a wooden post, with the headlight pointing up as if to launch…again.
The truck that was coming towards us had arrived and the guy helped me get the Horizon back on the highway. I winched it up on the trailer,…AGAIN, and drove the last mile home.
What’s a Wheel Chock?
So what happened you ask. It turned out that the tire I had inflated had promptly deflated. As I slowed for the corner the flat tire allowed for the car to lurch forward unhooking the front chains and as I rounded the corner it just went back off the trailer, unhooking the rear chains as it went.
I have some real cool thingys called “wheel chocks” now. They work really good.
PS and BS
The photo above I took outside my Classic 66 station here in Steptoe. A guy pulled up last summer and said he thought he had a problem. Yup. He had a problem.
Keep on Cruisin!
psst, hey buddy wanna buy a car
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