daily troubles exceed that of having a flat tire. Totally unexpected and always
at a bad time, a flat tire can disrupt schedules, mess up clean clothes and agitate
any plans for the immediate future. As a longtime farmer and rancher with many
tires on the ground I could write a book (or article) about flats. Here are a
few Trewly flat stories.
I can remember the early 1940s pretty well and
don't remember many flats. But it was during the war and no one drove unless absolutely
necessary. Also, much of the farm equipment back then still had steel wheels.
Driving slower with lighter loads might have prevented flat troubles.
1950s brought on more pickups and tandem wheel horse trailers. This doubled the
number of tires on the ground. I've always believed pickups running ahead of trailers,
disturbed the nails in the road making them mad, and they retaliate by jumping
up into the tires of the trailers as they pass. I also believe the Lord put thorns
on Mesquite trees to try the souls of ranchers.
Countless years of wagon
travel dropped nails, staples and pieces of wire onto dirt roads which now puncture
new rubber tires. Most counties purchased huge magnets to pull along the roads
to suck up such metal. It was amazing how quickly a barrel of potential flats
could be harvested in a single trip down an old country road.
I once hired
my grandchildren to pick up such items from my ranch driveways paying them a penny
for each item found. This worked well until they began bringing me bright shiny
nails from the buckets in my shop. They were smarter than I first thought.
A tornado once destroyed the new home of neighbor Bob Urban in Ochiltree County
and dumped the entire mess in one of my wheat fields which was destroyed by hail
at the same time. It required more than a week to plow the field with Mr. Hash's
flat-fixing truck from town standing by each morning to fix all the equipment
I once hired a cowboy to tend my stock here at the ranch while
I tended other business. Almost every day brought flat tires on the trailer and
pickup causing him a trip to town and wait in the coffee shop while the flats
were repaired. When I bought tire tools, patches and glue and provided an air-compressor
for him to fix his own flats the problem seemed to evaporate, shall I say into
At the height of my farming career I had so much flat
and tire trouble the B.F Goodrich Co. sent out a man to study my problems. After
a half-day riding with me he explained the main reason for my problems, much to
He stated, "Mr. Trew, I have counted more than 100 equipment
tires on the ground and running along with your pickups and car. Three-fourths
of these tires were worn out completely on vehicles before you replaced them and
began installing the worn out tires on your equipment. I admire your being frugal
(instead of tight) habit but this is ridiculous."
Now, I did not change
my somewhat "ridiculous frugal ways," but I did quit complaining.
"It's All Trew" October
26, 2010 column
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He
can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears