Brakes Stop Your Truck! Honest…


Vehicle problems are everyone’s little problem at some point in life.  And we had been so lucky with our two lovely gals…  not a lick of trouble!  Until, of course, a couple weeks ago.

Jessy and I were returning from the post office.  When all of the sudden, there was a big clunk and as I was backing into our drive way, I realized that we had no brakes.   Just like in the movies, NO BRAKES…  oh my gosh!  I told Jessy to hold on and I threw Tiffany, our beloved F150 Ford pickup, into nuetral and tried to guide her to a resting spot that was not Pewter, our car, or the ram’s field, next to the garage!   Which left our little garage, which is Maggie’s workshop!

It was all so fast, I just didn’t think to try and push the emergency brake (which we discovered afterwards didn’t even work…)  or to throw her into park, because the corner of the garage and one of my beloved lilac bushes stopped us.  With a giant thud and a bit of a cracked brake light!  It was a little scary…  I will admit and I’m pretty sure helped to seal the idea that trucks are dangerous machines of death to Jessy.  She doesn’t like to drive and well, that really didn’t help.  However, she was impressed with my cool demeanor and calm disposition during the very brief event.  She didn’t realize though, that I was a little bit spooked at the thought that this could have easily been on the road at 50 mph and that would have been a real problem.


One of the very very nicest things about living in the country is how friends love to help out.  We do as well, anything we can do, we do…  and I went in the house, a little panicked as to what to do because we love that truck and use her all the time!   It’s very hard to get hay bales in the trunk of the Taurus!  (Of course, we have had to do that a time or two, so we speak from experience!!!) I just didn’t have a lot of money in the budget and I was really sure something bad had happened.  I knew the brakes were getting worn…  and really should have done something about it sooner, but you know how that goes sometimes…   I promise to never let that happen again!  For certain!

Well, my friend Justin had just IMed me on Facebook and asked how things were at the farm and buddy, I’m pretty sure he probably regretted asking because the floodgates opened up and he just told me not to worry, he and Tim would be down to take a look at it in no time.

And within the hour, they were hear and taking a look at the old girl.  Seems I blew the master cylinder and pretty much broke the front driver side caliper…  sheared off the brake pad!   Wow…  I did a number on her.  I felt pretty bad about it.  Started to do that whole why me thing…

But the guys were like, oh, we can fix this!  Just need a few parts and some 2 x 4s and a couple cement blocks.  Everything takes a couple 2 x 4s out here.  Required safety equipment, apparently.  And just about the time I was feeling a little better, the weirdest thing happened.  The firetrucks pulled up to the crossing right by our house and one of them told us that they were waiting for a train on fire to come by.

What?  A train on fire???

It was about then that I began to realize that my truck issues, however difficult for us, were pretty pale in comparison to a TRAIN ON FIRE…  OH MY….  Of course…  we all had a vision of what such a thing was going to look like, and we rushed to the road to watch.  The firemen had all their hoses out, and were lining up near the crossing…


And of course, we had no cameras at this point…  but it wasn’t like that picture above.  In fact, it was just a slow train, spraying excess diesel fuel all over the track sides.  Everyone was calm, the train was still moving and we had to really look hard to see the fire.  It was underneath and really didn’t look that bad, I guess.  As trains on fire go.  They sprayed the heck out of it, and it just kept going.  Apparently at the next village crossing, their firetruck was ready as well.  They planned to dump all the fuel, and keep spraying it as it went back and forth.  If they would stop the train, it would be much worse.

DSC_0077Very unexciting, let me tell you.   We went back to working on the truck.  Well, Tim was working on the truck and the rest of us got a pizza and some beer and were basically sitting around, watching the master at work.  And of course, ribbing him and making fun of him.  You know, guy things.

After the train went back by again and then returned, no longer on fire apparently, this fellow with one of those railroad conversion trucks came by.  He had a fun job.  Spraying some sort of chemical stuff on all the little fires on the train tracks from the fire train.

I’m not sure that I could be so calm and collected as that train crew was.  I mean, they were just standing there, leaning out the engine sides, watching and just driving the thing.  Can you even imagine the conversation?   “Ah, dispatch, Engine 3487, we are on fire.  Advise?”   “Ah, 3487, why don’t you just start dumping your fuel and we will call the fire departments along the track to spray you and just don’t stop, okay?  That would be bad, over…”

Hahaha…  I would be like OMG…  just keep driving??????   I guess it does make sense.  You would hardly want to drive a train full of flammable fuel into a depot or yard and then let it blow up…  Like those airplanes with issues, they make them fly around and around to waste fuel before emergency landings…  scary!  I guess it’s always something, eh?


Yikes, sheared that baby right off.  Time for new brakes!!!


Maggie was very helpful as well, she would really like to learn how to fix vehicles and such.  I’m sure she would be pretty good at it, actually.  She’s very mechanically inclined.  She helped Tim with the brake line pumping and all that when he had them close to done.

DSC_0091Pizza time!!!  A couple pizzas for the crew!  It was dinner time afterall.  And this was saving us a BUNDLE of money…  Everything, including pizza and paying Tim cost under $200… And I am sure it would have easily cost double or more…  I am so thankful for our friends!!!!   They were done within about 2 hours…  and the hardest part was getting the lug nuts off the tires, they were SUPER tight.  He had her back together and test drove around the big county block and she was good to go!    DSC_0093

And then, he took Pewter, our sedan, home to do a oil change,  and a little tuneup help with a few little issues!  It was like he just couldn’t stop working on cars!  Pewter came back the next morning all cleaned and running like a kitten!  He even fixed her turn signal light, which was out!  My gosh…  from smashing into the garage to all fixed in less than three hours.  What service!!!!   My heros!!!!  :-)  And Miss Tiffany has been wonderful ever since!  Pewter, too!  So nice to have two good safe and sound vehicles on the homestead!!!  (Though Tiffy is gonna need snow tires for the winter…  her tires are a little bald!  We have a little time before that…  gotta start saving up!)

That is the story of the failed brakes and the train on fire.  Just another day on the Windhaven estate.

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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