Elliott Lumber

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Excerpt from:
Elliott Lumber – Payette, Idaho

Story by Pat MacPhail, Victoria, British Columbia

Photos by Glenn and Hilda Elliott, Payette, Idaho

Starting a trucking business is never easy, and the 1930s only made a hard job even harder. Glenn and Hilda Elliott started out in Payette, Idaho, hauling local farm produce in the summer and coal out of Utah in the winter. Before long, they also started to haul lodge pole pine out of the Targhee National Forest in eastern Idaho, using old Chevrolet and Dodge trucks. They had to travel quite a bit to locate work, and finding a place to stay was sometimes a problem. However, they solved that problem by taking lumber in payment for a cement hauling job. Glenn used the wood to construct an 8-ft x 12-ft box which they put on the back of the truck: Home sweet home! Since there were no trailer courts in those days, the Elliotts would find a place to set up home, perhaps a service station that would allow them an electrical hookup for a several dollars a month. Their “motor home” initially had no windows and was heated by a wood stove, but later on they bought a trailer to live in while working away from home.

Eventually the Elliotts found that their old LJ Mack, Chevys, and Dodges couldn’t carry the payloads they wanted, as power was somewhat lacking. So they bought a new 1947 Diamond T model 910 with a 150 Cummins, which provided both economy and more power. With their new truck they could carry more loads in a day, and the faster turnaround made a big difference.

The 910 spent most of its time hauling peeler logs to the box factory in Weiser, Idaho, and Glenn later built a trailer to carry more of these short logs. When log hauling was slow Glenn would move Caterpillar tractors and loaders to the next logging show.

However, things didn’t always go quite as planned...

For the whole story, subscribe to Old Time Trucks® and read the Oct04/Nov04 2004 issue.


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