Schoolboy Adventure

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Excerpt from:
A Schoolboy's Initiation

by Art Van Aken


  When World War II started, all the boys in my high school class were excited about entering the service, and I was no exception. However, the description of infantry training did not appeal to me but trucks did, so I decided to try for an army transportation unit. While driving on the farm I had learned how to double-clutch, but I figured I’d need to know more than that. When I learned that a driving job had become available with the town highway department, I quit school in order to get some real truck driving experience before Uncle Sam called.

I was given a 1939 Chevrolet dump truck to drive that had no booster brakes and, of course, no power steering. Back then in the northern Catskill Mountains of New York the roads were dirt, so most of my driving consisted of hauling and spreading gravel. The town only had an old steel wheel, towed grader, and they wanted the gravel spread thin. I soon discovered that by leaving the tailgate flat, the PTO in gear, and maintaining the proper speed, I could spread the gravel out perfectly.

For the whole story, subscribe to Old Time Trucks® and read the June/July 2005 issue.


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