Sunday, 6 March 2022

An Improvised "Wheel"

    In October of 1978 we were invited by my neighbor’s parents, who owned a cabin on Purden Lake to come for a visit and to pick up some birch firewood from trees that Severn, had fallen.    Purden Lake was a long way to travel for firewood, 152 km ( 94 miles), but it would also be a visit with Ebba and Severn, whose company we always enjoyed, and I was always eager to get Birch firewood.  I hooked up our utility trailer to the Scout, and drove through a snowstorm to get there.

After doing some visiting, sawing up and loading the wood, we were ready to haul the load back home, but Severn and Ebba insisted we stay for supper, so we didn’t get off until 5:30 which meant driving in the dark.  All went well until we pulled onto our road in McBride.   Just a few miles from our house, I heard a noise, and felt a jerk in the Scout which slowed us down, then I watched in dismay as one of the wheels from the utility trailer roll past us, to come to rest in a ditch.

I slammed on the breaks, stopped the car, got out and saw that the driver’s side trailer axil was wheel-less and sitting on the road.  Not having ever experiencing such a thing, I retrieved the runaway wheel and discovered that it’s lug bolt holes were damaged beyond use, so I would have to figure out some other means of getting the trailer home.  I was able to unhook the trailer from the car which allowed us to drive home, leaving the trailer where it was.

We endured a heavy rain overnight and into the next day, but it didn’t stop me from having to deal with my abandoned utility trailer which I had left on the side of the road.  First I emptied all of the birch from the trailer and hauled it back to our house in the Scout. 

       Luckily I came up with a novel idea for getting the trailer back to our house.   I lashed one end of a long thick pole to the front top of the utility trailer, then rested of it under the axle where the wheel had come off.  The bottom of the pole rested on the road, thus supporting the trailer on the wheel-less side.  So with the trailer supported by the good wheel on one side, and by the travois-like support on the other, I pulled/dragged the trailer back to the house.  It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go any further because the road-end of the pole was severely worn down by the gravel on the road by the time I got to my driveway.

    That trailer was the same one we had used to haul all of our possessions to Canada when we immigrated in 1973.  Of course, it had two wheels then.

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1 comment:

  1. Very ingenious idea with the pole. 5 stars out of 5 for that one!