Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bringing the Light - 1990 Ford C8000 Utility Truck

This truck has been working on a major intersection near my home all summer.

I’ve noticed it dozens of times, and admired its, well… utility - as well as its softly rounded features and, of course, great patina.

As you can see, it has an auger for drilling a good sized hole in the ground - a foot wide or so - and a boom for raising poles. I don’t know, it may have some other tricks as well. The day I finally stopped to make some photos, it was raising aluminum light poles, so they could be bolted onto their bases.

I was somewhat surprised to learn the truck is “only” 15 years old, as the styling seems like late 50’s vintage. Doing a little research, I have found pictures of these C8000 models going back at least to the mid-sixties, and a similar cab style even older than that. A lot of these trucks did service as fire trucks all over the country.

Steve, the driver of this truck, and the man in the photos, has been working with it for several years, and uses the boom like it was his own arm.

He was happy to talk a bit about the truck while the other member of his crew was securing the post to the base.

He wanted me to come around to look at the lugs on the tread of the rear tire. He jammed a couple of his fingers into it, where they disappeared nearly up to his fingernails. “Does that tread look shot to you?” he asked me. “The cop told me that there are supposed to be little grooves that go across there, and because they aren’t there, that I’m in violation. I went and looked at a brand new one of these tires and it looked just like this one. No grooves. What am I supposed to do? Pull the tires off and take ‘em to the judge?”

“What are you going to do?” I asked Steve. “Pay the tag.” he smiled, dragging on his cigarette.

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