As you know, it was Malcolm who found the truck.* In the nick of time, really. The van was still going, but was falling apart. Typically with French motors, the electrics were failing all over the place; The headlights were non existent and the wipers had given up altogether. There was no chance of it ever getting through another M.o.T. The spare van had become surplus, so I had weighed that in. With the truck now taking over duties, the little van was now being used as a bin. I now had the luxury of sorting through the scrap, separating the different metals into buckets to be weighed in on their own merit; copper, ali, lead, brass, etc., etc. The rubbish, mainly plastic, would get chucked into the C15 where, once full, I would zip down the back lane to the tip. The tip was no more than a mile away and I rarely saw another vehicle, of any sort.
I did make the mistake of flying by the town once. I got pulled over by the local bobbies. As I sat in their panda car, one of the constables asked, “Has that thing got an M.o.T.?”
My reply was an honest, “No.”
“Has it insurance?”
I explained that I didn’t normally use it on the main road, but had on this occasion zipped to town as I had been too lazy to swap into the truck.
He looked at me and said, “I’m not impounding it.”
“Oh?” I said, knowingly. “Why?”
“I don’t want it stuck in the compound. You won’t get it out, will you? It isn’t worth it.”
“True.” I admitted.
“Get it home. I don’t ever want to see it again!”
“Fair enough.” I said.
I never heard anymore. That van ended up at Drew’s. He never crushed it. He knows how good the engine is. He had seen it in action, so to speak.
A wheel bearing on the little 4’x4’ trailer gave out. Getting a replacement cost more than the trailer was worth, so it became storage space. Fortunately, I had recently bought a 5’x4’ trailer cheaply. That did for a while. I needed a trailer as without help, I can no longer lift washing machines to chest height. i.e. high enough to load onto the truck. I did have a solution to particularly heavy items, though. I would attach a ratchet winch to the headboard of the tipper body and with a suitable strap secured to the heavy item, I would then raise the body and simply ratchet the item up to the height of the bed. Once level with the tipper bed, I simply lowered the body back down and pushed the item forward. I picked up many a heavy engine in this way.
I sold that trailer on after I found a 6’x4’ trailer. The best part about the new trailer and the thing that attracted me most to it, was the fact that it is a plant trailer. It has a ramp. That meant no lifting of washing machines as they could simply be dragged up the ramp. (The quickest, easiest way of moving a washing machine is to flip it upside down and drag it by the electrical cord attached.) The other brilliant thing about the new trailer is that with the ramp in the stowed position, I could see it in the rear view mirror! That made reversing a damn sight easier.
Malcolm Drew and all the lads were absolutely over the moon when they first caught sight of the truck. They were so pleased that I had managed to build my life back up. When I told them how much I paid for it, they nearly fell over!
The whole business of scrap had become so much easier. I could take in bigger loads and most of all, all I had to do to offload is press a button! Of course, by this time, I was playing by the rules.
On tipping at Drew’s one day, I spotted an old car trailer that had been weighed in. This thing wasn’t pretty and I had to fix it up a bit, but it obviously had great potential. I could earn in one lift more than I could collecting scrap all day. I quickly struck a deal with Malcolm and got it home. Once the car trailer was roadworthy, I quickly got into scrapping cars.
*see entry The truck