1952 GMC 303-24 Tilt Hauler
When we asked Ed about a Gallery page, he was super busy as Stovebolt coordinator for the 4th Annual Reunion in Kansas City. On the heals of that, he was planning the Oztoberfest GABfest in his hometown. We did get a great feature story (from the Reunion) and this follow-up. And what everyone always wants to see: PICTURES! We only saw TOTO with the bent bed! ). So, it's good to see what a nice working truck it is and to hear she's back to work! ~ Editor
From Ed :
The local historical society is excited about the fact that I'm working on a local truck. It belonged to one of the farm equipment dealers and was used to deliver tractors, combines, etc. I'm now researching the history of the company. I hope to locate pictures of the truck in use and find the company's owner. (It quit business in the early '70's.) I have more images on a Webshots account.
Toto goes back to work
Those of you that have read about TOTO's bent bed ( read the feature ), will be glad ( I hope ) to hear that I've been able to mostly correct the bent bed. So it was the end of September before TOTO was able to do any work ( other than the run to KC ) in years.
I learned from my KC adventure to do a good free flight check up. Add water - add oil - check rear end - Ok. Check transmission oil and add 1 1/2 quarts Ouch ! Found the leek! The auxiliary transmissions output shaft seal doesn't seal very well. Ok, take extra oil and check level during the day.
On to the first chore of the day - 10 miles to where I had a 2-ton Chevy parts truck purchased. I was met by a rancher friend who was there to help. He was going to let me store the beast with my other 2-ton Chevy ( and another 1-ton Chevy at a later date ) out at his place.
We loaded the beast onto TOTO's back with a whole 9" to spare. The trip was six miles of dusty, hilly roads. We stopped once to shooo some errant Moo's off the road. We arrived at the ranch and off came the beast.
I loaded up my friends tractor - checked the tranny oil - and headed back to where I picked up the truck. We dropped it off at my friend's mechanic's shop and run #2 was done.
Now the bad news - I forgot to padlock the bed's tool box and lost two new 25' chains somewhere on those dusty country roads. Oh well...
Check the tranny oil, add some and off on the last run of the day.
Ten miles of highway driving and we get to the next project. Here is one big propane tank - hummm, we have got to be real careful with this thing. Naturally the tank's legs were stuck in the ground after a bazillion years of sitting in one spot. So with the tail gate ramp up and the bed tilted to where it's not quite touching the ground, TOTO backed up to the tank's end and raised the bed lifting the tank up enough to put blocks under the front legs. We let the bed down and everything's ok. Now pull forward and get everything ready for the winch -
NO FORWARD you Dolt !!!
Well, in my defense as a big Long legged dolt, I thought that I had grabbed second. If you are long of leg and have tried to shift a floor shifter in a AD truck, you know that it's a rather tight fit for those long legs when you go for second or reverse. You make contact with your right leg and I have the bruises to show the truth of that.
So I grab for second, and reverse being just a little more shove to the left, I got it instead. So forward I did not go -- but back into the tank which promptly fell over.
No one hurt - tanks ok - no harm no foul - ?
As it turned out, that mistake actually made loading the tank easier. Some shifting around of the truck and several pulls from several angles with the winch and up see-daisy unto the bed. Lower the bed to level and pull the tank into towing position, chain it down, check the tranny oil, get a diet Coke, and off we go.
Ten miles of highway and six miles of dusty road later, it's time to off load. A friend gets his big tractor and lifts the tank off and the work for the day is done.
On the way back home I stopped at the old owner's ranch and he and his wife were so glad to see that the old truck was again running down the road and out working . Of course, he may want to borrow the truck sometime - or so he says - I think he just does not want to let go of it after so many years using the old beastie . A uneventful trip home and a just for the heck of it, a circumnavigation of my town home.
Now about that bed
I was asked how I went about fixing TOTO's bent bed. While crying in by beer ( diet Coke ) at the KC show, an older fellow on crutches decide to wander around TOTO and ask me some questions about it.
While he was looking rather puzzled at the bed, I decided to tell the sad tale of how it came about. He smiled and said that he had repaired many a bent bed in his time and would I like to know how to do a " Fair fixin'. " "It will not be perfect but it will be serviceable" and I promptly said "Thanks but no thanks" because as a pro-Know-it-all, I knew it could be fixed with bubble gum and a rust piece of bailing wire.
Well, actually I was most happy to have any knowledge of how one might go about fixing my Ouch.
You take a stout chain and put it thru the front stake pocket. Take another stout chain and put it thru the rear stake pocket. Connect the two chains and put a minimum of a 20-ton bottle jack under the middle of the chain. Raise the jack slowly as far up as it will go and let it rest there for a minute or so and let it back down. Take up any slack in the chain and do it again. Then go to the other side of the bed and do the same. Keep moving back and forth until you have it as close as you can get it or want it.
A few love taps with a Real Big BFH where the bends show on the frame - help it along.
Now for safety's sake, I went to my local machine / welding shop and had a 1" deep by 2" ID ring welded to the bottom of a 4" long piece of channel. This went on top of the bottle jack to hold the chains from sliding off the top of the jack and taking off body parts.
This process does work (after a fashion) and is not perfect and IS hazardous to one's body if something goes wrong. One time I did have the bottle jack kick out from under the chain at the top of its lift and fly off about 10' from the truck. So stand off to the side and use a long handle to pump with.
I still have about 2" to go to be fully level on the bed but I am happy with the results.
This takes a lot of time to do safely. I spent around four hours on the bed. If you have jacks and chains for both sides at the same time, it will go faster because you don't have to shift everything back and forth to do the work. If you do this - I was told to only jack one side at a time. Why, I don't know - just was told do it.
I'll try again later to get some more of the bend out of the bed. THIS time I'll take my camera and get some pictures of the process.
The bed is steel plates welded together. Around the steel edges of the bed, are the stake pockets. The original bad wood bed is under the steel deck. That wood was damaged during the Ouch and is what is giving me some problems with getting the bed to level out. If I was to have to replace a bad wood bed, I would go with a steel bed for a lot of course hauling ( rock / scrap iron etc.). If it was just normal stuff, I'd stay with wood.
I have yet to decide what I will do on my 6400 when it's time to replace its bed
Hope you don't need to use this knowledge but it's good to have in a pinch.