Thought I'd share a little bit of the truck's story, which is very intertwined with the previous owner's story.
The owner was a farm boy, WW2 vet, and eventually a heavy equip operator on pipeline jobs and such...member of the international union of operating engineers.
This truck, purchased by him in 1953 (according to the title) was his main means of transportation for those jobs...all over the US. This was not your typical putz-around-the-farm truck. I got this info from the PO's grandson. Verifying and illuminating these stories is a stack of papers I found clipped in the sunvisor. Union agreeement booklet Unsent subscription to Pipeline Construction magazine Old timecards Old receipts from Pennsylvaniua and Ohio Turnpikes
This truck wandered far from its home in Missouri! The tailgate has a heavy steel plate bolted to the inside. In that plate are three holes that likely secured a vise. Kind of stirs the imagination to think about the PO beating/welding some part to get the excavator back on the job....