Arlo Mudgett: You can't have enough trailers

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I still have the first trailer I ever owned. I never imagined owning a trailer until my neighbor offered one for sale. He bought the enclosed trailer from his brother-in-law in Arkansas, hauling it all the way home to Vermont. It caught my eye the second he pulled into his yard. It's a snappy looking little red Haulmark with aluminum fenders. He bought it to transport the ATV that I sold him. Unfortunately, the ATV would not fit inside the trailer. When I looked it over I could see my motorcycles fitting into it with no problem. He gave me a smokin' good deal on it and it will take a hard stretch of crushing poverty to get me to sell it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed owning the little red trailer. It has transported motorcycles for me and my friends, moved my kids and step-kids, stored wood for winter and just made life a little easier...except for backing up. I can't back the thing up to save my life. Admittedly I have gotten a little better at it, but any kind of scrutiny will cause me to revert to a loss of hard-won skills.

My second trailer doesn't even belong to me. It's a home-made contraption made from a truck rear-end that belonged to my fiancee's brother, or as I call him, my "almost" bother-in-law. He hasn't asked for it back so we haven't given it back. Nathan, if you want it, come get it. Otherwise, we're keeping it. It is a flatbed deal with two really old bias-ply tires that look to be quite weather checked. In all the years we have had it, it has received nothing but abuse. We have never checked the air in those sad tires. Not a smidge of grease has ever graced that axle under our care. The plywood decking is rotting at the edges, and one of the safety chains was amputated in some mishap somewhere. It is so gnarly that I use it to paint parts. It's a flat surface that is movable so I can drag it way out on the back 40 so no overspray can get on house or cars, making the surface look like graffiti. I had plans to transport lawnmowers on that trailer, but alas, it just isn't big enough. That seems to be a theme here.

My third trailer was a big metal decked car transport trailer that caused me to purchase a three-quarter ton truck to haul it around. It was perfect for hauling disabled cars to shops for repair. The whole thing was over-the-top and a catalyst for spending more and more money on fuel, repairs, cars, you name it. I sold the thing, but I have days when I regret it, but mostly no, no I do not regret it. Final answer.

So I have two properties that have to be mowed. I have two mowers, a huge zero-turn mower made with plate steel that could double as a tank, and a regular riding mower complete with grass-catching apparatus. I may end up selling one of the mowers eventually but on more than one occasion I have needed to move one or the other to one property or the other and could not do it. So for the past six months, I have been quietly looking for trailer number 4, something that could accommodate a riding mower and maybe haul some wood on occasion.

I stumbled over the perfect trailer on Facebook the other day for under a hundred bucks. It was exactly what I was looking for.

I contacted the owner via Facebook immediately, left my phone number, and the fellow called me back immediately. When I asked for his address he paused and named a store where he would bring the trailer. No problem, I respect folks being cautious. We talked further about motorcycles and he asked me if I had known Stanley Lynde, the late beloved motorcycle shop owner from Brattleboro. I answered in the affirmative and after we talked some more he gave me his address. He had worked with Stanley as a very talented mechanic. I showed up, bought the trailer, and met one of the nicest and most skilled guys you'd ever want to know. The brotherhood and sisterhood of motorcycling and the positive spirit of Stanley Lynde work in some very special ways.

In the short time I've had my fourth trailer it has come in very handy already. I still can't back them up as easily as I'd like, but we all have to have goals.

The Morning Almanac with Arlo Mudgett can be heard Monday through Saturday mornings on radio stations Oldies KOOL FM 106.7, 96.3 and 106.5 and over Peak-FM 101.9 - 100.7

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