Super Truck

         When he started his work at BYU in 1961, not only had the small budget whic had been promised to him been spent by Lehi Hintze, the new geology department chairman, there was no truck that he could use to go out exploring.  Rather than waste time -so he felt- trying to get something out of the university -not how early this is in his career at BYU- he decided to use some of his own money to buy a pickup that he could take out right away.  That is what he did, so he got by with his old truck. I wasn’t in Provo when this happened for several years so don’t know whether or not the truck was the International I’ve seen in his slides or not. The university did later provide transport for him, and finally purchased a brand-spanking new truck that he loved.

       He took the truck in hand and modified it to his needs, showing, once again, his creativity on the one hand and his skills as a metal worked. He (1) designed, (2) fabricated and (3) installed a “gin pole” on the back of the truck using a unique design that he came up with.  You see it above forward over the cab. The basic idea of the gin pole was to build a V-shaped pair of poles joined at the top end with a pully. (He also welded in a piece of sheet metal with a large hold so that he could also chain a block to the end of the pole.)  He filled the poles into freely moving joints that had been installed at the front edge of the bed, one leg of the “Y” on either side of the heavy duty winch. The winch cable was fed out and pased through the pulley on the end of the gin pole.
       When the winch was snugged up tight, all cable taken in, the poles were elevated forward leaning over the cab.  When he needed to lift something, he loosened the cable which allowed the poles to rotate backward until they came to rests on both side. Then he would take out as much slack as he needed to get to his project, attach it to the ptoject and then begin to take up the cable on the winch.  The object would be dragged toward the truck bed and then was elevated slowly up until it was above the level of the bed.
       Continued take up of the wince did something suprisin. It pulled the gin poles slowly upward. He slowly dontinued to take up cable until he had the object as far forward on the bed as he needed it.  Then he reversed the cable and the object dropped slowly, direclty down to the spot immediately below it.  The remarkable thing was there were not other adjustmnets, wedges, cables, bolts, come-heres, nothing to make this work.  Once the object was on the bed, if he wanted to move it to one side of the bed, he’d take steel bar and just muscle it into place.
     Of course, he could only these modifications because he understood mechanics from the point of view of a journeyman welder and machinist, and for the same reason could fabricate ANYTHING he wanted, only limitations being stock and necessary tools, which is why he still hung out in army surplus yards.
         One of the constant problems for any collecting expedition is water at least in Mesozoic -or whatever the current designation in- digs.  Dad dug around for several years in army surplus yards trying to find something that would solve his problem and this is what he finally arranged. I call it “Baby” to go with Super Truck but that wasn’t his name for it.  I worked with dad one summer in Dry Mesa and on two occassions went along with Supertruck and Baby to refill Baby at a spring that was about 10 miles away up in the mountains to the west of the quarry. It had leaf springs and fat tires so rode well, and held enough water to last several weeks.


[DINOSAUR JIM] [THE MAN] [QUARRIES] [GALLERIES] [HARVARD] [BYU] [ESC] [Dry Mesa Quarry] [Projects] [RECOGNITIONS] [Movies-TV productions] [BYU Controversy] [Miscellanea]