One truck for four drivers is no bueno

When my wife got a work-from-home job and we sold her 4Runner, I worried there would be times we’d wish we hadn’t gotten rid of that extra vehicle. That time has come. And then it got even worse.

My wife started a new job at the end of last year that’s completely work-from-home. Since she wasn’t driving her 4Runner much, we figured it was a good time to sell that vehicle and use the money to build a barn. We got the Toyota sold for a very good price, but the barn didn’t happen, because apparently steel and lumber have become the new gold and platinum.

We did OK with four drivers and three vehicles until a few weeks ago, when my son Colby’s truck died on him. It’s a diesel, so the first thing I asked was if it could be out of fuel – the fuel gauge hasn’t worked for years. But he insisted that couldn’t be it. So we changed the fuel filter. Then we started to change the fuel pump, but I wasn’t excited about removing the master cylinder, so we towed it to a mechanic.

Last week, the mechanic called and said he’d found our problem. The fuel tank was empty. The mechanic had put some diesel in it and said it was ready, so after we teased Colby mercilessly, we went to pick the truck up. When we got there, it was sitting in a puddle of diesel fuel. Turns out there was a hole in the fuel tank.

That night, the center support bearing on my truck went out, so now we’re down to one vehicle – and that one’s my youngest son’s little extended-cab Toyota Tacoma.

I think we need to get a fourth vehicle again. Or maybe even a fifth, so we never have this problem again. It gives me nightmares to think this could happen again during hunting season. So I’m looking for at least one off-road-capable vehicle. Unfortunately, those seem to be even more valuable right now than barn components.