The dump truck and trailer are proving useful! The first trip for the Topkick under the auspices of It Vends Incorporated has been completed: a trek to Bremerton, hauling away an old pickup truck to be scrapped. It has been a long metaphorical journey to get this rig rolling, and there are more steps to take on this path (of course).

The first tasks was to actually get the truck! It took several months from the first inspection until license plates were issued, much longer than a typical passenger car transfer. This is largely due to the added complexity of properly operating a commercial motor vehicle. The major steps were:

  • Evaluation of the vehicle and major components
  • Purchase using money in exchange for Titles, Bill of Sale, and necessary Affidavits
  • USDOT registration for the company
  • Permit to travel temporarily
  • Insurance for Liability was obtained through State Farm
  • Inspection by the Washington State Patrol
  • Registration fees, transfer taxes, and GVW charges
  • Title arrived in the mail a few weeks later

The trailer ended up being easy to register, but needed refurbishment to be road-worthy. It was missing fenders, rusty all over, suspension out of alignment, non-functional brakes, and only a partial electrical system. Never worry!

Cut back the weeds, jacked-up for maintenance, and exposed the bad brakes
Coupler had to go
And so it went! Only a few minutes to grind off the welds
Bolting the new “bulldog” coupler, and reinforcing the tongue frame
One brake was seized, and all four were disconnected electrically….
….so off they came! Trailer brakes are cheaper, easier, and safer to replace than repair
The new fenders already show their utility as a tool rest
The old tires held air, carried weight, and will get replaced another day
Backed-up, first try! Spintires practice and a camera under the tailgate really paid off
Made-do with two manual winches, and hydraulic jacks to adjust the deck angle
Xmas wish list: electric winch
Flat on the deck, secured at 10 points, and only a day behind schedule
Smooth sailing aboard the M/V Chetzemoka
Driving from Tacoma to Bremerton was mild, although the engine seemed underpowered
The scrapyard is exactly what I imagined, hoped, and wanted to experience
Whereupon a man with a forklift took my cargo away to be weighed

The total weight of the truck and accumulated scrap-metal was 4240lb, which sold for $80 per ton, or just under $170 in spare change. I’m going to stay on Vashon Island as much as possible, the return fare with a trailer was a hefty $121! With the $50 of diesel, the journey was a financial wash but a symbolic win. Some observations and future projects:

  • Engine tachometer and auto transmission temperature gauges not indicating
  • Cab doors need hardware, mirrors, and signage
  • Grease points need to be cataloged, cleaned, and refilled
  • New cab seats, 3-point seatbelt assemblies for safety
  • Upgrade camera system with recording and additional views
  • Electric crane hoist and/or vehicle winch
  • Dump-bed tarp, side replacement, rust-remediation
  • Trailer paint, rewire, toolbox, tilt ram, tongue jack

Thanks for reading! We’ll have more adventures soon.