Friend more help than WD-40

Glenda Price

I volunteered to go pick up this two-horse trailer and bring it home. It was only about 25 miles away, so I figured it was no problem, and took off on my merry errand.

A really nifty gal named Rita had been storing it at her place. It had been a couple of years, so I wondered if I needed to get tires for it.

Like I said, she is a nifty person. She had parked it so the wheels sat on wooden boards, which kept the tires off the ground. They were fine — except for one that looked a bit low.

I had my 2-inch ball for the hitch, and it was the right size, so we decided to hitch it up.

Probably the only thing worse than mechanically challenged moi out in the sun trying to do stuff is the two of us — this tiny little woman and me. It turned out she was darn good help, though.

I backed my vehicle up fairly close to the trailer, and we discovered a problem. Sitting out in the weather apparently had not agreed with the part on the trailer hitch you turn to crank it up or down. We needed WD-40 to loosen it. I looked in my trusty roadside tools somebody had given me. No WD-40 or oil or anything like that.

So maybe we could loosen it up with a hammer. I figure when in doubt always get a hammer and bang on stuff. Sometimes it works.

My roadside equipment had jumper cables, a flashlight, old batteries, other things I couldn’t identify but no hammer — not even pliers. She couldn’t find anything helpful in her stuff, either.

I did have a jack, though, so we dug out a spot for it under the trailer tongue and jacked that booger up. I finished backing up while she directed me, and after my ball hitch was in place we got ready to let the jack down.

The part that opens up and then closes around the ball was stuck, also, so I found a decent size rock, and Rita banged on that part until it moved. I grabbed it and held it open, even though she was yelling, “Watch your fingers.”

When it was down onto the ball, we beat it with the rock until it closed up. At last we had it hitched. I found a place to run the safety chain and tied it in a knot.

The lights didn’t work, of course. We studied and fretted on that problem for awhile before I decided to take a chance. After all it was midafternoon, the sun was shining brightly, and the back road home had only a smidgeon of traffic that time of day.

When your legality is questionable, it’s best to be really careful, I think. So I drove 45 all the way home. There were no traffic lights or stop signs so brake lights weren’t needed, anyway.

Next time I need help, I hope Rita is around.

Glenda Price has been a contributing editor to New Mexico Stockman magazine since 1982. Contact her at: