Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Not to Unload Firewood - A Redneck Cautionary Tale

Redneck Cautionary Tales are just that - cautionary.  Do not try this at home.  Be smarter than me.  It's not really all that hard to do.

If  you've been reading here for a while, you might remember that back in August, we cut down four elm trees in our front yard.  One was dead and the other three were not in great shape, so they had to go.  We felled them without hitting any people or trucks, which is pretty good.  We did sideswipe a little apple tree...and a fence...but we were able to set things aright, more or less. 

Anyway, all that brush and all that firewood had to be loaded up and taken 'away'.  We have a low spot back in the field, so we put our brush there.  We like to think that bunnies and other little cutesy critters find it to be a shelter out on the open prairie.  We fill the bed of the truck, drive it back, empty the bed of the truck, repeat.

Same with the firewood, except the pile is up on the north side of the house, not far from the basement door...just across the driveway, in fact.  Husband was cutting up limbs into firewood-size pieces and I was loading it into the bed of the truck.  Whenever it got full, we'd drive over to the woodpile and unload. 

This was the third or fourth load that day, and I said I'd take care of it myself.  He was busy, after all.  So I pulled the truck over to where the woodpile is, and I got to thinking.  See, Jeff Foxworthy had this joke about how you might be a redneck....'If you back your truck up really fast, then slam on the brakes to unload your firewood'.  Hm.  We have a bed liner, and it's pretty slick.

Now, before I make the excuse about it being the third or fourth load of firewood, and that I was getting tired, I need to 'fess up.  We are not talking about an F350 long bed pickup here.  We have a Mazda...and if that wasn't dinky enough, it's got an extended cab on it, which means the bed on this mini trucklet is even smaller than usual.   So the truth of the matter is that I really had no good reason for what I did next.

I proceeded to pull the truck all the way up by the Ponderosa pine that's next to the driveway.  I put the tailgate down, threw her in reverse, hit the gas, and about two seconds after I should have, I slammed on the brakes.


Instead of unloading the firewood onto the woodpile, I successfully backed the rear end of my truck up onto the woodpile.  Still full of wood, mind you.  I can't really expect the wood to fling itself out when it's now facing uphill.  Husband hadn't seen what I'd done, so I scurried back to see what-all was going on. 

First, I cleared the wood away from the back and put the tailgate back on.  Lord have mercy.  He was still cutting logs with his back to me, so I ran and got a garden rake and started poking, prodding, and pulling logs out from under my poor little truck.  Turns out that since they are all just little pieces, you can dis-lodge some of them and kind of work things down.  It dropped a little, so I got back in to see if I could pull it forward, but no, not yet.  The bumper was still too high for the passenger side to get traction.

By now, I should have been back up in the front yard, so Husband came to see if I was OK.

"What happened?"  he asked.

A reasonable question....but he was asking it of an embarrassed, not-so-reasonable person.

"Well, 22 years ago, you married a redneck.  Look where that's got you." 

"If we take the wood out of the bed of the truck, it'll be lighter, and I think we can get it out OK.", he said, most sensibly.

But I was thinking from the redneck portion of my brain.  I was thinking 'stuck means you need weight in the back', so I hadn't unloaded the truck yet.  At all.  Because I kept thinking that if I unloaded all that weight, I'd be, forever.  That the bumper would go up when the load was out had not yet fired in my little noggin.

I started to explain my side of things, but then quickly realized that my thoughts were what got the bumper up on the woodpile in the first place, so I shut up and started tossing logs out of the truck and onto the woodpile.

You know what?  When you take all the wood out of the back, the bumper goes up and then, you can just pull your truck away like nobody's business. 

And that, dear readers, is why I cannot recommend the 'Back up real fast and then hit the brakes' method of unloading firewood.  It takes longer, it's embarrassing, and it makes your tailgate fall off.

Don't try this at home,
-Laura at TenThingsFarm

If you have a Redneck Cautionary Tale that you'd like to see written up and shared with the world, send it to me at  I'll write up the ones that hit me upside the head just right, and then credit the person who shared with their first name, state and blog address, if you have one.  Send me some funny, y'all!

Shared at the From the Farm Blog Hop


Sandra Girouard said...


On a more serious note, I'm glad to hear no humans or living trees or trucklets were harmed.

Cathy said...

The best part is when you answer him regarding what happened! That had me in a big belly laugh!

momma-lana said...

I am loving the redneck tales!

One of my BFF used to close the sliding door on her big Ford van by slamming the brakes while going forward. She got to be pretty good at it too! My kids thought she was the coolest Mom ever! My husband said I should not do it with our big Dodge van and I didn't because I am sure something not so good would have happened to me and our van!


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