Breaking down while trucking livestock!

Today we were on our way to a show with six head of cattle when the fitting at the bottom of the radiator completely separated. It instantly drained the radiator and overheated the engine dashing any chance of making it to the show.

Missing the show and the truck repairs will prove quite costly and yet in hindsight I feel very lucky!

We were not terribly far from home and I was able to call a buddy to haul the trailer and cattle home. It was a nice cool morning and the wait was reasonable so the cattle could safely and comfortably stay on the trailer. AAA quickly towed the truck to the garage of my choice. (A worth while service by the way.) Everyone made it home safe and I don’t think my daughter even picked up any new vulgar vocabulary! So in hindsight I believe things could have been much worse!

As we sorted things out and waited for help I couldn’t help but wounder what if…. What if we where out of our home territory? How are you going to find some one to help with a trailer full of livestock? How long would it take? On a hot day how long can you let the livestock bake in a hot trailer and what could you do about it? The older heifers where tied and we had four small calves loose in the trailer but I did have a halter and rope for each one. All the cattle were either able to be driven or lead so if I had really had to I could have unloaded them and tied them to nearby trees. However, we have traveled many miles of highway where this would not have been possible. The truck won’t be fixed for three days. Since the cattle are happy as clams in their home pasture that is no big deal but if this had happened several hundred miles from home or friends it would be a very different story.

So how does one best prepare for such things? Obviously having well maintained equipment would be number one, but life happens! I have found a cell phone to be worth its weight in gold. I had a little peace of mind in that we did have a rope and halter for everyone if absolutely necessary and that I had a bit of cash in my pocket. The only other thing I can think of is to hit the dirt and pray for a kind stranger to come to the rescue.  We did have one person kindly stop and offer help but I hate to be at the mercy of strangers or happenstance.

So what do you do to prepare for such a situation?