Sunday, November 27, 2011

pure frustration

I was having a great day at home, in fact I just had a friend over to see the farm and meet the animals for the first time. And soon as he left, I did something I have done countless times on this farm. I drove the truck around the front of the house to the barn to unload the 18 bales of hay I had picked up earlier that morning. But I wasn't thinking, or paying attention, or both and drove too close to the well, and dragged the car door across the cap, contorting and destroying the outside of the door and breaking the cap in half.

The door still works. It locks, the windows work. I don't think it's as "waterproof" now. Damnit, I hate that I still owe thousands of dollars on this farm truck and it looks like something parked at the dump. Between the missing fender flares, scratches, and now a broken door it is a sad site, and not because of the physical appearance, but because it's such a debt hole. I have to either pay to own it, pay to fix it, or pay to make it look like I am trying to do both.

I started the day with such a big exciting feeling, and now a broken door and cracked well remind me that along the way there will be countless setbacks, delays, repairs, and things in the way of that dream. Does anyone know what new door panels cost?

63 Comments:

Blogger Odie Langley said...

Sorry doesn't seem to cut it but I really am.

November 27, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
Do you have a vocational or technical high school in your area? If so, see if they have an auto repair program. These programs take damaged vehicles for the students to both repair and learn how to repair. Students are supervised by a qualified instructor and their fee is usually a lot less than auto repair shop.

Alternatively, you could sign up for an auto repair class in your local adult education program and learn to do it yourself-you know, in your spare time! ;)
Lisa in Maine

November 27, 2011 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Hey Lisa, both good ideas but this is my only vehicle. I can't leave it at a school. I need to get to work and do errands everyday. I wish I didn't.

I need to find a door on Ebay, or a dealer, or just see what can be done about it. I can't have it letting in snow and water and ice and damaging the car more.

November 27, 2011 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

What about a junk yard? Here in Atlanta, there is an entire road that has nothing but auto body parts that you can buy. Won't match the color but it sounds like the truck already is, well, colorful in its many defects.
I have bought many a hubcab there as well as a carburetor and a convertible top to replace defective ones.

November 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger bree said...

Two months ago I asked my husband to run into the village to buy some votive candles at the dollar store. I was having a small dinner party and discovered that I didn't have one candle in the house when normally I keep boxes of them on hand. He was gone the longest time and when he finally got back home I asked him what took him so long and he said he had been in an accident. At first I thought he was kidding. Then I went into the garage to see his 2 week old black Jetta smashed. He had been broadsided by an elderly man with very poor eyesight. I am still so thankful that no one was hurt.

I'm sorry that this has happened to you :(

November 27, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna,
Remember when you bought the truck and told the guy you didn't want it washed and waxed because it is a farm truck? Dirt and grime are part of a farm and, well, dents be damned too! That is, of course, unless it isn't water tight- then you have to do something. But don't stress and don't fix a dent becauase it's a dent - fix it because it's not water tight or because it's not safe. Perhaps you can rent a car for a day or two while the truck is being fixed. Or ask coworkers for a ride or perhaps a loaner car for a couple days. Many people have more than one car and would be happy to loan one for a day or two. I'm actually more worried about the broken cap on your well. Is that safe? Should you get that fixed first?

And, of course I have to ask - were you distracted because your "friend" was visiting the farm? Might this be a man? Ooo! As a fellow single girl I'm rooting for you!

November 27, 2011 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Oh, and DON'T get a replacement door from a dealer! Call around to wrecking yards. You can find a door for much cheaper there.

I spent a winter in Southeast Alaska with a car door that didn't close. I had to bungie cord it closed when I got in to drive. Take a few deep breaths and take some time to find the most affordable door out there - IF you NEED to get a new door. Maybe all you need is a body shop or a bungie cord (at least until the funds for a new door appear)!

November 27, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Kira, it is a farm truck, it's just that I am paying so much for it and regret not buying a used truck for cash outright instead of financing it. If I am going to be paying "new car" bills every month, I want it to be at the very least, functional. The dent I don't mind. It's the fact that it is warped and I worry the side seals that are not more exposed will let in snow and make it impossible to open if it freezes, or get into the electronics.

Ugh. This is such a lame thing to be upset about.

The friend, by the way, Was Jon Katz, dropping off a digital camera he is bartering with me for. So no romance there, being he is 64 and married!

November 27, 2011 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

thanks kira, that is good advice.

November 27, 2011 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Mist said...

Craigslist is a hotbed of all things automotive, at least it is here in Ohio. Check there for a door panel, maybe even post a "wanted" ad.

There are quite a few YouTube videos on hammering out dents, but I don't know if it would work in your particular case. It's worth checking out, I suppose.

This too shall pass, Jenna. Chin up. :)

November 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

It's those mental lapses that happen in an instant that drive me over the edge. I put my butt through my rear sliding window pushing a round bale out of the back of my truck 3 wks ago. Don't have the money to fix it - haven't even covered the hole yet.

I agree with the others, go to the junk yard. You could pound it out, bondo it, and repaint but the door will always a weakness in it.

November 27, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna,
No regrets! You made the best decision you could at the time with the information at hand. You have to live with your decision and go from there. So, look into those wrecking yards and get your nice (still paying for it) truck fixed. Soon it will be paid off and you'll be happy you have a functional truck, that you've been taking good car of, without car payments. It's all a process.
And count yourself lucky that John Katz was visiting you. How jealous I am of you that you're hobnobbibg with other published authors. My dream...
And, anyway, Mr. Katz just might have another friend who's say 30 and looking to farm!

November 27, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

You can probably wrap the well cover with plastic until you have time and money to replace that.

November 27, 2011 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna-lisa has a great suggestion as far as the vocational school-replacing/replacing doors is not a job for the totally inexperienced- do you not know someone who is mechanicalwho could do it- Junk yard door will work as well as new but alignment is critical and you do need it to be watertight- electrical wires run through it. Did you damage the wiring going into your well- this you should check carefully also. Don't want to short out the well pump and have to replace that-been there and done that. Luck- just another of lifes little set of problems.

November 27, 2011 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I would take the truck to a body shop and get an estimate. Then you can start finding replacement parts on Ebay or at junk yards. Did you put collision insurance on your truck? Even with the deductible you may find an insurance claim will help you get it fixed although insurance companies do raise premiums to pay for their outlay.

November 27, 2011 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna, just took another look at you door photo and that looks repairable to me-mostly sheet metal damage-get an honest evaluation on the repair before you
buy a replacement- doors have a skin on them also that is replaceable=check all of your options before you decide on the right avenue- you have several

November 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Whiffletree Farm said...

We get all of our car parts at an auto salvage dealer. A door costs around $100 for an American vehicle, probably not in the same color as you'd like, but relatively dent/scratch free. Look around for salvage and you'd be surprised how inexpensive these items can be.

November 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

To crack the well cap, you must have hit it pretty hard. Is the well okay? Do you have a submersible pump in it, or a pump in the house? Just checking.

November 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Ouch! Could this dent be knocked out perhaps? Maybe a new door isn’t needed just yet, maybe.

When I was in college I ran a few paper routes in town for extra cash. One summer my little brother lived with me and helped out. About 4 a.m. we get back in the truck after delivering a block and start taking off for the next one. Then I hear this horrible crunching, look over and see my passenger door bent backwards around a tree (his 9 year old self was so eager to get the next block’s papers ready he forgot to shut the door, and I was so eager to get back in bed after working a night shift that I forgot to pay attention). I crunched the door as closed as it would go and then tied it shut with some rope for a while. A new door was covered by insurance but was still $500 and that was practically two payments for the truck. Empathizing here. Take heart!

November 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

I would check the salvage yards. My F150 just blew a head gasket, and the subi needs motor mounts, power steering unit, wheel bearings and axle. Sorry about all this but I can identify...

November 27, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Jburd said...

Hi Jenna - understand your dilemma. I'd check with a local body shop and ask what it would take to do the bare minimum, safety of flight - weather tight - and that's it. take care of the immediate, then consider replacing the door down the road when you're not in a time crunch. i find myself in situations like this way too often! best wishes

November 27, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I called the well company right away to come check it out. all the wires and lines were fine, i covered the thing with a plastic bag. I looked online and new caps run about 40 bucks. I hope the well is okay, praying it is

November 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger S. Edwards said...

Umm...Wow...

Don't you have insurance? I'd call my insurance company, pay the deductible and move on. It's worth it for the peace of mind, the overall longevity of the vehicle, and the immediate reduction in stress.

What happened to the fenders?

November 27, 2011 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

The other thing you need to do is make sure your well cap is secure from rain infiltration. I've never seen a well cap quite like yours but it is what it is.

November 27, 2011 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger Carissa Kennedy said...

My door got really smashed in. I couldn't afford a new door, and couldn't find a new one at a salvage yard. My mechanic said he knew a metalsmith who could pound out the dent. So I drove out to his house, gave him $100 and he made it look great - not shiny new, but way better - it only took a few hours! Do you know any metal workers or fabricators in your area?

November 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

S. edwards: a parking lot in Pa. I scraped them off on a stone pillar.

Are you all getting how bad of a driver I am yet?!

November 27, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Perhaps a neighboring farmer could help with a low cost solution for the truck. Homeowners insurance might spring for a new cap.

Prayers rising for low cost solutions!

November 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

I'm sorry, Jenna. The door doesn't look that bad, so I'm hoping it can be fixed for you. If you decide on the new door route, spend time calling some junk yards and explain the situation. Some of those guys will do work on the side for very reasonable rates, so they might can help you do more than locate a door. Good luck.

November 27, 2011 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Since your truck is financed, you probably have full coverage on your truck. I got sideswiped by a teenager who made my driver's side door look like a rolled up sardine can lid. Because of where I was hit, the front quarter panel and driver door had to be replaced. That repair was just over $2400 at a reputable body shop. I would get an estimate and then look at your deductible. It might be worth making a claim, even if you have to pay for a week's rental car.

November 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

In the order of things, a well cap is inexpensive - having had it checked out all you need to do is buy a new one and put it on. Likely you are paying a huge amount for the privilege of lining the insurance company's pocket while only the company that holds your car loan is the one being protected, definitrely not you. Your goal needs to be to get out from under that loan asap and then drop your collision like the hot potato it is. If you ask around, you will find a shade tree mechanic/body worker and can save big time on costs between him/her and your friendly auto salvage. Car repair costs ae where they are today because of the ease with which they can get insurance payments and your deductibleinto their own pockets.
Another point is that you don't need your insurance company to twig that you tend to be a little accident prone or your insurance costs will experience an upward creep.
Hope the damage is not serious - but take a deep breath and slow down then explore for a day or two
a little water infiltration is not too serious.

November 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

I have no ideas about the door, but wish you the best of luck. I can’t wait to see where these decisions and plans you woke up excited with take you Jenna. This is just a minor distraction, so keep in good spirits. A friend thought I should check your blog out and I’ve spent time looking back over your years the last few weeks. I’m sure you hear all the time how far you’ve come. You put into words what you want to accomplish and it’s amazing to see it come into its own a few months or even a year or two ahead even with the obstacles that come along. I love this and it sounds like your other readers do too. Speak it out, write it down, and keep the dream.

November 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
OpenID outdoors1968 said...

Jenna,

It always pays to remember what a new truck costs these days.....$30k to $50k is not unusual. I doubt that door repair will cost as much as one single monthly payment on a brand new truck. I'd think any body shop should be able to get a used door, paint to match, etc for under $500. May be less if they can repair the bent door.

I feel your pain, I had a "new to me" five year old used truck that I was paying a loan on years ago, and was still in the "i love this truck stage....." parked it outside work, and there was a steel pipe in the ground, with the top edge of the pipe just lower than the top of my passenger side fender. 8 hours later, i ran from work, jumped in, started the truck, threw er' in reverse, cut the wheels left, and proceeded to smash my fender. Yeah, it sucked big time, lol, but I paid $300 for the new fender and moved on.

Btw, i saw that pipe every day for a year before i used it to mangle my new chariot.

place some kinda post or reflector near the wellhead, that is high enough to be seen easily from inside the truck, or it may happen again.......... not cause you're a klutz, lol, but because you're human and have lots of things going on.

Hope you're feelin' better.

Al from Pennsylvania

November 27, 2011 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

You should put up some tall posts or sticks around your well head so you can see it better. It being so low would make it hard to see. A couple of tall posts with some reflective tape on them should help next time.

November 27, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

OK Jenna, you've admitted how bad a driver you are but that can be fixed.
You were not taught right to begin with but you can relearn the skill. Find someone whose driving ability exceeds yours by a lot and get him/her to work with you. Living safely in the north country pretty much demands good driving skill or you stay home especially in the winter. The ice is coming and you need to feel secure in your ability to get the truck from Jackson to Manchester and back again. Once you are secure, you will find slipping and sliding fun because you always win.

November 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger beccaWA said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger beccaWA said...

Lot of good suggestions. I'll ditto the "buy a new well cap ASAP" (it's not that expensive for a house-type repair)... and get the truck fixed for a cheap as possible. If you don't HAVE to go the insurance route I wouldn't. They'll raise your rates, and next time someone hits YOU, they could drop YOU. No kidding.

Hey I've been climbing in and out of my '99 Tahoe on the passenger's side because the door hinge pin on the driver's side keeps falling out.... oh well.

Also, "get out from under that loan and accompanying ins. payments". Of course, that's a longer term thing. But that would be the optimum for YOU. You'd be paying so much less money out.

It'll all get ironed out. Really. Won't even be a blip on the ol' memory radar a few years from now.

November 27, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Craftsteader said...

Sorry to hear about your truck. That's the worst of luck. I used to do stuff like that all the time when I had a truck-- I had two matching back fender dents from backing into stuff and a friend asked me if that's the way it was supposed to be. I also bashed up the front grate when I slid into a tree and knocked over someones mailbox. Didn't get any of them fixed (except on another truck when I squished the door). I'm glad to say I outgrew the tendency so there is hope....

November 27, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

2 week old, brand new 2010 toyota matrix, parked in my winter tempo, could not fit my kids exerciser into the hatchback so i took it out and tried to get into the side door, which i could not open because it was too close to the tempo wall, so i got in to pull the car out of the tempo to get the side door open......

completely forgetting that i left the hatchback up......

tore off the hatchback door and pulled the tempo down on the car......

this too shall pass....

November 27, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Jenna, I'm not advocating that you call the insurance company and submit a claim right away. Al is correct in that there seem to be two prices for autobody repair - insurance and cash. It will depend on your deductible and what you can work out with the body shop - a barter perhaps so your cash outlay is minimal?

My late grandfather owned a service station most of his adult life. He always stressed the importance of taking care of one's vehicle. I keep my vehicles an average of 9 years and have always heeded his advice. In return, my high mileage (170,000 on the last one) vehicles have never let me down.

So, go take care of that door.

November 27, 2011 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

Mom's station wagon sustained similar damage when someone ran into it. Mom was fine, the car went to a body shop and 48 hours later she got the car back. Maybe you can arrange to drop the truck off after work on a Thursday, get a ride home and get it back on Saturday?

November 27, 2011 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger mush said...

Do you have full insurance? Check to see if it covers a rental.

November 27, 2011 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

Hey Jenna,

I might call my car loan people and ask if you could take a one month miss on the payment with their good wishes - no reporting to the credit people. I had to do this when I was young. Then you could use that money to fix the door. Might be worth a call.

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna-i've always been fascinated by the number of friends that rally whenever you have a problem. you are truly blessed- always some really great solutions to you probs

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger polly said...

lol - you'll laugh at this later. i did the same thing not 2 days after i passed my test and got my spanking new (to me) bronco. at 24. how embarrassing. good story now.

have faith - and then chat up a repair guy and offer him a book and bushel of tommies ;)

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger polly said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

Ok Jenna here is my two cents. Your truck is an investment in the farm and transportation to work you should call your Insurance company and file claim and get it fixed right the first time. One of the above grandpa was right on the money you can pay it now or wait and pay a lots more later trust me on this one I have learned first hand. I would go back to the dealer and tell them u want dodge parts put back on it. They will stand behind the work. I would have the insurance look at the well just to be safe. I don't know but check with your truck insurance and the home owners insurance ... At the end of the day it's small stuff... The main thing is your ok.

November 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I feel your pain- I'm a full-time student and part-time worker (i.e: no $), and just had to replace pads, calipers, and rotors on my rear brakes. Ouch. Hope everything works out for you! <3

November 28, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger thelynns said...

I would be more worried about the well and contamination. You should call the local well driller and ask about replacement cap or what to do to make sure your drinking water remains safe.

November 28, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Jenna, I think your first reaction is the correct one, don't stress yourself, but it is upsetting. Your truck is a big investment for you and an important piece of equipment that you need to take care of your farm, as well as your daily transport. It needs to be taken good care of.

Since your truck is financed you have collision coverage, you should bite the bullet, pay the deductible and get it fixed properly. Insurance doesn't just protect the finance company, it protects your investment. Also, if you don't have rental coverage you should consider adding it, typically only about $30 a term, that way, if something happens again, you will have something to drive while your car is being repaired.
Yes, farm trucks are dirty and will have a few dings, but they also need to be sound and servicable, they are vital to your farm. Also, one day you will need to replace it and to resale or trade it, it needs to be in the best condition possible.

November 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

No way would I call homeowners about the well cap! Just pay that out of pocket. Homeowners would charge an arm and a leg, and you dont' want to run to them with every little thing that breaks!

I'm not even sure I'd file a claim with the auto company. I'd get an estimate from a body shop and tell them I was paying cash. You're going to lose your accident free discount, plus pay a heft deductible and that's likely not worth the money it costs to fix it. You can also tell the body shop it doesn't have to be perfect, just weather tight and functional. I'm thinking they can just take off the door panel and knock out the dent a bit. Doesn't look too terrible.

Please compare the costs of using insurance for "easy" fixes like this. It's usually not worth it.

November 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger E said...

Yes, check with insurance company and see if it's worth claiming.

And please make better driving a priority - take lessons, find a teacher. A moving vehicle can do a lot of damage (material and personal) and isn't something to take lightly. A history of many accidents doesn't bode well.

November 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

whoa folks, i was just joking. I'm not a bad driver, nor have I had many accidents (one in my life, and someone else hit me). I'm a safe driver, just not great in driveways and parking lots recently!

November 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Luann said...

deep breath....'and this too shall pass...'

November 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

Bummer, but that is what happens to farm trucks one way or another.

Fixing it seems like an extravagance if the thing still works.

November 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Amateur Yankee said...

Not fun! I hope you find a good solution. I recently scratched the bejeezus out of my father-in-law's truck. A bush at the end of the driveway...

It seems that every day I have a small writing victory, my 2 year pees on the couch, or I get attacked by my aggressive hen.

Loved meeting you at the store!

November 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

why not file a claim on your homeowners and auto policy? have you called your agent to see if these will be covered?

November 28, 2011 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger chesapeake said...

It happens.

It sucks, right? I'm a terrible parker. A FINE driver. But a terrible parker. All of the accidents I've had that were my fault had to deal with me and some non-living, stationary object in a driveway. I get it!

November 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

My two bits worth, I drive all used vehicles, cash on the barrel head, no financing and no insurance beyond liability, so I buy my vehicles from a salvage yard. Then when I need parts, no matter what part I go back to the salvage yard. Truck doors are no sweat at a salvage yard. They even sell used batteries and sell me radiators at cost.

November 28, 2011 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

Jenna! it doesn't look like it belongs at a dump. It looks like a farm truck.

November 28, 2011 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Sorry about your unfortunate luck. Your picture doesn't actually show the most important bit - the inside of the door. If sealing surfaces aren't bashed, then you most likely don't have anything to worry about, and it's likely cosmetic damage.

Wear the junkyard truck look with pride. :) I bought my best homestead-work truck from a friend for $1k with no doors, rusted out rockers (the bit under the door, now repaired with solid steel), and half disassembled. It's brought home appliances that cost more than the truck. This weekend it brought home 90% of a white oak for firewood - about 10,000-12,000 pounds - in two trips. In this shot - http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/897682/fullsize/img_1032.jpg - it's carrying about 3500 pounds of fill sand, which is about the weight of your pickup.

The point is, I never have to worry about scratching the paint to get something done. Right now it's up to 10 different colors, and it's easy to find in a parking lot! And the sooner the rest of the original bed goes goodbye, the sooner you can swap it to a simple flatbed - far more useful for a farm truck. Hence, think of the parts you're missing as "removing unnecessary weight and adding to the carrying capacity". :D

November 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Chuck, I have a feeling you and my husband would be fast friends. He and his buddy are experts at creating frankentrucks (from buying cheap non-running trucks and using junkyard parts), and Fords are their specialty. :-)

November 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM  

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