Over the last year I’ve had challenging moments with sheep and dogs, but I never expected that I would be most humbled by the livestock trailer. After four months of trailering, I’ve gotten over the initial feeling of absolute incompetence, but there’s been a moment during each flock move (usually toward the end, when I’m tired and hungry) when I lose any inkling of how to make the damn thing go backwards. During yesterday’s move, that moment came about an hour after sunset as I was trying swing the trailer 90 degrees and back down a long drive into a narrow gate. I stopped, walked around the truck a couple of times, then collected myself and got it done. But when we finally got back to my place, I couldn’t face one more precision backup in the dark to park the trailer; I left the rig in front of the barn, even thought that meant a longer, curvier backup today. Sometimes a boy is just done.
So I’m very happy to report that the trailer and I managed to get where we needed to go this morning.
I don’t have the technology to document the actual backing up, but here’s the flow of my driveway, from the barn down to the parking area.
I’m not sure I qualify for the Livestock Trailer Merit Badge yet, but negotiating those curves has been my white whale; I feel slightly more in control of my life now.