Guidelines: Trailer Burned, Lesson Learned


By Simon Ambit

Those of you who are parents have noticed that children don’t come with instruction manuals. It is all learned by way of on-the-job training. One thing that my wife and I have learned in our crash course of parenting is that our children appreciate things more when they earn them. As a family we all try to save and earn together in order to pay for things like family outings and extra-curricular activities. We have walked and biked many miles picking up aluminum cans along roadsides, sold the surplus harvests of the garden and farm and done many more things as we’ve sacrificed as a family to help pay for our recreation. So when the neighbor called and asked if I knew of anyone who could fix a trailer, we gratefully took the job!

The trailer had contained a load of landscaping bark, but due to weed burning efforts near the vicinity of the trailer, the bark caught fire and the trailer received extensive damage. When the trailer arrived my three little sidekick mechanics were not impressed. The trailer floor had been burned nearly away, the wiring was a dangling frazzle and the paint had been boiled to a scorch.

The heat of the fire had melted the lights right off their mounts and the rear support beam had been bowed. We set out to work by taking off all the charred paint, stripped all the wiring and removed the remnants of the floor. Then we removed the tires and repacked the bearing with fresh grease, repaired the rear support, ran all new wiring and rolled on a fresh coat of paint. We then hung new lights and installed new floor boards.

The boys helped with every step of the restoration and when the task was completed they were proud of what they had accomplished. They were able to earn some money toward our upcoming activities, spend time as a family and learn things they had never done. As a parent, I chalk it up as a solid victory!

I was most happy that it gave my boys a hands-on example of work and reward. They were able to experience the fact that just like mistakes or trials in our lives, the trailer looked pretty bad and maybe even looked a bit worse before it got better. However, with some time, effort and sweat, things were made good again, put back into working order and the trailer got right back on the road. Life is good, keep moving forward.