Pull-starting an Army Commando
In the early mornings in the winter, dad had to drive his pickup to each well to check to see that the pump jacks were running. Check for leaking lines and gauge the storage tanks. Many mornings dad's pickup was cold and wouldn't start.
We kept my jeep inside a heated building and it would always start. The shop building wasn't large enough to get dad's pickup in. However it had a cloth top and a SouthWind gas heater that wasn't reliable. Therefore it was too cold to drive to check the wells.
So dad would park his pickup at the end of our property the evening before, then the next morning he would go to the heated shop building, start my Jeep, then hooked it to the front of his pickup. He would put the Jeep in low gear, low range, and 4-wheel drive, pull the throttle out a little and start the Jeep pulling the pickup. He would then jump out of the Jeep and jump into the pickup and put it into gear.
When the pickup started he would just hit the brakes in the pickup, killing the engine on the Jeep. While his pickup was warning up, he would unhook the jeep, start it up and park it back in the heated shop building. He would then get back into his warmed up pickup and go on with his business.
Worked great right? Wrong! Now the rest of the story!
A friend of my dad's had left his old Army Commando Truck (1944 3¿ton 4 by 4 Dodge Van) on our lease property for about a year. One day the friend called to say he was on the way to pick up his Commando and would we charge up the batteries? We didn't have a battery charger. I knew how to start it. . . just like my dad did with his pickup, right? Wrong!
I tied my Jeep onto the front of the Commando, and started pulling it to charge the battery, just like my dad did. After some distance the Jeep veered toward the pipe rack. . . not a problem. . . just before the Jeep reached the pipe rack I hit the brakes to kill the Jeep engine, right? Wrong. The Commando after setting for a year had no brakes.
I jumped out of the Commando, ran to the Jeep and stopped the Jeep. The Jeep hood had cleared under the pipe rack. Whew . . . just in time.
I looked behind the Jeep and here comes the Commando. I had taken it out of gear before running to catch the Jeep. Guess what happened next. The Commando coasted into the back of the Jeep, shoving the Jeep further under the pipe rack, breaking off the windshield and nearly breaking off the steering wheel and shoving me under the pipe rack.
I quit. I let the friend start his own Commando. After doing several repairs, the Jeep was OK again. When dad found out what had happened, Porky Jr. was another matter.
Doesn't anything always look easier when dad does it!