I picked up the Silverado near the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and headed over to Complete Marine to hitch up a 7,000-pound Bayliner 245 and trailer. The staff there had the boat spiffed to the max — they’d even glossed the trailer tires for the video camera. Faces fell when I mentioned we’d be filming on the Apache Trail. Dust would stick to the viscous tire black like powder paint.
The folks at the dealership skillfully assisted us in setting up our hitch. Besides having a proper size trailer for the load and a truck equal to the task of hauling it, there’s a trick to getting the trailer to follow with manners. Complete Marine helped us select and install the proper ball and mount. Ball mounts slide into the square receiver socket built into the truck hitch. Choosing the ball mount with the correct “drop” is critical to keeping trailer and truck frame aligned and level. If the trailer is tilted up or down, trailer sway, bucking, tire damage or even a devastating accident can result.
My next stop was Queen Creek, Arizona, a once-quaint farming community turned “suburbia” by the now-busted housing boom. Queen Creek Olive Mill, recently featured on The Food Network, is one of a handful of olive farms in Arizona enabled by the dry climate plus irrigation from the Salt River Valley/Apache Trail area. For me, the attraction to Queen Creek is that my kids live there. My daughter, Megan Chacon, and Brody, her son, would accompany me on part of the expedition in the Silverado. Megan directed me to her place on the cell phone since most roads out there are just too new for GPS Navigator. I was turning left and right, reading out the road signs to her, and then I turned a corner and heard her say with a laugh, “Oh, my gosh! That is huge!”
My personal truck is a half-ton gas truck that pulls my 7,000-pound boat in the flat land of Florida. It’s strong, but the diesel’s power in the Silverado 3500HD was already apparent to me as I inadvertently pulled away from our video chase vehicle early in our route. Until then, what wasn’t apparent was the size. It stood up well to the 25-foot cuddy, looking balanced and poised, not overwhelmed like a half-ton truck would.