Green in the field doesn’t translate to green in the wallet unless you can get those crops to the consumers that want them. In this case were talking lettuce and lots of it. Ryan was passing through Salinas, California last weekend when he was greeted by the sight of a strange looking truck approaching him from the opposite direction. With an offset cab that sat far over the front axle this truck was a strange one indeed.
Most would simply scratch their heads for a moment or two and then move on with life but most people are not Ryan. Having passed through the valley hundreds of time he wondered how he could have missed so a unique truck. Unsure of the exact model Ryan turned to collective brain power that is Facebook. You may laugh at that statement but an answer was provided within moments of posting. The truck was a Fabco.
Like ants, when you see one Fabco there is probably more nearby. After questioning local family members and a little recon work through Google Earth Ryan had a location in which to focus his search, Massolo Brothers Trucking. Arriving at the yard he was greeted by a friendly dispatcher who happily opened the doors to the entire operation.
Sitting on 6×6 chassis the FABCO WT is specially designed for row crop harvesting with a 81 inch wide wheel base. Engine options include gas powered Fords and Detroit Diesels. Gearing choices are nearly endless with 5 speed Clark main and a Spicer 3 auxillary. Cominded with a Fabco 2 speed transfer case drivers have 30 gears from which to choose. Speeds can be as low as one mile per hour.
Massolo Brothers used to run around 150 of these trucks and are the last company in the valley to still run a fleet of this size. Each winter the Fabcos are trucked to Yuma, Arizona to continue with crop harvests. What a life.
While these trucks might seem antiquated or just plain bizarre they play an important role in the production of food for the United State and beyond. From less than one percent of total land the farmers of the Central Valley produce nearly eight percent of crops grown nationwide.
Thanks again to Ryan for another interesting and unique find!