I recall a time when shopping centers were patrolled by a mix of old heavy equipment and retired plows. I’m talking about big non articulated machines with wide solid rubber tires parked next to light poles so they could keep the batteries charged or the block heaters going. Most were Detroit powered and if you listed closely on a cold and clear winter night you could hear their chorus ring out across the land.
Yesterday I spent part of the morning wandering between retail hubs and catching a glimpse on how things are done in this modern age. I was disappointed to find that the old and crusty junk is largely a thing of the past. Highly organized contractors now use fleets of late model loaders to keep parking lots open even during the heaviest snows. It’s a big business with little room for the average guy running old State surplus. Over at the regional super mall of DestinyUSA it’s much of the same thing we saw a few years back. Large Michigan loaders hailing from just around the start of the VME era buzz back in forth in the massive lots.
On the other side of town at the mega car lot known as Drivers Village I found a fleet of Hyundai loaders working their way between Dodge Caravans and Porsche Cayennes. Somebody interested in a rage quit could really do some damage here.
And so it went from one place to the next. I began to wonder if all the old iron had truely left us for the sunny shores of China. Leaving the sprawl of suburbia I started back to the city where I came across this Terex. Maybe I was on to something?
A thought occurred to me. If I wanted to see something old and viewed as outdated I had to go to a store viewed in the same light. One name instantly popped into mind. K-Mart! I made may way to one of the last blue light special bastions in the area. From the street I could see the tan and gray colors of a Case machine slowly working its way through the mostly empty parking lot. I almost kept going but pulled in for a glimpse. For a brief moment I was more entertained by the fact that K-Mart sold lotto tickets than I was at the heavy equipment passing by window. And they I heard that sound. A Detroit screaming away like it was pushing a mountain of snow…even when it wasn’t. What had first appeared as a lowly Case actually turned out to be a repainted Trojan. Coolness factor of 8.5 out of 10.
I know there a few other parking lot heros out there like this Trojan, a few very close to home in fact. Stay tuned..