A few weeks ago, I had a chance encounter with an elk, an animal of much height, girth and weight. After looking up the average weight of a female elk (also referred to as an elk cow), this is the info I found:
Elk cows average 225 to 241 kg (496 to 531 lb), stand 1.3 m (4.3 ft) at the shoulder, and are 2.1 m (6.9 ft) from nose to tail. Bulls are some 40% larger than cows at maturity, weighing an average of 320 to 331 kg (705 to 730 lb), standing 1.5 m (4.9 ft) at the shoulder and averaging 2.45 m (8.0 ft) in length.
Our local deer out here average in at around 100-200 pounds, quite a difference, I have always been concerned about hitting a deer, never thought I’d hit an elk.
The damage to my truck was minimal considering, I was able to drive home. Now came the fun part, figuring out how much actual damage had been done and what needed to be fixed or replaced. This is where PB came into play, while he is no expert on Ford F150 trucks, but he has worked on his other vehicles, gaining the experience necessary to keep all of our vehicles on the road over the years.
I looked at my truck and figured I would end up at the Ford dealership, nearly 100 miles away, or at the very least at one of the local body shops, some 40 miles away. Looking at parts, labor, downtime and such, that all equals expensive!
But instead, PB took his broad vehicle knowledge and applied it to my truck, a few parts (from Amazon) later, and my truck nearly looks as good as new… well not perfect, but it’s looking much better than it did the day after my elk encounter.
Bottom line here is if you are wanting to get yourself out of debt, into a better financial situation, then you need to figure out as many DIY things you can do as possible, the more YOU can do, the less you have to pay someone else to do it. In my case, we are talking thousands of dollars, 2-4 thousand depending on how far I wanted to take this truck back to perfect. Instead, I have spent less than $200 on parts, the labor costs were a few dinners cooked for PB. There is one more part I plan on buying, a grille guard, now that will be expensive, no getting around that if I want something that will actually do the job of protecting my truck, it’s going to be well worth the money to protect my truck vs having to get another truck if this happens again, and with my job, I do a lot of driving in the early morning and late evening, prime critter time.
Whether you live off grid now, or are in the beginning phases of trying to get there, you need to spend less money, earning more is great, but spending less is a must, especially if you really want to live in a more self sufficient manner. The more you can learn to do for yourself, the less you have to pay someone else to do it, that equals more money in your pocket.
Here are some great resources for this:
Here are a few pictures I took this evening as PB worked on the truck, I must say that it looks so much better now than it did right after the incident, I have replaced the headlight assembly and the grille assembly, PB banged out some of the dents. You’ll notice I have not added the Ford emblem, I am not willing to pay $30-$40 for a little oval piece of plastic just to advertise which brand of truck I drive, I’ll get PB to make something to go there… besides, once I get the grille guard, it will not show.
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