The Buckskin

We don’t normally name our vehicles but my husband calls this ranch pickup the buckskin. She looks a little tough but she goes anywhere.

We have two Toyota flatbed four-wheel drive pickups because most of the roads we use out here in the Black Hills are Forest Service roads that aren’t graveled and not very full-size pickup friendly. We have full size pickups too but these are the pickups we beat around in when out on the rough Forest Service roads for checking cows on our summer lease.

My husband likes to keep the buckskin well-equipped with everything he needs in case he comes upon a fence or tank float that needs fixed. Like all our pickups, each is equipped with the multi-use tool of choice:


We use baling wire to fix just about everything .

The buckskin has a spare steel post,

custom dash-mount gun rack,

hat rack (that’s really annoying if you’re the passenger),

 ice scraper, jumper cables, gloves, tie-down straps, fence stretchers, small post driver (semi buried and sticking out there behind the passenger’s seat), nylon rope, and lariat rope,

calculator and black electrical tape,

a sorting stick that fits perfectly along the window and dash,

an old lunch cooler full of fencing staples, clips, pliers, duct tape, bungee cords, electric fence insulators, etc.


What we have here is a Pringle boy’s customized roof mount spotlight switch. I got an odd look when I explained to the True Value guy helping me that my husband needed a specific fuse so he could run his spotlight using the dome light. Note that my husband sent ME to do this errand. I wasn’t complaining though, because it was way easier to run during calving last spring that his original method of messing with an aligator clip and the connection being very touchy.


My husband makes sure every vehicle we own has a bandana in it. They come in handy for many other uses besides blowing his nose into such as a grease rag, for plugging a hole, be a flag on the end of lumber, or in emergencies, TP I suppose??


In the glove box we have a small box of .22 shells, spare pair of cheater glasses, ibuprophen, syringe, TP, an eartag, a small set of binoculars, insurance and registration papers, and several unlucky lotto tickets.


Not that we’re big football fans, (we usually don’t even know who’s in the Superbowl every year) but the Kirk cowboys are fans of other cowboys.


Toyotas may be small, but no elk’s gonna get in the buckskin’s grill with this custom baby, courtesy of my welder husband. It had another purpose but I’m supposed to let you guys guess. 


The buckskin does buck a little when on a high lope on rough roads due to the lack of suspension. The buckskin is not my kind of ride and fortunately for both my husband and I, I don’t have to drive it much because I have a jeep. My husband doesn’t like me driving the buckskin because all the stuff behind the seat settles when I move the seat up which makes it difficult to move it back. I don’t like driving it anyway because I sit too low in the seat, so having our own ranch vehicles works out good for both of us. That’s how I sealed the deal on convincing him I needed a jeep to drive instead (but not that I needed his approval).

About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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