This really happened:
I stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I pulled off the road and had to choose which pumps to go to. Instead of heading for the two pumps up front (the land of minivans and small cars) I wanted to go to the two pumps on the side (the pumps in the dirt where farmers and loggers go because there’s room for big trucks).
I paused as a rusty old F-150 backed across my path. It moved straight back from the minivan-pumps on my left to a little flat grassy spot on the right. No biggie.
Except nobody was driving. WTF?
A couple fellas at the diesel pumps watched with a big smile. I watched with a mixture of wonder and alarm.
When the truck stopped on the soft grass I pulled through.
“Did I just see that?” I said at the pumps.
“Yep, someone forgot about their parking brake.” One guy replied.
I tanked up and went inside to pay. I was passed by a confused looking gentlemen heading out; apparently his truck wasn’t where he left it.
“Did you see that?” I asked the teller.
“See what?” She said.
I glanced out to see the Ford heading for the highway.
“Uh…nothing.” I paid and left. Just another day of phantom trucks rolling around randomly. Nothing worth mentioning.
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I watched a Ford jump out of Park, back across a street through traffic, hit a building so hard it dropped into “Drive”, run back across the street, through traffic AGAIN, and hit another building. Severing the gas line. As this was at work, and it is a lumberyard, I’ve never seen so many fire trucks or emergency vehicles in my entire life before or since, all in one spot. Fortunately, the gas got shut off, and I’d shut off the truck after it came to rest.
I’m glad I’d relieved myself earlier, or I’d have needed a new set of shorts. I’m still leery of Ford trucks when running, and I usually ask the owners to shut them off or set the parking brake.
Guess Ford had an issue with automatic transmissions, where you could think you had it in Park but it wasn’t quite notched, and if left running, it could drop out of gear into reverse. Not sure if that’s still an issue or not, but I’d keep it in mind around running vehicles.
seen that kinda thing a couple of times in my life, one was a dilvery truck and the other was a big rig at a truck stop.