The Case of the Missing DriveShaft

Emily was driving our old truck home when she hit and dragged a tree branch, which finally came free just before she pulled into our driveway.

I was driving home a few minutes behind her and saw the branch in the middle of the road.  Brown, branch-like, and oddly straight, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was actually a piece of someone’s exhaust.  As I got closer to it and prepared to drive around it, I realized it was a driveshaft.  I recognized it as such because I had to replace the rear drive shaft on another car we had only a few years ago.  The driveshaft connects the back wheels to the drivetrain (transfer case/transmission/engine) and provides power to move the vehicle.  If you’ve ever glanced under one of those big box trucks, you can usually see a rotating pipe connected to the rear wheels — a rather simple metal piece that makes it so the vehicle gets power from the engine.  As I got even closer to it… yep.  A drive shaft.  I pulled over to move it out of the street and realized that it was the right length and had the right amount of rust on it to be… naw.  Could it?  I drove the rest of the way home, saw our truck in the driveway, parked, and immediately checked to see that yes indeed… our truck was missing its rear drive shaft.

Indeed. The driveshaft fell off the truck while Emily was heading home.  And, 5 minutes later, I came along and picked it up.

The truck kept driving because it’s one of those fancy SUV’s that, upon sensing that the back wheels have no traction, will automatically switch on the four wheel drive.  The process was so smooth that she hardly noticed it, besides the kind of thumping sound that a tree branch — or, say, a driveshaft — would make.  Of all the problems with this truck, this aging masterpiece of suburban utility, I didn’t know that a loose drive shaft was one of them.

Knowing how old the truck is, we’ve decided not to put any more money into it.  This means that I’ve been carefully driving it ’round town with only the front wheels getting power.  It’s like driving a HUGE sedan.  No, it’s not meant for this.  And no, it’s not really that safe.  That’s okay: we’re in the process of finding a replacement.

I share this anecdote to post a public thank you to:

  • Emily, for not freaking out
  • Other drivers, for not running over the driveshaft we left in the middle of the road
  • God, for keeping everyone safe, especially my wife.

Friends, it could’ve turned out much, much worse.  But it didn’t, and I’m thankful.

Sometimes people get mad at God for the stuff He allows.  It’s okay to express our true thoughts and feelings to the Lord.  The question I ask again is this: who do we thank when things that could’ve gone terribly wrong don’t?

PS: Truck for sale.  As is.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
This entry was posted in Family, keep you awake at night, Short Story. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Case of the Missing DriveShaft

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazing story, but all ended well, well that is, except for the death of the truck, but no harm to anyone …. thank God!!!
    Vern Hettinger

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