NOT How to load a tractor!
The below is a great example of why we have to be careful with our antique equipment. If people aren't cautious, they might not live long enough to enjoy the old tractors. Luckily, everyone involved in the incident below was OK. The driver was uninjured, and the owner (not driving) didn't have a heart attack! No names will be mentioned to protect the not-so innocent.
It was July 4, 2001. A group of people, and I were driving our tractors in the parade. Then everybody returned the tractors to my grandfather's farm. I parked mine, then left with my grandparents to eat lunch in town. After eating, we returned to the farm, and this is what greeted our eyes....
Needless to say, this was somewhat strange! We had noticed a puff of smoke as we pulled into the driveway, and now we knew what caused it. It was my friend's newly purchased '44 John Deere B, ON ITS SIDE!
The tractor had been running poorly earlier, and was at or near full throttle while it was being backed on the trailer (to keep it going). It was moving too fast, and even worse, it came up the ramps at a slight angle. As the tractor neared the edge, the driver tryed to stop, but (in my opinion) forgot that the clutch was a LEVER instead of a pedal. He probably tried to stomp on the left brake, which didn't help much. And over it went....
One thing saved the driver, if you look at the above picture, you can see that the right rear tire caught the trailer, and stopped the tractor from rolling completely. The front tires also stayed on the trailer, saving the tractor from any damage to the sheet metal. Now comes a problem, How to get it right side up?
The front end was lifted off the trailer, and set on blocks.
(Note for picture: The Minnie Mo, with chain would be used to stabilize the Deere, when rolling it back over. We aren't rolling it completely over!)
Here comes the skid steer...
It's back up on all four wheels! However, it immediately began pouring oil out the pulley...
After that unexpected engine oil change, we tried to hand start it. No luck. So here comes your hero (no...not Superman! ME!) on his grandfathers '46 B, and a tow strap.
It fired right off...on one cylinder! UH OH! Major damage? Nope! Just needed a new spark plug (had been causing the running problem all along). The B was later loaded, with no further incidents. WHEW!
It was later fixed up by its owner, which found a few problems caused by the fall. First, it was found that the rim was bent. This was hard for me to believe-but possible. But here comes the worst part...the AXLE was bent! THE AXLE!!!! Unbelieveable, but true!
After plenty of work, the tractor showed up at the local tractor show in September, no worse for the wear. In fact, it was better! Just beautiful! Pictures will come when I find them.
Things to learn when loading a tractor:
Disclaimer: I've done plenty of stupid things myself! Do not take the list above as a guide, and don't blame me if something happens!
- Go SLOW!
- Be ready on the clutch to stop. If a hand clutch, do not snap into position, just "ride" it.
- Be ready on the brakes as well. Hit BOTH, not one, if stopping.
- Its usually good to have someone look out for you when loading.
- Do not let anyone with a nickname of "Crash" load your tractor (I'm SERIOUS about this!!)
Thus concludes todays lesson on...
NOT How to load a tractor!
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