On Tractors

It arrived last Friday and has been here for a week.  A large flatbed truck drove it from Niagara to Fiddlehead Farm.  I walked out to see the driver lowering the bed before letting the tractor roll down onto the farm for the first time.  With a turn of the key it fired up and Fiddlehead’s first major piece of farm equipment was purring like a dream.  It is a modest machine and an old one.  Our tractor was born in 1965 at a Case manufacturing plant.  Our new-old Case tractor will be our main mover on the farm.

Dad hoped on that tractor the instant it the delivery was completed.  He puttered around the farm and drove down to check the mail.  He grew up in farm country and having a tractor I’m sure reminded him of his childhood.  He certainly looked like a boy with a toy that day.  If it had had a horn he would have honked it.

The tractor is in good shape for its many years.  The previous owner had lovingly restored it and with the exception of needing to patch a slow leak in the steering it is ready to take on whatever we can throw at it.  Well, everything that is except winter.  It seems that the old work horse doesn’t like getting cold.  It was actually below freezing the day after delivery and when my dad went to plow the driveway in the morning the machine fired up like normal, but it didn’t want to go anywhere.

It seems that the cold had locked up the left differential and while the right tire spun like there was no tomorrow, the left tire sat still.  It wouldn’t budge.  We tried heating it up with a blower, but still it sat.  After spending far too much time watching it go no where dad gave up and went on to other tasks.

Worry subsided two days later when, with the return of plus zero weather, the tractor started up and moved forward without any sign that it had ever been stuck.  It now sits under the protection of the garage and moves freely without incident.  I await the next cold snap to test out the differential again.  My fingers are crossed that this wont be a recurring problem.

Come spring the tractor will be moving supplies to the field, spreading manure, and likely doing some tillage work.  The season will be upon us sooner than later and the big pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.

Until next time…I’m ridding my tractor…

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