Habitually, every evening, Farmer Hick checks the local Kijiji (Craiglist) listings online, particularly the tooling and farm equipment ads, always looking for good second hand equipment, or equipment that can be made good again.
Last weekend he finally found something he’s been looking for…an old Massey 35 tractor to share the workload of his Fordson Dexta.
He went to look at it the next day and deemed it near perfect. Oh sure, it needs some TLC and a new paint job, not a problem for Farmer Hick and our boys! The more immediate problem was how to get the tractor home, as it was being stored in a village 45 minutes away from here. We have no trailer at the moment, so being the self determined kind of guy Farmer Hick is, he decided to DRIVE it home! That’s right, a 50+ year old tractor that had mostly been sitting outside for the last few years. And guess who had to follow behind with the truck…in case something would go wrong? Yep, yours truly!
There we went, Farmer Hick on the old tractor, all decked out in long johns, insulated coveralls, a borrowed scarf and balaclava, winter jacket, his “Micky Mouse boots” and to top it off, a motorcycle helmet with visor, bouncing away on his padded steel seat. Me, right behind him in the truck.
Top speed….30 kilometers (18 mi) per hour!
Did I mention it was -5 (23 F) that day?
Farmer Hick wanted me to follow him in case of a break down, because you never know with an old tractor that hasn’t run for some time. The back of the truck was loaded with tow straps, booster cables and Farmer Hick’s ever present toolbox.
I was fully prepared for trouble along the way, to me it seemed like a task from hell, just trouble waiting to happen. I’d grabbed an extra sweater, socks, scarf and mitts for myself, and a thermos with hot tea for Farmer Hick.
Well, I guess Farmer Hick has a more positive mental attitude that serves him well. Although the trip home took us almost 2 hours, with cars and trucks passing by constantly, (which was annoying) we made it without any breakdowns, the tractor never showed any sign of trouble or skipped a beat.
I was SO glad to get home!
When I mentioned to Farmer Hick that I missed the opportunity to snap a picture of him on his tractor for this blog, he replied, “Some things are best left to the imagination.” Still, it would have been fun if you could have seen him.
It took Farmer Hick a while to warm up again.
Now the tractor sits in the shop, it’s already being taken apart. The hood’s off, Shop Boy is fixing all the dents. The dash is apart, waiting for new gauges. Both the front wheels are getting new seals and bearings. The steering wheel left much to be desired and will be replaced. The tractor sure doesn’t look like much right now, but Farmer Hick assures me, there’s really nothing wrong with it, just an old tractor that can be made good again.
Look for another post in the near future in which I show you a fully restored Massey 35.