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Tractor Stories

Do you have short antique tractor related story to tell? This is the place to share it! If you have a longer story please Contact Us so that we can publish it in an upcoming issue of the on-line magazine.

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Sweet dreams to a living nightmare

My true New Holland tractor story Before I tell you about my dream turning into a nightmare I must first tell you a little about myself so you will understand where Iím coming from. THIS IS A MUST READ if you are considering buying a tractor. So hold on, here we go! I was one of nine children raised on a cattle and horse farm. We were brought up the old fashioned way, church going, God fearing folks, we were told to always do the right thing, use our manners and to respect others, no matter where they were from and it made no difference the color of their skin. Also that itís rude to ask for something, that you should always wait until itís offered. That you can be anything or have anything you want if you work hard enough and man we worked hard Starting as far back as I can remember, I was up early before school, four oíclock or so every morning, fed around 20 horses, 60 to 80 head of cattle depending on the time of year and other animals. I learned how to drive in an old warn out 1940ís grain truck, I remember wrapping both arms around the huge steering wheel for leverage as my legs shook holding the in the clutch, not to dare dump the clutch or my 5 older brothers on the back picking up hay would likely hurt me! I started driving a tractor when I was around 6 or 7. Over the years I have driven the smallest to the largest of equipment, combines that felt like a two story house on wheels. We were told to always respect that tractor, because if you donít that tractor could hurt you, or worse put you in the ground! We were also told to always take care of it, change the oil, grease her up and it will work hard for you. Sounds corny I know, but it worked, the old ones never failed to start and get up and go. I married my high school sweetheart at seventeen, still married today in fact, 40 years! I still work hard and am blessed with three children and five grandkids. Iíve acquired some acreage of my own and built my house, even managed to buy a couple tractors. They served me well and thought they would be with me till the end. Then it came, I started getting old, but what really got me thinking was, last winter, we had some snow and ice, my fingers froze while riding on my tractor making the drive safe to travel, the pain was unbearable. You see, our driveway and lane combined is over 1000 feet long, half of it goes steep downhill and half of it goes steep up. It is very treacherous if the snow and ice doesnít get cleared. If not, we canít go to work, grocery, school or the hospital if needed. Occasionally a tree or some limbs are down that must be removed and of course its gravel so it too must be graded frequently. So, where am I going with this? Iím going to my tractor of course. Without a dependable tractor itís nearly impossible to do anything around our place. My tractor keeps my fields cut and clean, helps me load or unload whatever projects I drag home. Moves mulch in the spring and a leaf or two in the fall and much more. Now, the two tractors I had were great, they ran and operated just fine. I was comfortable with them, operating and controlling them became like second nature, like we were one, like man and machine merged, a manchine if you will. I know some of you are thinking what kind of warped tractor freak is this guy? All I can say, my tractor is my most important tool, without a good one nothing would be right and nothing can replace a good tractor. This is the part of the story when I start dreaming. Remember when my fingers froze? Well after that I thought, how nice would it be to have a heated cab and AC in the hot summer? Then I thought the unthinkable, sell my great tractors, my manchines and dig into my retirement fund and buy a new tractor. So, I did it, I sold them! I felt good at first, not selling any problems along with them, I made sure they were work ready and sold them at a very fair price. It wasnít long before it all sunk in though: sellerís remorse hit me like a 20 ton Mack! I spent several sleepless nights wondering if I had done the right thing: it ends up being one of most regrettable mistakes I ever made! I donít remember if I told you, my manchines were Ford New Holland, once the brand for me. That all changed when my dream begins to turn to the darker side, my wife and I are Star Wars fans so I had to throw that in. But in all seriousness, things go downhill from here. I purchase a NH Boomer 45 with a cab, I had to dig deeper into my retirement funds than I wanted, but I figured Iíve worked hard and I deserve it, it will be the last tractor Iíll ever have to buy, WRONG! At first I was so proud, I grabbed a New Holland t-shirt off the shelf after my paper work was done at the dealer, hoping maybe the dealer would say ďyou just paid over 42,000 cash for a rear blade and a brand new tractor! Please take that t- shirt as a sign of our appreciation!Ē Again, I was still dreaming! Still very proud, I had me a beast of a tractor, compared to the size of my old 25 to 33 horse manchines. I was excited and crazy nervous at the same time, thinking about how much money I just spent. I could have bought a little more property, contributed to my grandchildrenís college funds, then on the other hand, look how much Iíll get done, this tractor would make my life easier, more comfortable worry free for years. Read a brochure, you will probably get that feeling too. Sweet dreams are great but eventually you wake up. Visibility was excellent and the controls comfortable but the Hydrostatic drive in the 45 whined in a way that gave me a terrible headache if I was in it for more than a couple hours, it didnít come with a radio but did come with speakerís, weird right? I got a 20 radio from Wal-Mart and installed it, you had to turn the volume up to drown out the whine and rattles so the speakers sounded like one of the small transistor radios from the 1960ís! I replaced them with a 30 pair of Sonyís. It sounded great. Am I still dreaming or shouldnít NH throw in a 50 dollar sound system with a nearly 40,000.00 tractor? Then the day came when my dreams shattered, a couple months later the tractor with 275 hours shut down, lights flashing, codes popping up on dash, my heart sank. You are probably thinking, no big deal, its under warranty get it fixed. With the dealer about an hour and a half away, I set out to do just that. Dropped the tractor off, being new I figured it was something simple and wouldnít take long to get it working again. The dealersí service manager began to show signs that maybe I was calling too much to check on it. There seemed to be no real sense of urgency, maybe my expectations were too high but I needed my tractor! Well after waiting a week or two, no progress had been made in repairing the 45, I called to see how much it would cost to upgrade to a Workmaster 55. At first my salesman seemed reluctant: like there was no way I would or could pay for that type of upgrade. Eventually, after a little persistence I got a price. I really needed a tractor, I had even mentioned to him when I brought the 45 in that I would most likely have to rent a tractor to finish what projects I had going, there was never any mention of a loaner tractor at that time. After pricing rentals elsewhere, I figured my hard earned money would be better spent on an upgrade, so thatís what I did. Being lead to believe I was buying a current 2021 model year tractor it turns out it is a 2020! So now I have around 52,000.00 in a tractor thatís actually a year older than I thought! Now, Iím working away in the 55 and have nearly reached the 25 hour mark when I backed up, then went to go forward and nothing, tractor wonít move in any direction, again my heart sinks! This canít be happening! Two new tractors and neither one works? I was stunned, and mad, well, mostly mad. Sorry. I bought two new tractors neither of which was functional. I proceed to load the tractor onto my trailer, not an easy task when the machine wonít move on its own. I get to the dealership: at this point I just want a refund, should be simple! I go into speak to the service manager, ask him where should I drop the tractor, he looks a little confused, thatís when I say it runs but will not move, in hearing this, he giggles and said ďoh really, just drop it out next to all the other tractorsĒ I dropped it and I left. I did see my old Boomer 45 still in the shop! Am I wrong for wanting a refund? I had trouble once, gave them a second chance and it broke down even faster than the first! At this time Iím told by the dealer, Iíll send you a brand new 75 hp tractor as a loaner, so you can see how a new tractor performs and what to expect out of yours when they resolve the issue! WHAT! Are you kidding me? Didnít I just buy two new tractors? I should be seeing how a new New Holland tractor performs already, butI just donít see it, nor do I see a refund! Just have to wait for them to resolve the issue: the only issue I see is I havenít got my refund! Just give this unbelievably dissatisfied customer his money back! I guess it will be resolved in the hands of an attorney, what is wrong with this picture, guess weíll just wait and see! LOOK, I paid for a new tractor, well actually two, that one of which was supposed to give me hours and hours, years and years of trouble free use with low maintenance cost. I want my money back! I donít want a new tractor thatís been taken apart and put back together again! If this is what happens when itís under warranty, whatís going to happen when it goes out of warranty? I have a feeling I know, but thatís just me. Okay, hereís what I think. With the quality control standards that should be in place building such an expensive and important piece of equipment, the odds of me getting a faulty tractor in the first place should be very slim. The odds of me getting two in a row, well Iím sure I would have never bet on that! So, I think that the quality standards maybe arenít as high as I thought: that the odds are better that you might end up with a not so well built tractor. Would you take the chance again? Thanks for listening, sure wish I had my old manchines back! And that New Holland t-shirt I bought, Iíll be using it to buff the wax of my new tractor! Can you guess what color? If you guessed blue, well then you didnít read my story! Remember, use your manners, work hard and good things will come from it, donít take any chances when the odds are against you and most of all, always do the right thing, because now and in the end when your judgment day comes, you can spend eternity having sweet dreams or having constant nightmares, itís up to you. God bless Matt Kempf

Matt Kempf, In, entered 2021-10-04
My Email Address: Not Displayed

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