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Tractor Buying Adventure

My brother and I grew up on farm in southern Mn, and are now both retired. I live on a small lakeshore plot in northern Mn, he has a small plot about 100 miles away. At the time of this adventure I had a WD Allis with loader for plowing snow, and assorted pulling, pushing, and lifting projects in the neighborhood. He has an M Farmall for similar use at his place. He decided that a tractor would be a nice thing for his son to have. A WD Allis came up at an auction about 20 miles from my place, so away we went. Plan was if he bought it, would drive it here, then make arrangements later to haul it to his son. He bought the tractor, so while he was settling up, I scooted to town to get a can of fresh gas. We both really are experienced machine operators, but the next events cast some doubts when the fun started, and we have witnesses to prove it. Crimping the end of #2 plug wire made it run a bit better, were going to use the loader to load some other items that he bought onto my trailer, then head out. Wrong! got about 50 feet and it died. Dump the brown glop out of sediment bowl, it fired right up again. Another 50 feet and do it all over again. Check gas tank, EWWWW, what a mess. Plan B, let it sit, go home and get tank from my WD, some more fresh gas, and try again next day. Things going a lot better with clean tank, ready to hit the road. Couple guys that bought a tractor with stuck motor asked if we could help load it on trailer for them. Sure, no problem. Good heavy trailer but no winch. Rounded up enough chain to drive alongside trailer and pull dead tractor on. Brother driving this time, back up a couple feet to unhook chain, pulled shifter out of trans. There he sat, crosswise blocking a county road, rear wheel against side of trailer, locked in reverse, shifter in his hand. After a little fiddling, we got it out of gear and shifter back in place. Shifts great, but don't pull up. Guys with trailer asked where we needed to go, offered to haul our tractor since they were going within a couple miles. A 12 inch wide steel I-beam works great as ramp for narrow front tractor being towed. However, it is a bit weak when adding the torque of backing a tractor up the ramp and the extra weight of the loader. You guessed it, there I sat, rear wheels on trailer, front on the ground, and loader bucket against a baler, couldn't move either direction. A bit of grunting by everyone there moved the baler a few inches and made it back to the ground. Then another guy showed up to load some things he had bought. He had a ramp truck and offered to lift tractor onto trailer for us. We had driveway blocked, so what else could he do? Trip to my place was un-eventful. Placed the bent I-beam 'curve up', set several wood blocks at proper spots, and drove the tractor off trailer. Weight of front end straightened out the curve til it rested on blocks, good as new. Couple weeks later brother came with friend and ramp truck, hauled it the rest of the way to his place. His son loves it. Used to take him about 3 hours to clean his driveway with walking snow blower, now 1 big push with loader, all done in 15 minutes or less.

Willie, MN, entered 2009-01-25
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