Look, Ma, No Wheels….

So our tractor is broken. The front end, which holds the two front wheels and allows Melissa to perform certain critical tasks, like steering, collapsed.

Our neighbor Craig found a guy with a refurbished front end, and it’s the right size for the tractor. So with his trailer in tow and Melissa in the truck to pay for gas and a stop at DQ, Craig drove 50 miles to pick up the new front end and wheels.

He’s going to fix the tractor for us. Yeah!

But before this can happen, Melissa must get the tractor from where it broke, out in the pasture, down to the shed where we store it, a place out of the wind where Craig can work.

Remember, the tractor does not have any front wheels. We consider the options. Resting the front bucket on the back of something that can act as wheels? This tractor is heavy, so nothing is going to work.

Melissa calls another neighbor for ideas and Greg comes over to check things out. (Both Craig and Greg came right over when they heard the news. I think guys like to check out equipment that has broken in a spectacular way.)

Greg suggests that Melissa drop the bucket and angle it in such a way that it will slide over yesterday’s snow and support the front end.

Melissa calls me on her cell phone. “You gotta come take pictures of this! No wheels! No hands!”

So I run out with the camera and am treated to the sight of Melissa ‘driving’ the tractor down through the windbreak and onto the driveway, where she then ‘drives’ it into the tractor bay in the shed.

First, no wheels. Amazing.

Second, no hands. There’s no reason to use the steering wheel because it doesn’t work. Instead, she’s steering with the brakes. Because the back wheels turn independently, if she brakes the right rear wheel, the tractor moves right as the left wheel continues to turn.

I learn something I should have known—this is how farmers are able to make such tight turns at the end of their rows—basically keeping one wheel in place and turning the tractor with the other. MAGIC!

Here’s one more shot. No wheels, no hands, just a farmer happy to have her tractor on the move once more.

8 thoughts on “

  1. Gotta love that Minnesotan can-do attitude!!!! So glad you were able to find the front end that you needed. Hope it all goes together nicely!!! Love the pictures, that is quite the sight!

  2. It’s hunting season here, so no rednecks….just orange necks!

    And Carol, it is an amazing photo, isn’t it? I keep staring at it, wondering “what’s wrong with this picture?”

    Oh, no front wheels….

  3. I’m wearing blaze orange not because I’m hunting (I’m not), but because people are hunting deer to the north and south of us. I’d rather not be mistaken for a deer (oh, dear!), so I wear orange even though it’s not my best color.

  4. Yup, but we can’t take credit for the cleverness…. came from two guys who’ve obviously had lots of experience fixing big equipment. But at least we know now, and perhaps we’ll be able to pass on the tip to others in the same situation.

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