Dad has been dreaming of driving a tractor around since the day we broke ground on our new farm and finally this week our long search for a tractor has come to an end. Now I am certain that in dad’s dream he was riding on a shiny new machine with a huge bucket (and all the other cool attachments tractors have the potential for). While our tractor is very functional, has 3 out of the 4 attachments we need, and met all other “tractor requirements”… It is not pretty or shiny in any way!
We finally settled on a 1979 international tractor. It came with 3 attachments: A bucket, a bush hog, and a grader blade. It is American made (which means that it will be easier to find interchangeable parts if needed) and it’s Diesel. We were surprised at how small the bucket was ( a manure bucket we later found out) but decided it was fine for starting out.
Our craigslist find has taken a week to be delivered and the boys have been waiting anxiously. So about an hour after the tractor was delivered, we got on it for the first time to drive around the farm. Now dad wasn’t at the farm at the time but we decided to take it for a spin just to see all it’s new tricks. The engine turned over perfectly. The gears moved all the attachments up and down. Stacy slowly began to drive it forward waving as we took pictures of our new beauty. Then disaster struck. About 10 feet later on the edge of our newly cleared swale yard, the right side of the tractor suddenly dropped down about a foot deep into the mud and the motor shut off. It was the craziest thing…it was like the earth just gave out from under it on one side. I wish I had it on video. Thank God, no one was injured. So 3 hours and countless failed attempts later, we finally had to throw in the towel and admit that we were in fact stuck. A couple hours later, fate came to the rescue as our friend that delivered the tractor in the first place, came back to our gate unexpectedly and after getting a good laugh out of our tractor story, he was kind enough to pull us out! We figured out later that the tractor had run over a 3 foot deep stump hole! Oops! No wonder we instantly sank!
Ugg… such is life on the farm. We are finding that simple tasks can quickly become unexpected disasters and what may start out as a 20 minute job, can easily domino into a wasted day. Even still, we are loving this wild adventure.