At any rate....this was the day.... and I jumped in my Ford 4 X 4 Ranger and went over to Gary's house to pick him up. It was not only my turn to drive but I had to leave my pickup down at our friend Charlie's farm (Charlie is the guy that has a lot of his tractors shown around the Fastrac Web Site). We had to do that because we were going to use his home built machinery trailer and another friend's tow truck and Charlie had to swap his pickup with the friend.
My Ranger and Charlie's 6 cylinder Chevy half ton were both too light to pull this trailer and JD on a long haul trip so our other friend (Hobart) volunteered his Chevy club cab with the big 8. You see..... Charlie needed my "wheels" to go to breakfast on Sunday morning with the "guys".
At any rate, you can see Charlie standing by his trailer as he was waiting on Gary to back the pickup truck up to the hitch. We had just pulled the trailer from one of Charlie's barns (seen in back of him) and he had just started to open up the tool box to get some tools.
After we got the trailer hooked up, we left Charlie's barnlot and drove the few miles from his house to where the '41 had been parked for over a year and a half. When we got there and had backed into the driveway, I started to prepare the trailer for the "boarding" and Gary immediately went over under the walnut tree where the tractor was sitting to get it started.
After everything was ready... Gary, who is much more experienced than I at loading tractors on trailers, began to creep the old Johnny up to the trailer (backwards) and on up the ramps.
I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but Charlie had designed this trailer with lower fenders over the tires so that tractors with wheels spread too wide could still be driven on to the trailer when the wheels wouldn't fit between the fenders. And......this was the case with our '41.
After we got the 'ol girl all loaded up on the trailer we headed down the road for a few miles with Charlie following us in my Ranger so that we could make sure that everything was towing OK.... and then we stopped along the side of the road to make sure that everything was tight before we headed back North. After determining that we were set to go, Charlie turned around to head back home and Gary and I did the same thing..... only we took the long route back (Gary had to take me by an old "B" that he spotted a few weeks back that just happened to be surrounded by a bunch of old JD implements) and that's what we did.
Turns out that this old "B" was the same year as our "A"......could this be the start of a set of 41's? Don't tell this to our wives just yet O.K?
You ever notice how short
the trips become when you do these kind of things? I used to make this
trip every other week when I first moved North from my hometown and it
seemed like forever getting that trip over with, but somehow these tractor
trips made the time shrink.
After arriving back in Elkhart later on in the day, we could see how it had been raining for a while (you may be able to tell that from the photo of the tractor & trailer rig as we backed it into my driveway. We hoped that this would not cause too much of a problem for us getting the tractor off the trailer.
We decided that we would let it sit for a while so that we could get a cup of coffee and do what ever else needed attending to if you know what I mean. Eventually though, we got the ramps put into place and the old girl was going to have to come down off that rig. I vowed that this time I was not going to be so excited that I would miss the photo opportunity on the "download" as I did on the "upload".
As Gary climbed up on the trailer and prepaired to open the petcocks and turn on the gas valve, I rushed to get the camera ready. My next door neighbor, who had a severe stroke 2 years ago, was seen at the window watching our every move. He grew up on a farm in Missouri and although he can't speak too well now, I know he'll certainly try to say something to me when he gets outside next. You just don't grow up on a farm and let something like this come into the driveway next to yours without thinking back to those years gone by.
I set down the camera and
helped Gary take off the chains and come-a-longs and it wasn't too long
before he was grabbing hold of the flywheel. About the third time over,
she lit up and was sitting up there on that trailer warming up. Gary climbed
up on the seat and started to ease the tractor down the ramps and onto
the driveway in front of my garage.
Since the tractor was already running.....and just to make sure that it could get used to the neighborhood........Gary took it for a spin up the street. I live at the edge of the city and on a boulevard , so it was not a problem to go up one side of the boulevard, cross over and return down the other side.
When Gary got back, I wanted to make sure that all the neighbors would recognize me also so I thought that it might be beneficial to take a lap on the 'ol girl myself. That's me in the black coat coming up the boulevard.
Now that everyone and everything is home safely, there will be much to do. We will spend the next few weeks looking over the machine, fixing what we can, listing what we will need to purchase in the way of parts, where we will get them, etc.
We will be "playing" with the JD for most of the summer though, and won't probably tear the machine down until after the fall festivals. We'll be taking the tractor to a couple of local events with Gary's John Deere buzz saw and have some fun with it first. Eventually though it will be completely restored from inside the engine to the final coat of paint.
We will be updating you with other things we have planned and will keep the project on the forefront at the site. This tractor will not just be sitting in the garage.....we'll be tractoring and telling you about it as we go along so stay tuned for the next report....and if you have any comments about the project, we would be glad to hear from you. Just drop us an E-mail if you'd like to talk or maybe you have a story of your own that you would like to tell....if so, let us know. Until then (as they say)........keep 'em crankin!