(or... Sins of the Farmer)
Picture a new Chevrolet driving down the street without it's grill, right fender and
trunk lid. Imagine a crude hole made in the hood to accommodate a new taller air
cleaner, the fender wells cut away to make way for larger tires, and half of a sliding glass
door used to replace the windshield. Top that off with an old set of '36 Ford headlight
shells bolted to the hood.
Pretty unlikely for a car... but for a tractor, this is pretty normal. It seems that
more often than not they
are disassembled without being fully reassembled - parts are replaced with whatever is handy, and
not a care is given for maintaining the original beauty and design of the machine.
The issue at hand was getting the real work done. This article
is a light-hearted look at some of the "field modifications" made to tractors by
their owners. Also endearingly referred to as "Sins of the Farmer".
Just so no one gets the wrong impression - all of the pictures shown below are
tractors from the personal collection of the author and owners of Yesterday's Tractors.
Now that we have told you that... don't expect us to tell you which of these "Field Modifications"
we made ourselves!
The Custom Seat|
This one looks like long about the early 80s, someone got
very tired of sitting on the board that was left after the original seat rotted away.
Simple solution was to go to the junk yard and get an early 70s vintage bucket seat from a
Mercury Cougar. The only bad part of this is that the original seat back and brackets were removed from the tractor.
Another Custom Seat|
This modification on the pedal tractor belonging to a 4-year old
proves that "field modifications" can begin at a very early age.
This crude wooden board seat is much more comfortable than
sitting on the old metal seat support. The original seat
disappeared years ago along with the remaining sheet metal
for the toy.
The Modified Grill|
This hard-to-find Earthmaster Tractor grill had the lower
right portion cut away to make room for an unknown
"after-market" front end addition.
The New Grill Screen|
This modification almost got it right. It uses expanded metal just like
the original. Unfortunately the holes in the screen are about 5 times too large.
The 3-Point Hitch|
Many folks will rig up a 3 point hitch for their old tractor
and I am all for that. Unfortunately some of those quick jobs
seem to lack the most basic features required to use one. Rigid
rear lift arms make it impossible to use most 3-point implements plus
the low mounting of the top link will not allow implements that do fit to run
at the correct angle.
The Hydraulic Pump|
This nifty hand-made, manually operated hydraulic pump was used with
the 3-point hitch on the left. We are still arguing over whether to
remove it after final restoration. One of us wants to keep the entire
setup complete for nostalgic reasons, the other one wants to remove
it and incorporate it into a new shop press!
This appears to be a failed attempt to replace the
original engine and transmission with those from
a junked Nissan car. Serious modifications were made
to get as far as they did. Why they stopped
mid-project, I guess we'll never know.
Replacement Tires & Wheels|
This tractor has been outfitted with a pair of
perfect condition car rims and road tires. The attempt was
even made to paint them to match the tractor. The positive
side is that they were probably inexpensive and should
work fine on a turf tractor.
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