Old Tractors Still Have a Place on the Farm|
by Arnie Lemke
One day last fall were putting our farm equipment away for the year and we drove over to my grandpas farm to put our Allis WD away which had been sitting out with the fencerow sprayer on it since June. The battery was dead so we went home and got one off our other WD-45(its still on a 6 volt system so the batteries usually dead.) We drove back and installed the new battery. I sat on the seat and fired it up. Rainwater had gotten into the distributor so it was only firing on 2 cylinders. We drove it around to the corn crib and parked it in the lean-to.
In the middle of the corn crib was our 1963 AC D-19 and our 1953 AC WD-45 widefront. The WD-45 still had the JD no.5 sickle bar mower mounted on it and the tractor hadn't been started for about 2-3 years. We checked the gas in it and tried to fire it up. After about 4 cranks she popped right off. We drove it outside and turned it off. We were planning to take it home with us where it would get more use. We walked back in the crib and started looking the D-19 over. The tractor had a Koyker Super K loader on it because basically all it got used for anymore was picking up rocks and cleaning out cattle lots. But we hadn't used it for a year or so and it was in pretty sad shape. The grill had a huge dent in it and the paint was terrible, the tires were about 40%., and the seat was pretty well gone. We checked the oil in it and tried to start the 6- cylinder gas engine. After continuos cranking on the starter, the engine fired.
It was in terrible need of an overhaul as one cylinder pumped oil. We tried to raise up the loader and discovered the hydraulics had a terrible leak. The 3-point took forever to raise up. We pulled it outside and discovered the brakes too, were shot. We try to take good care of our equipment, but we found out one thing, the tenant who lived at the farm the previous year did not take care of things. We pulled it out on the road and found out the power director (hi-lo gear) didn't work. By this point it was 4:00 in the after noon . Then dad said "C'mon lets take the widefront WD-45 and the D-19 home and then give them some TLC." We drove them home and pulled them in the shop.
The WD-45 had a new coat of paint and new front tires and it was done. We disassembled the D-19 down to the frame, steam cleaned the frame and painted it with rust inhibitor and painted all the sheet metal and rims replaced the hydraulic hoses, the PTO seals, all the decals and emblems, overhauled the engine, got new tires, and narrowed it into 30 inch rows. We got the Peterson duals that went to it out of the combine shed, which is now used to house a 6 bottom plow and our tractor duals. We pulled the 5 bottom plow out of the north place barn. the plow was bought new with the tractor. We fixed up the plow and dualed one side of the tractor. Now we have a team again just like it was back in 1963. The D-19 is also used to pull a 14' Krause disk..
We still use our 3 AC WD-45's, our D-19, our AC 190 diesel, our JD 3010, and our AC 200
on a regular basis. Our main tractors on our 1700 acre Iowa farm are an AC 7060,a JD 4440, and a New Holland 8970. We have a Gleaner R-60 for a combine. But the WD's, the D-19, and the JD 3010 just prove old tractors still have a place on farms today.
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