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  • John Hogeland

Introducing Farm Fridays (and the Story of the Tractor)

TGI Friday, because that is the day each week we will share with you some good old fashioned farm fun. Or hardship. Or, as life has it, both.


Today we bring you the continuing story of the tractor...


We have had many inquiries as to the fate of our beloved tractor Bessie and I am here to tell you that after a fairly serious operation, she is back to her old fighting fit.

Ol'Bessie, good as new (almost).

The process required a new orbital joint and spline (think of a shoulder cuff joint and the ball of your upper arm) and it wasn't cheap.  The parts were $2,500 and the labor was $1,900, but all in all I think we got off easy, considering how bad it might have been. And yet money is tight around here - we are learning the hard way just how little there is to be made in farming. So $4400, while not enough to break the bank, it does mean that we are getting dangerously close to not having enough money to pay for next year's lease.


That being said, it feels good to have taken the tractor to someone who really knows what they are doing and to know that new parts were put in.


So many times when I was growing up, Dad would fix a tractor or piece of equipment himself, (or get some shade tree mechanic to do it for cheap) and when we started the thing up you just prayed that it didn't fly apart. That feeling often continued until either it did fly apart or something else gave way so you could spend your time fixing and worrying about that instead.


As a farmer, I know that breakdowns are inevitable, especially with older machinery and that fixing things yourself is often the only option one has. But when your main source of motive power around the farm goes down, it just doesn't pay financially or psychologically to cut corners.


So this very strange video is to you, Bessie.  Long may you live trouble free.