Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time To Get 'Em Winterized!

I know...... you all don't really like to think about getting ready for winter (at least those of you that live in the cold parts of our nation). But, if you don't want busted radiators or engine blocks in your restored tractor, this is a must do! You need to make sure that the old tractor radiator and engine is full of good ol' antifreeze! I know it's not entirely the same, but I forgot to drain the main trunk of my in-ground sprinkling system last winter and paid the price in the spring with a broken main feed line to the system. Not quite the same as a radiator or engine block but busted just the same!

It's easy to forget or even procrastinate to the point of forgetting to invoke the proper maintenance going into winter and it'll cost you plenty if you do. There are a tremendous amount of old antique tractor collectors that do not have the luxury of a heated storage building and they need to take the necessary precautions.

Having said that, I envy those of you who have the warmer climates in some of the southern states and can still get out and run your equipment. Up here in northern Indiana, it is very hard to have fun outside on your old tractor. I mean you still can, but it for sure is not as comfortable!

If you are one of the lucky ones that does live in the south and you have an event that you can go to, I'd like to know some more details about that event. I'll get in posted on Fastrac, my antique tractor information support group website. Just leave a comment with the info here on the blog and I'll get it put on the events pages of the site. You can also e-mail me the details at:

I'm getting ready to settle in for the winter and I'll get my fill of antique tractoring this winter by working with the website and this blog. When spring rolls around, I'll be tired of writing and be more than ready to start heading out to the shows again up here in the north.

Good thing I have developed patience over the years......the older I get, the longer the winters seem to be getting. The winter will be tolerable however, if I can end up in the spring with no holes in the block.

Hummmm .... We'll see!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pink John Deere?

After retrieving the local newspaper from the mail box this morning, the first thing I noticed on the bottom of the front page was an article headline: "Pink tractor pulls hope for a cure." Number one, being an avid antique tractor fan, the word "tractor" in the headline caught my eye. And number two, I noticed the picture that accompanied the article was not a modern day tractor!

Turns out that a local antique tractor collector was in the process of restoring his 1957 John Deere 520 when he and his wife discovered that she had been told by her doctors the breast cancer she had been fighting since 2005 had advanced into her liver. After receiving this news, this tractor collector decided to paint the tractor pink to help in the awareness of this dreadful disease and finding a cure.

I thought this was awesome!

The couple plans to show the tractor at several of the local (northern Indiana) tractor shows and/or festivals. One of these events is near the couple's home. The event: The Nappannee Apple Festival in Nappannee Indiana to be held next weekend, September 17 - 20, 2009.

The finished tractor will also be on display at the "American Countryside Farmers Market" on the last weekend of September.

I was impressed by the humor still maintained by this couragious lady while fighting this battle. She said of the tractor, despite the one-of-a-kind paint job it pocesses, "It doesn't sound pink!"

If your are in or around Elkhart County, Indiana this weekend or throughout the end of the month, you might want to try to get an on-sight look at the tractor in person. And, if you can't, try to do everything that you can to help support those who are trying to find a cure for breast cancer..... just as this couple are doing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Think Fall!

You usually get a good feeling, when you are dead in the middle of the summer, about what lies ahead with your interests in antique tractors. Why is that? For me, it's the anticipation of the fall events. Shows and stuff are fun to attend while it's hot but are especially exciting for me with the cooler weather in the fall.

What I like about the fall events is that the air is heavier and when you wake up at one of these events (assuming you are camping out at the show) is the smoke from the tractors and old engines. It seems to just hang in the air over the show grounds and creates a haze for almost as far as you can see. This is special! Maybe not too good on the old lungs but the smell and the sight is wonderful for the tractor enthusiast's soul.

You ever wonder what it would be like to have been a farmer back in the day when you had to get up early to do the chores and all you had for power was that team of Belgians? Not much smoke from them! (Not much power either in comparison to your beloved tractors). They got the job done however, but it took a lot longer too. Thank God for progress.

Most of the days for a one or two small tractor farm is pretty much gone now too. But that's why we have these shows in the first place....... to remember what was! I sure do and I'm not really that old. There is a place at these shows for the younger ones too. Even though they may not be old enough to have seen any of the old machinery in action, at these events they get a chance to see it all and most importantly, learn about what it was and how it was used.

Guess what? You have six or seven weeks to get your old piece of iron all fixed up and shiny. Why don't you plan to take it to one of the fall events in your'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring Once Again!

Well, Well. Here it is ..... spring once again! It really feels good here in Northern Indiana to finally be getting some decent warm weather. This past winter was a grueling one in this part of the country. I personally have not had too much activity centered around the old tractor thing since the shows that were present (and that I attended) last fall.

The winter months found a lot of collectors and enthusiasts getting time to work on their collections or to begin a restoration process that summer months did not afford a lot of extra time to do. I'm sure there was a lot that got accomplished over the winter. But now, there will be a host of other thing to do with the coming months being warmer (at least that is the case up here in the North).

I know that around here,there are more than just a few of the clubs that are having swap meets and plow day events to keep the juices flowing. One such event just passed at Doud's Orchard Plowday on May 2, 2009 in Denver, Indiana. My understanding is that they had a really good turnout.

If you know of a good event that is going to be occuring in your neighborhood this spring, let me know and I'll get it posted on Fastrac (my antique tractor website). We have a really good listing of events there. Until then, have a really good spring and most of all, have fun with them old tractors!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Well….. How's this for news?

I haven't had a post yet in '09 but I really am NOT dead yet! I have had a lot to do since the first of the year. I just recently retired from the day job and have been extremely busy training the new guy that took over my position during the first part of the year.

Finally done! My last day was March 27th and I have finally seen some daylight to the odds and end jobs that I had been putting off. Now I can spend more time with this blog and my two websites: (the antique tractor site) and (the woodworking website).

Old tractors have been a passion of mine since childhood and Fastrac, the antique tractor site, is an endeavor that I undertook back in 1996 to share some old tractor stuff with other people. It has reached a pretty good audience since that initial launch back in '96 and the plans are to move forward with more stuff related to the hobby.

The other website (Ol' Dave's Woodshop) is a relative new site launched at the end of the summer last year (2008) and is a result of a newly found interest in woodworking. I have been assembling quite a few pieces of equipment in my shop over the last six years in anticipation of my retirement. I didn't want to head into retirement without something to take up some of my time. This new hobby and my continuing fascination with the old tractors should prevent any kind of stagnation of my time.

If you want to see what I have been up to with either of these two websites, feel free to click the links and I would be interested in any comments that you may have related to them.

Until the next time…… Keep on tractoring!!