|Regina - November 22, 1999
By: Stu Innes
A long time ago on a farm far away,
|-------Mr. Eugene Innes is truly a man of many tractors.
He has farmed at Lewvan Saskatchewan, which is halfway between Regina and Weyburn, on the 306 highway. (Which happens to be a grid road)
------Of course things weren't always the way they are today. Lewvan, in the background, had people living there and there was no reason to start the poor old tractor up in the cold when the manure boat and horse could do the job as well as entertain the kids.
------Several years after the war "Gene" returned to Lewvan, where he had spent much of his youth growing up, and purchased a 1/2 section of land. He and his bride remain active today on the farm which grew to one section over the years. Starting out required a second hand tractor .
|-----That tractor was the"Twin City" tractor
which still runs pretty good. Only one or two good cranks and it purrs, considering
there is no muffler anyway, and not much of an exhaust pipe either. For the youngsters
reading, notice the four little things sticking up on top above the engine area.
These are "gravity feed cylinder oilers". They must be kept filled with
oil which then drips down into the cylinders to lubricate the walls. High test unleaded
gas just don't make it
-----It wasn't too long before Gene could afford a better tractor. Not a new one but a little better. It turned out to be awfully handy to have a second tractor around too, in case of breakdowns, or wanting to do a small job with one without unhooking or moving the other. So... . along came the Fordson.
kids liked it too!
Anyone who was a kid in 1959 will have a good idea what is going on here. (above left)
-----The Fordson was a workhorse too, as we can see.
-----For several more years it farmed the 1/2 section and after it retired it was outfitted with a "PTO - three point hitch cement mixer attachment" and mixed much of the cement for a 60 mile radius of Lewvan.
----The old Fordson looks pretty good today, in the sunshine. (above right)
|-----What next you ask?
-----Well Massy Harris made a tough little tractor called the '55.
-----It had a bit more horsepower and finally the old Twin City could retire in peace and just be brought out for special occasions. It was sure handy having those two tractors around and still would be with the addition of the 55 Massey.
|The 55 would pull the old Cockshutt combine along, just like a darn, and on a hot
day you can see the pole sticking up by Gene there, a really great adjustable umbrella
kept the hot sun off the operator.
-----We were in a bit of a hurry to get on the tractor this fine day. But the auger is working good anyway. The kids liked it too! Driver training starts early on the farm, with safety in mind first and foremost, this little guy (Dylan) is practising steering while running the auger in a stationary operation. So far since before 1950, no serious injuries on this farm.
Keeping in mind the words of wisdom that have been passed down, "the farm and the machinery are just waiting to kill you every day!"
-----As luck would have it, this second 55 Massey tractor with the front end loader included came up for sale for a nice price and made it possible to do many jobs that would be impossible without it.
-----It was, and still is, darn handy to have two machines the same because one almost always works, even when the other might be in need of repair. In the background you can see tractor #5 but first . .
-----Another 1/2 section of land had presented itself and
|you know what that means . A little bit bigger cultivator and disker would sure make seeding and harvest happen in a more timely fashion. As a matter of practicality this Massey 1100 was purchased second hand, or maybe 3rd hand.|
|-----You can almost see the lawnmower attached in the
picture above. That would only be because its not time for the spraying and swathing.
For many years this machine did the majority of the work on the section, and still
does these important jobs.
-----The first harvest with the 1100 was a real beauty. It was late and cold and the wind was howling all the way down the one side of the field. Sometimes you could hardly see the tractor or combine for dust and straw blowing. I remember Gene came in at dark and any guilt he may have felt about treating himself to this bigger and newer tractor (the first with a cab) was gone after he stated that 'he was sure glad to be inside a cab on that day, instead of out in the open air'!
|On a crop year with a heavy swath however it had to work pretty hard to turn the
"new second-hand" combine, so fortunately this 1855 White/Cockshutt came
up for sale by some friends The 1855 had more horsepower than the 1100 and better
gearing as well. It shifted on the fly through three speeds which mean't no stopping
to change gears at different points in the field which might be a heavier load than
the other. It also had a fan, for those days when it was just too dusty to have the
windows open and too hot to have them closed. Pretty cool.
-----If one looks closely at the wheels in this picture (above right) they will see this years mud, packed in solid between the dual wheels. Fourteen inches of rain before the end of June 99! By this time the 55's had become utilty tractors, running the auger, odd jobs, moving machinery and so forth. Very handy, but a large number of tractors take a large number of battery's, and the usual maintenance.
-----It could have been that the old tractors were requiring a bit of unpredictable maintenance during seeding and harvest or maybe Gene just decided he wanted to have one tractor with Air Conditioning before he quit farming but suddenly a Case tractor presented itself. It could be that he wanted "the son" to have it a bit easier and healthier than he had had it himself. At any rate, this particular Case was a bit of a disappointment having major breakdown and repeated repairs needed. This tractor stands out as the only one that was traded in. Interestingly enough another Case Tractor, the 7230.
-----How many is this so far anyway? Twin City, Fordson, 55 Massey#1, 55 Massey#2, 1100 Massey, 1855 White/Cockshutt, Case#1. Coming up on #8, the 7230 Case.
|It took 50 years of farming to get to the air conditioned cab. The quiet, nearly dust free cab.|
-----But still, The Man of Many Tractors doesn't
ride the garden tractor. It's a real life roto tiller. A pusher. At 80. ..
something, he has done his work in the garden and it's done its job too, so its headed
for the shed for the winter.