Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Load Tipped Over

It was as if the tractor was on an elastic band springing gently from its precarious position, with me hanging out like a yatch man holding its balance,
My old International B250 & Fordson E27N at the start of a tractor rowd run

You may or may not know that feeling when you know a trailer that you just spent a lot of time and energy loading by hand tips over.

Set the scene, it was 1960, I was fresh from farm college and had set out farming on my own fifteen months before. A seven acre field of seeds hay had been down in a week of good weather and we had just baled it. The tractor was my International B250 with a three ton tipping trailer suitably adapted to carry bales, the side boards had been taken off, and an extension fitted to the rear end to extend the floor area and what we call gormers fitted front and back( uprights at each end of the trailer)to support the load.

Half the field had been shifted and this load had been loaded from the lower end of the field, the balance of the trailer was dramatically altered by having an extension out the back so less of the load was on the drawbar. To enable the tractor to pull the load up the slope to the gate I set off diagonally across the field and progresses steady without wheel slip.

The load was firmly roped on and being carried on only one axle (it being a tipping trailer) it swayed with every small indent of the field, in this one area of the field was a burrow (fox or badger)with a mound of soil spread out from the excavation, so I decided to go top side of it still along the side of the slope. I thought I was well clear of any possible collapse of the burrow but how wrong I was.

The tractor was well past the burrow when the wheels started to slip , the trailer wheel sank as the lower side wheel of the trailer was carrying ninety percent of the load, it was a slow motion where you could se it happening and could not stop it.

The whole load tipping sideways in one whole block, well roped together it took the trailer with it, the only thing it was still hitched to the B250 on the ring hitch hook. Just as the load finally touched down still enblock it lifted the top side rear wheel of the tractor two foot off the ground just by the twist of the ring hook, this again was slow motion, by this time I had put it out of gear and had move to a position on he side of the tractor as that of a sailor in high wind, trying to counter balance the impending disaster.

 It was as if the tractor was on an elastic band springing gently from its precarious position, with me holding its balance, one of those times when things happen quickly, but in very slow motion in your mind, it seemed to be hanging for ages, hanging off the side of the tractor then I reached for the hydraulic lever and lowered the hook, which gently lower the tractor back onto the ground releasing the trailer.

There was ninety six bales on the load and every one had to be left on the ground while the trailer was righted, no damage was done other than the ring on the trailer drawbar had now got a permanent slight twist by which it had lifted the tractor. There is nothing more annoying than having to do a job twice, and with me driving I was the one to pitch the bales back onto the load. By pitch I mean pitch with a pitch fork, and seeds hay baled firmly they were heavy, and towards the end of the day when the whole field could have been cleared, but for the mishap.

This is it after a few months work on the engine, new mud wings fitted and the wheels painted. See how weathered and green the back end was, it looked in a sorry state when we first pulled it out to do it up.
Thats still the same ring hitch hook under the tractor by which the over turned trailer lifted its rear wheel well off the ground , see the right hand lower picture.

(The following has been published on an earlier blog, but here it is again)

My Old Tractor -International B250

I drove this tractor from new in 1956, It stood unused for almost twenty years, and now it is fifty years old, its been brought back to life.

My old tractor standing there, for years its not been started,
Drove it myself from new, and now almost departed,
Roof is now blown off the shed, and it's rained in down its pipe,
The engines well stuck and rusted, on the inside full of gripe.

For fifty years that I have had it, while working never faltered,
Apart from rust and lack of paint, appearance never altered,
Got to save it now before, it rots and rusts away,
To pull it out and look at it, do it straightaway.

Some tyres flat and perished now, but they will hold some wind,
Enough to carry it to shed, where it can be re-tinned,
Off with bonnet wings and wheels can see it undressed now,
Get into heart of engine see, if can put it back to plough.

Water in two cylinder, have rusted pistons solid,
Sump comes off to loosen; big ends then are parted,
Hammering and thumping, to get the pistons out,
New set of liners n pistons now, cheque book its time to clout.

Got new shells for big ends, and set of gaskets too,
Back together now and see, what there is next to do,
Injector pump with lid off, is pushing up stuck springs,
With little bit of persuasion, knock down plunger fittings.

New injectors they are fitted , valves are well ground in,
On with lively battery, to turn it mid smoke and din,
Firing up it comes to life, from near scrap recovered,
Can concentrate efforts now, look better newly coloured,

Bought new wings and new nose cone, old ones full of dents,
Standing on its jack stands, it's far from those events,
Gunk and solvents' liberally, to wash the oil and dirt,
Lying on your back beneath, and get all on your shirt.

Ready for the primer now, and get in all the corners,
Always find some bits not cleaned, drips along the boarders,
Rub it down where paint has run, ready for its top coat,
Don't want dust or flies or any damp, gloss I must promote.

Front and back wheels now back on, brand new shiny nuts,
New exhaust enamel black, tin pan seat to rest your butt,
Fit the loom and lights and switches, oil gauge and ammeter,
Needs new steering wheel and nut, to set it off the neater.

Out on road run we have booked, got a logbook too,
On red diesel it runs at home, some run on white a few,
Insurance and a tax disc now, new number plates as well,
Will miss my cosy heated cab, frozen Christmas tail to tell.

This is the old tractor now, just about like new, we have not got hold of a new steering wheel yet, or the headlight's, it has taken part in a number of road runs and light work about the farm.
As always in pictures, its whats in the background that interests most folk, such as the Fordson E27N set of steel wheels, and on the right a Fordson Elite plough.
Seeing as its hay we were carting---

Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold.Latin Proverb.