Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Vicon Acrobat spider wheel

Vicon Acrobat spider wheel 50 Years ago (May 1962)

We took delivery of a brand new Vicon Acrobat spider wheel hay turner come rowing up tool fifty years ago this month.
It was an amazing machine at the time with no driving parts or gears, just turned by dragging the four wheels along the ground at an angle and it raked grass across just to turn it or to row up ready for baling.
It suited the small tractors of the time like the Ferguson T20 and the International B250 that we had, Took some getting used to working it as any twist if the steering wheel would throw the rear end of the mounted machine in the opposite direction, missing the particular swath that your working on, so accurate and constant attention to ya driving was essential to make a good job.
It made a good job in light crops but rowing up hay made from long tall grass it had a tenancy to roll it into a long rope of hay the length of the field. The pickup balers of the time, we had an International B45 baler, was driven by the B250 tractor, had only the single clutch, which meant the baler started turning as the tractor started moving forwards and stopped whey a wheels stopped. When in first gear and this rope of hay started going in too heavy for the baler to take, it would drag the hay form forward of the tractor stalling the tractor and blocking the baler intake.
This Vicon Acrobat turner survive for almost 50 years on this farm although it had been supper seeded by other mounted twin  rotary tedder come rowing up machines that were power driven, we still turn back to then vicon for work on light crops
Many of these Acrobats could be seen on stock farms used for blocking a gap in a hedge to keep cattle from escaping, ours had that job over some winters when not in use, but eventually the frame started to crack up with all the whipping about that it got working through dips and hollows on the peat meadows.
I still have the machine now, but is looking dangerously close to the scrap ruck.

The Scrap Ruck

I got a pile of scrap iron, and it builds up real fast,
And another round the corner, where I dropped it last,
I save it just in case, nothings ever chucked away,
Piles of it every where, It might come in one day.

Broken bits of tractor, and its off cut bits of steel,
Some is thick and some is thin, and some a bit of wheel,
Angle iron in six foot lengths, some point was a bed,
Other bits chucked into the rucks, some still painted red.

Nettles growing through it, and it makes a nesting site,
For rats and mice and vermin, who are only out at night,
Disturbed they run like mad, get away from you or me,
And where do they head for, their scrap ruck home with glee.

I'm looking for a bit of metal, the size ta mend a gate,
Seen some in the scrap ruck, but I can't locate,
Remember when I chucked it, don't know which pile it's in,
Turn each pile over and see, praps neath that pile of tin.

It's rusting in the winter, when the snow and rain soaks in,
It's rusty and it's flaking, and its no use for welding,
Don't know why I saved it, cus the price of scraps sky high,
Have to have a clear out, home for rats and mice deny.  

Countryman  (Owd Fred)

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