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Monday, May 2, 2016

Towing 101

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Last week the old tractor (1952 Allis Chalmers) started coughing and sputtering so I took everything apart from the gas tank to the carburetor in hopes of improving the performance.

I was in the process of taking the tractor and bush hog across Paint Creek when the tractor refused to run any more. I was faced with the possibility of leaving the tractor and the bush hog at the bottom of the crossing. The only good news was that the water level was about two inches deep and no flash floods were forecast.

I called my friend in town and said I think I need a tow. He indicated he would be out in about 15 minutes to help. We took the farm truck and a 25 foot chain and drove down to the crossing to the stalled tractor. We proceded to hook the chain onto the truck and then to the front of the tractor to pull it up the hill out the lane and back to the cabin. I was on the tractor and allegedly guiding the rig and my tow master was in the pickup pulling us up the hill. Things went fine until we needed to make a right turn at the end of the driveway.

As he made the turn the chain started pulling the front end of the tractor sharply to the right and before we knew it and could get the tractor stopped, both the front wheel and the rear wheel were up against two trees. The sudden jolt helped him realize that we weren't going forward anymore so he stopped the pickup.

The only way forward was to have had a chain saw and cut the two trees down. So we went to Plan B which involved re-hooking the chain and pulling the tractor into a hard left turn. We were able to complete the towing operation.

By now it was time to call a real tow truck who came to the farm and loaded up the Allis and hauled it to the tractor doctor.

Needless to say, my friend and I have abandoned the thought of going into the towing business.

Dick Hedges
Fort Scott Community College