Tractors are like duct tape—they have 1,000 uses and counting. Over a several month period, I covered most of them in conversations with my wife, Becky. “I could use it to blow snow, grade the gravel driveway, pull out bushes, drag logs, etc.” I didn’t realize that my frequent tractor discussion was a problem until I started a conversation in the car and she said, “You are not going to talk about tractors again, are you?” I quickly covered for myself by coming up with another topic of conversation. But even while talking about something else, my mind wandered back to tractors.
Every spare minute in my last couple of months of work, I would quickly check out the used tractors available in my region in Wisconsin. There is no shortage of used tractors for sale. I studied the brands that make compact models, John Deere, Mahindra, Kubota, and Massey Ferguson. I visited tractor lots whenever I could, and became well versed in the terminology. Hydro-drive, mid-PTO, three-point hitch, turnbuckle, and hitch pin.
Maybe I do have a problem, but if I do, I am not alone. Men up here are obsessed with tractors. Every farm, big and small, has at least one and usually many more. Many family farms often times have the first tractor they bought, dating back to the 1930s or 1940s. No longer used for work, these machines have been rebuilt, repainted and now proudly displayed in the barn and only taken out for the 4th of July parade. Around here, if a guy tells you he “loves you like a tractor,” you know that you have made it into his heart.
I did buy a Mahindra compact tractor with a loader, back blade and snow blower. Judging by the way that local guys stop to take a look and strike up a conversation (Am going to put fluid in the tires–not until I decide whether I need the extra weight– how well does the loader work on a compact tractor—excellent), I can tell I have gained some important north woods cred.