Compact Tractors Replacing Vintage Tractors on Acreages
Vintage tractors have been a used successfully by acreage owners and truck gardeners for many years. Evolving production quotas and farming methods sidelined them from row crop farming decades ago, due to their lower horsepower and small size.
Dwindling numbers and accessability to parts and repair of these icons of the field is about to put them out to pasture once again. The modern compact tractor, those with 45 horsepower and lower, are steadily taking their place. As fewer and fewer antique tractors are used as working tractors a part of history is going the way of the corded phone, and will soon be seen only at antique farm shows, parades, and museums.
On a recent road trip I noticed numerous once productive vintage tractors sitting behind sheds and along fence rows. Many bore no remaining paint to itentify their manufacturer. Most were complete for as much as the eye could see travelling along at highway speeds. It almost looked as if someone had parked them at the end of the work day and failed to return.
Many smaller farms growing vegetables, to sell at the growing number of farmers markets, who once used an old Ford N series, or Farmall letter series tractor now sport a new Kubota, a modern Ford, or one of many other compact tractors in their machine shed. The modern features, variety of attachments, and operator comforts alone would be reason enough to change. The availabliliy of repair shops and parts are just another obsticle overcome that once contributed to down time.
Don't write them off yet antique tractor clubs are still strong in many parts of the country and field demonstrations will keep the memory alive.
Even if you never farmed a day in your life you owe it to yourself, and your children to at least attend one or two of these events to appreciate our ancestors, who's hard work and ingenuity are the history behind the modern self-guided, and computerized models of today.