Friday, August 21, 2009

Lysander IH tractor, the hero

Life at Chalupy was fine, but I decided I needed a tractor. It could pull wood out of the forest for the fireplace (which I didn't have at the time), it could help me garden, it could plow snow, in fact, it would be a very handy contraption, even if it is YAICE (Yet Another Internal Combustion Engine). This is a weighty subject. I wanted a small tractor -- a Ford 8N, say, or an International Harvester (IH) Farmall A, or a Farmall Cub. (To placate any irate brand-tractor fanatics, I would have taken a Deere, a Case, a Minneapolis-Moline, Oliver, Massey, Fordson Dexta, etc. ad infinitum ). What Craigslist turned up, at a price that I could afford, was Lysander.

Above, Lysander on a field in Palmer, Alaska, home of the Alaskan small farm. I should say something more about that, but not now. Short form: I bought Lysander abd some good friends helped me haul it 60 Km north to Willow. Then I had to drive the thing off the trailer.

Notice the expression of mixed delight and terror on my face. After all, I learned to drive on farm tractors. But that was a long, long time ago, at APISA, the Rivero (and others) owned farm in Venezuela. But I did it!

Lysander was promptly put to work. Here he is after plowing snow.

Since that day, Lysander has been a constant companion. He was built in 1947 and he has been working ever since. He starts immediately, runs like a champ, and has done all that I asked of him. he has a few glitches, for example he won't chage the battery. I am working on that. You say he's rusty. Not so, as you will see. It's not rust, just old paint. Just wait, you will see the paint saga. The only trouble is that he is too big for a lot of the work I do; the H was a mid-size tractor in its day. Amazingly, you can buy spare parts for him. Not at all bad for a 60-year(+) old tractor. A true hero.

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