An Irish Tractor Tale

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Reanacoolagh, Lismore County Waterford, Eire.

Driving along in a neighboring county, some years ago, I came on a paddock in a farm yard. In it were three tractors and a combined harvester which all looked scrapped.

I stopped my car and got out to look and noticed a dwelling house nearby. I approached the house and saw a man cleaning out the yard with a Case tractor and scraper.

I went over to the man, he was a fairly young looking man and seemed quite friendly. We started chatting about the tractors. We exchanged names and I asked him if I could go and see the tractors. Mr. O'Brien then told me that there had been some scrap dealers around to look at them some time ago. I knew that the price of scrap had gone down in recent times and therefore, if I made an offer, he would hardly refuse.

I told him that I would be interested in buying them to restore. He told me that he had bought them some thirty years ago.

He pointed out an IHC B250 which in his eyes was the best. There were also two B275 IHC's. The wheels were on all of them, and the tires all seemed in fairly good condition. All the engines were free.

We then began to talk about the price. He told me he was looking for 300 for the lot. I made no comment and went to leave. He walked with me towards the car and asked me to make an offer.

My own son would have been interested in them, as he is a mechanic and owned the home farm, because I had to retire some years back due to a heart attack.

As we walked back, his wife was calling him in for dinner and invited me in also. No deal was yet made. He then suggested 250, telling me the value I was getting. 'No', I said, as they needed too much work and money to restore them and also the costs of transporting them back down to where we live.

As we ate, Mrs. O'Brien asked what the discussion was all about. When we explained to her, she said that 150 would be a lot for that heap of rubbish and that she would be delighted to have it gone out of the way as she wanted to plant some apple trees there.

As she mentioned apple trees, I told her I knew a man who was at present thinning out his orchard and would have plenty of trees available. If a deal was made, I could bring the trees when I would be collecting the tractors. Mrs. O'Brien telephoned the man in question and was delighted to be told that she could have them and free at that!

As a result, we made a deal, and decided that tomorrow being Saturday, that would be a good day to collect the machinery and also my son would be available to come with me. I rang a local man, an owner of a transport lorry, and he told me there was no problem and that he could give me a driver also. All the arrangements were made, the apple trees were collected, and we set off for Ballypooreen. We hoped to be able to bring all the machinery back in one load. Mr. O'Brien had all the machinery out of the paddock when we got there. We began to load up and did manage to get it all on together.

We thanked the O'Briens and set off for home, arriving at 2 p.m.