Old tractor

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12260, Galice Road, Merlin, Oregon 97532.

Old iron collectors fall into several categories. There are those who get satisfaction just out of finding an old tractor, engine, etc. They haul it home and let the rust continue and dust collect.

Then there are those who go a step further and clean, paint, restore, and get the thing running, but it is really no use to them except to look at and dream of the good ole days.

Some collectors hit the shows. Then there are those lucky collectors who have farms or acreage so they can really get out and 'play' with their old equipment.

I needed an excuse to own an old tractor and what better way to justify the purchase than that it was necessary for my occupation. I am a river raft outfitter on the Rogue River in Oregon. Three times a week we have to launch four whitewater rafts and all the gear for the trip with 24 people through the 'Wild & Scenic' canyon of the Rogue.

The river bank from the warehouse to the river is steep with soft sand and gravel. I suppose we could have used a four-wheel drive rig but now I had a real good excuse to own an old tractor. I have always loved the music coming from the exhaust of the old John Deeres so I found and restored an old H, serial #54759. We had to add a bucket on the front to prevent back flips while coming up the steep river bank.

We're really having fun now, and by the way, the H was a lot less expensive than a four-wheel drive rig.