| March/April 1990


R.#1 Siren, Wisconsin 54872.

This snowplow comes from the township of Cassel, near Wausau, Wisconsin. The starting motor was rusted solid and the outfit had not been run for eleven years. My brother-in-law's cousin, Henry Marek, and I took the motor out, laid it on a plank and took it apart by pounding the pistons out one at a time, and got it going again. I did not think the big motor would be stuck, but it was. It is an R.D. 7. I don't know what year they were made. To get it loose again we had to take the hydraulic pump of the power take off shaft and rig up, with some connections from the power take of the crawler, to the rear back wheel of a WD 45 Allis-Chalmers 6 cylinder diesel by locking one wheel, and running it in low gear one way. And in reverse we gave it enough jerks each way 'till it went all the way around.

Then we started the starting motor and turned the R.D.7 over but it would not start. It must have had air in the lines and injectors because of all the hoses over the hood, and we could not get to the injectors, which do not have the cast couplers. So, to get the air out, we drilled a hole in the fuel tank cover, tapped it 1/4', took a valve stem from a car inner tube, cut threads on it, and put in the thread cap. We put the air compressor hose on it when the pressure got built up in the fuel tank and the starting motor was turning the engine over. Then it roared into action and ran real well with good oil pressure. With the fuel oil in the tank about two thirds full it ran real good for it being at least eleven years old. We went over it with 2 1/2 gallons of yellow paint. I bought 100 gallons of red and yellow paint from the Moline Company of Minneapolis when they sold out, so I have lots of that.

The snowplow was made in L-APLANT-CHOAT-E Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The V plow is 12 feet 9 inches with wings 6 feet each, so it will plow a path 24 feet. The roof of the cab has 1/2' tongue and groove oak lumber in it, which had started to leak so we put a new cover of tin over it.

I remember November 10, 1940. It was a cloudy damp day. That night we got 26 inches of snow in this part of the country. Then the township of Daniels, which is the township I live in, hired three of the neighbors with teams of horses with a V plow on the side of the sled to open the road after that storm. Later that fall and winter there came more snow. Then there was a fellow who was hauling milk with two trucks to the Falun Creamery, Kurt Anderson, who brought one more truck with a V plow and a wing on it and took the job of plowing snow for the township. He also took a partner with him, Erwin Tenrup. Then they plowed with it 'till they had snow banks 8 to 10 feet high. This was about a 1937 Ford V8. Well, they came by night or day, whenever we got more snow, sometimes maybe 25 to 30 mile an hour snow so you could not see the truck. But then the 17 of March, 1941 we got one more heavy snowstorm with lots of wind and it leveled the banks from one over to the other. That was the end of Kurt's snowplowing. I saw Kurt in Fredric a while ago and asked if he remembered that time. 'Yes,' he said, 'we did not even try to open the road after that one!' Everyone in the area was snow bound except those using horses and a sled. At that time Burnett County, the county I live in, had a 60 Cat with V plow and wings on each side. One man was on the clutches and one man on each wing. The wings were raised and lowered with block and tackle. I think the county ran this outfit 24 hours a day using three shifts. They must have plowed every township in the county.

I remember one afternoon about the first of April we heard the plow coming from the west of our place. So my dad took the skis and went to see if they would make it down the Fink Road where the snow was about eight feet across the whole road. Unfortunately, doing as the neighbors told them, they took out all the fences!