Heard In The Freight Yard


| February/March 1989



(A reprint from Tractor and Gas Engine Review, Nov. 1918), Sent to us by Ted E. J. Worrall, Star Route, Box 62 Loma, Montana 59460

It was a freight yard, located in an energetic dirty city which boasts of the volume of implements that are distributed through it each year.

It was that portion of the yard sacred to tractors. Busy switch engines were shunting in cars loaded with new tractors, who under the stimulation of attendants, snorted as they felt their sparks and rolled out of the cars onto the long platforms, and then down the runway to the big tractor stables.

In one corner, there was a disconsolate group of old tractors who looked as if they had been out on a week's drunk. It was in this corner that the tractors conversed life as they knew it and insulted the reputations of their ancestors, the designers.

'How did you get here, old Behemoth?' asked a rattle trap tractor which was suffering from a broken connecting rod and a few other ailments. The question was addressed to a mammoth track-layer.

Behemoth raised first one track and then the other trying to shake the mud and grit out of his links. A couple of link pins fell out. 'It's not a pleasant story,' he answered. 'You know the people who made me claimed that I could stand anything. They said I could go through mud, over snow, clamber ditches, ride sand, in fact do everything but chase U boats and fly to the moon. Well, I could, pretty near, if my engine was only big enough. But you see, the man who bought me got the idea that I could pull anything that would not stall my motor. He forgot that just because I never slipped I could be overloaded. There's not enough babbitt left in my system to bush a watch bearing.