The Frustrater

| June/July 1995

John Deere B on the Frustrater

John Deere B on the Frustrater at the steam pageant.

Sec. Mohawk Valley Power of the Past HC 69 Box 10-A Morris, New York 13808

The Frustrater!! What is it? Where is it? Have you tried it? These are some of the questions you hear at our show. But as for answers, they vary. Some say, 'Yes, I've tried it and it's a lot of fun.' Others say, 'I've got to try it,' and still others, 'I'm not going to let everyone see me try it, what if I fail?' Myself, I was one of the latter, afraid I would fail and be embarrassed.

Now that I have aroused your curiosity, I will let you hear all about it from its designer and builder, Bob Peck, member of the Mohawk Valley Power of the Past Association. Bob says, 'Many of our club members expressed an interest in having a 'teeter-totter' for our annual show. They seemed to think it would be great fun for both participants and spectators. It would certainly be a game of skill for people to balance their tractors.' Bob went on to say he had never seen one, but after talking with a few fellows who had, he got the idea of what to do. He said, 'It seemed to me to be useful. It should be very simple, made of steel to keep maintenance to a minimum, and be mobile to go from show to show. With this in mind, I did some shop experimenting and drew up my plan. The club agreed with my design of a variable pivot to make it compatible with different sizes of tractors. Many members contributed the steel and we had a work night to put the deck on just before our show. When it was done, we tested it with one of my tractors and a pickup. We were greatly satisfied.'

At our 1994 show, it really got tested by various sizes of tractors and pickups. I smile as I remember the first one to give it a go after it was set up on our show grounds. Lois Stack took time out from the kitchen to test it, by balancing Lois! Then Ed Weston whipped up on it and his station wagon. They both had a perfect balance with the first try.

Bob said, 'What a feeling of joy I had to see how well it performed and the fun that people had. Someone asked me what I was going to name it. Watching the expressions on people's faces, when they thought they had mastered it only to be defeated by it, made it obvious to me that the name 'The Frustrater' would fit the best.' It now bears the name on its side, and lives up to that name according to all who try to master it.

Bob built the machine with the intent of featuring it at our club's shows. However he has let other clubs use it and you may have seen it at their shows. So as you can see, it has tried the skill and patience of many club followers. We try to have someone with the machine for safety and of course cannot allow tractors with lugs on the steel grate both for maintenance as well as safety reasons. We are greatly in debt to Bob for his ability, his time, and a lot of his own money that was put toward 'The Frustrater.' Thanks, Bob, for a job well done. You are truly a dedicated club member.