By Staff
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John and Mary with the Rumely the day we left Indiana.
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The Rumely and an F-12 after the Carson Valley Days parade in Minden, NV.
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The Rumely loaded and along side of John's family Rumely in Indiana.
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John giving his grandkids their last ride on our new Rumely the day before we left Indiana.
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The thresher being unloaded in Minden, Nevada, after the trip back from Iowa.
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The thresher traveling over the Continental Divide in May.

2838 Heybourne Road Minden, Nevada 89423

John Weaver, ‘Rumely Man’ of Middlebury, Indiana, placed
an ad in the April 1995 GEM to sell a 30-50 ‘Y’ Rumely
OilPull tractor. Being a tractor and engine enthusiast, I noticed
his ad, which had a small photo of the Rumely with a white cloud of
smoke coming from the stack. At this particular time, I knew
nothing about a Rumely. From the size of the stack and the white
cloud, I thought it may be steam. What I did know was that it would
look good with my tractor and engine collection in Minden, Nevada.
I already have thirteen tractors, but can always use one more!
Besides, it is unlucky to have thirteen of anything!

I made several calls to the ‘Rumely Man,’ asking him
questions about the tractor. I learned that it runs on kerosene and
cools on about fifty gallons of 30 weight oil. I requested that he
send me a photograph so I would not have to rely on the tiny
picture in the ad. The photo came in the mail within a week. Within
minutes, my mind was made up and I called John and agreed to buy
it. It was a done deal!

Prior to this purchase agreement, I had always sworn off any
idea of driving across the plains states. Sort of a hard and fast
rule of mine. I always explained to my wife Dorine, that it would
be far too boring to make such a drive and if we ever went
‘back east,’ we would fly and rent a car out there.
Needless to say, this tractor purchase proves there are exceptions
to every rule.

We planned our trip leaving in mid-April taking our new Ford ton
with the new power stroke diesel (this diesel power sure came in
handy over the Rockies pulling this 4,000 lb. tractor plus
trailer). We planned on buying a heavy trailer in Indiana to haul
the Rumely back. Once back here, we could use the trailer for our
construction business. We always heard that we could buy equipment
trailers for much less in the Midwest than here in the western
states. John Weaver said there were several places to buy trailers
real close to Middlebury, and he would help me find one.

We arrived in Middlebury mid-afternoon of Easter Sunday. We
found the trip across the ‘Plains’ more than just fun. We
met many interesting people, saw many interesting places, and
thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The best of the trip, though, was
meeting and getting to know John and Mary Weaver. As it was Easter
Sunday, we found ourselves joining in with their family’s
Easter dinner, grandkids and all. These are certainly wonderful
people. Within a short time, we felt totally at home and at ease
with the Weavers. That ham dinner Mary cooked was excellent!

The next three days were spent, with John’s help, in buying
an 18,000 GVW goose-neck trailer, modifying the rear legs of my
truck’s lumber rack to accommodate the trailer, and learning
about the Rumely (of which John had several). Our new purchase ran
excellently and was surprisingly easy to start. John certainly
knows his Rumelys. His help was wonderful, as was the use of his
steel shop. John basically took off two full days from his own work
to help me out. Without his help, we would have had many
difficulties, and it would have taken much longer to get equipped
and loaded for the trip home.

Tuesday night after Easter, we were loaded and ready to go.
Wednesday, we began our trip back to Nevada with our prize addition
to our tractor collection. We traveled as far as eastern Iowa
before I decided to check our weight on a set of truck stop scales.
With trailer and all, we grossed out at just under 26,000 lbs., but
had far too much weight on the truck. While Dorine scoured an
antique mall, I moved the tractor back on the trailer about
18′, adjusting the weight. After we re-weighed, I was much more
at ease knowing we had the weight better dispersed. We’ took
our time shop- , ping the many antique malls as we crossed the
country. At one time while in Walnut, Iowa, in a pouring rain, we
even agreed to purchase a turn-of-the-century Avery thresher in
excellent condition. I returned with a good collector friend for
the thresher a month later, and had another 26,000 lb. load; this
one was over width.

Our selected route home was through Wyoming on I-80 so we would
miss some of the real steep grades in Colorado on I-70. As we
entered southeast Wyoming at midday, we arrived at the port of
entry including the scales! I thought I would avoid being weighed
by driving around the back of the scale house and parking in their
lot. I took my paperwork into the scale office and got in line with
all the ‘real’ truckers. I thought if I explained I was not
hauling commercially, I would not need to be weighed or get a
sticker. When my turn came up, one of the scalemasters said,
‘That’s a Rumely you’re hauling, isn’t it?’

‘Yes,’ I said nervously.

‘You’re overweight!’ was his first comment.

‘But I weighed in Iowa and I have the papers right here with
me,’ I said.

He came back with ‘1 don’t care! You’re overweight!
You will have to unload!’

This guy seemed serious and I was getting real worried about
what I was going to do. About the time when I was at my wits’
end and my heart was choking off my windpipe, a second scalemaster
said, ‘Ohhe just wants your Rumely. His dad used to pull a
grader with one and he used to ride on it. You are

He further explained that when we took the off ramp into the
port of entry, we were weighed by an electronic scale built in the
ramp. He said we’d crossed the scale at 47 MPH and weighed
25,925 lb.

‘Here, see, we have you right here on video with all the
numbers. Don’t get anything else on this trip. 26,000 lb. is
your magic maximum!’

The first scalemaster was quite amused with his actions but
turned out to be a pretty nice guy.

That afternoon, we crossed the Great Divide stopping for a
picture of the Rumely with the Lincoln monument right on the
summit. It was late and lightly snowing, so the photo is dark.
Since it was late and snowing, we spent the night in Laramie,
Wyoming. The next day, we continued, using four wheel drive over
the Rockies, due to snow pack on the roads. We didn’t break any
speed records on the snow pack. By Evanston, we got out of the snow
and finished our trip traveling through Salt Lake City, and on to
Reno, Nevada, and then home to Minden.

The Rumely is now in its new home nested in 5000 ft. Carson
Valley surrounded by 12,000 ft. snow capped peaks of the Sierras.
This summer, I entered it in the Carson Valley Days’ Parade
(tractor division). The tractor, out of 120 entries, took first
place in the parade. Maybe the Rumely, belching white smoke and
being the only one most folks here had ever seen, helped win that

Eds. noteUnfortunately, John Weaver passed away in the late
spring of 1996, before we could get this article to press.

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