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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Machines We Live With -- Farm-All

Meet Ephraim Farm-All

Ephraim is a 1945-H Farm-All, an Inter- national  Harvester tractor. He was owned by the 80 year old man we bought the HomePlace   from. Ephraim was worked hard under that owner, clearing weeds and undergrowth from the woods and orchard. The lack of ground cover  resulted in sandstorms when we first moved in. We spit grit from between our teeth every time the wind kicked up. 

We've let the woods go back to natural, and Ephraim doesn't work as hard as he used to, but he's still versatile. He does some disc--ing for Matthew's deer food plots, for instance. Before the bulldozer came to live here, he also pulled the Frankin Leveler to resurface the driveway.

A low throaty putt-putting sound announ- ces that Ephraim is on the move. He sounds like a mellow Chris Craft inboard engine as he wends his way through the trees with one of the menfolk on board. Freezing cold or blistering hot, Eph starts and runs thanks to Matthew's fine maintainance. Once in "road gear" Ephraim fairly flies down the right-of-way cutting across our land. He has the power of an oxen team for pulling and hauling.

He hauls things of all sorts.

Sitting on the sled or held in a daddy's lap,visit- ing children love Ephraim. Spud, now 6, is beginning to learn to steer him, and when tall enough and careful enough will eventually drive him alone. Tricycle style tractors can be tipped, even with the rear wheels spread far apart. He's not a toy, but a tool.

Freezers and refrigerators to be turned into raised garden beds are dragged along to their new jobs on the sled. Art made the first sled almost 10 years ago of salvaged materials. The sled has worn out this year, but Ephraim still is chugging along.

Vehicles stuck in the mud of spring follow Ephraim out of their wallows at the end of his chain. Just once we had to call for help, and the 2 1/2 ton wrecker that came to pull out the M 37 ( sunk to the wheel hubs) had to be pulled out by Ephraim.

The best use of our Farm-All is dragging home the Christmas tree each year. The kids can ride the sled on the way out, and burn off their excited, tree-related energy trotting next to the tree on the way back. Settles them down for trimming the tree.

 I'm glad we spent the extra money to buy Ephraim Farm-All from the old man, not the the newer tractor we were offered. Ephraim is a hard working classic, and fits in here perfectly as the oldest and best loved vehicle of them all.

1 comment:

  1. When I was a teenager 18 hours of pulling a plow with a Minneapolis 6 (built in 1948) would get me one hour flying time in a Cessna 150. I spent most of those 18 hours trying to figure out how to turn that around. When I left home at 20 if anyone had ever told me I would buy a tractor I would have decked them! Dragging trees for the saw mill was different, and doing it for myself was good.
    From the serial number we know Ephraim was built in late 1945, just after the end of World War Two. We have not used any of the Power Take Off's yet but they all work.
    When we first arrived a favorite way to show folks around was a pick-up box trailer behind the tractor. We could go anywhere that way. Ephraim has been a great addition to the property, and I could even say a good friend.