The Foxinator had the usual feminine disregard for mechanical details. I got no more information than “it’s big, reddish”. How could I lose?
I borrowed it and trailered it home. Her tractor is from the mid-1950’s. Meaning it’s twice as powerful and advanced as mine. Awesome! Also, being “modern” it has a standard three point hitch so I could mount my plow on the bigger tractor. Also awesome.
Easy right? Wrong!
Her tractor, like all old tractors, is an amalgamation of parts and functions which remain from manufacture, shit which has been welded on, and stuff that’s fallen off. One rear tire had a chain. One didn’t. (Which is one more than I can afford for my tractor!) It had a bucket loader! It had no bucket. It had aftermarket live hydraulics bolted on the PTO. It had high/low range, the usual shifting lever, and a few other levers that seemed important. It had aftermarket headlights, both of which were smashed. Some switches that seemed to do nothing. As per tradition, nothing was labeled.
I had my doubts. Then I turned the key. My doubts vanished. I revved the throttle once and knew without a doubt that this machine could take a shit with more horsepower than my little old machine could muster on its best day.
Also on the trailer was a disk that weighed roughly ten million tons (meaning it could dig deeper than mine) and a big wad of pointy metal that was purported to be a drag.
Easy right? Wrong!
I wasted a couple hours trying to hook up my plow and it just wouldn’t go. The Foxinator’s three point hitch was a jungle gym of bent objects. No matter how I tried it just wouldn’t pin to my plow and lift it.
Finally I went to my tractor (as an example) and started counting parts. The Foxinator tractor’s lift arm leveling assemblies were too long and they looked spindly. Eventually I figured out they were actually stabilizer brackets and therefore utterly useless for lifting anything. Suppose you have a powerful hydraulic yoke and nothing hooked to it; how is it going to lift anything?
I went shopping at every tractor store in creation (or at least everywhere in the vicinity). Tractor stores are hell.
AC: “I’m looking for a lift arm leveling assembly.”
Store Guy: “For what?”
AC: “This tractor (giving model number). Anything will do. It doesn’t have to be new or perfect.”
Store Guy: “You should already have one on each side.”
AC: “I don’t.”
Store Guy: “It won’t lift without it. You probably have it and don’t know.”
AC: “Here’s a picture of it.”
Store Guy: “You’re missing the lift arm leveling assemblies. You need one on each side.”
Pause. Deep breath. Count to ten.
AC: “That’s a good idea. Can I buy one?”
Store Guy: “We don’t have any.”
AC: “Can you order one?”
Store Guy: “That’s a hassle. You sure you don’t have it. Did someone leave it in a field?”
Pause. Think happy thoughts.
AC: “That could be. It’s also missing a tire chain and the bucket.”
Store Guy: “I got a bucket for sale.”
AC (retreating): “Gee thanks. I’ll be going now.”
This lasted weeks. I was at my wit’s end.
Farming… it’s not merely hard, it’s a stone cold bitch.