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Subject: Actions vs consequences

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Jerry Marks    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:18:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Actions vs consequences
  • Just a note to all on the board regarding safety. My 15 year old daughter, aka chief 8n mechanic, called me the other day to relate a story that happened Halloween night across the street from her home in Kansas City. It seems that a local gentleman had hooked up a hay wagon to his "little tractor" in order to take the neighborhood kids trick-or-treating and did just fine until he turned onto a street that went down a fairly steep hill. With the wagon full of hay, kids, and some adults, the tractor's brakes were unable to slow itself and the full wagon down and eventually failed completely. The operator , when faced with a rapidly accelerating situation, attempted to steer the tractor onto a driveway which turned up from the street. Just as soon as he turned the steering wheel, the tractor and wagon jack-knifed, rolling the tractor with him onboard underneath the wagon full of kids and adults. The wagon continued down the street, dragging the man and his tractor along with it, and finally came to a halt when friction overtook the momentum of the load. Unfortunately, the tractor operator was killed and the kids will suffer from unpleasant memories of a Halloween treat gone terribly wrong. One lapse of judgement ended this man's life. We all need to remember to weigh the consequences of our actions on our "little tractors" or we could very well end up like this poor fellow. Keep it safe and listen carefully to that guy on your shoulder.


    WayneinMaine    Posted 11-20-2008 at 20:44:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Sometimes a little mistake can have big consequences. Having made the intial mistake, it sounds like he made the admirable choice to stay with the tractor and do the best he could from there. Not everyone would have. For us newbies, is it safe to say never haul anything heavier than the tractor? With road vehicles I never haul more than half the weight of the vehicle without trailer brakes, and even that's less than ideal. My entire family came inches from being killed when a trailer my father was hauling when we were moving overpowered the van that was pulling it. Our tire tracks in the snow missed a telephone pole by less than a foot. He was hauling a very heavy trailer with a ford econoline van. We went back home, bought an old school bus, and filled it to within 2 feet of the ceiling with the stuff that had been in the trailer and van. That day left an impression on me. Just a few weeks ago I was hauling some heavily loader trailer loads of manure home from a neighboring farm. It was just 2 miles away and I drove SLOW, 10-15 MPH. I didn't have the electric brake controller hooked up yet. I figured I'd stand on the brakes and see what happened. That small 6 foot by 10 foot dump trailer full of wet manure shoved that Dodge D250 diesel along like it wasn't even there. That made me wonder about the practicality of putting an electric brake controller on the N (it's 12 volt) so I have brakes on the trailer also. Maybe a solution for us 1 tractor people?

    Bryan    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:10:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Hello,
    Even if he did not have brake problems, he probably would not
    have been able to stop it. I was coming down the street the other
    day and it is a downhill grade coming up to the stop sign. Instead of
    just cutting the throttle to slow down I pushed in the clutch and
    stood on the right brake. The Ag tires just slid along the street.
    Ag tires do not have much contact with the pavement and are not
    much good for stopping.

    When I pull a heavy load I use my 4WD Deere with industrial
    tires that have a lot of ground contact...and good brakes.

    john, carmel. ny    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:09:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Scary thing... I ALWAYS sit next to my 6 year old daughter when we go to an apple picking / tractor hay ride...... It amazes me how folks throw their kids on those rides / stand by and watch.... I've had breaks fail and weight out challange breaks........ Very sad story.......

    Sean (TX)    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:08:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Did the transmission pop out of gear...Not a good thing.

    Dave M    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:34:45 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • What were the details? Maybe he was pulling a big wagon with a lawn tractor.

    For me to garner anything some details would be essential.

    Jerry Marks    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:35:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • I knew this question would come up, so I did a little background checking in order to make things clearer. The wagon was a full-sized hay wagon, painted green and yellow, with an oak deck that was loaded with about 25 bales of hay, 8 adults, and about 16 children. The tractor was, unfortunately, a 2N that had been "restored" with a couple of cans of spray paint, some new wiring, and new ignition components. A friend of mine who works on tractors in the area and has done quality work on several of my tractors when I lived in Kansas City, had supplied the new components for the man and had advised him that his brakes needed to be repaired because of leaking axle seals. The gentleman chose to ignore the advice and figured that he could "get by" for the time-being. Bad choice with tragic consequences. Also, the street was steep; not quite as steep as Lombard Street in San Francisco, but quite steep. No amount of engine back pressure would have slowed down this load, when the compression in the 60 year old engine was probably compromised to begin with. Just bad judgement or a lapse in thought when everyone was just out to have a good time. Isn't that when most tragedies happen?


    LeeMo    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:07:06 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Any time you overload any machine it's a set up for disaster. Then he added bad brakes to an already potential bad situation. I'm sorry that things went the way they did for the driver and the passengers both but he was tempting fate from the beginning it sounds like. Thanks again for the reminder, Jerry.

    Dave M    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:06:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Jerry

    That explains it all - sad indeed.

    Mike Wilson, Catlett VA    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:48:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Just like an airplane; all about weight
  • I've added it up. 25 bales at 40lbs is the first 1000. 8 adults a minimum of another 1000. 16 kids at 50lbs. or so, another 800. That covers the tractor and we haven't weighed the wagon yet.
    When the hitch is designed to provide rotational moment of force around the back wheels and downwards force on the fronts when pulling, everything goes into a cocked hat when the load starts pushing.
    My grandfather performed the experiment 50 years ago when the almost new 8N got its butt lifted clear of the ground by a full stacked load of hay, probably 6000 lbs. altogether, things went downhill a lot faster than intended, and the music started playing faster than he could dance. He was only knocked unconscious.
    The N is unauthorized on the front of loaded wagons around here. We use nothing smaller than the 4600 for moving loaded wagons down the steep hills, and even then if the brakes lock up, it will be pushed all the way down.

    BeeMO    Posted 11-15-2008 at 05:01:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Just like an airplane; all about weight
  • In 1954 I was sitting in one of the seats along the sides of a Marine R5D on the way home for discharge from Korea and Japan. The plane was landing at Tokyo International. There was freight strapped down in the middle with military people along the sides. Right after we touched the strip the front end started up and the tail started dropping down. The door to the pilots compartment was opened by a guy that yelled "everyone up here NOW!". Needless to say it didn't take long for us to get to the front of the plane while we were speeding down the air strip. The nose of the plane came softly down and made a good landing before reaching the end of the strip. I guess it can be said that it took all of us to land the plane safely. I have always felt that the guys in the control tower were probably saying "how did they do that?". Flying has never been one of my favorite things to do.....;o(


    Tyler (MD)    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:49:18 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Just like an airplane; all about weight
  • I remember when I was a tyke, my grandfather and great uncle pulled a case combine with a Farmall A. Amazing what these little tractors could do. This is me at the wheel back in 1970.

    I remember when we traveled from farm to farm and came to a downward steep hill we used another tractor behind the combine, chained that tractor to the back of the combine and used it for extra braking power. It seemed to help. I know it won't help this guy out, it's truly is an accident. I'm just giving you my experience with what was done to help in our situation. I also remember pulling a fully loaded hay wagon up a fairly steep hill with that same "A" tractor and it stalled out. The tractor started drifting backwards before I was able to get it started. The brakes weren't holding the load. I got it started with the help of my grandpa. I ended up changing my skivvies on that one. :-)


    Mike W, Catlett VA    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:49:51 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Same trick here too
  • We moved our granery, which is a 40' semi-trailer using a dolly under the front with the TS100 pulling, and the 455 Case chained on behind for extra braking while going downhill. It didn't get away from us.
    I'm always amazed at the work they got done with such small tractors. The plow back in those days was a 2-12, and they'd regularly plow 30 or 40 acres at a time.
    My neighbors have an A, it was their first tractor back in the day.

    TheOldHokie    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:46:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • And don't forget. that
  • gravity and the weight of the load can push a farm tractor down a slope with both rear wheels locked up tight. Been there - done it- and I hope to never do it again.

    TOH - who learned his lesson and chit his britches all at one sitting

    Mr. Bob    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:46:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: And don't forget. that
  • This is the reason that I "preach" about using loaded tires and wheel weights when handling loads that are "heavy" in compairson to tractor. I have both on my 2N, but still am very careful about the weight and ground conditions involved when I anticipate going down a grade. I once had an unballasted Ford 860 nearly send me to the "other side" when I headed down hill with only 78 square bales on a wagon. It made a lasting impression.

    Mr. Bob

    JMOR    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:33:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Very sad. Everyone should consider how easy it is, with these light weight tractors, to end up with a load pushing you that is heavier than your tractor.

    LeeMo    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:33:02 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Thanks for the reminder, Jerry. I think many of us that have been using our Ns for some time occasionally get a bit lax when it comes to safety issues. I've pulled a few tricks that I don't care to repeat and it helps us keep in mind how easy a fun, seemingly harmless ride can turn bad. Sorry to hear that the driver paid for his mistake with his life.

    souNdguy    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:32:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Sounds like someone should have tried a lil engine assisted braking.. and not relied on brakes solely...


    heybusdriver    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:31:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Jerry , thank you for the post , we all need to be reminded now and then just how dangerous machinery can be and to use caution all the time, how quickly things can happen with out any way of correcting them. Blessings to his family .

    1949 8N 8N179555
    1949 8N 8N197904
    1950 8N 8N254079
    1951 8N 8N362039

    carl ny    Posted 11-15-2008 at 04:30:30 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Actions vs consequences
  • Sorry to hear about that,I know the gentleman was probably just trying to do a good deed.I don't think he new the limitations of his tractor.Good post,remember saftey first.

    carl ny

    P.S. Just to satisfy my curiosity,do you know what kind of tractor it was?

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