Letters to the Editor

Photo showed reach plates

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This is in regard to the photo on page 21 of the February 2007 issue of Farm Collector. The two items shown at the center of the page are top and bottom plates that go forward of the rear axle (wooden) that the reach (some called it the coupling pole) went through to connect the rear axle to the front. The large center hole is for the pin. When the grain box was on the gear, a pin was in the front hole of the reach; when the grain box was dumped off on the wood pile or post pile, the rear axle was moved back to the back hole in the reach to accommodate the hayrack. The two outside holes went through the A frame bars to stabilize the rear axle.

I was surprised nobody knew what these were for. On page 20 of the same issue, at the gent's left elbow, are six axle nut wrenches for the same wagon. Some farmers used these to pin the double trees to the tongue, but that caused wear. Looks like the wrench to the far right has been used for that, because it's been built up with weld and ground off.

On the front of the reach there was a kingpin, as these wagons came before auto-steer. I once found a kingpin on an old farmstead. It looked like it had been bought new and was then lost, as it showed no signs of wear. These went through the front bolster reach on through the axle. These weakened the front axle and as loads increased, they would run the truss rod under the axle and out through the skeins for support.

- Nyle B. Jurgensen
Prole, Iowa