On the Road

Like Boy Scouts, Farm Collector readers are always prepared … with their cameras

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Above and Below Right: A 1947 Ford truck owned by Wayne Gedstad, Lennox, S.D.

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What, besides a passion for antique farm equipment, do Farm Collector readers have in common? They never leave home without a camera. In this issue, we share photos submitted by two readers who were prepared when they saw something special.

Bob Smith, Canton, S.D., was transported back in time when, in late October, he spied a 1947 Ford truck being used to haul grain. Now retired, he works part-time as a car salesman at a local dealership. "I've spent hours watching dozens of grain trucks hurrying past the store as the grain harvest progresses," he says. "So I was astounded this week to see a 1947 Ford truck, with its wooden stock and grain box heaped over the top with soybeans, keeping its place - and pace - with the giant semis and tandem axle diesels.

"The owner, Wayne Gedstad, Lennox, S.D., obliged me by stopping and allowing me to take some pictures of his proud old veteran," Bob recounts. "It has to be one of the oldest in the country still in unrestored condition and in daily use."

Wayne told Bob his dad bought the truck in 1955 from a local farm service business that purchased it new for use as a fuel and lubricant delivery truck, which explains the B.F. Goodrich decals on the doors and the yellow paint. (The truck was originally dark green.)

Wayne's dad mounted a new livestock and grain box on the Ford, and it's been in use ever since. The original flathead V-8 was removed a few years back in favor of a 1951 flathead with side-mounted distributor for ease in installing new ignition points. The newer engine has more than 140,000 miles on it, and it purrs like a kitten. "Happily, a muffler isn't a priority for this farmer," Bob says. "The sound of an open exhaust flathead under load is one of the most wonderful sounds on the planet."

Jan Koehler, Pierce, Neb., was armed with her camera during threshing at the Petersburg Threshing Bee in August. It's understandable that she likes this photograph (at left): Her husband, Donavon (center), and grandson, Parker Baumann, are in it. But it's more than family ties that make this photograph special. "I just loved the picture," she says. "It's not just Gramps and grandson, but the dirty overalls and the conversation and the little boy who has a deep interest in how machines of all kinds work."

Donavon Koehler and Keith Huwaldt of Randolph, Neb., are volunteers at the Pierce Threshing Bee. The Oliver stationary hand-tie baler belongs to the Pierce Threshers Association; Donavon had hauled it to the Petersburg show for a demonstration, and both he and Keith had worked that day, pitching bundles to the threshing machine.