A Nice Load of Engines


See Chuck Sindelar's story about this ''Nice Load of Engines''

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S47 W22300 Lawnsdale Rd., Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186

I took the back cover picture Aug. 2, 1991 just after loading, on the way to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, for the annual show of the Dodge County Antique Power Club that is held annually at the Dodge County fairgrounds the first weekend of August.

The engines are a 1919 21 HP Baker #1511 and a 1907 9 HP Case #18630.

'The Rig', a 1966 White Freightliner and a 35 ton Load King trailer, is owned and operated by Fred Reckelberg, who is standing on the ground beside 'his rig.'

We first backed my 9 up against a timber-stop at the extreme rear end of the deck. Then we pulled the Baker on. While Fred very carefully raised the folding goose neck, the Baker was pushed ever so slightly backward, closing the gap until only mere inches remained between them. Had my engine been built just three years later and thus had 'the long smoke box', without which this fine load would not have been possible; Fred would have had to make two trips.

Fred Reckelberg is by far the most respected and highly sought-after steam engine hauler in Wisconsin, and may well hold the record for total steamers hauled. Fred whetted my interest and curiosity when he told me that he had hauled my engine (the Case 9) once before, 30 years ago in 1961! At that time it was owned by the late Justin Hington of La Motte, Iowa, and the haul was from the Fond du Lac Show (now held at Chilton, Wisconsin) to Edgerton, Wisconsin for what is now called 'The Rock River Thresheree', (held each Labor Day weekend).

Fred's estimate is that he has hauled about 25 steam engines a year, for the past 37 years! That would make 925 engines hauled. As these 'hauls' are almost all both to and from shows and events, the number of loadings and unloading would be almost doubled. Just for the sake of argument I'm going to say that the average engine (what is an average engine?? Do any of you own an average engine??) weighs 11 tons, or 22,000 pounds. That would make 10,175 TONS of engines or approximately 201/3 million pounds of steamers! And all of this was done without a serious mishap. Now, I ask youwho can match that??

Standing on the trailer to Fred's right is Dean Meissner. He can hardly wait to own his own engine, but in the meantime, he is always nearby and willing to help whomever is in need of an extra set of hands. He has been a big help to many and we all thank you, Dean.