PLOWINGThe Big Peerless 40-120

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Austin Monk's big Z3 Peerless 40-120 at the 1988 Barnes Steam & Power Show at Belgrade, Montana.
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All photos by Melvin Kestler

712 Chaps Road, S. E. Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124

Attended the annual Barnes Steam & Power Show, Belgrade,
Montana, August 26 through 28, 1988. This is the show where Austin
Monk of Marion, Montana keeps and shows his big Z3 Peerless 40-120
steam traction engine. I rode on the big Peerless as it pulled with
ease 20 John Deere 14′ plows in dry hard gumbo soil. It had not
rained in Belgrade for over two months. The plow crew members were
able to get the plows in the ground 5′ to 6′ by standing on
the plows. The plow was perfectly adjusted and all shares went into
the ground at equal depths.

On my ride on the big Peerless, Dale Richardson of Orofino,
Idaho was engineer and Austin Monk the fireman. Dale and his
father, Joe, have a perfectly restored Case 110 along with several
other late Case engines. Dale was more than impressed with the
performance of the big Peerless. The engine fire box was completely
filled with wood none added while plowing both ways in the field.
Austin left the 1′ injector on all the time the engine was
plowing, during which time he kept the steam pressure steady within
1 or 2 lbs. of 150 lbs. and the engine never popped-off any time
before or after the plowing. What a fireman! It’s hard to
believe how the Peerless handled such a big load with such ease at
2 miles per hour. With extension rims the rear drivers are 4 feet
wide. Rodney Monk, grandson, Marion, Montana and Gary Yaeger of
Whitefish, Montana operated the big Peerless most of the time. You
non-believers will have to come to Belgrade next year.

Left: side view of Austin Monk’s big double
cylinder 40-120 Peerless. It’s really big.
Right: Austin Monk’s big 40-120 Peerless
pulling 20-14′ John Deere plows at a depth of 5′ to 6′
in dry gumbo soil with ease.

Firing up the big Z3. Austin Monk of Marion, Montana, owner, is
on left bunker. .

The two attractive and very active Barnes daughters were
everywhere during the show operating various equipment and doing
all types of hard labor jobs.

Met and visited with Dale and Brigetta Richardson during the
show. Brigetta made an excellent sound video cassette of the Barnes
show including the Peerless plowing while she rode on the engine.
Also, met and visited with Clarence and Dean Young of Great Falls,
Montana. Clarence bought my three piece Case 65 outfit in 1974
while it was in Twin Falls, Idaho. Clarence has a large collection
of engines (including a 110 Case), tractors, threshers, cars, etc.
I followed the Youngs home and we all visited for several days.
Stopped and visited with Joe and Marie Richardson of Orofino,
Idaho, several days on my way home. Enjoyed seeing all of Joe’s
beautifully restored engines and automobiles.

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