Want to drive a tractor?

| July 2002

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    David Timmerman,
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    Old Threshers Reunion

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When David Timmerman, director of the Midwest Old Threshers, proposed a tractor driving event at the 2001 reunion, he got little support, but he forged ahead carefully. The event proved so successful, he's doubled the number of tractors to be used at this year's show.

'We plan to expand this operation from the two tractors used in 2001 to four,' David says. 'I hope we can get some other tractor owners to come forward and help us out.'

The drive-a-tractor suggestion came up a year ago when David was chatting with a group of women about what would make the reunion 'perfect.' One said, 'I would like to drive a tractor,' and David thought that was a good idea.

It proved a tough one to sell, though. 'No one around me thought it could be done safely,' David says. He consulted an insurance company about the proposal and says officials there had no objections, provided he selected a safe gear and set the throttle at a safe speed.

With the help of an old friend, Hawkeye Whirrett of Dallas, David went ahead with his plans in a low-key way.

'I had never heard of any show that provides tractors for the general public to use,' David says, 'but I believe for a show to continue, it must reach out and touch the visiting public, and make them feel a part of things. Plus, a show must make obvious, positive changes while remaining mostly the same.'