The Time I Almost Died On My Tractor…Mom Please Skip This One.

I was sitting here thinking about how I’m glad I don’t wear my mistakes on my person. Like many of my farming kin, I have done some really thoughtless things on the farm. It seems that the end of a long day, under the sun, with deadlines looming, animals needing to be fed, and bills needing to be paid is not the best time to make decisions. A couple of years ago I made one that almost took my life. Moving hay bales is always precarious. Whether you’re cruising in John Deere 6125R holding double bales, or like me, putt putting along on a 1952 John Deere 420, it doesn’t take much to mess up. I had been moving round bales to the cattle wintering area with this tractor for a couple of years now and I can assure you I was completely overconfident. I enjoyed rattling around in that seat, watching the sun go down and quickly making my way around the bedded down fawns that hide in the tall grasses. This was the ultimate alone time on the farm and I reveled in it. On this particular night I was headed to retrieve a bale that had gotten away from the bailer and rolled down onto a remote part of the front field. When I say this area is steep I am not kidding. This hill is the kind that would make Greg Lemond’s legs ache and I suspect the scant one inch of topsoil is all this incline will be able to support. Mistake number one, this hill was way too steep for my 29 hp rear wheeled tractor built when I Love Lucy was still in rotation. I headed down the hill, backed the hay

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