Moving the John Deere 60 to West Virginia

Elizabeth's brother William (who has years of experience driving this tractor) navigates it onto a new trailer which we bought just to transport this tractor. We had previously measured the trailer width and after considerable effort adjusted the right-hand wheel in on the axle as far as it would travel.

When it came time to load the tractor, in spite of careful measurements, lacked an inch of fitting. Note the bulge in the tire sidewall. One of the trailer tie-downs looked like it would damage the original tire so we rolled the tractor back off the trailer.

Now we had to try and move in the left hand wheel. We had earlier tried to break loose the bolts holding the wheel to the axle and knew we were in for a job. William used a piece of water pipe as an extension on his 3/4-inch breaker bar. The wheel bolts were very rusted and frozen. We actually twisted off one of the bolts trying to break it loose. Even after we got the bolts loose, the wheel would not move on the axle. Jim remembered reading something on the internet about wheels coming loose in the field, so William drove the tractor up and down the roadside while stomping on the left brake and eventually was able to get movement between the wheel and axle. Finally we were able to get the wheel apart.

We wanted to have 10 percent of the total trailer weight on the hitch ball. Since we didn't have any scales available, Jim measured the height of the empty trailer hitch and then rolled the tractor forward on the trailer until the hitch load compressed the truck springs 1/2 inch. Jim figured this would give enough positive pressure on the hitch ball.

The truck is a Chevrolet 3500 one-ton with a 454 cubic-inch engine. Our owner's manual indicates a maximum trailer weight of 10.000 lbs. The trailer weighs about 3,000 lbs. and the tractor weighs about 6,000 lbs. so we are safe. The trailer axles are rated to carry 14,000 lbs.

The trailer towed very well and we got 10 miles to the gallon of mid-grade gasoline.

William raises and stows the ramps while Jim secures the tractor in place using heavy chains and chain tighteners.

Elizabeth's mom and brother wave goodbye to us as we head for West Virginia. The first half-mile of travel (down off the hill) gave us the chance to check the braking action of the load.

From the backyard of the hilltop home you can see both Buffalo and Rochester, NY (both 40 miles distant).

We think they both hated to see the family tractor leave the state, but they know the tractor will find a good home in West Virginia.

A good antique mall is hard to pass up, so remembering the size of the Riverfront Antique Mall parking lot in New Philadelphia, OH, we swerved on in for a break from driving.

Jim is shown here kicking the tires on the trailer. The axles on the trailer ran a bit hotter than would have been expected, but this was attributed to the weight of the load on the bearings.

And finally, backing down into the driveway at the Brown House just before dark. Ten minutes after we pulled in the rain that had been threatening all day hit.

Jim takes a spin around the subdivision circle. Hand clutches take a bit getting used to when driving.

The tractor, currently parked in the front yard as yard art, seems to meet the approval of the neighborhood as neighbors gather to see our latest project and hear her pop.

We planned our first task of restoration to be the replacement of all the gauges. (It would be nice to know if the tractor has oil pressure!) Our good neighbor and fellow John Deere aficionado Mike, however, said that we should start by pulling off the old metal and get it painted the appropriate green color.