The Runaway Tractor

We always had a problem with trucks, cars and machinery taking off and rolling away when we parked it at our house.

Most of the time it worked out without being a real disaster. We didn’t live on top of a hill exactly, but the ground wasn’t level either. Which was good and bad. Bad if the brakes weren’t set good, but good when the battery was down on a vehicle and you needed to roll it to get it started.

Once I started to town, forgot something and came back. Forgetting to set the parking brake and in a hurry to get to a party, I ran inside and a few seconds later I heard the crash. The little Pontiac car hit the house right at the kitchen. The house was pretty sturdy so the wall withstood the impact but it knocked the kitchen cabinets out from the wall about a half a foot.

I ask Cec if he needed me to stay and help get them put back in place. He told me to go ahead and be sure to enjoy myself at the party. (Or either get your #%^*** on out of here and I’ll get it fixed)

The next morning it was all fixed and the subject never came back up.

Another time one of my little teenage girl cousins came to live with us. She was just learning how drive and Cec had put her in a Plymouth that had a push button transmission. She pulled up and parked. A little later she went out to leave and there was no car. I came along about that time and she thought I took the car and hid it just messing around. Knowing I hadn’t, I found out where she parked it. Then I tracked it. I could see broken branches on scrub brush going of toward a stock tank. Standing on the bank I could see a light glow out in the middle. The car was brown but had a white top. The water was about 10-12 feet deep. Through the murkiness of the water there was a glow, which saw was the top of the car.

In a matter of a few minutes I had dived down, attached a a winch cable to it and we were pulling it out.

We drained the oil and fuel out of it, dried it all out for a couple of days, then filled it back up. It fired up and Cec kept that car around for several years. You just didn’t want to leave the windows up on a hot day. I sure wouldn’t smell very good on the inside.

Several other trucks and machines ran away, but only a few of them were really costly to fix afterwards.

The one that stands out in my mind the most is an Allis Chalmers model “C” Tractor.

Kenny had been doing some work with the tractor. Couple of fellows came along that were going to go hunting down in our lower pasture and needed to be shown where to hunt. Kenny parked the tractor out from the house on a grade so he could roll it to start it instead of cranking it when he got ready to get back to work.

After getting the hunters situated, we drove back up to the tractor, only the tractor wasn’t there. About then we looked down the way to where our Aunt Netta had mobile home parked. It had been there long enough to be landscaped around and nice flagstone sidewalk built up to the front door.

All this was about 150 yards from where the tractor was parked. When it rolled down the hill, it traveled up the sidewalk and jump up on a set of steps.

The tractor was configured with a set of narrow wheels on the front. When it finally came to a stop those front wheels and engine compartment had passed through the door with no more than 2″ of room to spare. The tires stopped only a couple of inches from a sofa that was positioned directly in front of the front doors. The back tires were too only inches from reaching the front door.

What was evident, if any part of the tractor had been an inch or two either way or greater in length more than likely the mobile home would have been a total loss.

All that was needed was a $10 piece of wooden trim to repair the door stop where the screen door was pushed inward, instead opening to the outside as it was supposed to go.

Anyone that saw it or the pictures agreed that it was the most amazing thing they had ever seen.

This is a tractor very similar to our old tractor.

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