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  • Sean Barry

My love affair with tractors got off to a rocky start

Through sheer happenstance, I was the first grandson born into a large family of mostly female cousins. Apparently, my grandfather was very excited at the prospect of a grandson and could not wait to take me for a ride on his tractor. Unfortunately, when the big day arrived for the drive, I was terrified of the noise and begged to be put down.

Luckily, I soon got over that fear and was obsessed with anything that moved, plowed, dug or transported dirt. I would watch the farmers tend the land around our cottage in PEI and even got the occasional ride from them (sorry Grampy). After my obligatory desires to be a policeman and a fireman, I then wanted to be a “construction engineer". Someone who – in my mind - designed construction machines. My favourite design was a fire breathing snowplow.

When I ran a small odd job business, I was forever using machines to help with work. Snow blowers, lawn mowers, rototillers all saw action on the front lines. To me, power tools didn’t necessarily make working easier, it allowed you to get more done in the same amount of time.

So, when we bought the land, I was super excited at the prospect of buying something that could help us tame the wilderness and provide me some fun while doing it. However, I married someone who came from a family of very hard-working folks who were either skeptical of the power of hydraulics, or simply hadn’t had the experiences and familiarity with gas powered devices as I had.

What did not help the overall justification was an early trip to a run-down tractor dealer who did his best to NOT sell me a tractor.

Me: “Hi, I am interested in one of those small sub-compact tractors you have on your lot.”

Dealer: “Why would you want one of those things?” (He had 3 units on the lot)

Me: “Well we just got an acre of land and it would be helpful to have”

Dealer: “An acre is too small to be usable for a tractor like that”

Me: “Well just in case I would still like to purchase one, how much is it?”

Dealer: “$17,000”

My Wife: “We are out of here!”

…. And so, began 13 years of cursing, sweat, calluses, sore backs and a plethora of power tool rentals while we terraformed the land. It wasn’t until a combination of events – our moving to the lake full time and a generous donation from Leni’s Dad (in exchange for snow removal services) were we able to finally invest in what I call “the time machine” given its ability for us to do many things quickly and easily.

Did I mention it has a cupholder and cruise control?

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