Tractors & Hurricanes

  1. GPS1504
    For many years, I saw tractors only as farm equipment. Sure, in the back of my head somewhere, I knew they also served purposes on road crews, but it was primarily on the farm that I envisioned them. Perhaps it is due to what I always saw-bush hogging, sub-soiling, moving hay bales, and the like-that I never thought of heavy equipment being anywhere else but a farm. With time and age comes wisdom, however, and I soon saw that I was wrong in my assumptions.

    In the year 2005, catastrophe befell my hometown. A category three hurricane named Katrina made landfall, the eye passing within 40 miles of my house. As a matter of fact, the eye actually went directly over my mother\'s house. Her house was fine, but mine...not so much. I had fallen on hard times and was living in something that was held together by hope, only hope was not enough to get the job done. In the end, what was left of that place, a mobile home, had to be demolished.

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    Enter the tractor. While most of the heavy lifting involved in demolishing that place fell on the shoulders of an excavator, the tractor was there working right alongside it. As the excavator took bites out of my former home, dribbling pieces of it across the yard, the tractor swooped in and pushed those pieces back in front of the excavator. Without the Kabota working beside it, we could have been out there easily twice as long.

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    There was no task too small for either machine and watching them work is something I will never forget. As the excavator lifted and later dropped the hot water heater that was once in my home, the tractor retrieved it. When the excavator had large pieces of metal frame and was unable to break them, the tractor acted as a brace that made it easier for the excavator to work. All throughout this process, every minute of which was watched by me, the tractor chugged along.

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    It is easy to look at a machine and assign it a role. You see something and you think automatically that it is good for a few things and only a few things, but if you open your eyes, you just may be quite surprised. Having never seen a tractor do anything but mow pastures and tote hay, it was quite a surprise to see it go toe to toe with the excavator that was in charge of the demolition of my home. In a sense it was a comfort, too, because I knew that machine-I saw or sat on it nearly every day so to have it take part in something so awful as crumbling the remains of my home up into a ball to be carted away had a calming effect. My heart and mind may have been working overtime that day, but so was that faithful Kabota.

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    Next time you hear someone say a tractor is not up to any given task, think of me and laugh. I had to learn the hard way not to judge a machine by its supposed capabilities, but I am certain I was not the first nor will I be the last. I am just another one of many who made tractor judgments too fast.

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