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Reichow7120

The shop fire post got me thinking.

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Reading about the man loosing his shop in a fire and the injuries he sustained while trying to save customers vehicles brought back some memories of mine from 14 years ago.

Ill start with a back story. In the winter of 2001-2002 I helped a gentleman that lived in the neighborhood cut firewood in exchange for a non-running 656 hydro gas with a narrow front end. Long story on how i got hooked up in the deal but it worked well for us. He got his wood cut and i got my first tractor through labor. My graduation money was spent doing a engine rebuild on it plus some other money i had saved away that wasn't being used for college. I really wanted to get my first tractor running.

The engine was the only reason the tractor had been parked. Once going it was a great hay bailing tractor with our 311 New Holland baler. That tractor was a blast to use bailing.

In early July 2005 we were getting ready to run wheat. One evening i ran into a buddy of mine who with his Dad runs a medium sized cow/calf operation. They were in the midst of doing 2nd cutting hay. They had IH tractors too. They had hay down in 2 locations. Their home farm and another farm about 25 miles away. They were square bailing hay on the home place and round bailing on the farm 25 miles away. They kept the 756 and the 400 at home to so hay. The 1486, 1086 and 574 were away. Because of weather they ended up with all that hay down at once. 

In the process of square bailing their 756 went down. I happened to see them later that afternoon and that was brought up in a conversation. Me being a good buddy said that they could use my 656 to finish up square bailing as we wouldn't need it until we ran wheat and started bailing straw. They came and got it that evening for bailing the next day.

The next day came and we decided to try a sample of wheat right across from the feedlot. We ran a pass back and forth across the front of the field but we decided it was too wet and we were going to let it dry. We had just finished our sample run when we looked South and could see a thunderstorm building. I remarked i wondered if Adam and his Dad had gotten the hay done at the home place which was 7 miles southeast of our farm. A couple of hours later i get a call from Adam. He told me i needed to come to the farm as there was a big problem. I drove down and pulled into the driveway with the Fire Fighters still spraying down hot spots where the barn they stored hay and straw in and a few other things had been.  i Could see that there were a couple of pieces of farm machinery in the wreckage. I then got this sinking feeling on why i was here. Sure enough when Adam and his Dad met me they were apologizing up and down. My 656 hydro that I had redone was a smoking ruin. They had started square bailing when they got rained off so they pulled my tractor, their baler and wagons into the barn and went to the house. Shortly after the barn was struck by lightning and caught on fire. They felt terrible about it but there was nothing they did wrong or could do about it. That fire did leave me brokenhearted. All that time, money and hard work up in smoke. 

What struck me at the time was they kept saying if they could have gotten it out they would have. Reading the post about him getting hurt pulling customers cars out of his shop made me think of this.

Yeah,  it was insured but it was never going to be the same. I ended up taking the insurance money and other money i made and March of the next year bought my 7120. It was needed as a bigger planting tractor and i really like it but at times i really wish i still had my first rebuild with me. 

Sorry for the long post.

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Sorry about the loss of your tractor but it's a blessing nobody was hurt on that day. I guy I worked for always said "iron can always be fixed". 

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1 minute ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

Sorry about the loss of your tractor but it's a blessing nobody was hurt on that day. I guy I worked for always said "iron can always be fixed". 

I know but there was no fixing that tractor after that fire. It was burnt to a crisp. I just have a feeling i know what he was thinking when he was doing what he was doing.

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its sad, to loose a piece of equipment, but there is NO, repeat NO piece of equipment worth getting killed over. its hard to stand there and watch it go but so easy to replace if you are still in one piece. tractors and cars and stuff can be replaced, no human can. 

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There was a big farm equipment dealer 12 miles away from me that had a fire Christmas night. We came right past it and within half a hour the whole place was on fire. I’m sure it was burning when we came by as it went so quick it almost had to be smouldering.  Guys from the shop got the doors opened and tried to get the customers equipment out but the smoke was so bad as I understood it the engines wouldn’t run. They got out of dodge and let er go. Everything was a complete loss. Was a big hit to the company as they had just purchased it.  They rebuilt and replaced it with a much larger nicer shop. Was a big ordeal chasing insurance agents for a while though. Companies insurance wouldn’t cover the customers machines so there was some scrambling for a bit I think. Was a huge investigation after too so everything just layed there for close to 6 months. Was a pretty sorry sight. 

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The old M60 series tank used an air cooled diesel V12. When those engines let go 17 gallons of hot oil was in the belly of the tank in a fraction of a second. Pus the fuel tanks were on either side of the engine and when full held 375 gallons of fuel. It also wasn't uncommon to have a cell ruptured by flying debris from the oil pan or block as a rod went through something. Now when we still had those tanks in Europe we kept a combat load of ammo on board. Mostly HEAT (high explosive anti tank) and Sabot. But always 13 rounds of HEP (high explosive plastic) and WP (white phosphorus) in the vertical storage rack. But 63 main gun rounds for the M68 105MM gun.

We were maneuvering in the German countryside when a call came over the net. One of the tanks in our platoon had blown the engine and a fire resulted. The crew had pulled the mounted fire extinguishers and they had discharged into the engine compartment. Flames died down and as soon as the CO2 dissipated it flared back up. There were flames leaping out of the rear deck grill doors about 5 feet of so. They were very concerned that the fire would get into the crew compartment and set the ammo off. So much so that an officer tried to order the crew to open said grill door and use 5 pound CO2 hand held extinguishers to try to put the fire out. Absolutely no way to do that without someone getting burned badly. He was worried about an "international incident" if the tank exploded. Our BN Commander relieve that guy. Luckily the German FD showed up and seeing as were were in a rural area they had blankets used to smother a fire like that. No one got hurt. The tank commander, friend of mine, had stayed on top of the turret long enough to radio for help and to respond to the order to open the grill doors with "sir, I don't understand what you mean, can you drive over here and show us?".  Closest German civilian was over a mile away and in no danger.

But the point is had we been in a small town of village evacuation would have been the correct solution. Nothing there worth dying for.

Rick

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Reichow.......great story with a really sad ending......obviously............Isn't that the way....go to help out your friends and lose a treasured   tractor.      From personal experience I have learnt that fire does not take an y prisoners......

Mike

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I seen a post on Facebook they started a go fund me for the guy that was burnt said they didn't want any to rebuild to focus the money to his go fund me for medical bills 

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Reminds me of this in the Farmall C Operator's Manual:

image.png.b00cb04e7c2dd3d7b5f5cb1c7d0f5924.png

 

Also, Kind of a long story but, when I was a kid there was an arsonist running around the county burning barns. My dad had grown up here, was president of the VFD, had been a farm boy, FFA chapter president, etc etc. He took local community service very seriously and made it a point to try to save equipment. He had lots of stories about pulling up to a fire and asking the owner "what's in there that's the most important thing to try to save?" and then asking them if there was anything special about starting and moving it. He told me one story about backing an 8N out of a barn that was an heirloom and the tires were on fire while he was doing it.

Of course, he was wearing a scott pack and turnout gear while doing it. Way safer than trying to save stuff in street clothes.

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36 minutes ago, KWRB said:

Reminds me of this in the Farmall C Operator's Manual:

image.png.b00cb04e7c2dd3d7b5f5cb1c7d0f5924.png

 

Also, Kind of a long story but, when I was a kid there was an arsonist running around the county burning barns. My dad had grown up here, was president of the VFD, had been a farm boy, FFA chapter president, etc etc. He took local community service very seriously and made it a point to try to save equipment. He had lots of stories about pulling up to a fire and asking the owner "what's in there that's the most important thing to try to save?" and then asking them if there was anything special about starting and moving it. He told me one story about backing an 8N out of a barn that was an heirloom and the tires were on fire while he was doing it.

Of course, he was wearing a scott pack and turnout gear while doing it. Way safer than trying to save stuff in street clothes.

Before my time we had a old house with some type of attached garage on it at the feedlot where my parents now live. They at one time rented the house but it was then sitting empty. Grandpa was storing the corn picker in that garage somehow.

One day someone came by and told them that the house was on fire so they rushed over and drug the corn picker out of the garage before it went up. It was arson but at least they didn't touch the barns with the cattle in them. That place didn't have a house on it again til Mom and Dad's house was built in the late 70s. (The fire was in the early 60s)

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That stinks to lose a tractor, but your story is testament to and even greater story about neighbors helping out neighbors.  You willingly gave them your tractor to use with no expectation of anything in return just simply because you were friends/neighbors and you saw the need. 

We are told daily of bad things people do to each other when we really should focus our attention on all the good things we do daily to help each other. 

 

As a young man when that happened (as hard as it was) it probably taught you more about life, friendships, and how things are, than anything else ever could have.  Thanks for sharing your story. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Reichow7120 said:

Before my time we had a old house with some type of attached garage on it at the feedlot where my parents now live. They at one time rented the house but it was then sitting empty. Grandpa was storing the corn picker in that garage somehow.

One day someone came by and told them that the house was on fire so they rushed over and drug the corn picker out of the garage before it went up. It was arson but at least they didn't touch the barns with the cattle in them. That place didn't have a house on it again til Mom and Dad's house was built in the late 70s. (The fire was in the early 60s)

I used to live in a city for a bit (college and a little bit afterward). I remember a girl I dated was totally confused as to why someone would volunteer to be a firefighter -do something dangerous and not be compensated. Then when I told her they worked really hard on the scene to save equipment and belongings, it was even more foreign to her. She couldn't quite get her around people's whole lives being tied up in things like ag equipment, and who may live in old houses that, after a fire, they would have nowhere else to go.

My mom was the president of the VFD Ladies Auxiliary ("LADIES?!!" cis-normative pigs!!). We were a relatively well off family for our area. I remember every time a family would lose everything ("burned out" my parents would say), my mom would come back from the scene, and direct us kids to go through our drawers and part with things. This would include clothes, toys, sporting equipment, and probably makeup and such from my sisters, idk. I remember being a little sour about parting with my stuff, but I'm glad my mom made me do it. Plus, we could afford to replace anything we gave up if we REALLY needed it (which we probably didn't). These days, it seems the community doesn't come out in support like that. Everyone just kind of assumes "the Red Cross has got this".

Heck, since my dad died, the local Fire Department has become entirely dependent on state money and hold exactly zero fundraisers. They used to do Chicken Barbecues, Mother's Day Dinners, Pancake Breakfasts, and Field Days. They got a guy in there running the show who has them convinced the town should just grovel and kiss the ring and they'll have the funds they need. And anything they don't get, they apparently don't need.

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Thanks for reading my story.

Just the story of him getting hurt while saving those customers cars and losing his pulling tractor brought this to my mind. The time spent on that pulling tractor isn't reimbursed by the insurance company. The same with the time i put into that 656. Now im not saying he he did right there ( he should have let them go) But he did save some people the s--- show of dealing with insurance which is above and beyond what was called for in this case. Again im not condoning what he did. Just saying Wow, that's something.

Im still friends with Adam and his family to this day. It wasn't their fault the barn burnt. 

The part that sucks to this day is that ive never been able to replace it. Yeah, i bought the Magnum, but it's not the same. That was turn key. Funny thing is i bought it for planting and my Dad ran it planting until this year when it got put on the sprayer for my brother to run. I do run it during hay and harvest a little bit. The labor put into it at that young age really made me proud when there wasn't much to be proud of. Also ive never found one that was quite how i wanted it. Narrow front, gas, hydro that wasn't shot and would cost a fortune to fix. I would love to do it again someday (that or a 86 series tractor) but money isn't there at the moment so ill leave that itch alone.

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On 8/21/2019 at 12:19 PM, KWRB said:

I used to live in a city for a bit (college and a little bit afterward). I remember a girl I dated was totally confused as to why someone would volunteer to be a firefighter -do something dangerous and not be compensated. Then when I told her they worked really hard on the scene to save equipment and belongings, it was even more foreign to her. She couldn't quite get her around people's whole lives being tied up in things like ag equipment, and who may live in old houses that, after a fire, they would have nowhere else to go.

My mom was the president of the VFD Ladies Auxiliary ("LADIES?!!" cis-normative pigs!!). We were a relatively well off family for our area. I remember every time a family would lose everything ("burned out" my parents would say), my mom would come back from the scene, and direct us kids to go through our drawers and part with things. This would include clothes, toys, sporting equipment, and probably makeup and such from my sisters, idk. I remember being a little sour about parting with my stuff, but I'm glad my mom made me do it. Plus, we could afford to replace anything we gave up if we REALLY needed it (which we probably didn't). These days, it seems the community doesn't come out in support like that. Everyone just kind of assumes "the Red Cross has got this".

Heck, since my dad died, the local Fire Department has become entirely dependent on state money and hold exactly zero fundraisers. They used to do Chicken Barbecues, Mother's Day Dinners, Pancake Breakfasts, and Field Days. They got a guy in there running the show who has them convinced the town should just grovel and kiss the ring and they'll have the funds they need. And anything they don't get, they apparently don't need.

I agree with him, you give your time for free, shouldn’t have to raise money for your equipment. Cops don’t do pancake breakfasts to get bulletproof vests. A new ladder is well over 1 million dollars now, thats alot of pancakes. Times have changed

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I get that and I'm sure it's true. I've never  seen the books, so I have no idea how it works out financially. I only say this from a community involvement perspective.

The events, which also happened to be fundraisers endear the community to the department. My department has a terrible time getting members these days, but I honestly think it's because the department is out of sight, out of mind. No events for the community of any kind.


The police comparison is not exactly apples to apples either, because police departments are supported by taxes from their jurisdiction, whereas my local volunteer fire department now has to ask the state pretty please for money when needed. If it were a local tax I might not be so opposed. I don't like the vulnerability of being dependent on an all-but-foreign government to provide adequate resources to my town.

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51 minutes ago, KWRB said:

I get that and I'm sure it's true. I've never  seen the books, so I have no idea how it works out financially. I only say this from a community involvement perspective.

The events, which also happened to be fundraisers endear the community to the department. My department has a terrible time getting members these days, but I honestly think it's because the department is out of sight, out of mind. No events for the community of any kind.


The police comparison is not exactly apples to apples either, because police departments are supported by taxes from their jurisdiction, whereas my local volunteer fire department now has to ask the state pretty please for money when needed. If it were a local tax I might not be so opposed. I don't like the vulnerability of being dependent on an all-but-foreign government to provide adequate resources to my town.

You might want to check their funding sources, the state does not give any money to fire departments. FEMA has a grant program once a year but other than that all money for any department in NYS comes from taxes or donations and 2% money. I was fire chief for 15 years and the state has never given one penny to any fire department that I know. 

While fundraisers might be a good community event without a doubt I think you will find that calls for service are much greater than they were 20 years ago and training requirements are also much greater. Its alot to ask guys to go on calls, give up a couple nights a week training then spend their weekend flipping pancakes to buy their own equipment. 

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You're probably right. Like I said, I'm on the outside looking in.

I'll find out soon enough. I just filled out my paperwork to join. Happy to do some community service.

I was excited to be able to help out on some trucks and building work, but I'm also told that all that is hired out now too because of liability... Bummer.

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