A Cowboy’s Faith: College project trailer sold – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: College project trailer sold

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It hadn’t been used for an extended time, so the tractor hauling trailer was sold through an online computer auction.”

In 1971, college agricultural education construction class students were given an opportunity to build a project for their own use.

With two tractors, a 1965 John Deere 1020 and a 1939 John Deere B, they were used at both farms. It was 15 miles from the headquarters to the other location, so Dad suggested building a trailer for hauling tractors.

Somewhat proficient in welding classes, the college junior jumped on the challenge. Basic plans were sketched out with advice from the class professor and recommendations from Dad and Uncle Elmer.

A classmate didn’t have a personal project, so he volunteered to help build the trailer for college credit.

Axles with wheels and tires were acquired from a local trailer house factory. Very heavy new steel for the framework was reasonably purchased from an area dealer.

Gooseneck hookups were uncommon at that time, so the trailer was designed to be pulled from a truck bumper. A jack and safety chain with the ball hitch made hookup simple.

Shaping steel into trailer form was easy with the college’ saws, cutting torches, and welders. Classmates worked well together with professor’s guidance to assure strength of welds.

Three portable ramps were constructed out of heavy steel to load the tractors which had different wheel and axle types.

With steel work completed, there wasn’t any floor. A local sawmill operator sawed heavy native lumber planks to dimension for that purpose.

They were hauled to the college shop in the pickup and bolted to the trailer frame with assistance from Dad and Elmer.

Completed project earned the professor’s “A” grade and smiles of accomplishment from all family members.

Put into immediate use, tractors were successfully hauled from one farm to the other.

Used periodically for several years transporting tractors where needed for farm work, the trailer fit its purpose just fine. However, modifications in design would have been made if the project was to be redone.

Through the years setting outside without use the trailer’s wooden floor and rubber tires deteriorated.

Pleased with his purchase, new owner from Oklahoma commented how heavy and strong the trailer was built.

Reminded of First Kings 9:1: “The construction project he had planned was finished.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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