Old Iron

The Pickover Truck

As a boy, I learned to drive in a ’37 Ford pickup my dad owned. When I saw an ad for a ’37 Ford pickup I just had to go look at it. A couple of weeks later, I had the pickup. Twenty years later, the project was nearly complete.

Here is a before picture…


And an after picture…


The John Deere D

One of my favorite pieces of old iron is the 1944 John Deere D. D’s were not made for culivating or close area work. D’s were made for pulling. The two cylinder engine has 6.75 by 7 inch bore and stroke. It has 501 cubic inches of displacement and runs at a whopping 900 RPMs. It’s a thumper. I call mine Richard the Deep Breather. My friend Bob said you shouldn’t name a tractor a boy’s name, but I got the name from a children’s book, The Mad Scientist’s Club, by Bertrand R. Brinley. In the picture above, we wanted to move the Locked Shed in Madera. We rarely locked it but could, so the name stuck. We put the shed on skids and then let the D do what it does best… pull.

The Fordson


The Fordson is a 1923. This picture was taken on the Madera place 30 years ago. We planted boysenberries in a pasture. This was our first experience with plowing. When working with the earth our friend David (foreground) is strong and willing. As you can see, I was fighting the Fordson as it tried to jump out of the dead furrow. It was a tiring day but I think disking the ground into submission after plowing was the hardest job. The Fordson was like a boat bucking waves. When we got ready to move to Colfax, the Fordson had been sitting for probably 15 years. Would you believe I couldn’t get it started! We had to pull it onto the lowboy with the D. I felt like I should complain to Ford. 


The berries turned out well. We picked and sold berries for over 20 years. Ruth could pick at twice the speed that I could. She did the majority of the work in the berries. I disked them with the Fordson until I got the John Deere D. The D whizzed up and down the rows with ease.

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