6-year-old drove tractor during harvest

From our March 2012 issue

By Clarence Wiebe – Rush Lake, Sask.

I got my first taste of driving a tractor at age six. My dad had purchased a new Oliver 70 gas tractor in 1948 before harvest.

The oats were ready to cut with the binder, but dad’s hired man was called away for some family function.

My brother was two years older than me, but because of a sore foot due to a nail puncture, he couldn’t drive – even though he was next in line.

Dad looked at me and said, “Well, son, I guess it’s up to you.”

I was too short to reach the clutch pedal, so dad would start the outfit at an idle, walk around the bundle carrier and once he was on the binder seat he would shout.

That was my cue to open the throttle to the designated notch and we were on the way!

If the binder had trouble, dad shouted and I shut off the ignition. After repairs were made, we resumed as before. I had a little trouble on the corners but we got the job done.

I still have a very clear picture in my mind of that day.