When your tractor catches fire

by Katie on January 3, 2011

So, there we were…

Right before the holidays, trying to get 75 acres of cotton ground prepped and planted with barley before we could depart for a Texas Christmas. It was my second day on the disc, and I was down to six or seven borders left (out of 42). The home stretch, to say the least.

I’d had trouble with the air conditioner all day. Trouble, as in, it quit working on me. Before noon. It was cool out, so I just drove with the door open when I could get away with it without having dust billowing in on top of me.

Brandon came by with a can of freon pretty close to sunset (because that’s when you need the A/C, right?), and filled me up. After tinkering with it for a while, however, he realized that wasn’t the only problem.

He found some sort of short in the wiring for the unit, which was causing the fan to shut off completely when it got hot (instead of just blowing hot air on me, as it had been during the day).

So, he inspected it, reconnected everything, and showed me how to remove the panel and fumble with the wires, should I experience the same issue once he left. Rather, when I experienced that issue after he left.

I took careful note of his instructions, then began to wish him well and on his merry way so I could get back to work and stay on task with getting to Texas.

Only, he wasn’t quite finished.

B:  “Now, if this tractor catches fire on you, I want you to try to put it out for a minute or two, then get your stuff and bail.”

K:  “What?! If it catches fire? Are you serious?”

B:  “Well, yeah…it could happen.”

K:  “Uh, I think I’ll skip the ‘put it out’ part of that and jump straight to the ‘bail’ part then.”

B:  “No, you really need to try to put it out. Just dump your water bottle on it, and if that doesn’t work, jump out.”

K:  “Won’t that send smoke into my face? And you really want me to sit in a tractor that’s on fire longer than necessary?”

B:  “Well, it won’t really be on fire yet. You’ll see smoke first, not flames.”

K:  “Oh, you’re right. That changes everything.”


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