Sunday, January 10, 2010


From about age 16 up to 22 my friends from nearby used to have some real fun on the tractors, old cars and Landrovers on the neighbors farm, many afternoons the cows would disappear in horror as high powered motors would start and tractors and cars would be flying in every direction, the roar could be heard 10 kilometers away and I was well known in the Illawarra District as the wildest tractor driver in the district and my name was talked about in the nearby local towns of Wollongong, Kiama, Nowra, Bowral, Moss Vale, Milton, Ulladulla, Berry etc. My neighbor's boy Dan and I would race down the many steep hills on his farm, when the tractor would reach its top speed in top gear which is around 30KPH we would throw it into neutral and it would pick up to tremendous speed down the steep rough hills, at times we would be suspended in mid air a meter above the seat and the tractor would be bouncing all over the place, its wheels flattened out with the force of water rushing around in the tyres, we would reach the bottom of the hill and Dan would be in hysterics as I would approach along the flat the tractor losing speed rapidly, Dan would be just about weeing his pants as he would shout, "NOT FAST ENOUGH", then he would jump on and try to do a bit better, one day I had a friend Kim on the carry all behind the tractor, it was September and as usual for that time of the year was very wet, I was coming down this terrible steep hill out of gear and must have been about 80KPH, I knew that if I attempted to turn to go through the gate on that slope that I would tip so I yell to Kim to get down as my only alternative was to go straight ahead and hit the good barbed wire fence at a right angle and then carry on down the hill onto a flat covered by 6 inches of flood water, at the end of which was a creek which was in angry flood with huge logs and debris floating down as there had been around 200 millimeters of rain the previous day, I hit the wire and it curls back with a tremendous "Twing", I carry on down the rough hill at a tremendous speed fighting to maintain control, then there is a huge splash as I hit the flat covered in flood water, I hoped that in the 100 meters to the creek that I could lose enough speed to regain control before it as the water would have been at least 10 feet deep and running at 50 kilometers per hour, "Kim JUMP IF I SAY SO" I SHOUTED but to my relief in the 6 inches of water the speed rapidly washed off and soon I was slow enough to engage top gear and stopped well short of the creek. To say I felt rotten was NO EXAGGERATION, I apologized to Kim, his head could have been cut off with that wire, mine also and we could both had been drowned, I had made my mind up I was going to jump before end up in the creek to drown. I said "Kim tomorrow morning after we milk the cows we must fix this fence, Neville gets back on Sunday and he will be furious, he will see the mud torn up all the way down the hill, I will ring him and take responsibility otherwise if he thinks that you were driving he will sack you", I rang Neville as soon as he got back and apologized as it was his tractor, fortunately there was no damage, he just said "Well the main thing is everyone is OK, just do take care not to let it ever happen again because things go wrong on tractors, they are dangerous things, people get killed on them and we do not want a terrible tragedy," it was a LESSON to say the least


  1. What brand of tractor was it? John Deere?

  2. A small Fiat, the neighbor had a Massey Ferguson 35 which was slightly more powerful but both were quite powerful for such small tractors