We've had a busy summer since our last newsletter at the end of May. Our farming operations have been on hold for now with the fall harvest yet to come. We have attended several shows and parades and held a few fun pulls to keep everyone busy. Read along and see what's been happening and also a bit of a heads up for some of the events yet to come.
SVTA 2019 VINTAGE TRACTOR PULL & SHOW (August 24 & 25) - Ellis Kumpula and his pull weekend organizing committee have been busy with the organizing and planning for our 15th tractor pull and show weekend. It really is amazing how much our annual event has changed and grown since our early efforts at the Kumpula farm in 2005. We expect somewhere around 100 tractors to show up starting on Friday, August 23 in preparation for the weekend action. Click on the "tractor pull" window from the top menu, you should find everything you need there. If you have not yet signed up for volunteer work duties, phone Ellis at (780) 922-6120 and he will fit you into a job slot somewhere over the weekend. Remember that you must be a club member to participate in the pulling events. Volunteer workers (including pullers) who are on our job lists are not required to pay the gate admission fee of $5 per day. We pass along a quick thank you in advance to all of our members and others who make this event possible every year.
MEMBERSHIP REPORT - At this time, we have 72 current regular members (including two junior members) on our membership list for the 2019/20 season. This would include members from last season who have renewed and also new members who have joined up. Also on the roster are 33 lifetime members (75+ years of age with no renewal necessary), and 9 honorary members. We have 20 of our members who have listed their spouse/partner as an associate member. At this time,10 members from last year have not renewed their previous memberships although we suspect some of those will renew at our August pull and show later in the month. New members joining up since our last newsletter include Drew Hogg (Ardrossan), Nicole Holowaty (Bruderheim) and Shaylynn Vanderheyden (Fort Saskatchewan). Welcome to the club, we hope to see you at our meetings and events as we move along through the next year.
New memberships are available at general meetings (third Wednesday of each month at the Ardrossan Memorial Hall) or through regular postal service registration. Our club website has a postal registration form available which you can print off, complete, and mail in with a $35 cheque. All the information a new member needs is on the form. Use the address on the form for postal mail.
LYNN DAVIES (1937-2019) - Our friend and fellow club member Lynn Davies passed away on Sunday, July 28. Lynn was one of a small group of local vintage tractor enthusiasts who organized our club back in the spring of 2005 and he served on our club executive during our early years as a not-for-profit society. Lynn was instrumental in the creation of our club bylaws and our original society application and registration. In addition to his passion for tractors and old farm machinery, Lynn had a love for the sport of rugby and he was a founding member of the Strathcona Druids Rugby Club. The club acknowledged Lynn's contributions a number of years ago when they renamed their rugby complex in Sherwood Park as the Lynn Davies Rugby Park. Lynn is survived by his wife Lorna, three children and five grandchildren. We will miss you Lynn, rest in peace.
The photos included show Lynn at the recent Canada Day parade in Sherwood Park where he had his '69 Olds Cutlass convertible, and the Druids dedication ceremony when the rugby park was renamed in his honour.
FORT SASKATCHEWAN UFA SHOW & SHINE (Friday, June 14) - The Fort Saskatchewan UFA store hosted their annual Farmer's Day event on Friday, June 14 (one week later than usual) and our club participated with several members bringing out their old iron for visitors to enjoy. The store hosted a tasty hamburger BBQ during the lunch hour that everyone enjoyed. It is always fun to show off our vintage tractors and chat with those who drop by. Everyone seems to have a story or two about an event that related to a tractor many years ago and that's always interesting.
Leo Bilodeau brought out two tractors (a JD BR and a JD BO) and so did Bob Beveridge (Co-op E5 and Co-op E2). Tom Speedie showed his Ferguson TEF20 and his David Brown 2D while Joe Radke displayed his Case D and a JD model M. Helmuth brought out a pair but one was a Ford Model A 2-door sedan along with his Massey Harris 33. Others participating were Ellis Kumpula (JD 530), Lou Normandeau (JD A), and Lee Salmon (Allis Chalmers WD 45). Thanks to all of our club members who showed up and also UFA for another opportunity for us to enjoy a fun day showing and talking tractors.
ARDROSSAN PARADE & PICNIC (Saturday, June 15) - This annual event is growing every year and the parade kicked off the day's activities followed by their regular slate of activities and events afterwards on the green area between the Memorial Hall and the Rec Center. Our members gathered early in the Ardrossan High School parking lot along with scores of other groups and then headed out at 11:00 AM along the parade route. One of our members pulled the Strathcona County float, thanks to Rae MacMillan for doing that with his John Deere 1010.
Rae MacMillan towed our club's Northrup Express wagon over to the site earlier in the week from Bremner and then Val Shillinglaw hauled it along the parade route with our club's 8N which now has a decal on the hood identifying it as our club's "hot rod.". Following behind we had John Van de Ligt (Ford 8N), Ellis Kumpula (JD 530), Al Gregoire (JD 1010), Leo Bilodeau (JD BO), Lance Bilodeau (JD BR), Yvette Kumpula (JD 620 Gator), Roman Sadauskas (Cockshutt 40) and Lee Salmon (Allis Chalmers WD45). Once the parade was finished up, some of the crew made their way over to Bremner to get ready for our club's fun pull the following day on June 16.
HORSEPOWER EXPLAINED - Horsepower is defined as the amount of energy or work required to raise a weight of 33,000 pounds a height of one foot in one minute of time or to overcome or create a force which is equivalent to doing that amount of work. Therefore in simplified terms, one horsepower is 33,000 foot pounds of work done in one minute. However, horsepower may be measured at various power points on a tractor and the result can be significantly different. For instance, the horsepower generated by an engine in its cylinders is always more than the actual power which can be utilized for work. The following definitions should add some clarity.
INDICATED HORSEPOWER - This represents the power developed in the engine cylinder as obtained from the pressure in the cylinders. This is pressure obtained from an indicator which shows cylinder pressures. Indicated horsepower does not represent the actual useful power delivered by the engine.
BRAKE HORSEPOWER - This is the actual horsepower delivered by the engine to the engine's output shaft. It is equal to the "indicated horsepower" less the power loss due to friction in the engine. It is the engine's useful horsepower and is sometimes called the "shaft horsepower".
EFFECTIVE HORSEPOWER - This is the final horsepower delivered to equipment by the tractor's drawbar or belt pulley. An engine may be operating compressors, pumps and auxiliary equipment as part of its own power production needs, and the remaining power is therefore the effective power for drive. The difference between indicated horsepower and effective horsepower may be as much as 25%.
2019 SVTA FUN PULLS (June 16 & July 13) - For a number of years now we have been holding what we call "fun pulls" at the Bremner site. The pull committee organizes these informal tractor pulls which essentially give our club an opportunity to make sure the pulling sled is in good working order, as well as providing our club members with the opportunity to make sure that their vintage iron is ready to go when the end of August rolls around and our annual tractor pull and show happens. A barbeque lunch is always well received during the noon hour break and everyone returns to afternoon action with a full belly. Two fun pulls have already been completed and one more is scheduled for the weekend before our August pull and show. Thanks to Tom Speedie, Joe Radke, Roman Sadauskas and Ken Tomkins for their organization and preparation for out fun pulls so far this year. Near the end of July, Al Rice and his friend John Braithwaite beefed up the bearing support for the input shaft on our pulling sled transmission and also fabricated a method of adjusting chain tension on one of the roller chains. Thanks for getting that done boys !!
UKRAINIAN CULTURAL VILLAGE VINTAGE DAYS DISPLAY (Sunday, June 23) - Five of our club members showed up with their old iron for the Ukrainian Cultural Village's annual Vintage Days event at their beautiful site alongside highway 16 east on Sunday, June 23. They were treated to an early complimentary breakfast which they heartily accepted after arriving. The weather was very nice after a rather damp and unsettled week which left us wondering at times what might happen on the weekend, but it worked out great for us. The entire village was open for visitors to enjoy to see what is there and to enjoy the musical and dance competitions throughout the day.
There is always a large vintage car and truck display in close proximity to our tractors. Those showing up with tractors included Don Tauber with his 1954 Allis Chalmers CA, Rae MacMillan (1954 Ford Jubilee), Hal Lougheed (1960 Oliver 550) and Bob Beveridge (1953 Cockshutt 20 & 1952 Coop E2). Wes Heller drove out and displayed his lovely 1949 Chevy 1-ton pickup truck. Our display attracted a lot of attention and careful inspection by many of the visitors and as usual, some of them recollected some of their own farming experiences from years gone by. Thanks to all of our guys for taking the time and effort to display their old tractors for others to enjoy.
JUNE & JULY BREMNER FARM REPORT - We reported on our spring field preparations and seeding in our last newsletter. At this time, our large crop (about 75 acres) of barley is doing well on the "new" north field while our smaller plot of oats (about 5 acres) immediately west of our south hay field will be ready for our field demonstrations at our pull at the end of August. Our annual grain crop is now our biggest source of income every year and when fall time rolls around, we can use all the help we can get to make sure that gets done in time. Photos below show our north field grain beside the volunteer growth of Canola on the adjacent county land that they have set aside for their own use. The hay crop on our south and north fields have grown well but the weather has not cooperated at all and what will be the first cut is still standing as this newsletter is sent out. Our second crop (which we usually take off just before the pull at the end of August) will not amount to much at all and could possibly just be a mowing event. More info to come on what's happening as we move into August.
Meanwhile, club member Helmuth Ritter continues to be our go-to guy for keeping the site mowed, looking good and keeping the maintenance equipment clean and in top shape.. Helmuth can't seem to get enough mowing with our John Deere tight turn mower that we bought a few years back. Helmuth has received back up help from Tom Speedie and Mike Ballash this season so far. The map below shows the original location site (near the dugout in the west 40) for the proposed multi-purpose ag facility buildings that the county is planning, however the planners eventually realized that their site selection was on a very low part of the farm site and far too wet. As a result, the buildings are now planned to be on what is currently our north hay field (gold area in photo below). Initial work might happen in September following our pull and show on the weekend of August 24 & 25. Eventually, it is likely that our club operations will be centered on the large area north of the building sites seen on the map.
MEL CLARK AUCTION (June 23) - On the same day as the Ukrainian Cultural Village event, club member and director Mel Clark was hosting an event himself (with Prodaniuk Auctions) at his Namao farm. After 40+ years of collecting tractors, tractor and farm "stuff" plus numerous other desirable items, Mel decided it was time to let someone else enjoy most of his collection of about 700 lots, including about 30 tractors. The turnout was great and of course, a number of internet bidders were also on hand to make the day very successful. Mel said goodbye to all but 4 of his tractor treasures so he still has some kicking around including a Cockshutt 20, 30, 40, and a John Deere AR. Mel's first vintage tractor he picked up years was a John Deere model A tricycle so he at least still has one of the green and yellow units in his collection. In the photo below, Mel is seen with club members Ellis Kumpula and Ken Bodell who were classmates with Mel 40+ years ago at Vermillion Agricultural College. The JD 830 in the photo was one of Mel's tractors in the auction. Ellis and Ken helped Mel get his collection of old iron in good running order over the past couple of months. Also shown is a vintage JD dealer porcelain "4-legged deer" sign that was part of Mel's collection which garnered a lot of interest.
CANADA DAY PARADES (Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan) - July 1 this year started out to look like a fantastic day weather wise but by the half-way point of the Canada Day parades, things got pretty wet. But it didn't dampen the spirits of those who showed up with their old iron to represent our club in the local communities. At Sherwood Park, Don Tauber and his Farmall M pulled the Strathcona County float through the parade route with a local girl guide group riding on the float.
Bob Beveridge brought two tractors, his Cockshutt 20 and a Co-op E2. Bob's son-in-law Rob Minogue pulled a full load of passengers in our Northrup Express wagon with the Cockshutt while Bob followed with the little Co-op. Also in our club entourage we had John Van de Ligt and his Ford 8N along with George Schmidt and his newly restored Case LA. George has decided to add a little colour variety to his tractor collection and he thinks that Case Flambeau Red (orange) goes well with John Deere green.
After the parade, we found out that we were the recipient of Hartwell Glass & Mirror's "Best Community Entry" award. John Van de Ligt accepted the trophy on our club's behalf. Meanwhile in Fort Saskatchewan, their parade started an hour later than the one in Sherwood Park and as a result our club members there suffered a lot more of the wet stuff unfortunately. We did have a few show up though including Ellis Kumpula and his John Deere 530, Yvette Kumpula and Ellis' sister-in-law Terri driving a John Deere Gator, and finally Roman Sadauskas piloting his Cockshutt 40 through the stormy weather. Thanks to everyone who showed up for both parades which, considering the weather, were a big success.
INTERNATIONAL WD40 - AN EARLY "HYBRID" TRACTOR - In today's 21st century, everyone is talking about gas/electric hybrid cars in order to cut emissions and fuel consumption. The International McCormick Deering WD40 was a hybrid of sorts, it started on gasoline but ran on diesel once warmed up. Early diesels were notoriously difficult to start from cold, and manufacturers tried all sorts of tricks to make the job easier. In the end, efficient glow plugs did the job. But back between 1935 and 1940, IHC's answer was an engine equipped with two fueling systems in parallel, spark plugs and a magneto on one side with a diesel pump and injectors on the other side. To start this "hybrid" engine, one turned a lever to open a small valve in each combustion chamber to reduce the compression ratio enough for the start up on gasoline. Once the engine had run for about a minute these valves automatically closed, increasing compression. The operator then manually opened the diesel fuel valve lever. The WD40 was then ready for a diesel-fueled day of work at a fuel saving of about 50% over their straight gas-powered WK40. The big tractor depended on a 460 cubic inch 4-cylinder engine to get the job done and it was tested out at 38 horsepower at the drawbar and 48 at the belt pulley. For field work, it was rated to pull four 14" plows.
SVTA YOUTH WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM - In the fall of 2017 we started a youth work experience program with Bev Facey High School in Sherwood Park to provide an opportunity for students in their automotive shop program to refurbish a Farmall A tractor which our club supplied. They completed the project and we had it on display at our pull last summer, see the photo below. We then purchased an 8N Ford last year and were thinking of repeating the program during this past school year but for a number of reasons, that did not happen. Our directors decided to send the Farmall to Mel Clark's auction in June which we did and we're happy with the $2100 we realized from the sale. That pretty much covered our expenses for the program at Bev Facey. In the meantime, we have decided to keep the Ford 8N and use it for farm duties at Bremner and it has already been put to work in our spring field preparation and seeding at Bremner along with some towing duties in parades. Val Shillinglaw has done a lot of work on the little Ford to get it field and parade ready. Thanks to our club members who were involved with this endeavour over the past couple of years.
Galloway Seeds Annual Community & Customer Appreciation Breakfast (July 31) - A foggy morning wrapped up our June and July activities at the Galloway Seeds location just north of the Bremner farm on Rg Rd 225. Galloway has always been there for us at harvest time with their loan of equipment needed to move our grain harvest out of the bins into trucks for shipping to buyers. This year we had a great turnout with a dozen tractors and a couple of collector cars on hand for those in attendance to inspect and enjoy. Five colors (green, blue,, orange, red, and grey) showed up representing 7 different tractor manufacturers and two car makes. The Galloway crew served up a fantastic and tasty breakfast offering and then conducted draws for some very desirable door prizes. Thanks to Galloway Seeds and club members Ken Tomkins, Mark Normandeau, Tom Speedie, Shaylynn Vanderheyden, George Schmidt, Al Rice, Ellis Kumpula, Peter Newman, Ken Bodell, Lou Normandeau, Leo Bilodeau, Val Shillinglaw, and Don Tauber for being there and helping out with our club's exposure in the community.
So that's the tractor club news for June and July. We still have lots of activities coming up over the next few months so make sure you stay in touch and hopefully are able to participate in as many events as possible. In the meantime, HAPPY TRACTORING, and remember these words of wisdom in your travels.
"Sometimes when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging."