Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 4 - Offloading Aussie Tractors

The travellers finally return to home soil! Oct 13th was a good day for Sandstone Heritage, and 3 tractors in particular. The JD 60 Hi-Crop, General Ordinance & emerson Brantingham Big 4 had been shipped to Australia early in the year to participate in the Plough & be Counted in April.

This they did and bought much credit to South Africa in the process. However after the event getting them home again proved difficult, as certain arrangements fell through leaving the tractors stranded. Finally they embarked in a container from Sidney, and arrived in Durban a few days ago.

The trip was obviously not without mishap as the one side of the container has received a huge dent, hitting the rear wheel of the John Deere, although with no apparent damage. The container was offloaded in the port area and the tractors loaded onto a Sandstone lowbed, by Baas de Bruin.

This was not easy as no real facilities exist there for such an exercise, but fortunately the JD was last in, and proved easy to start. Having started the JD, it was then used to pull out the others and pull them onto the lowbed.

Chris Wilson who was on hand to assist was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the tractors. "After hearing so much about the tractors being stranded at Cootamundra, and then on Sydney Docks, I expected them to be at least badly weather worn, if not seriously damaged" said Chris "However they are in excellent shape, the JD started first kick, and whoever loaded them knew what he was doing"

Some very slight damage has occoured to the "GO" caused by panels working loose from vibration, and the Emerson has a very minor bend to it's one fender - otherwise all ok. No doubt the custodians of the "GO" & Emerson, Charles Viljoen & Neels Booyen, will be anxious to check them over for themselves at the first opportunity.

The units are on their way to Sandstone, and will probably be seen in action at the forthcoming Steam Day.

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