At Grainews we value reader feedback, and we actively solicit it. Any we get related to our machinery content ultimately ends up on my desk. So I get a sense for what subscribers want to see in the Machinery and Shop section. And, of course, we try to accommodate that.
Over the years I found a common comment we often get is that we focus too heavily on new equipment, and we don’t pay enough attention to the needs and wants of producers who rely on older gear to get the job done. While it is true we spend a lot of time and energy keeping you up to date on what’s new, a lot of producers are using new and late model machines. That information is relavent to them. So it’s important for us to keep providing useful information about what’s on the market. But we haven’t abandoned those other producers who use older equipment.
We’ve run a large number of mechanical how-to articles over the years that we hoped would be useful to anyone running older equipment. Because, let’s face it, older machines need a lot of maintenance, and we think we’ve helped with that—at least a little—by providing repair and maintenance tips.
In this week’s issue, though, we’ve stepped up our focus on older equipment. We’ve started another new article series that will hopefully appeal to the used equipment crowd. We’re calling it the “New Paint, New Power” series.
A few decades ago IH promoted a program with a similar name, encouraging owners of older machines to bring them into dealerships for a mechanical overhaul and new paint job. It was a lower-cost way to get that new tractor feel and reliability out of an older machine. Now, we think that idea deserves renewed attention, given the current cost of new machinery and the downward pressure on farm commodity prices which make buying new a little harder than it was five or 10 years ago.
In the May 14 issue, we looked south of the 49th parallel at Nathan Flenker’s impressive refurbishment of an IH 6588 2+2 tractor from the early ‘80s. Nathan, his wife Angie and their family operate Half Mile Down farms near Princeton, Iowa.
We really appreciate the Flenker family’s cooperation in getting the article to print. Be sure to check it out. It includes some great images Nathan took throughout the rebuild process that document his efforts in detail.
We became aware of Nathan’s project when we saw an image of the 6588 posted on Twitter. But we know there are a lot of other tractors or farm machines out there that have been treated to a great rebuild that fits with our New Paint, New Power theme, and their owners haven’t been using social media to show them off.
If you’ve redone an older machine to make sure it keeps working in your farming operation, or if you know of someone who has, let us know. We’d love to feature it in a future Grainews issue. Feel free to email me, at [email protected], or any of the editorial staff at the magazine.