Haying Time on the Family Farm

A New York woman recalls haying during World War II with a modified Federal truck and a buck rake

| Good Old Days

Around 1943 haying was accomplished with a monkey tractor and a buck rake on our little farm in Collins, New York.

The so-called monkey tractor was a homemade affair consisting of a 1918 shortened-up Federal truck with a Studebaker engine.

To make the contraption work my Uncle Ham rigged up a wire stretcher with ropes and four pulleys that, when tightened, would lift the buck rake. The buck rake was made of mostly angle iron with pointed teeth on the ends and was attached to the front of the monkey tractor. It would gather the sweet smelling dry hay that had been deposited in huge piles by an old dump rake.

Hanging on for dear life, just for the thrill of hitting bumps in the hayfield, I would ride on the back of the monkey tractor.

The exhaust fumes would be so bad from riding there that I would get off occasionally to get a cold drink and some fresh air in my lungs.

My parents sold that first farm of my childhood a few years later, but I will never forget the sweet memories of haying time.

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