Over a dozen tractors were driven to Minford Dairy Bar on Saturday afternoon. The convoy was made of various makes and models including Oliver, John Deere, Allis Chalmers with Farmall holding the majority of presence in the crowd.
When asked what they were doing, Chuck Thacker, simply said, “Having a little tractor ride.”
Thacker is a member of the Greenup, KY, club G.O.T.E.M. (Greenup Old Tractors, Engines & Machinery).
He said tractors arrived, on trailers, at the home of Tim Wheeler in Minford, that morning in preparation for the ride. Some people belong to a tractor club and some do not. Some own tractors and some have owned them in the past. Owning a tractor was not a requirement to gather and socialize in this event.
The ride left the Wheeler residence around 11 a.m. and took the back roads toward Minford. The route taken was Kentucky Trail, Bennett Schoolhouse Road, up Bond road by Minford schools onto SR 335 turning at the intersection of SR 139 by Giovanni’s pizza until they arrived at the Minford Dairy bar for lunch.
Steve Horn, of Ironton, who was driving a 1942 Farmall H said, “We enjoy it (the ride) and attend every year.” He said as he sent a welcome. “Everyone come out and join us next year.”
This was the third annual tractor ride in Minford and is set for the first weekend in July each year.
Timothy “TJ” Wheeler, son of Tim Wheeler, drove his school bus following behind the tractors. He owns the school bus and chose to drive it for safety reasons due to the slow speed of the ride. According to the bus speedometer the top speed of the ride was seven miles per hour. “The ride is slow,” said TJ Wheeler.
The law requires a slow moving vehicle sign on the back of each tractor to be street legal. “Some of the tractors will go faster but they have to maintain the speed of the slowest (tractor) on the ride so they can stay together,” TJ Wheeler said.
“The school bus is the nicest vehicle to be in today, it is shaded and has fans going,” according to TJ Wheeler.
Mark Watters who was not able to drive his tractor this year did not want to miss the tradition of the annual ride. He followed behind in a side-by-side Kabota vehicle driven by his brother, Tony Watters. Mark’s son, Marcus, drove his tractor on the ride. Others rode in side-by-sides or other vehicles to enjoy the scenic route as well.
John Reed of the Southern Ohio Farm Power of the Past Tractor Club in Piketon, Ohio said they had held it’s annual show the first weekend of June, “We had a parade and gave away a tractor.” Reed drove into Minford on an Oliver 660 belonging to Tim Wheeler while Reed’s son, Bradley accompanied him on the ride driving his ‘49 Oliver 66.
The fun does not stop in Minford though. Thacker said his club will hold it’s 19th annual show the first weekend of October. They will have food, tractor pull, games and more. No tractor is needed to attend the show which is held on US 23 in the town of Greenup. For more information visit their Facebook page or email the club president, Mike Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org or call John Warnock 606-922-8561, Phillip Bowling 606-547-2924, or Jenny Applegate 606-796-3567.