Tavish McDonald of Williamstown was given his grandfather’s first tractor when he passed away. Tavish’s goal to restore the tractor this winter has been accomplished. Vogel Photo
Farmers develop an affection for the tools that they need to use to make their farm work, and that includes their tractor.
Many farmers cherish and look after their tractors as if they were a member of their family.
A good tractor is essential for agricultural work.
In 1975, Kerry McDonald purchased a 1954 McCormick Super W6 TA. He got it at an auction, and it was the best buy for the budget he had to work with.
He used the tractor until the early 2000s.
The tractor was retired to its own spot in his barn.
Farming is a family business for many, and McDonald had his family around him on the farm.
The farm is Kerry Dale Farms in Williamstown.
One of his grandsons is Tavish McDonald.
In 2020 the two decided to make a project out of getting that 1954 McCormick tractor out of the barn and running again.
The tractor was now 66 years old.
Tavish would have been 15 years old at the time.
The two of them got the tractor cleaned up. They had to get all the rust that had accumulated in the tractor’s gas tank before they had any chance of making the tractor run again.
The two McDonalds worked well together.
“We lived on the farm together, and we were good friends. We got the idea to get the tractor out and running again. It was a project just for the two of us.
I am mechanically inclined, and I learn as I go,” said Tavish.
Working together with his grandfather had a lasting impression on Tavish.
“It definitely influenced my decision to be a diesel mechanic,” he said.
He will be following that dream of becoming a diesel mechanic when he moves on to college next year.
“Being involved with this led me to begin collecting tractors. I have five of them now. Four are working, but there is one that I have not gotten to yet.
Bringing the tractor back to life after years in the barn was a fun project.
Hearing all the old stories of when his grandfather used to use the tractor made the project more than just about repairing a tractor.
“It was lots of fun,” said Tavish.
Kerry McDonald passed away last fall, but Tavish continued with the restoration of the tractor.
The tractor had been up and running for a few years and was doing light farm work from time to time.
Tavish made the decision to paint it and get it ready to showcase at the next Williamstown Fair.
“I knew that Paul and Tony Vogel did a great job of restoring tractors, so I asked them if they could help me, and they agreed,” said Tavish.
“In the summertime we will use it for some work on the farm and take it to the fair and show it off.”
The McCormick is now freshly repainted red and is at the farm of Tony Vogel waiting for some decals to arrive that will go on the front of the tractor.
Finishing off the project he started with his grandfather has been important to Tavish.
“I think he would be pretty proud to see it. He needed a tractor pretty badly and he needed one at a good price. He ended up with this and it was his main tractor for a few years.”
When the tractor is ready to go Tavish will most likely be taking it for a spin to his high school prom this year.