Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7, 2015: Counting the Years with the 4440

We call the John Deere 4440 the "big tractor."  Of course in the reality of today's world of modern farming, it is more like an old riding lawn mower when compared to the newest hi-tech tractors now in use.  In fact, ours, which is one of the earlier models is a 1980 vintage.  These are actually starting to be accepted into "vintage" tractor shows.

But take a look at these 4 photos.  They each have two things in common.  First, they all center around the same tractor, the 4440.  Second, they all show various generations of the Burwash clan.

Presented in the chronologically order in which they were taken, the first photo is a "selfie" long before such a thing was even invented.  I was chisel plowing at sunset, preparing for a late night.  I represent generation # 2.

The second shot was taken just a few years later, that's generation #3, Seth, disking down pea ground after the it was vined.

The third shot was taken by Janice and is probably my all time favorite photo, ever.  That's generation #2 and generation #4 (Cam the Man) heading out to do some field work with, you guessed it, the 4440.

The final shot was one I was hoping one day would happen. God bless my "little sister" Mary and hubby Randy, they brought Dad up last week-end and took this photo of generation #1 climbing up on the trusty "big tractor" to, in the Old Man's words, "Kick up some dust" mulching cucumber ground.

Four generations, one tractor.  That's what farming is really about.


Greg Brown said...


Bryce Lee said...

The John Deere 4440 was produced between 1978-1982. It sold for
US$44,000 which was big chunk of change in those days. Still is! Suspect it has been well cared for, any idea how many hours on the engine Martin?

I do enjoy the photo of your Dad climbing on the tracctor, maybe have him pose at the side of the tractor at some point with the males
of the Burwash family. And then make some good sized black and white prints of same to be framed and hung.

The point it is and knowing from my own experience; an agricultural tractor properly maintained will quite literally go forever unless something, really major breaks. And if so short of
a major fire, the tractor can still be rebuilt and operated seemingly forever. My friend's Massey-Harris had one engine rebuild from purchase by his grandfather in the mid-1930's until it was sold last year when he retired from farming. The tractor still could work each and every day as required and for many years I used it to plough snow when my friend was away for the winter. He also had an early model International Harvester Cub which was ideal for cultivating between the rows of crops. When we rebult the engine twenty years ago we added an hydraluic system in lieu of the mechanical system used to raise and lower the tines. We also converted it to 12 volt negative ground electrical at the same time. It too has been sold.

That 4440 of yours will go forever, as much as the Burwash family shall with the recent birth of your first grand-child!