Tractor train gains show goers’ attention
ALBERT CITY – One of the attention-getting attractions of the daily parade at the Albert City Threshermen and Collectors Show was the tractor train.
Created, built and owned by Gene and Marguerite Huelman, of Schaller, it’s something that has been seen in the area for the last three or four years, but really made a big splash in Albert City.
It featured 15 tractors of varying sizes, from actual size at the front of the pack, to toy tractor size at the end of the line.
They’re all connected with tow bars, with the bars being specially made to fit the smaller tractors as they decreased in size.
The train features, from start to finish:
1. A 1947 MD Farmall Diesel.
2. A 1954 Super H.
3. A 1949 Farmall C.
4. A circa 1947 Farmall B, which Gene Huelman said is made up of parts from many different years of tractors.
5. A 1949 Farmall A, which came from Texas.
6. A 1947 McCormick Deering Farmall Cub, which came from southern Arkansas.
7. A 682 Cub Cadet garden tractor made during the 1970s.
8. A 282 Hydro Cadet garden tractor, also from the 1970s.
9. A 1949 open grill H pedal tractor, which Huelman estimates to be about a one-fourth scale in size, and worth about $1,000.
10. Six “babies,” including a 1/8 scale Super M; a 1/16 scale M; a 1/32 scale M; a 1/16 scale Cub Cadet, a 1/64 Farmall 400, and bringing up the rear is a Farmall tractor that Huelman found on a keychain and thought to be the smallest tractor that he could find to be part of his tractor train.
The idea came to Huelman, he said, in a dream after he had parked some tractors in his yard in a line.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, “but I kinda wish it wouldn’t have happened because it’s been a lot of work,” he said with a grin.
Huelman hooked the big tractors together as normal, but when he got down to the 1/16 scale tractors and smaller, he hooked the improvised tow bars directly onto the front wheels, so they couldn’t drop into a hole and break off as they drove along.
The Huelmans said they’ve been to a few parades in northwest Iowa, but they said it’s always the same thing after they’re parked somewhere.
“People walk by and look at the big tractors, but they will stand around and really spend their time looking at the babies at the back of the train,” he said with a laugh. “That little Farmall 400 probably has 15 miles on it.”
Marguerite Huelman said the pedal tractor in the train was “a piece of junk” when her husband brought it home in a box.
He restored it as he did some of the big tractors and turned it into a valuable toy.
“They didn’t make the open grill H for very long,” he said, realizing the treasure he had found when he first saw the toy tractor.
The Huelmans own all of the tractors in the train.
They like to find children on the parade routes to sit on the smaller tractors so they can be part of the fun as well. No one does any driving except for Gene Huelman, who drives the first tractor in line.
“It’s been fun to have the tractor train here in Albert City,” Huelman said.
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