In John Deere We Trust

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

On average, there are worse people to trust.  I grant you that.

But the ease with which we, as drivers, put our very lives into the hands of those who operate tractors and various other tractor-like mobile metal reaping machines, is somewhat appalling.  

If you are one of my NYC of LA readers, tractors are these big wheeled modified trucks that are used in the production of food; such as corn, pumpkins, and even hauling fecal matter!  Here's a picture:
This is a cute kid's version:
Here's a scary looking one: 

Hopefully now we are all on the same page.  

When these mechanized beasts end up traveling on normal-person roads, they simply can't keep up.  Literally.  These bad boys top out around 35 (I'm pulling that number from the depths of my buttocks), but they usually go a crisp 25 for safety.  And that can be extremely frustrating for anyone who has to get anywhere.  Sure we understand, fundamentally, that there is nothing that we nor the tractor driver can do to change the nature of physics and a clogged drain.  But damn that shits annoying.  

And the tractor drivers know it.  So when they see that no oncoming cars are speeding at us, and this is an extremely loose definition of 'us', they make the universal exaggerated crawl stroke of an arm motion which means, "Go on and pass me."

The second that arm starts to motion, I gun the engine.  There is a line of twenty-five cars bumper to bumper behind me and I'm already minimally 15-minutes late.  

Thirty seconds later and I've passed my white whale.  It was an entirely unremarkable incident that occurs multiple times every day, and especially this time of year when farmers are tilling and re-tilling and doing other farm-related verbs to the soil.  

If that tractor driver ever got it wrong . . .  though I imagine it is easier to be certain of oncoming vehicles seated as high up in the air as they are.  But if they even just saw that car coming at the last second, and tried to turn their crawl motion into a halt-hand . . .  It would be extremely bad news.  Cars pushing up from behind you, the whole thing seems vaguely out of a middle school educational video about the importance of using arm signals while biking, or making sure you say know to drugs lest you be doomed to the same fate as those poor mangled kids who forgot to use their arm signals while biking. Thankfully, I can't recall a signal incident of tractor related vehicular fatalities.  And that really is a credit to farmers, because we commuters rally forward like reinforcements rushing to support the surge.  We may check, double check the flashes on our cell phones, but passing on the left is debit card only: No checks. 

So, the take home message here is support your local farmers.  Not only do they spend their lives producing sustenance for the rest of us, but they casually save our lives on the road every day.

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