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Iseki

     “My momma taught me not to use language like that.”  Yes, I spelled it right.  No, it is not a cuss word.  Although, it could be used as one.  Iseki is actually a brand of tractor. It is a Japanese built-tractor that is about 16 horsepower and perfect for a roto-tiller.  These little dudes are designed for rice paddys–4wd, narrow tires with deep tread, 3 tranny ranges, 4 pto speeds and they are borderline bulletproof.  And I have proof.  

      Now, here’s the Paul Harvey part of this story, with multiple levels.  

One, for those of you that know me and my family. YES, I was taught by my mother to NOT use ANY foul language.  Although, taught properly, I am a failure at refraining from using words that shouldn’t pass my lips.  I’m sorry Mom.  And, yes, I did hear the Priest’s sermon this past Sunday.  

Two–Yes, there is an Iseki tractor in the Kelln Klan.  Dad bought one several years ago for his grape vineyard.  And it hasn’t been used much since.  In fact, I would bet that my Dad is in a hotel room, reading this blog, thinking “Why in the… what the…what could cause this dang kid to be writing about one of my tractors?  This doesn’t make sense.  That tractor doesn’t run.  It needs work.”  

Three–It is approaching garden season.  Duke and I have plans.  We are needing a tiller and neither of us want to write a fat check for a new one.  Dad has a Troy-Bilt tiller that needs work (tires, shifter linkage, carb, plugs, etc.).  But, he also has this Iseki.  The Iseki was probably built in the late 70’s.  It has been JQ’ed.  Which means that the oil is blacker than the head on a Starbuck offspring.  It has a can over the muffler, wired to the clutch pedal to keep rain out of the exhaust.  The PTO shifter was iseki’ed up.  Which means that I had to go into Dad’s barn to find tools.  This part of the story is interesting since Dad’s barn sits 50 yards away from my little brother’s barn.  Daniel’s barn has locking tool boxes with labels for each tool and every tool has its proper place.  I could break into Fort Knox easier than I could Daniel’s belongings.  Dad’s barn–hunh–not so organized.  Anyways, I found a pair of channel locks, a hammer, a screw driver and a piece of metal that would suffice for a tool.  All of these tools were in Dad’s tool box–which means that they were laying in different parts of his barn.  I used all of these tools to get the PTO shifter fixed.  Several unholy words later, with Daniel watching and Tammy videoing, the tractor was operational.  It actually started right up, right after the glow plug coil started to glow.  Impressive.  It just needed some whacks to get the PTO shifter “adjusted” properly.  This little tractor is tough.  The term would be bulletproof.  

     One of these days, I am going to make a movie, along with my favorite daughter’s help, and the central piece of the script will involve an email dialog circa 2002, between my 2 brothers, my dad and I.  This email contains pertinent info regarding proper tool management and storage.  I do find it ironic that as I am writing about my favorite father, the song “The Tracks of my Tears” by Johnny Rivers is playing.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Especially since I would never have heard of Johnny Rivers if it wasn’t for my old man.  

      Here’s what you need to take from this stuff that you just read.  This Iseki tractor is old enough that it doesn’t have a pile of electronics and emissions crap that keeps it from running.  A few tools and things will work.  Duke and I will be tilling some garden plots using this tractor.  Dad isn’t getting this tractor back as it will be better maintained and stored properly south of Fargo.  Daniel is well organized, I keep my stuff hid and Dad has his own methods.  And my Mom is hopefully praying for all of us.  If she’s not, whew, I’m in trouble.  

      And if you see me working on a goat in the near future and I, rather loudly utter the word, “ISEKI”, use ear muffs and walk on by.  Or when the kids ask, “What does Kelln mean when he yells ‘Iseki”?”   Just tell them, he means that everybody should be as lucky as he is and have a nice day.  

     Oh, one last thing.  I need to figure out a way to gather a nickel or a dime for everybody that will google “Iseki” after reading this.