Farmer Iron

Aussie Travel Tour Continues

Creeping across the country, the intrepid crew in the World Tractor Trek gets through Illinois.

The orange tractors pulling campers must be quite a site as they roll through a town. These foreign-looking Chamberlain machines offer a glimpse at ag machines of the past - an Australian past - but they remain trusty travel companions. And the volunteers of for, are enjoying their trip to the states.

The intrepid group recently rolled through Penfield, IL during Historic Farm Days and Prairie Farmer Associate Editor Josh Flint caught up with them. Josh tells me he was most intrigued with Tail-End Charlie a 1957 Chamberlain Champion with high-end gearing so it can travel up to 60 mph. It was used in great mult-day races Down Under to pull wrecked autos to safety

Tail End Charlie is a hit all along the U.S. route for the World Track Trek Crew from Down Under. This 60-mph-capable tractor was used in road rallies to pull auto wrecks out of trouble. Today it's a show stopper as the group travels west on its cross-country trip.

It's an interesting group and we've been following them with the Farm Progress Editorial Crew as tractors enter a state. Along with the Tail End Charlie story that American Agriculturist Editor John Vogel covered, there's also a main story on the trip from John The Aussies Have Landed - with Tractors.

Ohio Farmer Editor Tim White also ran into the Tractor Trek folks and wrote about it as well. First in his Buckeye Farmbeat Blog

This is a great group of people who keep telling our editors how wonderful U.S. residents are as hospitable hosts. Good to hear. The Aussies are a friendly bunch and I hope I can catch up with them as they travel west (but my travel schedule isn't helpful on that score). Here's one story about the kind of work this great group does:

Australia used to hold great long races around the country, on the order of 12,000 miles over 19 days. These endurance rallies had the Chamberlain tractor as backup and support, following along for those treks. In 2007, Trek Organizer Ron Bywaters and Tail End Charlie owner Dick Garnett revived the big race as the "Round Australia Rally" covering the same 12,000 miles in 38 hours (all daylight driving). As part of the event, the duo raised more than $20,000 for breast and prostate cancer awareness.

This intrepid group of Australians is making its way across the United States in Chamberlain tractors. They're pulling along their campers (bought on eBay for this trip), and enjoying time with the Americans they meet. Say hi if they come to your town.

If you've already seen our Aussie friends come through your town, share your thoughts and comments below. Or if they're coming and you so, let me know. You can send along your pictures to me at [email protected] and I'll publish them here in my blog as well.

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