Antique Engines & Machinery

The Missouri legislature, in an excess of legislative energy such as we are getting all too frequently, recently passed a bill which Governor Hyde seems to approve. This bill affects tractor owners.

The bill "requires all farm tractors sold in the state in the future to be equipped with fenders; the object being to protect those who drive these vehicles from accidents by falling under the wheels."

This sentence, quoted verbatim from the Missouri newspaper clipping just received, may be somewhat erratic in construction, but its meaning is quite clear.

It is to laugh! Naturally any man who introduces a bill making fenders on tractors compulsory finds it advisable to attach the reason for his bill! But what a reason! The chances are that the far-seeing gentleman who introduced the bill pictured tractors as madly-rushing farm machines apt to decrease the farm population by their ability to run down innocent bystanders. Yet the bill mentions those "who drive these vehicles." Brothers, any time you fall so flat that you are apt to be run over by your own machine, you're in danger of your life anyway. You might as well cower in bed. When you fall thusly, with the tractor bearing down on you, no fender will save you -- nor any cow-catcher, which the gentleman from Missouri might just as logically have demanded from the owners of tractors.

There are usually hidden motives behind such bills. One organization in this free country of ours has been advocating spot lights and horns on all tractors. Obviously someone has a lot of junk to sell.

As tractor operators -- and editors of a tractor publication -- we have no sympathy for any group that is planning, by means of useless, expensive accessories, to increase by even one hundred dollars the average cost of farm tractors.

However, we don't vote in Missouri. Many of you do. We hope you send letters so red-hot and vitriolic to your governor and your legislators that these gentlemen will not overlook what seems to be a harmless fancy, but which in reality is the forging of another link in the chain of useless expenses to tractor owners.

Tractor and Gas Engine Review
 May, 1921

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