It was a beautiful day; I was out chopping second-crop hay, and it was the last load for the day. I had just one more day of chopping to go, and then we would be all done with the second-crop harvest. I had my load nearly full when I pushed in the clutch on my tractor, and to my amazement, the tractor kept right on going. It wouldn’t stop. 

Tom Heck, his wife, Joanne, and their two children own and operate a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Ord...

I finished filling my chopper box and thought about what to do. I drove to a level area of the field and got my chopper box unhooked from the chopper; all the while the tractor was going forward. With that done, I headed home with the tractor and chopper. I drove it out behind my machine shed to a level spot and cut the throttle so the engine stopped. Catherine and Joshua came, wondering what was up, and I told them what happened. They helped me unhook the chopper from the tractor, and then I started it up and drove it out of the way.

I put a smaller, older tractor on the chopper, and we finished up second-crop the next day. We were sure glad to have it done, but now we were looking at a major problem: getting my big tractor fixed.

When we bought this farm back in 1991, we had three implement shops within 7 miles of our farm. Sadly, over the years, they all shut their doors. Now, we have to travel a long way to implement shops to get parts and to get things fixed. Also, over the years, the labor cost at the shops has skyrocketed. There is also the expensive trucking cost to haul the equipment.

We prayed about what we should do with our tractor. We knew about an older retired man who did some fixing on the side who didn’t live too far away. I contacted him to see if he would split my tractor in two to see what was wrong in the clutch area. A few days later, he stopped in and looked at the tractor and said he would do it under one condition: that we would help him do it. We immediately said, yes.


Our tractor split in two. Photo provided by Tom Heck.

A week later, he came with his service truck that was loaded with all the tools and stuff we needed for the tractor. We told him, “Tell us what you want us to do, and we’ll do it.” He did. He put us all to work taking stuff apart on it. With his knowledge and experience, it went very well.

We got the tractor split in two and found out the pressure plate in the clutch area was bad. He took our bad pressure plate, left and ordered a new one online. He came back a week later, and we put the whole tractor back together. It went super well with his help and guidance.


Joshua, our friend and Tom by the tractor after it was all back together and running. Photo provided by Tom Heck.

What can I say? I’ve chopped third-crop hay and corn silage with it since, and it has run perfectly. We thank the Lord for our friend who helped us so much with it. God answered our prayer and provided the right man with all the knowledge and tools we needed for the job. Without him, we couldn’t have done it ourselves. He was excellent to work with. We enjoyed it and learned a fair bit too.

I’ve learned over and over again in life, that as I look to God and pray, He will provide what I have need of. He is always faithful; He is the great provider.