|As the late Paul Harvey would say 'now the rest of the story' |
There is a whole fleet of Farmallís plowing sidewalks in Rochester NY, they have been doing it that way for over 60 years now. Most are operated by the Krenzer family they contract with the city to plow snow, not just sidewalks but also do many streets with Steigers. They run a very large farm just south of the city. Their family has the longest standing contract with the city of Rochester probably almost 100 years now. They originally started plowing sidewalks with horse drawn walk behind V plows.
The story of the Farmallís started after WWII though I'm not sure exactly the year or who was the first to use a Farmall. There used to be several different farms that plowed. When they first started they had wooden V plows and very soon they found out that the axels needed to be torched off so they didn't catch trees and building walls. My grandpa and several uncles used to plow for Irving Hopkins in the 50's and I have heard many stories. One was before the axels were cut off when my uncle caught a tree with an ax and it broke the whole rear end off of the tractor, an H back then. My grandpa drove a farmall M, the only one in the fleet at the time. He was asked by the city inspector to open a sidewalk that went under the University Ave railroad bridge after it was badly drifted in. He knew there was a hydrant somewhere in the drift but couldn't see it until he hit it and by the time he was back out the other side the whole street was flooded with almost 3 feet of water. Another uncle hit a sedan rite between the front and back doors as it rolled out a driveway almost splitting the car in two. Another time the boss took them all bolling after a long storm then returned to plow again an uncle was so drunk that he drove rite through the doors of the garage they stored the plows in. The steel trap doors going down to basements are also a problem, many won't hold the tractor and you wind up stuck in the hole.
Now a days most are at least Farmall Super M's and later tractors there are a few 460's 560's and even now some 656's. Krenzerís rebuild them with rear ends from W4-6 and International standard tractors since they are a little narrower and then put the taller row crop rear wheels back on. You would be amazed at how narrow they are.
To my knowledge Rochester is the only place in the world this is done. Someday someone should really sit down with the Krenzerís and write the whole story down in a book