Tractor Fire!

Posted by Tim Hoven on

Life on a farm isn’t always filled with idyllic, romanticized farm images. Real life steps in sometimes and the results can be quite disappointing.

Our thirteen year old son, Dominic was driving our 1984 Deutz tractor in a field not far from our house. He had been super excited to finally have a chance to rake hay.

After we cut the hay, raking hay involves pushing a special rake in front of the tractor. The cut hay then gets flipped over, allowing it a chance to dry so that it can be baled.

Dominic first saw smoke coming out of the front motor. He quickly pushed the clutch in to put the tractor in neutral, and jumped out. He remembered that the farm cell phone was in the cab and he would need to call for help. It was an immediate jump in and back out for the phone.


Francis, 17 years old was cutting hay in the same field and saw black smoke pouring out of this brother’s tractor. He immediately called Tim and then headed over to help his brother.

Tim was near the house when the call came in that the tractor that Dominic was driving was ON FIRE. In an instant we had gathered 3 fire extinguishers and five of us raced out to the field to help.

As I called 911 to send fire trucks, the older boys attempted to put out the flames with the fire extinguishers but it turned out to be a drop in the bucket as the tractor continued to burn.

It was approximately 15 minutes before the Clearwater County fire trucks arrived. Once they saw the scene they radioed for other oncoming trucks to turn back and go home.

Tim, his siblings and each of our six sons, except one had learned to drive on this tractor, our 9 year old had been patiently waiting his turn. Most of them stood to watch it burn.

As disappointing as it is to lose a tractor and a hay rake, it is nothing like the value of a human life. Thank you Lord that Dominic was safe and no one was hurt or injured. And, thank you Lord that it wasn’t a dry year like last summer which could have had our whole field, our house, and the neighbour’s house up in flames.

Here is a 1 minute video that we took with our drone of the aftermath.