Tractor turning heads at Rimbey auction mart

A week ago, someone seeking directions to Allen B. Olsen Auction Service in Rimbey might have been instructed to take 50th Avenue past the train tracks and 41st Street, and then turn left.

It took two or three hours for a large crane to place an early 1900s McCormick tractor on a 12-metre pole at the entrance to Allen B. Olsen Auction in Rimbey.

A week ago, someone seeking directions to Allen B. Olsen Auction Service in Rimbey might have been instructed to take 50th Avenue past the train tracks and 41st Street, and then turn left.

Now, they could be told to look for the green tractor.

That tractor is perched on a 12-metre pole and dwarfs all other signs in the community. It was placed there last Monday, and has been turning heads ever since.

“We had a big crane come in and set it up,” said Allen Olsen of the installation process. “It took two or three hours to get it all done.”

Despite its green paint, the vintage piece of farm equipment is actually an early 1900s McCormick tractor. It came from Armstrong, B.C., where it was also used by a businessman as a marker.

“We bought it from him and hauled it out here,” said Olsen, adding that the concrete foundation for the pole was poured last fall.

Despite the fact Allen B. Olsen Auction has operated at its location since 1981, there are still frequent requests for directions to the premises. A tractor on a pole should simplify this process, reasoned Olsen.

“It’s just a landmark sort of a thing.”

With the auction’s 29th annual Spring Machinery Sale scheduled for Friday, April 3, the timing is great, he acknowledged.

The platform on which the tractor sits is fitted with floodlights, which will allow it to be illuminated at night.

Despite its precarious appearance, Olsen said the tractor is securely affixed to its platform, which in turn is mounted on a pole that was engineered for the load.

“There’s not a lot to those old tractors,” he added.

Someone had to scale the pole to bolt the tractor into place, but Olsen confirmed it wasn’t him.

“No way,” said the auctioneer of 40-plus years. “I don’t plan on it either.”

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