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English Tractor Finds Home On Ohio Farm
A chance encounter with a 32-hp. blue 1958 Fordson Dexta tractor at a local dealership led to a $1,200 purchase for Aaron Shaw.
The tractor caught Aaron’s eye because he remembered a story his father told him years ago about a neighbor’s English-built Dexta that experienced starter failure and was left running for days on end. The story went that after 12 hrs. of idling, the diesel level could still be reached with a finger from the fuel cap opening.
After purchasing the tractor, he replaced the failing fenders, changed the fluids, replaced the brake axle shaft seals with parts he could find only in Canada, replaced the pto seal, plus installed a muffler in place of the straight pipe it came with.
“For some unknown reason, the seat was set tight and broken at a 180-degree angle, facing the wrong direction,” Shaw says. “I had to get a new seat and mount it properly before we could use it.”
The previous owner had set the front wheels as far apart as possible, so Shaw moved them inward for functionality and easier turning. This turned out to be difficult as he needed an acetylene torch to loosen the completely frozen up front end.
After 3 years of owning the Dexta, it’s run sickle bars, hay tedders, rakes, and seed drills and pulled loaded hay wagons with ease.
Its legendary fuel economy has also proved to be true.
“Just yesterday, I filled the tank, did all my 3rd cut hay raking, plus my neighbor used it for something at his farm, and it’s only down 1/4 of a tank,” Shaw says.
The 65-year-old Dexta has become a favorite of everyone on the farm.
“My wife loves it, and it brings out the inner child in me,” Shaw says. “It’s never said ‘no’ to any job. Just tells me it’s working fine with a puff of smoke, and off it goes.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aaron Shaw, Thornville, Ohio 43076 (ph 740-215-8904; aaronshaw09@gmail.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6