Thank you Paul for your great stories. 

The following articles are part of an on-going series in our DB Club newsletters, and are published courtesy of Club member Paul Cauchi, who is a cane farmer from Ingham in North Queensland.

D.B. IN THE 1950's - Part 1 by Paul Cauchi, Ingham,
My earliest memories of growing up on a sugar cane farm was that of real horse power (the four legged type). I can still visualise horses being the main form of power on the farm. There was not a job they couldn't do from plowing with a single or twin disc "new Saunders Drag plough" to scarifying between the rows of sugarcane.
Even at this stage of farming, internal combustion engined tractors were making inroads into this field. Tractors such as McCormick Deerings 10-20's and the later morepowerful W-30's. They were the most popular tractors at the time, this was followed by the early Caterpillar 10's, 22's, D2's and D4's. Later on there was a scattering of other makes such as Fordson Model F, British Wallis, Massey Harris and the odd Austin. Of course, all these tractors were steel-wheeled, kerosene powered, drawbar only machines, that were started by crank-handle, not your electric starter (what's that?). My dad and uncle had two 10-20's, a 1924 model and a 1938 model, if I remember correctly. Back in those days a fifty acre farm was a good sized farm as the cane was all cut by hand. (Hard hot yakka.) But things were about to change. The early fifties also saw the emergence of rubber-tyred, three point linkage tractors with electric starters. These types of tractors were to change the face of farming forever. One day in March 1952 dad was walking along the footpath on his way to have a couple of beers with friends at one of the pubs, as was the custom of the day. As he was walking along, he came to the newly appointed David Brown dealer "HOOLY MOTORS". On the showroom floor was a high-clearance Super Cropmaster. He was initially attracted to it's 24" clearance, but it also had rubber tyres, three point linkage and electric starter. Immediately he recognised the advantages of such a tractor. This was easily going to end the use of horses forever.
A few days later the salesman, Jim Brennan, drove the new tractor out to the farm (3.5 miles). As a young boy I was fascinated with this shiny red tractor complete with scuttle, engine covers and double seat. At the time, I didn't know it, but the name David Brown was going to have a huge impact on my life, so much so, that I could never im my wildest dreams have imaged it at the time.

"PAUL"S PERSPECTIVE" DB's IN THE 1950's - Part 2
Any so called "Factory High Clearance" DB's sond in Qld in the early 50's were converted in Brisbane by "Overland Ltd" who were the state distributers for DB Tractors. They were very popular in the sugar cane areas on account of their high clearance coupled with their 30/35 H.P. engines. The High Clearance Allis B and Farmall A and AV models being too small and too low powered. Most standard clearance tractors available at that time were too low for going over and cultivating cane. These tractors were restricted to ploughing and discing duties. The High Clearance DB's were capable of most jobs on a cane farm.
About a month after the Super Cropmaster arrived on the farm, one of the neighbours happened to come over and on seeing the Super Cropmaster the following conversation eventuated, word for word. "I see you've bought a David Brown Augie." (Dad's name - short for Augustine). "Yes Jack, what do you think of it?" "You should have bought a Renault like mine, Augie!" "Do you think so, Jack?" "Bloody oath, Augie."
That conversation has been imprinted on my mind for over 50 years, amazingly. At the time there was a Renault agent who could sell fridges to Eskimos. Jack owned two 3042 models and our other neighbours all had one each.
So dad was clearly the odd one out. But alas, all of these Renaults disappeared within five years. Apparantly, so I've been told, they had cord rings on their piston, the upshot of it was that if you stalled or stopped the engine while it was hot (after it had done a hundred hours or so of work) there wsas no guarantee the engine would start until it had cooled down and the cord rings provided sufficient compression to restart the engine. There's nothing like bad news for speed of spread. The Renault dealer coudn't sell another tractor and became an ex-tractor dealer. After a few years he took on the Chamberlain agency. He also sold them like hot-cakes, but unlike Renault, he had more luck with Chamberlains, especially the Canelander model.
Meanwhile, the Super Cropmaster was still giving sterling service, so much so that one of the neighbours also another "Jack", who previously owned a Renault, went to Hooly Motors and said he wanted to buy a David Brown just like Augie's. By then the Super Cropmaster had been relaced by the first series 30C, so Jack promptly bought a High Clearance version of the 30C. He kept the 30C for many years., like all DB's it also gave sterling service. He eventually traded it in for a 900D which also performed brilliantly over many years. Before he passed away a few years ago, the 900 was given to me, as for our Super Cropmaster, it is still going and in our possession after 58 years.

"PAUL'S PERSPECTIVE" DB's in the Fifties - Part 3 
During the wet season when there was no work on the farm the Super Cropmaster used to go fishing at "Alligator Waterhole", the double seat was very handy.  We would drive accross country through water, and at times it would almost cover the front 6.00 x 19 wheels, lucky for high clearance.  By this stage I had learnt to drive the Super Cropmaster as by age ten I was already cultivating sugar cane which required accuracy to a couple of inches not to rip out the cane.  So driving the tractor towing a trailer with a small dinghy presented me no problems when travelling to "Alligator Waterhole".  I don't know why it was called "Alligator Waterhole" because there was not an alligator in sight.  The waterhole was just lousy with crocodiles!  Dad was a mad keen fisherman and not even crocodiles would deter him.  In the early fifties everything seemed to revolve around the Super Cropmaster, whether it was work or play - the Super Cropmaster was there, versatile, maneuverable and highly dependable, it was to be the first of eighteen DB's that we now own, and still counting!
Along with the new Super Cropmaster dad bought three new implements: a 28 Plate Sunshine Tandem Disc made by the great Australian Inventer HV McKay at Sunshine, Victoria; a three disc "WN" plough (3 point linkage) and a "Bonel" rigid tyne 3 point linkage cultivator made by Bonel Bros in Bundaberg, QLD.  Dad already had a "DON" Grubber which had six rigid curved tynes which loosened the ground between the rows of cane. "DON" implements were manufactured by Wyper Bros, also of Bundaberg, QLD.  You will be hearing more of Wyper Bros. in future articles. 
So as you can see, it was not all play for the Super Cropmaster.  All heavy work was performed in 2nd low, lighter work in 1st high.  Unfortunately, Super Cropmasters had no hour meter, but I reckon it must have completed between fifteen and twenty thousand hours, not a bad tally. From that time onwards Dad had nothing but praise for the name "DAVID BROWN", and he was responsible for other sales of DB tractors, generally hatched at the bar, with a glass of beer in hand.  You have to know your tactics!!

(to be continued)

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