By Connor Lynch
ST. ISIDORE — The driver for a custom operator walked away unscathed but repairs and a work delay were costly after a tractor, hauling a manure tank, flipped over at St. Isidore last month.
One of Garth Franklin’s drivers was going through St. Isidore, just in front of grain farmer Markus Haerle’s house on Oct. 6. A mechanical component on the undercarriage failed and the tanker started swerving. Carrying a full load, the tanker was heavy enough to flip the tractor clean over, snapping the hitch, Franklin said. The tanker stayed upright and almost rolled into a corn field.
The driver wasn’t injured and was back at work a few hours later in a spare tractor. A rotator flipped the tractor back over so it could be loaded and hauled away, Franklin said.
A damaged mirror is attached to the interior roll-bar of the cab, so the entire cab might have to be replaced, he said.
It wasn’t a good time for the accident. As of Oct. 24, Franklin was behind by about 50 manure pits. “We’ve just been under incredible stress this fall.”
The total cost to flip and repair the tractor will be more than $50,000, but at least his insurance is on it. “We’re collecting bills and handing them in. It won’t cost me anymore.”