Wrecker of the Year – we name the winners

A mangled Massey and a fragmented Fiat were the winners of the Wrecker of the Year competition. There were some striking runners-up, too.

Thanks to all of you who sent in pictures of sundry items of farm machinery that had been crashed, overturned, bogged down, driven into a ditch or otherwise left in a somewhat sorrier state then when they came out of the factory.


It was good to see, too, that British farmers and contractors don’t have a monopoly on agricultural mishaps. In fact some of the most extreme pictures came from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Safety note: No humans or small rodents were hurt in the production of these photos, though plenty of bank balances were damaged and egos bruised. Please don’t try any of this at home (unless you have a camera ready first).

(1) Winner

The details of this incident are sketchy but this compressed cube of machinery was once a Massey Ferguson 6200-series tractor. Apparently the driver was cruising at about 18mph down a deserted shingle road near Edmonton, Canada when the hydraulics on his loader failed. What followed is anyone’s guess but it looks like the bucket dug in and the loader acted like a giant pry-bar, splitting the engine from the transmission and back-end. The tractor ended up precariously balanced on the loader bucket and grapple, leaving the driver stranded in his cab about 4ft higher than he would usually be.

(2) Runner-up

The driver of this Fiat 130 was carting grass silage when the weight block on the front chassis sheared off, causing the tractor to run over the empty cage attached to it. The next thing she remembers is being out on the grass looking for her mobile to say she’d “had a little accident”. She was back carting the next day with another tractor and a slightly bruised body, but she’s still not lived it down being a female driver.

(3) 2007 will be remembered by many farmers as one of the wetter harvests of recent years, with plenty of combines getting set around the UK. This example in Northumberland got just that little too close to a wet-spot and it took two tractors and a lot of digging to get it out again.

(4) This 6m Simba Freeflow drill slid off a culvert on Romney Marsh in Kent. The only damage done was to the pre-emergent marker which was bent, though an oil pipe was pulled off and the top of the tractor draw bar broke. Not bad considering.

(5) After pulling away at the traffic lights and turning slowly up a hill, this trailer load of 40 bales lifted at the back end and toppled over. After letting off the straps and another tractor righting the trailer, it was reloaded and made it back to the barn. The police had to shut the road off for half an hour while the trailer was reloaded.

(6) It took two further tractors and a lot of deliberating to pull this stuck tractor out from a boggy hole in mid-Wales.

(7) This Deere tractor and air seeder slid off the road into a creek in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was apparently a very wet season this spring and everyone was in a rush to get things done. This tractor obviously decided that a short cut was in order.

(8) This sad-looking Fiat 680 was sent to the Welsh hills for a quiet retirement but found itself sliding downhill at some speed and heading straight for a road. Luckily it stopped short and the driver only suffered minor bruising and a cut finger. He was apparently more upset that he had just dumped 600kg of fertiliser in a big heap in the field than by the speedy descent.

(9) A budding Lewis Hamilton rounded a corner in the village of Throckmorton, Worcestershire in a bit of a hurry and this was the result. In his haste, the driver cut the corner and the John Deere 6920 and tanker rode up onto the verge at “a reasonable lick”. But the bowser couldn’t handle the pace and opted for a swift lie-down.

(10) This trailer-load of bales had been unhooked from the tractor but decided to make off under its own steam. It slowly picked up speed before smashing into the covered area of the cattle corral, missing the steelwork by just 10in. It did smash one pole but the roof was fine and with a bit of steel and lots of 6in nails it was put back almost like new.

Reckon you’ve got some better pictures than these? Email them to us at fwmachinery@rbi.co.uk and you could be in with a chance of winning the Wrecker of the Year 2008 competition. You can see a selection of farm machinery mishaps at www.fwi.co.uk/wreckers.

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