The Buddy Seat

Before we start today, I recently received a very nice letter from one on my readers. There was no return address, so I want to tell that person “thank-you.”

Most tractors and combines include a second seat in the cab, it is called the “buddy seat.” This is a seat designed to give the operator some company such as a spouse, child or friend. Cabs are larger now and the seats are much more comfortable than even a few years ago. It’s a great accessory and suggests some ideas and helps me recall memories.

I saw something called the #buddyseatchallenge explained on one of my agriculture shows. You can tell by the hashtag that it involves social media and a picture but there is more to the challenge. Most people are far removed from agriculture and the Buddy Seat Challenge is an opportunity to have someone join you in the cab to see harvest first-hand. I don’t believe most farmers are very evangelical about their industry and this is a good way to let city people see your craft. All pictures and comments posted to social media should be hash-tagged with #buddyseatchallenge.

I think the buddy seat has made it into parades too. I attended a few tractors shows and parades this summer and tractor operators sometimes include a passenger such as a grandchild or even a stuffed animal. Buddy seats have shown up on these tractors and make a nice addition. These sorts of social events are about family and tradition and nothing displays both like a few generations riding a prized old farm family heirloom. It also adds a measure of safety, which is good.

Now my own experience with a buddy seat does not really involve a formalized buddy seat. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, I spent a lot of time with my friend, Mike Anderson. Now we only see each in passing or when we double-park the trucks and partially-block traffic while we visit through the driver’s-side window, however we used to visit a lot in the cab of Mike’s Versatile tractor. It started out as a good way to pre-stage for a night on the town but eventually riding around in the cab became the whole “night out on the town.” I would sit on the floor and kick my feet up on the fender and we’d have a great conversation. There was no social media back then so no pictures exist but it happened-typically somewhere by Viking.

Farmers often farm by themselves-sometimes by choice. The quiet and solitude feel pretty good however everyone could use a little company. It’s also nice to have someone in the cab to take your mind off poor field conditions, poor prices or the pouring rain. That’s when it’s good to flip that buddy seat down and invite someone else into the cab and into your world. #buddyseatchallenge

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