• Fifty Case IH Quadtracs come together in one field
• High-hp tracked tractors converge on Lincs farm from as far away as Wilts and Aberdeenshire
• Cultivate land for almost eight minutes to set working record
Case IH Quadtrac owners from across the UK gave up one of the summer’s best harvest days to gather their machines in a single Lincolnshire field on July 28 and help raise more than £20,000 for Cancer Research UK, in the process setting a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of such tractors simultaneously at work.
The event was the brainchild of Neil Maddison and Helen Rainthorpe, of JJR Farms, based at Welton Cliff, near Lincoln. Tractor driver Mr Maddison has operated Quadtracs for JJR Farms for many years, and Miss Rainthorpe, after forgoing her career in teaching to manage her family’s business upon the premature death from cancer of her father, John, two years ago, decided with Mr Maddison upon a unique way of marking Mr Rainthorpe’s memory and raising funds for research into the disease.
Well-known for his forward thinking on using the latest technology to grow crops in a cost-effective yet environmentally-friendly way, Mr Rainthorpe was a keen proponent of the Case IH Quadtrac, well-known for its soil-protecting, fuel-efficient properties as the only pivot-steered, rubber-tracked, high-horsepower tractor available.
Because of her farm’s long-term involvement with Quadtracs and her father’s respect for the design, Miss Rainthorpe decided last year to create a working gathering of the machines, with the aim of raising funds from entrants and visitors to make a significant donation to Cancer Research UK. A programme of organisation, advertising and charity collection which began six months ago started the process of fundraising and signing up entrants, and this culminated in Saturday’s record gathering.
Fifty Quadtracs from as far afield as Wiltshire and Aberdeenshire were hauled to the site near the family farm, and lined up in an impressive array in front of over 3,000 visitors. At exactly 1.30pm, their drivers, each with their machine coupled to some form of cultivator, fired up their machines and travelled away from the crowds to the opposite end of the field, whereupon they turned, lowered their implements and powered towards their audience for seven minutes and 47 seconds in a wall of engine roar, blaring horns and blazing headlights.
That time total ensured a new entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, as adjudicated by a representative from the publisher, and Helen Rainthorpe was presented with a certificate to that effect. Each entrant was given a replica of the certificate, and 1/32 scale model Quadtracs were awarded by Case IH marketing manager Charles Blessley to the drivers of the oldest, highest-houred and furthest-travelled machines. With representative tractors from the earliest models of the mid 1990s up to the latest Quadtrac 600, the most powerful production tractor on the market, almost all variants from the Quadtrac’s 16-year history were in the 50-strong field.
“We were delighted to help Helen Rainthorpe with her idea and do what we could to help generate as much money as possible for a very important cause,” said Mr Blessley. “It was a fantastic day and a great tribute to all the hard work she has put in. To have Quadtrac owners travel from so far, and with such an array of machines, at such a busy time of year, is a great illustration of the generosity and spirit of the people involved in UK agriculture.”
Most importantly, donations from entrants and those visiting to watch the spectacle took the amount raised for Cancer Research UK to more than £20,000. Further information on the Quadtrac Record and the Cancer Research UK funds it was set up to raise can be found at www.quadtracrecord.co.uk.