Canungra’s first tractor given new life

Dale Mahony on the 1948 Farmall A. Image: Luke Marazes.

Local farmer, Dale Mahony, is on a journey to restore what is believed to be Canungra’s first tractor.

The tractor, a 1948 Farmall Super A, was bought by Dale’s father, Harvey Mahony, in the late 1940s. 

It arrived by train in 1948 and Harvey put it to use harvesting hay, ploughing fields and cultivating crops. 

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This purchase is significant to the history of Canungra as it was one of the first mechanical upgrades from livestock. 

“It was my dad’s first tractor, before that he had a draught horse,” said Dale. 

“Instead of walking behind a horse, you were sitting on a tractor. Instead of feeding a draught horse hay, you were putting petrol in a tractor.”

Harvey Mahony on the 1948 Farmall A. Image supplied.

When asked if the Farmall was the first tractor in Canungra, Dale replied, “it may well have been; if it wasn’t, it was certainly one of the first”.

Dale says that when the tractor arrived, the hydraulics weren’t connected to it; they were manually operated by long vertical levers alongside the steering wheel. 

In the weeks following its arrival, the hydraulics were properly installed.

The first Farmall was created in 1924. Dale estimates that the Farmall would have cost his father a few hundred pounds. 

Through the 2000s, Dale used the tractor for the transportation of a stall that he sold his potatoes and pumpkins from. 

Locals would remember seeing the red ‘Spud Tractor’ on Coburg Road. 

In recent years, the Farmall seized up due to lack of use. 

Dale hired Luke Marazes of Doc Mechanical to restore the tractor back to its former state.

It has been completely rewired and the motor has been refurbished. 

New tyres are to be fitted and a fresh coat of paint applied. Both Dale and Luke look forward to the final result, although it has been difficult to source parts.

Luke says that he is still in the process of fine tuning a few things to get it running right.

It is important to Dale to see his dad’s tractor back in use, 

“It’s a piece of Canungra’s history, I don’t think it should just be sitting in the shed, not being used,” he said.