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How did you learn to drive?

  • iowaboy1
    Posts: 3394

    I didnt want to derail Chad’s thread so I started this one.
    Growing up on a farm the first thing I learned to drive was a 1938 Farmall F20, foot operated clutch, 4 speed manual trans, and hand brakes, I was nine years old, no worries about speed as road gear was just under 5 MPH.
    When you are nine and raking hay at the break neck speed of 5 per going downhill, you thought you were as fast as lightening.
    Other tractors followed, when I was thirteen I wanted to drive mom and dads ’63 Chevy four door, six cylinder, three on the tree.
    For those who dont know, that meant the shifter was on the steering column, you had reverse, and three forward gears.

    I talked dad into letting me drive that old Chevy, I had watched my folks start it and shift it so many times I knew just exactly how it was supposed to be done.
    I backed it out onto the road and headed down the hill shifting that old trans like a pro, in third gear I was doing thirty per, dad told me to apply a little brake and it happened, the brake lines were rusted to the point one of them let go and I had no brakes.
    I managed quite well down shifting until we came to the field driveway and turned the key off and set the parking brake.
    We junked the car after that as dad was tired of it.

    My first real driving lesson came when dad bought a brand new 1973 Chevy 3/4 ton long box two wheel drive pick up.
    I couldnt wait to drive that thing!! first brand new anything that old farm ever saw!! and it had a 350 CID motor with a four barrel carburetor!!!
    I had asked dad about driving it, he let me have a chance and that thing was as helpless as a newborn baby on level ground and wet grass, what a pathetic joke!!
    Dad said son, if you want to be a good driver, take it to the bottom of the hill and try to get back up it without tearing up the pasture.
    I knew I didnt have a chance doing that but I wasnt going to give up, down the hill I went and sure enough it would just spin the tires with just a tiny bit of throttle.

    I remembered how dad would weight the rear of the tractor when he had the loader on it and I thought about that for a bit.
    I walked over to the fence row where there was a pile of rocks we had taken out of the field over the years and I loaded that truck bed up with quite a few of those rocks, dad was at the top of the hill sipping on his Olympia beer watching me.
    Forty minutes later I had enough rocks in it I drove that sucker straight up the hill, I looked at dad grinning at me, he hopped in said lets cut the block son, we did and guess what?? when were done I had to unload those dang rocks too!! only this time in a level spot near the old garage.

    My first car was a ( sic ) 1969 Ford Ranchero and it handled just like that truck, useless on wet grass, snow, wet roads, etc.
    Four wheel drive wasnt a necessity like it is today, heck guys, I used to tow my 18 foot flat bottom boat with a 50 HP Merc all over Iowa with my ’81 Camaro, I had to, it looked silly behind my ’68 Chevelle SS with a 396 CID motor.
    Looking back all of those years ago, its a dang wonder we ever made it to school, church, work, on a date, anything that didnt have some form of 4×4.

    How did you learn to drive and in what?? lets hear em!!

    Mike W
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12593

    Dirt roads,hay feild and frozen lakes.

    Posts: 180

    Just a farm kid here. john deere mower (barely heavy enough to trip the seat switch) then 3 wheelers, then wd45 then pickup by the age of 8

    Southeast MN
    Posts: 2704

    Just a farm kid here.

    Same here. Lawnmowers, tractors, skid loaders, etc. Then when I got closer to driving age I could drive family vehicles around the farm and not have to worry about the road. Like most kids at school, got my farmer’s permit at 15.

    Grandma always told me that when she went in for her driver’s license they asked if she lived on a farm. When she said yes, they told her she didn’t have to take the driver’s test because she lived on a farm and presumably already knew how to drive a bunch of stuff.

    My boys have an electric Silverado and I kid you not, I think that will jump-start their ability to drive. Seeing the way he’ll get close to the garage, put it in reverse, look behind him and then back up, I really think it’s legit experience that’ll pay off.

    cold spring mn
    Posts: 7292

    I’m va small town kid up here in the land of rocks and cows so mainly threw drivers Ed in high school. But I did drive snowmobiles. Not sure the ATV was invented yet?? Think I got to drive a vehicle at the cabin when noone was on the road!

    Pitter patter
    Posts: 69

    Farmall 656. 5 forward gears, all but 1 was slow as snot plus reverse. Just turned the key off to stop it, no need for park or choke to shut off like the 756 had. Sent me out on the field road next to cow pasture to get cows at night with it. All I’d do is get to end of field road and turn around and head back to barn and the cows would hear the tractor and come in for evening milking

    North branch, mn
    Posts: 11186

    Not on a actual farm but country dirt roads. Skid loaders tractor and mowers. Then the old f100 and f150. Dad use to let me drive it down the roads at 12.

    Craig Sery
    Bloomington, MN
    Posts: 1050

    Not me but my daughter turned 15 last summer. Before she had her permit I took her to the gravel roads in my hometown and told her to drive…as a parent in cities I’d much rather have her drive on gravel than interstate

    Matthew Sandys
    Posts: 270

    Drove by myself in 2 grade. Tractors, snowmobiles, and wheelers since I was big enough to push the clutch in or press the throttle.

    Michael Best
    Posts: 356

    Other than a riding lawnmower the first thing I drove was my grandpas tandem grain truck.

    By the time I was 13 I was driving 4 wheel drive tractors doing fall tillage.

    Posts: 1282

    Lawn mower and tractors to start.1st real vehicle was a 64?Chevy truck. Then a Studebaker Lark. Several vehicles after that. My 1st car I owned was 68 Bel Air.
    Both the Stude and the Bel Air were a 3 on the tree manual.
    Now did any of you drive a late 60’s Econoline with a 4 speed on the column? The greenhouse in town had 1 that we worked on our shop.
    Only 1 I ever saw. It was tricky to shift.

    North branch, mn
    Posts: 11186

    My son is 11. He is a solid driver already.

    SE MN
    Posts: 649

    I started with lawnmowers and smaller tractors when I was maybe 7 or 8. At 12 I started working on a farm, and was immediately given the go ahead to drive the old truck where ever was needed. I was also expected to drive the tractors whether that meant moving hog trailers, pulling wagons, chopping corn stalks, or what ever other job was assigned to me. When I would finish my work for the day the farmer would have me practice backing up trailers and wagons. By 14 I had enough experience my dad would let me take his truck and drive laps around the neighborhood. I thought I was pretty cool waiving to all the neighbors as I drove past over and over again.

    Joe Jarl
    SW Wright County
    Posts: 1027

    Another farm kid. Similar to yours Sheldon. Started on 70’s vintage lawn mowers, but the first real vehicle I remember driving was our International 2-1/2 ton grain truck hauling firewood with dad. Was a heck of a way to learn a stick bouncing across the back forty. Then it was his late 70’s Silverado C10. First time on the road was behind the wheel of my brother’s 1965 Impala. By the time I made it to behind the wheel training all the instructor said was, “you live on a farm, don’t you” jester Miss those days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 8090

    Up at the lake (North Long) back in the 60’s early 70’s I had 2 Great Aunts that had lake homes.
    I would go up in the summer do chores and learned how beautiful lake living was. I learned how to grow a garden, cut and split firewood, name of wild plants and flowers and how to drive the tractor, mower, 5hp sea king, etc.

    My Dad came to pick me up and I drove home from Brainerd to Mpls, it was an old Chrysler 4 door sedan (a boat). I drove until we hit the 694 circle then he said “i’ll take it from here”

    I was 12.

    Southern WI
    Posts: 1006

    Dad’s old beat up 68 or 69 Chevelle on the lake when I was 12, somewhere there is a picture of me, my brother and uncle (who was 13 at the time) standing on the hood out on the lake

    Posts: 1727

    With a beer between my legs and slick roads.

    Shell Rock Iowa
    Posts: 2607

    I was a city kid so only drove a riding lawn mower and go carts. Once I got my license, I honed my driving skills, by bouncing in and out of ditches, testing the limits of every vehicle I owned. I knew exactly what the top end speed was for every one. Braking distance was learned by trial and error.

    Posts: 1282

    With a beer between my legs and slick roads.

    Yep now days kids have it easy, automatic trannys and cup holders. whistling

    Posts: 386

    City kid here, didn’t even have a riding lawnmower. Drove my parents 87 Pontiac 6000 when I got my learners permit up until I got my own car when I was 17. Learned to drive a stick on my dads 67 firebird.

    Posts: 3394

    Stanley, out of curiosity what motor did your dads firebird have in it??
    Being an old gearhead and from the era where there numerous cubic inch wars I gotta know!!
    The poncho motors were amazing torque monsters until the epa shut them down.

    Posts: 386

    Iowaboy, it has a 400. He still has the car and is the original owner. Funny thing is my mom has never driven the car and her first car was a 60’s mercury cougar with a stick so it wasn’t from lack of knowledge.

    Victoria, mn
    Posts: 714

    Tractors for me too. Mowing hay, towing the hay wagon, the grain wagon. Backing up those 4-wheel trailers took some practice to learn. I don’t know if I could do that now. Dad got hurt on the farm when I was 12 and we had to move to town, so it’s been many years.

    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 8090

    With a beer between my legs and slick roads.

    And a doobie?

    Sauk Rapids, MN
    Posts: 570

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>chuck100 wrote:</div>
    With a beer between my legs and slick roads.

    And a doobie?

    Doobie in one hand, beer in the other driving a suburban with a four on the floor

    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 7316

    I worked for a county park when I was 14. One day my supervisor was hung over after softball night. He said hey John we need some mower parts from Wadena which was about 25 miles away. He said jump in the truck and go get them.I told him I was only 14 and did not have a drivers license. He said don’t worry about it because I was in a city truck. I then told him I don’t know how to drive a truck with Column shift. He said to jump in, after a 5 minute lesson he said now you know. Go get the parts. I pretty much had the hang of it by the time I got 2 hrs later. I did manage to grind a few gears in the process.

    Posts: 1282

    . I did manage to grind a few gears in the process. [/quote]

    Awe yes grinding gears. When you heard a newbie grinding gears we used to yell ” I’ll take a pound if it’s fresh!” rotflol

    West central MN
    Posts: 42

    My Grandpa let me drive back to the farm once in a while in his pickup when I was 10. Kept snowballing from lawnmowers to tractors to big tractors and old gas grain trucks. Then we got a diesel tandem grain truck. Oh boy, a two-stroke Detroit diesel! Dad drive semis in the 70s and 80s. I was taught to slow down with your engine and not brakes cause they hardly worked. I fell in love with diesel trucks and now I have been fixing them for over 20 years! I drove grain truck to town when I was 14!

    Musky Ed
    Posts: 491

    Every Friday night my mom and stepdad would go out, I would sneak my mom’s Corvair for a joy ride. Probably wouldn’t have been so bad, but a couple friends of mine would usually come along also. All ended well, no accidents, and when I went for my driver’s test, passed with flying colors.
    I did get pulled over less than an hour after getting my license though, cut through a gas station to beat a stop light and a sheriff was there talking to the owner. I just pulled over as I knew I was busted. My buddy that was with me started laughing when the sheriff came up to the car. Turns out the same sheriff had taken our .22’s away from us the week before for hunting in the city. Gave me a good butt chewing, but let me go.
    No tickets in the last 35-40 years so I guess I finally grew up.

    Brad Dimond
    Posts: 952

    Learned on go carts and dirt bikes at friends cabins. Learned to drive a car in Drivers Ed. Took my driver’s test in Mom’s 1968 Charger with a 383. Mom bought it from a guy who worked at Grandpa’s auto parts business who was shipping out to Viet Nam. Single mom, widow at 27 (also Viet Nam) driving that Mopar beast was hilarious.

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