Collinsvale Machinery and Social Club

Collinsvale Machinery and Social Club

For the layman, a LeRoi (manufacturer’s name) tractair looks like the sort of tractor you would see on any farm around the state.

But as the members of the Collinsvale Machinery and Social Club will quickly tell you, it does (or did) a very different job.

Tractairs of this kind have a built-in air compressor and were usually found on airports where the compressed air it produced was used for, for example, pumping on the tyres on airplanes of the day.

In this instance, though its exact history is a little vague, the club believes the unique piece of equipment was owned by the Hobart City Council to operate air-driven tools for civil construction works.

Club vice-president Grant McDermott said six people regularly worked on the job to restore the tractair.

“With financial support from the Tasmanian Community Fund, we rebuilt the engine, rebuilt the transmission and fixed the brakes,” he said.

“Those who worked on it basically took various bits and pieces away with them, fixed them and brought them back.

“About 90 per cent of the work has been mechanical.

“We have just ordered new tyres for it, so once wheels are back on it, it will obviously be more mobile.

“Then we just have to ‘tidy up’ the bonnet and paint it.”

Mr McDermott said the club would take the restored tractair to numerous tractor shows in Tasmania.

“The club is a member of a national vintage machinery association which allows us to take a couple of our rarer items interstate for show,” he said.

“We also normally get an exhibit at the Royal Hobart Show and other agricultural shows around the state. The club’s main objective is to restore and preserve heritage or historic agricultural equipment.  It has about 40 financial members, mostly locals, who meet every Wednesday in the old volunteer fire shed in Hall Road gifted to the club by the Glenorchy City Council.