Wheels of steel (and destruction), and an Amish burglary video

Most Amish and some Mennonite farmers use steel wheels on their tractors, an aspect of church rules that encourages slower and less driving.  It’s hard to get a fast (or at least a comfortable) ride when you feel every pebble in the road thanks to the unforgiving metal.  Thus steel wheels deter unnecessary trips (in contrast, in a few Amish communities, rubber-tired tractors have meant the horse-and-buggy gets used less).

But there have been problems in some communities over the wheels destroying road surfaces.  If you’ve ever heard them, they make a lot of noise clanging down the road as well, though that’s not really the issue.

A recent story I read in the WCF Courier (http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/article_c29d45bc-242f-11df-89da-001cc4c03286.html) examines the problem in a Mennonite community in Iowa.  Sounds like the two sides seem to be taking a realistic approach to the situation.  Substantial damage can be done to roads, and in recognition of this Mennonites have contributed $25,000 to help pay for any repairs made necessary due to their tractors.

Video for the Amish burglary story

Also, find a video on the Amish burglary story currently on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjmncevnqJ4&feature=sub).  It features some interesting shots inside a few Amish businesses including a harness shop.  Apparently the thief has only been getting “a few bucks” each time.  So no huge losses.  Maybe that is why the camera idea didn’t come in to play til now.

Sounds like more of a “nuisance” thief, if such a word applies.  Still, not a good feeling to know an intruder is rifling around your property at will.

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    1. Greg Stutzman

      Very interesting comments about the steel wheels on tractors which helps to explain a mystery I have always wondered about. It also fits very nicely into the “Amish Qualification Index” used by elders to determine if things are acceptable in the Amish life. According to my brother-in-law, who was born and raised Amish in Holmes County, OH, an affirmative response to this simple question solves most of life’s tough dilemma’s. “Is it black, blue, or unhandy?”

    2. Greg, first I’ve heard of an official “AQI”, but you made me chuckle!

    3. Katie Troyer

      While living at Aylmer Ontario, the Amish were asked to have summer horseshoes for the road horses as the steel horseshoes damaged the roads during the summer months. So the Amish’s solution was or is to have winter boots and summer shoes for their road horses. Another problem was the horse pooping in town and the solution was simple, you clean up after your horse. Scoop up the poop and take it home or drop it off in a ditch out of town.

    4. Lucy

      Sounds like the thief is messing with the Amish, testing their non-resistance rather than wanting to or needing to steal.I know plain people who get this a lot.