A long line of rumbling tractors, some up to seventy years old, took to the roads of Whiteside County on Sunday, August 30 for the fourth annual Larry Gerlach Memorial Tractor Ride.
The drive is put together by Gerlach’s family, chiefly son Jamie, to honor the man who was a salesman for the IH dealership in Prophetstown for 55 years.
Jamie said the year his dad passed away the the family got his collection of IH antique tractors out of the shed and had a tractor ride in his memory. Larry had been involved in antique rides for many years and had twenty-nine machines in his collection when he passed away.
The following year the family decide to open the ride up to friends and customers and tallied about sixty tractors in the ride. It has since become an annual tradition usually taking place at the end of August just ahead of the fall harvest.
“It takes three to four weeks to get Dad’s tractors ready for the ride,” said Jamie. Along with the help of a few friends each tractor is serviced and shined to prepare for the annual event.
“We always like a different place to stop, so each year the route is adjusted,” added Gerlach. The ride is usually about 30 miles in length and is always met by appreciative onlookers.”He always liked going on rides with groups so we thought it would be the perfect way to honor his memory.”
The video is a compilation of video and images from along the route that weaved its way from Yorktown, Gerlach’s home, to Prophetstown and eventually Tampico before heading back to the home base.
Aroundptown.com would like to especially thank J.C. Henrekin for his drone video.