Amish Minivan

Amish Minivan

The Amish find lots of imaginative ways to stretch the boundaries of the Ordnung. On weekends, we sometimes encounter ‘Amish minivans’, a tractor pulling a wagon with lawn chairs, a cooler, and loaded up with the entire family.

Our builder, Sam, has a nice new Kubota tractor that dwarfs our little 3-cylinder diesel, but his bishop won’t let him put air in the tires.  Like many Central Ohio Amish, he has phenolic inserts that awkwardly attach the original rubber tires to the wheels.  He’d be better off with the old fashioned pre-war metal tractor tires, but because they chew up the asphalt, they have long been forbidden on public roads.  As the bishop intended, Sam doesn’t go very far afield with his tractor. He either takes his horse and buggy, which is primarily for church and family visits, or if it’s a trip to a job site, his non-Amish nephew drives the pickup truck..

Amish in different Ordnungs, like the Yodeling Yoders we’ve used for tree fellers, are fully pneumatic, and are happy to drive a tractor all the way across the county for business purposes.  The Massey Ferguson above, captured at the Holmes County Home charity auction last Fall, would make for a relatively comfortable afternoon drive, which is why some of the bishops have tried to crack down on the use of tractors for transportation by reducing the practicality of the rear wheels.

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