It’s a pretty common practice around a farm to name something as a quick identifier — your favourite cow, the barn cat that’s a great mouser, a specific piece of land, or even a piece of equipment. There are often so many pieces of equipment on a farm or ranch that if they’re not named or numbered, it’s hard to know which tractor or semi to go “to find the spare 9/16ths wrench.”
Other than naming something for fun, what are the reasons people name their pieces of equipment? How do they decide on a name or who’s responsible for naming something?
I did some investigating and asked the twitterverse what their rational was, after seeing this tweet from Sean Stanford. Sometimes the names are obvious and are based on colour, like a big yellow semi being named “Big Bird.”
Hey, BigBird this is the RedDragon where ya hauling, over, Kssshk. pic.twitter.com/jIw1aEUWCO
— Devon Walker (@Walkerfarm306) February 17, 2021
Sometimes pieces of equipment are named after the previous owner, the person who used them the most, or in memory of someone special.
The 9320 aka the Randy Tractor. Name caught on when our now 11yo called it that because he would ride in it with our hired hand Randy and he operated it more than Dad or I did. He passed about 6 years ago, but we still say Randy Tractor. pic.twitter.com/3r7Mohh37c
— Brian Scott ? (@thefarmerslife) February 17, 2021
Meet Allen. Named after the previous owner, a custom trucker and friend who passedaway pic.twitter.com/EoBan2uo1H
— Logan W Murray (@triplemlogan) February 17, 2021
Or the names might be random, or just directly related to the brand of the vehicle (I bet the one named stinky, was indeed stinky).
For our trucks we’re really creative. We have the star, ol’ Mack, the tandem, international and finally stinky.
— Chris Bauer (@Chris_bauer_LL) February 18, 2021
This is Orville who spent his first half century+ hauling grain. Now Orville harvests hops! pic.twitter.com/Azw8g9iH0Z
— Justin Shepherd (@saskhops) February 17, 2021
Our farm trucks are named as well. Jackie (previous owner), Dorey (blue truck with yellow decals), Runaway (Enough said!), Grandpa’s, & the 3 ton.
— Rachel Young (@RachelCXN360) February 17, 2021
Sometimes you just name a piece of equipment based on the situation.
This one was called “Problem child”. pic.twitter.com/1FN8lxI6SV
— Travis Greydanus (@greydaftonfarms) February 17, 2021
Or sometimes, something has been named for so long that you don’t know where the name comes from, like this 1952 L110 International named “Gertie,” previously used as a fuel truck.
And if you’re really creative, you might even compose a song name-dropping your equipment like The Hunter Brothers (#seashanty) at Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.
— Hunter Brothers (@HunterBros) February 17, 2021