Friday, February 13, 2015


Well...closer to life than the small-scale vehicle. More like in a coma. But living (somewhat) nonetheless! This beautiful piece of rusted metal and corroded wires is a General Electric Elec-Trak  battery-powered tractor that was donated to our electric vehicle program some time ago. The old beast has sat in disrepair until a member of our program stepped up to the challenge of restoring it to its former grass-mowing glory as a senior project. And so, work started as soon as possible. First came the clean up. The tractor received a good wash and scrubbing before the real work could begin. After that, a series of rewiring, troubleshooting, and hot wiring began. Six batteries of six volts were then put into the tractor for a full testing (We figured that the worst that could happen is the senior project bursting into flames). But, lo and behold, the more than forty year old motors still run! The tractor was alive enough for a quick test drive and some doughnuts behind the school. But, the fun only lasted so long before a primary contactor began to fail and the vehicle slipped back into its vegetative state. And so, there is much more work to be done! There are brakes to repair, contactors to replace, wires to run and a sweet paint job for the finishing touches. It won’t be long before another vehicle is added to the Topsail fleet!


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