Jim Voyles’ VAIW
by Jim Voyles
The Trip. I always thought that the little VAIW warehouse tractors were a rather interesting Case and that I might someday find one. I wasn’t seriously looking for one although I had asked my brother to keep his eye out for one. He located one in Illinois that hadn’t moved from where it was sitting for years. Since it was parked in plain sight, he figured it wasn’t for sale or someone would have bought it.
I was looking on eBay in August 2016 and found one listed for sale. The owner said it ran but not too good, the front tires were mismatched and it was so substantial, anyone buying it would need a heavy trailer.
The tractor was located in eastern New York State, which is a ‘fur piece’ from my home in southwest Missouri. The price was fair enough, but I figured by the time I got it home I would have a lot of money invested in it. I made an offer of his asking price, and got it for that figure, since I was the only person who responded to his ad. I contacted the seller, who was a very agreeable chap, and he said he would put it back into the garage until I got there sometime in October, after things quieted down around here.
My wife and I left home on October 19, headed for New York. We were running just ahead of an area rain, and made it to the Indiana/Ohio line the first night. We awakened to a steady rain the following morning. We left in the dark and drove most of the day in a mist, rain or fog. We didn’t have any problems other than going around Columbus, Ohio, in a driving rain at rush hour. We went north through Cleveland and finally got into upper New York State sometime after lunch.
Now driving east, we finally got ahead of the rain and even found some sunshine. We were hoping the fall colors still abounded, and we were not disappointed. Day two of our drive ended in Oneonta, New York. It was cloudy the next morning when we were to pick up the tractor, but there was no rain. Headed east we again, ran into sunshine and got to Earlton about 9 a.m.
I backed the gooseneck into his driveway and he at- tempted to load it, but these tractors have such a low center of gravity, no sooner would he start up the ramp than the hitch would dig into the ground. On the third try, he asked if the winch on my trailer worked. I told him it did, and he said, “Lets try it one more time.” He did, and the VAIW came right up on board. The hitch had dug a trench about three feet long and eight inches wide, which gave it the traction needed to get up the ramp.