Since the start of December, a mobile band of mechanics has been travelling from farm to farm, helping victims of the Abbotsford floods.
They’re giving up their Sundays to try and save some expensive pieces of equipment.
“It’s about an hour drive, but it’s worth it to see the guys and the look on the farmers’ faces when we get their stuff running,” mechanic Jatinder Singh Rakhra said.
There have been a lot of victories. The sound of a motor firing up is satisfaction after a lot of hard work — but many of the tractors are in really bad shape.
Through word of mouth this crew called Chardi Kala Tractor Sewa Group assembled after seeing how many people are struggling. So far they’ve revived close to two dozen tractors.
“(When) something like this happens you got to stick together as a community, help everyone together,” said mechanic Rajan Purewal.
“We’re going to do this work because this Sumas Prairie area is hit pretty bad,” added team member Malkiat Singh Hoonjan.
Providing free labour is their way of helping people who have lost so much.
They’ve met families picking up the pieces after their homes were destroyed.
“We’re just going to wait, see what we can get from all this and then hopefully rebuild,” Jovin Brar said, standing in the gutted family room of his family’s home.
With so much to do, there’s not much time for a break during the day. Lunch is pizza and Pepsi, served near the back of a flatbed truck.
Then it’s off to the next job. The crew estimates they’ll be working every Sunday until the spring.
“We’re shorthanded as mechanics, we need more mechanics,” said one crew member.
But they won’t stop until every last tractor out here is up and running again.
“I worked all day here to help them,” Satnam Lalloi said.
“After servicing, I’m feeling so good.”