Note: This feature is in the April TF 2022 issue.
Like a typical farm kid, Layne Atwater pushed toy tractors through the sandbox as a child. He still has all his childhood tractors in his collection, but his favorite was his John Deere 8650.
"Grandpa had a John Deere tractor when I was little, and I wanted a toy tractor that was a replicas of Grandpas's. The closest they found was the 8650, so it quickly became my favorite plaything. I spent hours farming the sandbox in our backyard," Layne said.
Even in high school, Layne showed an imagination, able to envision what a tractor could become, so he began customizing toy tractors.
"It's been a long time, but in high school, my customizing was simple things, like adding lights, different tires or painting a tractor," he said. Even then, Layne wanted to make his own parts, rather than buy them.
"I actually fabricated small things, like a set of tractor lights using nail heads," he added. "Back then, I glued all the accessory parts onto the tractors."