Pickups should have a Chevrolet cross emblem on front and tractors should be green. That is how it has always been in Kurtis Duerksen’s world, and if he has a choice, how it will stay.
Duerksen, 22, of rural Goessel, works full-time as a tractor technician at PrairieLand Partners in McPherson while at home he usually has a restoration project or two going in the shed.
Duerksen began restoring trucks and tractors while still a high school student at Goessel. One of his first projects was a 1966 Chevy C20 pickup.
“That truck was bought used by my grandpa in 1969,” he said. “I took it all apart, cleaned it up, fixed what was broken, and painted it myself.”
The red Chevy pickup is the first in a line-up of three trucks that are special to Duerksen and his family.
Truck number two on the list, a 1979 C20 Silverado, belonged to his dad, Russ Duerksen.
“The black one was dad’s that he bought in high school,” Duerksen said. “It was a 2-wheel drive, but I took it apart and put in a 4-wheel drive chassis. I had every nut and bolt off that thing, but it was worth it. I put a lift under it and made it look better.”
Last summer, Duerksen added his own Chevy pickup to the line-up, a brand new Chevy 2500 heavy duty Silverado.
“There’s not much to do to that one except enjoy it,” Duerksen said. “I hope I break the mold and get more than one new truck in my lifetime.”
Duerksen drives his new truck to his job in McPherson where he works on tractors.
“What I do at work is any repair job that comes in the door,” Duerksen said. “I get into a lot of AMS automated problems and will work on any kind of tractor, I just don’t enjoy it as much if it’s not green.”
Duerksen’s father and grandfather farm north of Goessel using green John Deere equipment. Currently Duerksen is working on a 1966 John Deer 520 to go along with his growing collection of restored tractors.
“You always get into something interesting working on these old tractors,” he said. “It may not always be what you expect.”
Duerksen said he also enjoys 4-wheeling and looking for new projects.
“That’s the best part of auto mechanics,” he said. “Searching for the next project.”