Another reason we kids (mostly boys) loved toy tractors when we were growing up in a small farming community was because we wanted to play grown-up. It's hard to believe, but way back when there was a time when kids actually emulated their parents, respected them, and wanted to be as much like them as possible - they were our role models before TV and rock and roll took over. One way to do that was to have fantasy play sessions with toys that were so life-like, it didn't take a lot of imagination.
Sitting by the side of a sandbox in the backyard, my friends and I would get out our tractors, wagons, combines and discs to do some farming before the sun went down. If it was fall and harvest time was just around the corner, so much the better - we knew we had work to do that was important. While Dad and his helpers were out in the real fields, we would be pushing our toys around the sandbox, picking corn soybeans, and maybe a little wheat, loading it onto toy trucks, and taking it down to the granary.
Every town on the railroad tracks had a granary, and that's where the payoff came in - we were helping out our families just by playing, or so we thought. Of course, a year or two of drought or low yields got us to thinking that there might be better ways to make a living. But there was no better way to spend a summer afternoon than with the bright shiny toys of our youth.