June 7, 2023

Jurgen munch knows his way around old engines and machines

Jurgen munch knows his way around old engines and machines

Jurgen munch kneels at the guldner on the rear axle. The screws are tight, the master mechanic has his work cut out for him. Real craftsmanship is needed here. Munch has already disassembled some of the tractor in his workshop in kirchleus. Inevitably, the layman asks himself whether this can really be a functioning tractor? The rear end of the oldtimer, built in 1960, is jacked up on a provisional axle, only the front end is still recognizable. The rest is disassembled. But munch calmly lifts his cap: there's no other way to change the brake linings on a tractor, explains the 43-year-old, bracing himself against the vehicle.

Munch likes things to be really hands-on. In his garage, he mainly repairs newer cars that are packed with electronics. That is the way of progress. "An electronic fault analysis could also be done by a backer", says munch and points to the corresponding measuring device. But, he says – and he also advises his apprentices – you have to take a closer look at the technology in a vintage car, it's worth it. That is also essential for training. "Fuel in, oil in – and the machine runs without electronics", says munch fascinated. Here everyone can learn a thing or two. "There is still a history of development with the tractors."

Nothing works without interest
He himself started his apprenticeship in 1986. Cars looked different in those days. The components of the engine could be seen at a glance. But many young apprentices today don't even know that anymore. Munch argues that anyone who wants to become an automotive mechanic should also take an interest in oldtimers, old tractors or unimogs. "The apprentices usually only see this in museums." However, the interest must already be there – a basic prerequisite for the profession.

With him it has never been missing. He started to be interested in engines – the very old ones – at an early age. "My childhood memories are connected with old tractors, then I automatically became interested in the technology", says munch. His father already had a farm. As a little boy he was allowed to sit on the bulldog from time to time and drive a little bit on his own property. A massey ferguson type 187 was that. "He's almost the same age as me, says munch and adds: "I want to keep it." It didn't take much – the tractor is still in use every day.

And today? In the meantime, jurgen munch is involved with the tractor friends of kirchleus-losau and is something of an expert on the old machines. If someone has a question or wants to have his bulldog repaired, then he turns to munch. He still enjoys sitting on an old tractor and chugging away just as much as he did in the past.

The selection is rough. The family has ten tractors. The vehicles are scattered in several barns. Munch has to decide with which one he is going to drive. And when he has decided on one, he can really relax: "I change gears as soon as I sit on the tractor, which is a deceleration for me."

Then, when he starts the engine in the evening after work and drives to his fishing pond, it's easy: "I forget everything. It's like half a vacation in mallorca for me." Anyway he feels most comfortable here in kirchleus. Canada, russia, he has seen it all. But at home it is best. Auber africa, the continent was already tempting him again as a vacation destination.

Although: jurgen munch's real dream also has to do with machines again. Because later, when he has worked enough, he wants to sit down on an old combine harvester, drive to a piece of land, thresh the grain there and watch each individual wheel of the machine work comfortably.


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