Will It Start? One Simple Question Earns Millions of Views

Faces & Places Youtube Vet
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:57 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Life has a funny way of taking us down unexpected paths.

For many Americans, retirement is an opportunity to read books, travel, or take up golf. If you’re Hank Hamilton, it’s a chance to start a new career.

After 25 years in the United States Air Force, and 13 years as the Washington County Administrator, Hamilton can now add ‘Youtuber’ to his resume.

“We’re getting close to 900,000 on our social media platforms,” said Hank Hamilton, creator of the Hamiltonville Farm YouTube channel.

You read that right! 900,000 followers. 273,000 of those are subscribers to his YouTube channel, which has amassed over 55 million views.

“Hamiltonville Farm is all about tractors and heavy equipment. So, we do a lot of work on our compact tractors, we do a lot of work on our subcompact tractors, we have a skid steer, and then we do a lot of work out in the field, I take my buddy Wiley with me, and we go find old diesel equipment that’s been sitting in the woods for 20+ years, get ‘em cranked up and get ‘em running again,” Hank said. “The older, the nastier, the better. if we could find stuff that’s been in the woods for 20-30 years, we’re doing good at that point. and if it’s growed up with bushes and trees, we’re even better.”

Hank’s ‘Will It Start?’ YouTube series has captured worldwide interest, but the channel’s origin story hits much closer to home.

“We actually got into YouTube because of Hurricane Michael. We needed a tractor to do cleanup on the property; I’ve never driven a tractor before, so my good friend Bryson told me, ‘Why don’t you document your journey?’” said Hank.

Like so many residents in the Panhandle, Hank returned home after Michael to the sight of downed trees and damaged structures. So he picked up a camera, and the rest was history.

“Me and my buddy Wiley, we’ve developed a friendship that is out of this world. and so, we are able to just go out and have fun; I don’t keep a schedule, I don’t set an alarm clock, I just know I can go film some stuff and if it starts, great - and if it doesn’t start, great - it’s very low stress,” Hank said.

Hank shows the world that the most important step in a journey is getting started. Whether it’s bringing old machinery back to life or starting a YouTube channel of your own, he insists there’s no better time to start than right now.

“You need to hit record, you need to start filming. you can do it on a smartphone, just start filming,” Hank said. “Someone is interested in watching you do something. I mean, who would’ve thought someone would want to watch us tinker with old equipment?”

You can tune into Hank’s YouTube channel here or follow him on Facebook or Instagram to see what he will bring back to life next.