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Tractors, necessary, or luxury?

 
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Pearl,

Ok then a little B series tractor.  Those are just a step larger than the BX line and are generally not considered sub compact tractors.  Very useful little machines that punch far above their weight.  Before I bought my JD, I looked very seriously at the B series as well.  I can completely understand why you miss having that tractor and want it back.

Eric
 
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Julie Reed wrote:Eric,

I don’t know how many hours he worked on the days he taught, but adding up weekends, Xmas break, spring break, 3 day weekends a few times and summer vacation he had an equal number of days not in school, not teaching, which left him free to log with horses and raise a few dairy cows. That’s how he explained it to me and it made perfect sense. I’ve heard other teachers comment similarly. The school day is 6-7 hours, I would guess most teachers end up at around 10 with prep, correcting papers, etc? It’s not a job I would want, or could do well. I love kids and am able to teach them things (we homeschooled for a few years) but not in multiples of 25!😳



My ex-wife was a teacher, and her contract was 181 days, which is 6 months. I think after that it gets into how much passion a person has. When I worked at the shipyard I worked 9 months out of the year, as most "real" jobs do, but with full-time farming, I work everyday. In fact, people used to ask me, why I did not know what the weather was going to be. And I said, "I am a farmer, I am going to be out in it no matter what the weather is."

My ex-wife, she called "homework", homework to her kids, but called it "Busy work" to me, and so she took them home where we burned them in our burn barrel. Grades were based on test scores and her estimation of how they did on the homework. So I would say a teacher works 6 months a year, but good for them if they are more passionate.

Here in Maine, the typical farm back in the oxen/horse farming days was sized around 40 acres. That was about all a farm could handle back then. Ours was always a little bigger, we had 2000 acres, but my Great Grandfather also had 17 teams of horses he had to keep going all the time. Obviously that was through a lot of hired hands, but the old duffers here have told me, he was so tired keeping so many people moving in the right direction for the farm, that he would sleep anywhere. It was just that stressful, and all consuming.

He loved horses, and always did. But my Grandfather (his son) hated horses and preferred tractors. That was where I got my love from, but I have been driving tractors since I was 5 or six years old.

I actually got my first traffic violation at age 10 by "driving across a paved way with a tracked machine." I never thought in the world the Deputy Sheriff sitting on top of the hill would pull a 10 year old over for just driving a bulldozer across the road. That cost my dad $65 as it was determined he had, "Allowed to Operate", kind of a catch-all offense.

My 5th grade teacher, she once told my mom that "I was a good kid, but lived in a fantasy world." My mom was shocked and said that I was "honest to a fault." That was when my teacher said that I kept saying how I drove bulldozer. That was when my mom informed her that I really did. I was only 10, but because the bulldozer moves slow, and is steered by levers, I could put my feet on the dash and pull my guts out, and get the bulldozer to steer through the woods. my dad would log, get the bulldozer hooked to the trees, and my job was to drive it to the landing, push them up, then drive back as he cut more trees. To stop the bulldozer, or shift, I had to stand on the clutch.

I did not actually start using a chainsaw until I was15 years old. My dad told me if I started to cut wood, to not stop until I finished that load...10 cords of wood. I have been cutting wood ever since.

 
Eric Hanson
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Pearl,

And yes, everything you said about all the work that *YOU* don’t have to do completely applies.

When I do my major chipping projects, I partner with my neighbor.  As we now both have tractors, our approach has been to let the tractor do as much of the work as possible and we do as little work as possible.  We did not always do it this way.

In years past we would end up dragging large volumes of trimmed brush by hand to the chipper.  That was exhausting.  Piling on to the exhaustion, feeding  the brush in just added to the workload.

Our technique has evolved over the years, but now we have the pallet forks and our approach looks something like the following:

First, we go out and trim a section of brush.  We don’t really have a specific goal or deadline, we just do it to whenever we feel like quitting.

After we have cleared, we started loading the brush onto the forks attached to the loader.  The last time, we loaded onto his tractor as he had the forks attached to my neighbor’s JD 2305 (technically I own the forks, but in practice we share them as we are almost always doing these projects together—it works out the better for the both of us.  It’s almost like communal property).  The forks are 48” forks, meaning that they protrude outwards almost 4’.  Better yet, the forks come with a little slot near the base to stick a 2x4 in and use as a vertical rear support.  I started with a 2’ 2x4 which I thought was a pretty generous backing.  My neighbor replaced it with a 5’ vertical support!  

The net result is that we can load an enormous amount of brush onto those forks!  In fact, the last time we did this we did something that I had never seen before.  Technically, the loader is rated to 640 pounds, but I once tested this with 40 pound bricks and lifted (about 4 inches—It could have gone further, but I was concerned about balancing issues) over 900 pounds!  But on the last time we moved brush we loaded do much brush that the loader maxed out after lifting only 2”!  This was the first time I had ever seen that tractor fail to lift the load!  We were still able to move the huge load, it was just some slow going, but it was the tractor that does the work and not my back.

At any rate we dump this trimmed brush into a great big pile near a garden bed.  The plan is that we will place the chipper near/in between the brush pile and the garden bed and we will chip right into the bed where the chips will sit.

My point with this long winded post is that the tractor will be doing most of the work.  I can get far more chipping done more quickly and with less effort by using my tractor instead of my body.  I actually have a need for a large amount of chips and that requires a huge volume of brush.  I could not do this in one day just dragging brush with my own body.  I would have to rent the chipper for a many days at $300/day!  It would cost a fortune!

But using the tractor and a little planning and this becomes a one-day chipping project.

In the end, even a small tractor can be a tremendous asset for even a small landowner.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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I just want to clear up a misunderstanding from previous posts about school contract work length.  To say that a 180 day contract means that a teacher only works half the year implies that a standard 9-5 full time position working 12 months a year works twice as much.  A standard 9-5 job with two weeks of vacation is 250 days, not 365.  This means that a 180 day contract is about 3/4 the number of official work days of a standard 9-5 job, not half.  Certainly not 6 months.

I certainly agree that farming is a truly full time job.  One quite literally works in one’s sleep when they dream about the job.  I do this with teaching.  I often find myself dreaming about the job (when I dream that is as teaching full time actually pushed me into a serious insomnia condition that has lasted since 2006).  Also, I can give an example of what my school day was like when I first started.  I got to school by 5:00 a.m. and worked till 4:00 p.m.  I then went home and took a mandatory 2 hour break for dinner and just a little time off.  I often took a walk to clear my head but instead obsessed about school, planning, grading, planning, planning and more planning.  I actually spent more time planning than teaching.  I had 5 classes, but more importantly I had 3 preps, that is 3 different subjects to plan for.  After my 2 hour break I would start working again at 6:00 p.m. and worked till 9:00.  9:00 was my cutoff point.  I slept from about 9:00/9:30 till 4:00 when I would get up and start the process over again.  I also worked about 10 hours on the weekend.  Add that all up and we are talking about an 80 hour base load.  Yes I was passionate, but this workload was not being done out of passion, but rather just to make the classes go the next day.  And 80 hours was a base load as there was a never ending string of additional responsibilities I was expected to do.  I was expected to sponsor this and that organization, which just piled more on top of my 80 hour base load.

I really don’t want to be an angry rebuke.  That’s not my intention.  My intent is to point out the frequent misconceived notion that exists that implying a 180 day contract is a half time commitment compared to a standard 9-5 job.  On a per day comparison it is more like 3/4 the days of a 9-5 job.  On an hourly basis over the course of the year it is closer to at least 50% greater workload than a 9-5 job.  Also, many/most teachers also have summer commitments to school as well.  I have not factored those into the above calculations.

Again, I am not trying to make this an angry rebuke.  I do feel it necessary to correct the misguided notion that a teacher only works half time.

Now let’s get back to tractors!!

Eric
 
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We have a few guys here who horse-log, and I kind of take exception to what they say. To get jobs they like to tout up how environmentally friendly they are, but it just does not stand to what actually happens in the woods.

The majority of the damage done in the woods is by the chainsaw, not what is used to get the wood out.

I have seen some really nice logging jobs done with a skidder, and I have seen some really bad logging jobs. But equally I can show you some horse logging jobs that are horrific, and horse logging jobs that have been done really well.

Horse logging still causes ruts though, and a clear cut is a clear cut no matter if they use a horse, or use a skidder to haul off the wood.

The biggest thing with a skidder is that it has the power to knock over regeneration. If those trees are not cut down and cleaned up, the logging job looks nasty. This is mostly subjective though because with horse logging, trails have to be swamped out prior to being used, so the wood is cut and piled next to the trail. It looks better, but it still is dead regeneration. With skidders, we just drive over that stuff, which looks worse, but dead is dead. Forester Drake noted this when he first compared horse logging to tractor logging, and that was in California in 1909! And ruts, no matter if they are made by horse or skidder, over time fill back in with the freeze-thaw cycles, so I never worried about them too much.

My issue with horse-logging I where they cannot log.

Until we started logging with skidder, quite a few places on our land were impossible to log with horses. The grades were to adverse for a horse to pull wood up, or too far away from the road, or too wet. When we switched to tractor logging, the same issues were at hand, so the areas went unlogged. Bulldozer logging allowed us to get into wet and steep areas, but were too slow to get far back into the woods. (Some areas of our forest are 2 miles away from the nearest road). In 2016 we finally were able to get to those far flung mature forests and pull some wood off. To my knowledge there is only one section left that has not been logged on our land.

What I have tried to do after logging with a skidder though, is go back in with a bulldozer and clear the major skidder trails of rocks, stumps and cradle-knolls and put a nice road in. Not graveled, but smooth so I can go back in with my farm tractor. With its 150 cable and winch, I can do future work with my farm tractor instead of a skidder. That really helps for future forestry work.

Here is an example of a bulldozed road through the forest for future forestry work.






DSCN4192.JPG
bulldozed road through the forest
bulldozed road through the forest
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

I continue to have an interest in a log arch.  There are a couple of models by a company called logrite that makes some very nice arches.  They are made of aluminum so they are lightweight.  The carry the log in a nicely balanced position so they don’t tear up ground.  They have both hand-pulled and towable versions (and even a convertible version).  I personally am interested in their fetching arch which can be set up either to tow or pull by hand.  It looks like a nice product.

Back when I was hauling fallen logs out of my woods I could really have used a log arch and I thought about this option a lot.  Sadly, it was a little too rich for my blood at the time and I built my log trailer instead (I just checked a little closer.  My wheels were $9/wheel so the whole cost was more like $50 than $85.).  I no longer really have a particular use for the log arch, but logrite has some larger ones that might be suited to your operation.

Eric
 
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I have never logged with a log arch.

I have thought about building one, especially when I had my bulldozer and was dry-dragging logs, and snapping logging chokers. I think they could work really well. They would get one end of the log up off the ground, put the weight on a set of wheels, and aid in weight transfer for the tractor. If a person added a winch all the better. An even better of the better might be having a power axle so that the logging arch was driven by the PTO. That would make the tractor a 4x6, or 6x6 depending on if the tractor was four wheel drive, or two wheel drive. A logging arch with a powered axle would actually go better in the woods then a 4x4 tractor, because often times the front tires are not pulling all that much. With all the weight being on  tires that are driven, I imagine a person could go through some pretty deep mud/snow with a powered axle log arch.

About the only negative thing I can think of for the log arch would be in turning around. It is not like a tractor or skidder where you just back up to where you are logging. I am not sure how that would work. It is obviously doable, I just wonder how much of a pain it would be. Other than that I think it would work great.

Years ago people used to build a "power trailer." I have never seen them bought, only homemade. All it was, was a trailer that had a rear-end and big tires...like a truck rear end, and truck tires with chains on the dual wheels. There was then a drive shaft that went from the input shaft of the rear end towards the front of the trailer. At the front was a transmission. To that the pto shaft was connected off the tractor. You selected a gear that matched the speed of the tractor, with how fast the trailer tires were turning. In this way, all the weight was on the trailer and its wheels, which was powered, again a 4x6 or a 6x6 situation. You could go anywhere with them with a heck of a load.

The really only bad thing about them was, you were limited in gears. The tractor had to match the transmission gear of the trailer. You could shift the trailer in neutral (or undo the PTO) and use the tractor in any gear, but the tires were not powered. It was one of those things, if it was muddy, you were coming out of the woods at one speed. However, you at least were coming out of the woods.!
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

The larger logrite arches come with a winch.  In the standard configuration it is a 2 speed hand winch that is only used for actually picking up the log.  It has built in hitch adapter for hooking up either an electrical or hydraulic winch to drag a log into position.

The powered arch sounds awesome!  I bet it would be pricey!  I would certainly want to make certain that the rear wheels were exactly synchronized with the front wheels or there could be serious trouble!  But amazing nonetheless!

Eric
 
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You know these people from Maine; never satisfied with what they got...

All joking aside, I always wondered...

What if a person took their 2 wheel tractor, and build a log arch for it on the back. Then took another one, a 2 wheel tractor, and another log arch, but mounted that one going forward, and mounted a swivelable bunk on it? In that way, the log would be positioned between the two machines, and fully supported by driven wheels. If the two operators used the same gear, where couldn't they get logs out of the woods? My goodness, they are 3 feet wide and all traction?

Of course if a person put tracks on their 2 wheel tractors too boot...

It would be a really capable machine. Really a person could get logs out from anywhere, and have nothing but walking paths when they were done.

The double 2 wheel tractor would be pricey if both were new, but if at least one was used, that would take the edge off. I bought my 2 wheel tractor for $500 cash.
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

THAT is a crazy/great idea.  I will go one further.  What if you included a sulky seat so one could ride it, yet still be able to swivel the handle bars so one could still walk beside if that was the better option?  It could be potentially crazy maneuverable. It could go straight forward, it could go directly sideways, one end could turn right and the other left.

In my imagination, money not being an issue at all, I think I would power it electrically.  I would do this not out of disdain for fuel, but for quiet operation so that the front and rear drivers could communicate easily and not yell over the noise of the engine.  And yes, Travis TRACKS,  this would definitely run on tracks.

In case you can’t tell I love the idea!

Eric
 
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Julie Reed wrote:“The thing that I would favor a tractor for is the FEL on the thing. I don't know of an easy way to do what an FEL can do with a horse team.”

I love horses, riding is relaxing and peaceful, and a working draft team is really impressive to watch. But horses do pretty much one task- pulling. No FEL, no PTO, no drawbar, no remote hydraulics, no ability to back up equipment easily. No way to attach a winch or backhoe, no lights for working past dusk. My grandfather probably spent half an hour before and after working to mess with harnesses, blankets, drying horses off, rubbing them down... and again, he loved it, but they are just not even remotely comparable to the practicality of a tractor, as least to my thinking. As far as going where machines can’t, to lay fiber optic cable, I can’t quite picture that. I’ve hiked in VT and NH, and I know what the terrain is like, but there is equipment built specifically for that, 4wd articulating with tracks at each corner that will climb near vertical slopes (such as the Ditch Witch RT Quad).



Here ya go -- https://idle.slashdot.org/story/11/05/24/131250/draft-horses-used-to-lay-fiber-optic-cable

Fairpoint Communications bought the NE holdings from GTE/Verizon years ago.
 
Travis Johnson
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john mcginnis wrote:Fairpoint Communications bought the NE holdings from GTE/Verizon years ago.



And Fairpoint Communications got bought out by Consolidated Communications...
 
Travis Johnson
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Eric Hanson wrote:Travis,

THAT is a crazy/great idea....



It would really work good for someone doing low-impact logging to get out big logs for a Log Home, Wofati or the like. You would have to get the weight over the 2 wheel tractors, but when you did, you could walk that log out of almost anywhere. It would be fun to build it, and then fell a tree in the most inaccessible spot, and then do a video of the dual-machine moving the log, jut to show its capability.

I have always liked the idea of having (2) 2 wheel tractors just because of how versatile they are by themselves, but having two would off-set the limitation they have, which is they are very weight transfer dependent. By that I mean, you cannot just hook them to a log and pull, because the 2 wheel tractor rears up, forcing the handles downward. But devising ways to have them work in unison, would allow a person to overcome the weight transfer issue, and get traction fore and aft.

For instance, a 2 wheel tractor towing a mini version of my log trailer. The trailer would have to have powered axles, otherwise the 2 wheel tractor would just spin, but then it would get you a backhoe, log loader, dump trailer, and all the other stuff my little log trailer does. All for about $3 per day in fuel costs.

The biggest problem is, at $4500 for a base unit, a person with (2) 2 wheel tractors is approaching what a 4 wheel tractor costs, and has a loader, pto, and 3 point hitch.
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

Yeah, I get you.  There would be some very challenging engineering options to overcome.  A 2-wheel tractor is very tippy.

Maybe with the appropriate tracks it could become less tippy?

Also the price is a significant factor.  We are now close to the price of a small 4 wheel tractor, well above the price of many logging implements and encroaching in on the price of your log trailer.

Travis, you were thinking about using such a contraption for removing felled trees in remote, awkward areas.  I actually have a need to get a log near my backyard.  It is a tree leaning 45 degrees against another.  Something like this contraption could be extremely useful for removing this tree, and extremely dangerous all at the same time!

Eric
 
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I am up against it right now in the woods. I got a guy that wants some ash firewood, I have tons of ash to cut, but it just rained again yesterday, so it is incredibly muddy. I mean like 2 feet of mud...muddy. That is no good for firewood. I got a log trailer, but I cannot use my tractor in the woods to pull it because it is so muddy. I cannot use my skidder because that does not have a hitch, and it would be a pretty big tractor to hook onto such a little trailer anyway. So I do not know. I guess just wait...
 
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Logging is a pretty tough gig anyway. It is all about traction, weight and terrain.

I like doing what I can with the smallest equipment, but logging makes that really tough. Logs and trees weigh a lot. Years ago we could cut wood into 4 foot length and paper mills would buy it, but those days are over. The smallest length I can cut now is 8 feet, and only one mill takes that, and it is a long ways away. 99% of my wood is cut tree length That makes it pretty challenging for small equipment.

Then there is the traction aspect of things; mud, snow, steep grades, it is a real challenge to move stuff that is heavy through that.

Then we have terrain. It is prohibitively expensive to make the area log smooth, so it means figuring out how to deal with ruts, rocks, stumps, brush and cradle-knolls. It is pretty hard to keep all four tires on the ground when the tractor is twisted into a pretzel.

Believe it or not, it is for this reason that the skidder excels. Unlike the tractor that has a front axle that oscillates just a little bit, the front axle on a skidder oscillates A LOT. When a tire hits a stump, it is this action, the machine being able to pivot up over that stump that keeps it going, keeps all four tires on the ground. With a tractor, the front axle hits the frame and then it has a choice, either pitch the whole tractor up and over the stump, or lose traction and spin. Most of the time it does the latter. This is what makes the skidder so much better in the woods.

A skidder's articulation actually works against itself. That is because the rear wheels, ALWAYS follow the front wheels, no matter where they go. That is why they make so many ruts; when the front tires go into something soft, the rear tires just make the soft spot deeper. Then toss in limited slip differentials front and back, and the inside of the corner, means the tires are "spinning" since they are turning faster then the outside. This churning makes a skidder really put ruts through the woods.

But don't they pull.

I am going up a very, very steep hill now, a place I call the "Bowl". No matter how I log it, it means pulling uphill. With all the rain we are having, it is a stream rushing down the skid trail, but I am managing to pull wood out. In the end, it is all good. I will have to get some pictures of my logging misery right now.

 
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No one has asked what a cradle-knoll is, but for those that do not know, I will explain it.

A "cradle knoll" is a small hill, followed by a depression. Generally this happens in areas that have never been fields. It also tends to happen in areas with very thin soil.

What happens is, because of the thin soil, wind blows trees over in what we call "blow-downs". When the root ball is upended, over time the tree and roots rot, but the dirt remains. This creates a hill followed immediately by a depression. Over hundreds and thousands of years of this process repeating itself, the forest gets pockmarked by these hills and depressions. They are not big, but they are numerous! This makes it very hard to operate a piece of equipment in because tires can be on a hill, and down in a depression, all at the same time. We call these "cradle-knolls."

This happens in old growth forests, because if the area was ever a field, the removal of stumps, rocks and tillage would have flattened these hills and depressions out.

Cradle knolls typically have red soil too, especially a few months after the area is first logged. That is because we have a lot of iron in the soil here, and that "red" color is iron churned up by logging and now is rusting away. IF the area had been previously logged, tilled, or even stirred up by the hooves of livestock on pasture, it would have rusted years ago.

This is a picture of an area filled with cradle-knolls. The presence of cradle-knolls tells me it was never a tilled field, but a lack of reddish soil indicates it was a pasture at one time. From records, I happen to know that this was cleared into a pasture in the year 1800 for sheep.



DSCN3957.JPG
Cradle Knolls
Cradle Knolls
 
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I always think of cradle knolls as a defining characteristics of a forest and one of those emergent properties that are very beneficial and worth copying in the forest garden.  This creates diversity of conditions that help support a diverse and highly useful edible landscape.  Thank you for the great description and picture Travis.
 
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It has always amazed me how observation can show a person so much, even with what is happening underground.

Just in the picture of the cradle-knolls, you can tell the soil is thin. When you see big boulders on top of the ground, you can be assured the soil is thin, otherwise the glaciers would have pushed the boulders under the soil. With bedrock close to the surface (thin soil), there was no place for the boulders to go, so they are above ground. Glacier turds I call them (boulders).

Or in looking for gravel. It is always found on the Northeast side of a hill because the glaciers ran south-west here. The southwest side is scoured down to thin soil, but the Northeast side is where the pockets of soil remain. Think of how you scrape mud off your boot on a board, on the leading edge, the mud gets scraped off, and piles up, while there is nothing on the far edge of the board. It is the same thing as a glacier crested the top of a hill. Soil backed up on the North East side as it slid over the edge of the hill. That soil is pulverized rock...gravel. Incidentally, the old duffers knew this too. In order to have sufficient depth to bury the dead, and for ease of shoveling, a look at old cemeteries will tell you where the gravel is in an area.

Rock walls tell you a lot too. If it is just big rocks, it was probably just cleared for pasture, but if it includes big to medium rocks, it was once used for tilled crops. Small piles of rocks means it was probably used to grow potatoes.

But you guys know me, come this time of year, I am start my geological exploration hunts, now that hunting season is over. For me, the prey is always seams of quartz, and I can walk along the rock walls of a field, and when I see lots of quartz show up in the rock wall, I can triangulate where the seam is running across the field. One of the largest gold discoveries ever was done in this exact way when two prospectors were walking along a rock wall.

I do this all without digging, and just by observation. I am not super-smart by any means, all I have is a high school education. And it certainly is not some magical power. It is just watching for patterns.

I just worry about my children. They do not go out and about, and even though I always have, I am 45 years old and just learning this stuff. It makes me want to write it down so that the patterns I have noticed, do not die when I die.
 
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:My wife got one this year, 1957 farmall cub, it's a tiny machine that has very cheap parts, runs a very small 9hp gas engine, so it is thrifty too, we mostly need a trailer puller, and maybe some other tasks, but we don't need the weight to plow barrow or dig, so a small thrifty machine with the highest priced part being $100 and most parts being $15 was right for us. I replaced the muffler repaired the transmission gears, changed all the fluids and bought a crank to start it with for about $85....oh and $900 purchase price



I own both a cub and a Super A, the Super A is about 25 HP and the cub is 2/3 the size of the cub. Both can be bought cheap and actually you can plow and disk with the cub just fine. I have a 1 bottom turning plow for the cub and a 2 bottom plow for the SA. I got both for around $400 (way cheaper than new 3 point 1 bottom plows) I also have a 4' wide disk for the cub and a 6' for the SA. I sold the disk for the cub as this payed for the larger, heavier and can disk deeper as the cub one had 16" disks while the 6' has 20" disks. I also have a 6' bushhog for my SA but they also make a 60" belly mower and 4' brush hog for the SA and cub. My Bush-hog was actually a modified 3 point type that is heavy and could handle cutting down trees up to 6" diam. So I needed the heavier built one to clear my old pastures that had trees growing in them.

Both the Farmall cub and SA also have offset seating and front lift that was made to allow it to cultivate in front of the driver allowing you to just look down to see the cultivating where new tractors have cultivators on the rear (3 point hitch) and cause you to continually drive looking backwards to make sure your not cultivating up your CROPS. They both also have planters that are mounted under the front. I am in the process of modifying a Jang planter to mount in the front of my SA. This will allow me to plant from 1 row to 24 rows on my 48" beds. The factory (farmall) only had 1-6 using either their own (IH planter) 1 row, a pull type 2 row or the rear OR front mounted Cole Planet Jr type planters that were from 1-6 rows. IH (International Harvester) made these tractors from the early 1940's till 1979 and there are tons of these tractors still in use, they actually made over a hundred thousand of these tractors per year in their hay days. So like Chad Holes said the parts are cheap, if you can change the oil and breaks on your car you can fix these tractors, buy them cheap. Find most of the old implements that they made specifically for them and these implements are better built than anything costing 10 times their price that they scam you nowadays. My turning plows are from the 1950's and are still in great shape. Both tractors are from 1950 and I would dare anyone buying a new tractor or turning plow to show me what shape they are in when they are 70+ years old. Even the sheet metal on my tractors have little rust, my neighbors 2017 John Deere tractor that cost over $80,000 has rust holes in its hood already. (actually the side panels but its part of the hood.) I am currently looking for either a SAV -140 hi crop (a super A-140 that has higher clearance to go over 18" ground clearance) with a front end loader, or similar Farmall H or M (Super H or M) w/ a FEL or a Massey Ferguson 135 or 185 with a FEL. The main reason I need a FEL is to load my manure spreader that is ground driven. It holds 80 bushels and I put 7-8 tons of manure per acre so I would really need some way to load this better than with a shovel as I'm not looking forwards to shoveling 24 tons of chicken poop LOL. But the cub was actually designed to replace the 1 horse/mule farms of the 1940's+. They said it was for the 5 acre plus farm but thats with old ways of farming. I personally do intensive farming so 1 acre of it is more like 2-5 acres of old conventional farming. IMHO I think the cub is great even if you just need it to clear the snow out of driveway, add a 48-60" belly mower and you can cut lawn fast and use less gas than a zero-turn. Add some cultivators, a planter, fert side dresser, disc, a trailer and turning plow and even the homestead with 1/2 acre would be well covered with almost anything you want to do. IH even had a sickle bar mower and hay rakes for them.

I looked into the walk behind 2 wheel tractors. I like them but unless you can find one for sale really cheap I can't justify the cost as both new tractors and implements and even the 2 wheel tractors would cost over $20,000 dollars to get less than I could get buying old well built and running Farmalls or MF... (not a fan of Ford 8n, 9n) but they are also good for what I'm describing) For under $8,000 I'll have 2 cub tractors, an SA and an SA-V, a front end loader, plows, disk, a trailer to haul them, a bush-hog, a bed maker (makes 4" raised beds), chisel plow, a potato digger (also used to harvest other root crops like carrots, turnips, rutabagas etc) cultivators, planters... So even if one of my tractors needs to be repaired and is down I'll still have a backup and can even run things like a milking machine, a generator, hammer mill (grinds grains and feed) run an elevator (hay or grain loaded into top of barns) so to me could I live without them ? YES but I couldn't make a living. I would need to spend way more buying things like a tiller, a mower, and many other gas powered things to do half the jobs I need done. Could I rent? Yes but again, rent a tractor and in just 2-3 years I'll have paid them more than what a good running farmall costs.
 
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wish I could find a belly mower for my super a, I also have one of those super av's it got robbed of distributor, carburetor, generator, starter and air filter, but I found a farmall c that has all these parts and the block is full of water and rust for the past decade. I hopefully will get it home in the spring and get it going.
 
C Rogers
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bruce Fine wrote:wish I could find a belly mower for my super a, I also have one of those super av's it got robbed of distributor, carburetor, generator, starter and air filter, but I found a farmall c that has all these parts and the block is full of water and rust for the past decade. I hopefully will get it home in the spring and get it going.


Go to Farmallcub.com and join,  they have many people there that can help explain how to repair any Farmall and they also have a used and new parts section/ blog. I'm called "Ol Timey Farming" there. I've even seen belly mowers for sale.
 
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I looked into the walk behind 2 wheel tractors. I like them but unless you can find one for sale really cheap I can't justify the cost as both new tractors and implements and even the 2 wheel tractors would cost over $20,000 dollars to get less than I could get buying old well built and running Farmalls or MF... (not a fan of Ford 8n, 9n) but they are also good for what I'm describing) For under $8,000 I'll have 2 cub tractors, an SA and an SA-V, a front end loader, plows, disk, a trailer to haul them, a bush-hog, a bed maker (makes 4" raised beds), chisel plow, a potato digger (also used to harvest other root crops like carrots, turnips, rutabagas etc) cultivators, planters... So even if one of my tractors needs to be repaired and is down I'll still have a backup and can even run things like a milking machine, a generator, hammer mill (grinds grains and feed) run an elevator (hay or grain loaded into top of barns) so to me could I live without them ? YES but I couldn't make a living. I would need to spend way more buying things like a tiller, a mower, and many other gas powered things to do half the jobs I need done. Could I rent? Yes but again, rent a tractor and in just 2-3 years I'll have paid them more than what a good running farmall costs.



I’ve seen this $20,000 figure elsewhere rgdg the 2-wheel tractors. The Farmall small tractors are all sorts of awesome, but your comparison directly to new equipment leaves out certain factors such as availability of functional equipment available for sale within a reasonable distance, work required to bring the equipment up to working condition, storage of the larger tractor, taking the time to bring together all the pieces and get them working and finding or adapting implements can be a major expenditure of time. When I purchased my BCS it was delivered, ready to go in two days. Sure parts are available for the Farmall and not super expensive and there is an enthusiastic hobbyist community, but your $8,000 figure leaves out additional time and effort older equipment usually requires.

Safety is another issue I see with going with a 70 year old tractor such as condition, PTO guard issues, lack of or inadequate ROP, seat belt or cab. Here is a good paper on overturn hazards. For those who downplay hazards on smaller tractors, people have been killed while skidding logs using small garden tractors, drowned by overturning zero turn mowers and killed by the tractors PTO (including incidents using a Farmall). Another hazard people don't often associate with small tractors is the danger of a slipped clutch propelling the tractor and rider into hazards such as thick brush where the driver get impaled. Also, a 4-wheel tractor limits a lot of areas where it will fit or be safe to use, at least on my place and would have more issues with soil compaction over the WBT.

Not planning to spend this much, but a $20,000 itemized list of what I would buy in addition to a BCS or Grillo walk behind ($4,000) and implements in general for cropping the Berta 30” Flail Mower ($2,000) - Aldo Biagioli Spike Tooth Harrow ($200) - Berta single rotary plow ($1,300) - Aldo Biagioli Bedshaper ($400) - 30” R2 Rinaldi Gear-Driven Power Harrow & drop seeder ($2,700) - Aldo Biagioli Potato / Tuber Digging Plow ($250) - Earth Tools/Hoss Four-row Vegetable Seeder ($1,500), misc connectors ($500) (subtotal $12,850).  Non cropping implements could be the Del Morino / BCS 32” Brush Mower ($1,200) - CAEB “Minicargo” front mounted Power Barrow 1,000 lb capacity ($1,500) - MeccAlte 5200 watt continuous / 6000 watt surge generator ($1,000) - (subtotal $16,550). To bring it to the total add a Bell horizontal log splitter ($1,600) and a Caravaggi BIO-150 chipper-shredder ($1,900) (or the stump grinder, etc.).
 
C Rogers
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James Whitelaw wrote:I’ve seen this $20,000 figure elsewhere rgdg the 2-wheel tractors. The Farmall small tractors are all sorts of awesome, but your comparison directly to new equipment leaves out certain factors such as availability of functional equipment available for sale within a reasonable distance, work required to bring the equipment up to working condition, storage of the larger tractor, taking the time to bring together all the pieces and get them working and finding or adapting implements can be a major expenditure of time. When I purchased my BCS it was delivered, ready to go in two days. Sure parts are available for the Farmall and not super expensive and there is an enthusiastic hobbyist community, but your $8,000 figure leaves out additional time and effort older equipment usually requires.

Safety is another issue I see with going with a 70 year old tractor such as condition, PTO guard issues, lack of or inadequate ROP, seat belt or cab. Here is a good paper on overturn hazards. For those who downplay hazards on smaller tractors, people have been killed while skidding logs using small garden tractors, drowned by overturning zero turn mowers and killed by the tractors PTO (including incidents using a Farmall). Another hazard people don't often associate with small tractors is the danger of a slipped clutch propelling the tractor and rider into hazards such as thick brush where the driver get impaled. Also, a 4-wheel tractor limits a lot of areas where it will fit or be safe to use, at least on my place and would have more issues with soil compaction over the WBT.

Not planning to spend this much, but a $20,000 itemized list of what I would buy in addition to a BCS or Grillo walk behind ($4,000) and implements in general for cropping the Berta 30” Flail Mower ($2,000) - Aldo Biagioli Spike Tooth Harrow ($200) - Berta single rotary plow ($1,300) - Aldo Biagioli Bedshaper ($400) - 30” R2 Rinaldi Gear-Driven Power Harrow & drop seeder ($2,700) - Aldo Biagioli Potato / Tuber Digging Plow ($250) - Earth Tools/Hoss Four-row Vegetable Seeder ($1,500), misc connectors ($500) (subtotal $12,850).  Non cropping implements could be the Del Morino / BCS 32” Brush Mower ($1,200) - CAEB “Minicargo” front mounted Power Barrow 1,000 lb capacity ($1,500) - MeccAlte 5200 watt continuous / 6000 watt surge generator ($1,000) - (subtotal $16,550). To bring it to the total add a Bell horizontal log splitter ($1,600) and a Caravaggi BIO-150 chipper-shredder ($1,900) (or the stump grinder, etc.).



Now tell me, the WBT can also be ran while your standing beside it instead of behind right?!?! Well think about the sickle bar mower on these and some idiot standing next to that. I'd rather be feet away sitting on a seat than standing next to an implement that could chop you up into tiny peaces. ANY equipment IF used improperly can harm or KILL you. I also am doing acres at a time and at 50+ years old Id rather sit in a seat than walk many miles doing just 1 acre, besides multiple acres of cropland. It does depend on use and everything has limits and/or excels at certain things (uses). So a direct comparison isn't actually fair but for me, I like working on old equipment, finding them cheap and either fixing them or finding them that someone else spent hundreds of man hours fixing but can't sell it for their time invested. (My next farmall tractor would be one like that) as yea you can spend way more time than its worth but with a little knowledge its not that hard to find these old tractors and equipment cheaply and that are in great running shape. I also understand those that need smaller tractors and have the extra $$$ to buy them. As I said, IF they had these WBT at a decent price I would have gotten one but for the price I would have been better off buying a used tractor and once I went down that road I looked for one that was mainly made for farming and had availiable implements I needed. But in MY case for just the price of the WBT ($4000) I could find a very nice used tractor (even one that has way more safety features than my farmall, that also has a FEL (front end loader) and could do way more than the WBT on my land. I'm not saying no one should buy WBT, but I am saying that with some time and knowing how to fabricate I could make one of these WBT or find some of the old ones and have it for way cheaper. I just think that in Europe these are way cheaper and most of the cost here is because it is ATM just an import item and if someone here decided to make it, say with a brigs engine it could be made for about the same price as a tiller ($1200-2000) which would be more in line with the market. But I guess if people here in USA want to spend $4000+ depending on engine HP, then thats what the market will say is the price. But I'm sure some China factory could make a knock off for well under half the price. (I might have just made someone rich LOL).
 
Travis Johnson
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The thing is, a WBT or BCS like I have cannot be compared to a walk behind rototiller. They look similar, but are drastically different. The biggest difference is all gear drive...no belts, and they have positraction, and clutch steering. I can see why people would think they were just glorified rototillers, but they are anything but. They are real workhorses

Myself, I like having both, but I also have different sized tractors for different needs. Nothing works better in the woods than my skidder, but it does one job, and only one job well. The farm tractor does good for the smaller, versatile farming stuff, and the BCS does around the house stuff. It is the same reason I have a sledge hammer, a claw hammer and tack hammer...

I think a lot of people buy a bigger tractor than what they need, and for many a BCS would really be all they need.

I have wanted to write a book about two wheel tractors, and this is steadily climbing my to do list!
 
Eric Hanson
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Today, not only was a tractor a necessity, but the job required two tractors.  We were clearing some brush and moving some pretty big logs.  For me that means 12” diameter and 25-35 feet long.  I can’t imagine what that would have been like without a tractor.

My back aches nonetheless,

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

My back still aches but the pain is tolerable and I read your last post.  I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!!  Different sized tractors for different sized jobs.  And you are absolutely right that a good 2-wheel tractor can really do wonders.  Personally I would not want to bush hog acres with one, but it can do so very many jobs just as well as if not better than a 4-wheel tractor.  Even though I am not a big fan of tilling, if I did want to till I really would not want to use a tractor.  I just think it compresses the soil too much, and a 2-wheel tractor is much more maneuverable.

For a time I did want a 2-wheel tractor for clearing some undergrowth in our woods.  Mostly it was some thorny bramble that impeded my way through my woods.  I still like the idea of a little flail mower for maintaining pathways.

I also have seen some people get pretty huge tractors for the acreage they own and the jobs they do.  In some cases these people overestimate the job and underestimate the potential of a tractor, especially if they are moving from a gas riding mower to a diesel tractor.  At other times I think some people are buying sort of an ego tractor.  Mine-is-bigger-than-yours sort of thing.  I am so thankful that I sold my tractor to my neighbor as the two tractors work very well together.

But overall I absolutely agree with everything you said in that post.

Eric
 
Travis Johnson
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Eric Hanson wrote:Travis,

My back still aches but the pain is tolerable and I read your last post.  I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!!  Different sized tractors for different sized jobs.  And you are absolutely right that a good 2-wheel tractor can really do wonders.  Personally I would not want to bush hog acres with one, but it can do so very many jobs just as well as if not better than a 4-wheel tractor.  Even though I am not a big fan of tilling, if I did want to till I really would not want to use a tractor.  I just think it compresses the soil too much, and a 2-wheel tractor is much more maneuverable.

For a time I did want a 2-wheel tractor for clearing some undergrowth in our woods.  Mostly it was some thorny bramble that impeded my way through my woods.  I still like the idea of a little flail mower for maintaining pathways.

I also have seen some people get pretty huge tractors for the acreage they own and the jobs they do.  In some cases these people overestimate the job and underestimate the potential of a tractor, especially if they are moving from a gas riding mower to a diesel tractor.  At other times I think some people are buying sort of an ego tractor.  Mine-is-bigger-than-yours sort of thing.  I am so thankful that I sold my tractor to my neighbor as the two tractors work very well together.

But overall I absolutely agree with everything you said in that post.

Eric



I am that way with my bulldozer, I miss it somedays, but there was a lot of tinkering on it to constantly keep it working. It was not bad, but constant, and that machine had brand new tracks. I could not imagine what it would be like if they were worn out! But they say the best days of a bulldozer owner are; the day they buy the machine, and the day they sell it. How true that is.

But I was that way when I sold my big skidder this summer. It was nice having a big machine, but a mid-sized cable skidder is what I need, and not a huge grapple skidder. Yes, there is such a thing as too big! (Besides, it was a Caterpillar and not a John Deere!) :-)

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Grapple Skidder
 
Travis Johnson
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Eric Hanson wrote:Today, not only was a tractor a necessity, but the job required two tractors.  We were clearing some brush and moving some pretty big logs.  For me that means 12” diameter and 25-35 feet long.  I can’t imagine what that would have been like without a tractor.

My back aches nonetheless,

Eric



I grew up cutting wood and have the bad back to prove it. As my doctor says, the people with the worst backs are nurses and loggers...

When we were younger, we had a Ford single axle truck we hauled pulpwood on, and to make people think we had a pulp loader, my grandfather made us load the biggest pieces of 4 foot wood on the top of the tiers because everyone without a loader put them on the bottom! But that is how I grew up. At 15 years old I used a Ford 900 tractor, hauling a woods trailer, and loaded the wood by hand. That meant felling it, bucking them into 4 foot lengths, and then walking through brush and limbs carrying 4 foot lengths of wood. Then out I came with a half a cord of wood on my old tractor, and still had to hand unload it in the yard!

Now I swing huge logs around with my log trailer and it uses a silly 6 hp lawn mower engine. My grandfather would be amazed. But I never forgot where I came from. I am very appreciative of what I have now; skidder, log trailer, winch, big saws, etc. But I can justify the cost because I move 500 plus of cords of wood per year. But I remember what it was like to move big wood with a tractor and a logging chain.

 
Travis Johnson
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Just for full transparency, I just calculated what I harvested over the last 4 years, and it averages out to 800 cords per year. (Which is only 5600 decent sized trees)

For comparison, most real loggers, cutting wood alone like I do, with just a cable skidder, would do that in 3 months time, so obviously I am not logging all that hard. The mechanical guys with grapple skidders would cut that much every two weeks.

The Pelletier's, the Maine guys on TLC's American Loggers; cut 5000 cord per week!
 
john mcginnis
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I would still not part with my FEL on the tractor for anything. But I do remember my Dads Gravely. Quite the beast. Quite the shame they don't make that anymore.
 
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I love the two wheel, walk behind tractors. A book just on them would be a great addition to my library. Also it is a source that really isn't out there.

The only thing they don't do well is moving large amounts of dirt. Or moving large bales of hay. We needed both so we uped to a compact tractor with loader.

We have 2 David Bradley walk behind tractors, and I have used them to skid small logs around, on 40 acres. It works but is slot more work than a 4 wheel tractor. Our wood lot right now, can't even get my compact tractor in. We picked up the David Bradleys for just a few 100$. A predator motor and a weekend with my son in the garage. Completely rebuilt, we have used it all over our two acres. Was used on our 40 acres and my parents have used it to redo their lawn. Only drawback to these old ones is no reverse.

With our experience I would love a grillo, and with all the attachments it would be 15,000$ to 25,000$ and the high end would include all the attachments for bailing hay. We only have maybe 5 acres to bail. And the walk behind tractors would be the only way to do it at all. Hoping we have the money later to get the hay setup. Right now it's a scythe and rake, trying to get the sickle bar going on the David Bradleys.

I have done it the hard way, and some times it's still the best. Most people think I'm just crazy, but free 2-3 tons of hay a year. Done with a rake, pitch fork, and truck, now that's a savings.

Brian
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I've been looking for a tractor.
Checking out the Allis Chalmers WD.
Does anyone have experience with these?

 They were one of the first tractors to have a live PTO.
So the PTO can keep going when the tractor is stopped.
 
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We have 32 acres and I initially got a tractor from a neighbor of mine, $4,000 for an old but in excellent shape Massey 150. I got implements, an old grain/grass drill, a plow, disk etc. etc. As time goes on, I am moving more and more away from the tractor. I find that growing grains in strips works well as it is much more manageable and I can cut them down with a scythe. I scythed about an acre of hay last summer as well. I think the only use I have right now for the tractor is as auxiliary tool to pull the drill when seeding 6-foot wide strips of grains or flowers. I use a broadcaster to spread annual ryegrass and clover and austrian peas used as cover crops. I like to drill in buckwheat as a summer cover crop/grain source. All of these can also be broadcast so I do not really NEED the tractor. In fact, time is coming when I will not need it at all. It never had a front end loader but I never needed one and when I do have the occasional project to move some dirt - I call my neighbor who has the loader and a tractor with it, he does it for next to nothing. I can also rent a bobcat from town if I need one badly. We do have horses that can be used to pull stuff. If people used to be able to conquer land without tractors in the past, I figure it is not necessary to use one now. To me, the biggest obstacle to having a successful farm was to close my mind and make my world smaller. What I mean by that is the attitude of farming large acreage with big machinery. To me permaculture and pre-WW2/pre-chemicals old-school traditional farming is about that - avoiding megalomania and making your world smaller and local, as in VERY local - as in, working with your hands and feet and brain and with your animals.
 
Travis Johnson
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I know one thing: I have been plowing snow all wrong for 40 years!

This year I have to keep a half mile of road open to get the logging trucks up to the top of the hill. Plus I got my driveway, and another house that we have, all to be bare of snow. I am not sure I ever mentioned this, but I really hate plowing snow. I spend all this time doing it, and for what? Sometimes it will melt in a weeks time, and even if not, it will melt in May.

But this year I started using my grader blade set up on a trailer. It takes (2) passes but I can clear the road in no time, plus our driveways (they are all circular). I just drive in circles and watch the snow just roll off the moldboard. And these have to be wide enough to get a logging truck through, so a good 20 feet wide, and wider on the corners of course.

It works amazingly fast and really well. I go in 5th or 6th gear if that tells you anything.
 
James Whitelaw
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brian hanford wrote:I love the two wheel, walk behind tractors. A book just on them would be a great addition to my library. Also it is a source that really isn't out there.

The only thing they don't do well is moving large amounts of dirt. Or moving large bales of hay. We needed both so we uped to a compact tractor with loader.

We have 2 David Bradley walk behind tractors, and I have used them to skid small logs around, on 40 acres. It works but is slot more work than a 4 wheel tractor. Our wood lot right now, can't even get my compact tractor in. We picked up the David Bradleys for just a few 100$. A predator motor and a weekend with my son in the garage. Completely rebuilt, we have used it all over our two acres. Was used on our 40 acres and my parents have used it to redo their lawn. Only drawback to these old ones is no reverse.

With our experience I would love a grillo, and with all the attachments it would be 15,000$ to 25,000$ and the high end would include all the attachments for bailing hay. We only have maybe 5 acres to bail. And the walk behind tractors would be the only way to do it at all. Hoping we have the money later to get the hay setup. Right now it's a scythe and rake, trying to get the sickle bar going on the David Bradleys.

I have done it the hard way, and some times it's still the best. Most people think I'm just crazy, but free 2-3 tons of hay a year. Done with a rake, pitch fork, and truck, now that's a savings.

Brian
3HR



Earthtools recently started manufacturing this cool buck rake that looks pretty functional from the video. I believe they could fit it on any tractor. I could see this as being a good companion to where you’re cutting the hay with a scythe or a sickle bar mower and just want to pile it up or fork it into a wagon.
 
Travis Johnson
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One thing to remember about loose hay too is, it is superior in quality to baled hay because it is not crimped hay. It means it dries slower, but has more nutrition per pound than baled hay.
 
pollinator
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As always, I think the aspect of "necessary or luxury" changes with time and circumstances.

To be fair, the storm of this past weekend was perhaps the worst single snow-storm that we've had in the 25+ years living at the current residence.  There have been worse winters of accumulated snow, but the storm that came through recently dropped about 16" of heavy wet snow.  Not unheard of for this time of year but also not typical.  This is more akin to the type of snow that we got last March that caused the collapse of many buildings in the region.....and those snows are usually melted quickly, being as they are near the beginning of spring.

At any rate, some how in an earlier life, my wife and I used to clear these driveways with walk behind snowblowers and by shovel.  It's a testament to the energy level of being in mid-30s versus mid-50s.  With respect to summer work the same holds true....so much of what was done during my mid-30s I just don't think I could do anymore with decreasing strength and energy.  I will still till the garden with a walk-behind as long as I can and still use push mowers for certain areas and applications on the property.  With that in mind, I'm still a big fan of the compact, front wheel assist tractors that begin to really show their "necessity" (versus luxury) as we get older.  With the recent snow, even our walk-behind snow blowers just could do very little with the density of the snow and one needed to take really small bites out of the path in order not to stall the engine.  That is where the tractor/blower combination really excelled along with the FEL for tougher spots.  One observation is that, as much as I hate blowing snow without a cab when it's near 0 degrees F., the rig has a much better bite on the snow for pushing that blower into the snow mass.  As the temps rise, so does the slipping of the unit, and I begin to wish for those old steel tractor wheels that have no tire....just spikes sticking out of the steel rim.
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Travis Johnson
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I think if I had a tractor-luxury it would be with a dragline. I think about draglines. I watch youtube videos about draglines. I have a dragline as a screensaver on my computer. I really think I have a really uncontrollable fetish for draglines. (LOL)

I can see where it would really benefit my farm. I could use it down to the gravel pit at getting that good gravel underneath the water table. I could use it in other forms of mining for some of the mineralization that I have here. I can see it mucking out a nice pond that I want to build. I can see it clearing some of my forest and getting new fields established. And a person can load trucks, rock crushers and screens directly as well.

They say, on a per cost of cubic yard of earth moved; a dragline is the cheapest means in which to do it, and I can easily see that. It is just swinging, and winching, and those are low maintenance items, With some bucket modifications, I can see how it could be improved in versatility too like being able to grab brush, pick it up, and stack it 100 feet away. The same for plucking stumps.

I admit that it would be a luxury, but I think the ratio of work it can do on my farm, in comparison to its maintenance, not to mention its initial cost, would be really low.



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C Rogers
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Eric Hanson wrote:Travis,

My back still aches but the pain is tolerable and I read your last post.  I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!!  Different sized tractors for different sized jobs.  And you are absolutely right that a good 2-wheel tractor can really do wonders.  Personally I would not want to bush hog acres with one, but it can do so very many jobs just as well as if not better than a 4-wheel tractor.  Even though I am not a big fan of tilling, if I did want to till I really would not want to use a tractor.  I just think it compresses the soil too much, and a 2-wheel tractor is much more maneuverable.
Eric


I keep hearing this, but how is a big tractor compressing the soil IF the tiller is wider than the tracks??? You are actually tilling your tracks so it is NOT compressed. Also you can have equipment that weighs over 10,000 lbs but they actually compress the soil less than a WBT and YOU walking behind the thing!!! Its all in the width of the tread or tracks as this determines the pounds per square inch so don't think that something that weighs a 300-500 pounds compresses the soil less than a tractor that weighs 3000 pounds. It all depends on tire width and how many pounds per square inch the tool your using applies to the soil, so lighter equipment ISN'T always lighter compression to the soil.
 
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