We felt it might be enjoyable to share various "TENS" as a part of our "Ten Year Tenure" celebration. This will be one of several series we hope to maintain throughout the second half of the 2014 season.
This will, of course, be a Ten Part Series. We are not putting them in order of importance as that's just too much work. Instead, we'll do them as we feel like writing about them.
Adding the tractor and various implements to our tool set.
|That is one daunting task....|
At this point in time, the old tiller still runs if needed. The tiller for the lawn tractor has been down for the count for a few years now.
|Durnik the tractor - resting after a little work|
|It's amazing how much more efficient moving straw can be with the right tools.|
We weren't able to use the tractor much early on because we didn't have any equipment that worked with it. But, one of the first additions was a hayrack. And, this purchase provided us with a crash course on 'why used equipment isn't always the best choice.' Essentially we purchased a running gear that had no deck. Rob was pretty confident in building the deck (and it looks great by the way) but he didn't notice that the darned thing didn't turn. The front wheels were frozen in place. Ugh!
|Two Bottom Plow (Moldboard Plow)|
Since that time, we have added various implements and done a good bit of learning about how to work with and care for this tractor. In fact, it is safe to say that we've learned what it is particularly good at doing. And, of course, we've learned its shortcomings. But, let's be honest, for the price of purchasing and paying for repairs on this tractor, we've had a an excellent course on how this sort of tool can be a key asset on a farm such as ours. In short, I am not sure we would have learned as much as well as we did if we had made a leap to take out a loan and acquire a new tractor immediately. In fact, I'll go out in a limb and say we would not have learned as much, nor would we have learned as well. Further, we would not have been willing to invest money in several of the other tools that are used with the tractor. A new tractor with a bucket might be nice, but if you don't have other tools for tillage, cutting, cultivating and planting - it is one-dimensional and wasted money. Purchasing a less expensive, older, but fairly reliable tractor that had a traceable history was perfect for us. We had capital to experiment with different tools to learn what we could (and should) be doing.
And, if we made a mistake, the loss wasn't nearly so great. In fact, we've already removed some items from that farm that didn't work for us. We've even replaced some items that worked, but we saw the repairs looming on the horizon.
|Sometimes an auction purchase didn't work out.|
|Rosie the tractor - We Can Do It!|
- turning compost piles (something we have been unable to do since they got too large for hand turning)
- Using the tandem disk (Durnik just couldn't quite run the disk for much longer than 15-20 minutes at a time)
- better fuel economy. We figure what we did with the disk and chisel plow soon after purchase used 1/3 the fuel that we would have with Durnik
- More flexibility and less time taking implements on and off (we can leave the flex tine weeder on Durnik and have the disk on this beast for example)
- The ability to add a transplanter to our arsenal of tools in the not too distant future
- Use of the rotary mower is no longer the adventure it is with the older tractor - and we don't mean adventure in a good way this time.
- A warranty during the break-in period so we don't get delayed by break downs...