Well, I guess I have caught redneckitis....

WebSlave

Just treading water.......
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Been living in Wakulla county for too long, I suppose. Used to be I would drool over Corvettes and other fast cars. You know, NORMAL stuff for a guy who thinks he is younger than the number of candles on a birthday cake would prove otherwise. But now, lately, I have been looking at tractors. :face_palm_02: :face_palm_02:

That's right folks. WebSlave has gone full red neck.

Heck, I am even thinking hard about buying one.

But let me explain what happened to change me.

The other day I wanted to move a concrete bird bath across the yard. Our old metal one finally, and suddenly, bit the dust. So we have this concrete one that has been next to the old reptile building nearly forever. It was leaning to one side, so wouldn't really hold water very well. So I figured, heck, why not just replace that broken one with that old concrete one?

First thing I did was to straighten it up and make sure it would hold water. Yep. So far, so good. The bowl came off, and it by itself was pretty heavy. At least for this aging feeble body of mine. I brought one of the wagons over and figured I would just lift the base up, put it on the wagon and roll it over to the spot it needs to relocate to. Eh?? Not so fast Herc. I couldn't even lift it off of the ground, much less the foot or so to go onto that wagon. Connie is away, so I couldn't ask her for help. Actually, probably best I not do that anyway, as I sure wouldn't want her to hurt herself. And she sure as heck would, trying to keep ME from being hurt. She still worries about that heart attack I had last year. And it's not been quite a year since that second heart stent was put in. The stuff she has gone through has really weakened her, so I CAN'T put her in jeopardy of hurting herself.

So what to do?

Now, I have an engine hoist in the garage, but with the small metal wheels on it, it wouldn't get more than a foot once it came off of the concrete garage apron and hit that soft sand. Then I would have to figure out how to get that thing out from being stuck in the sand and back onto hard surface. I would need some sort of big balloon tires on it, but that might be it's own world of problems trying to lift something heavy with those kinds of bouncy wheels on it.

So that got me thinking, I am getting too old to be lifting crap like this. And it will probably get worse, rather than better. So I thought of my friend Rickey, who has a small tractor, and uses it a LOT to help lift and move things around for him. Hmm. Well, can't say I ever thought twice about a tractor before, but suddenly I was thinking hard about one. Connie and I together might never be able to lift the kind of stuff we used to in the past. Sometimes I will have to cut down some trees, and the number of very small pieces I would have to cut that tree into so we could lift them and cart them away, well, that would really wear us out quickly. This past year really changed us. For that matter, it is still touch and go as to whether I will still have Connie around at all for any kind of help for the long term. Four hands have always been better to two, and it is quite sobering to think there might ONLY be two hands in the future.

So there you have it. I just need to be thinking about a helping hand around here, and a tractor might be that help I can see myself needing.

Never, ever pictured myself riding a tractor before.

But probably better than waiting for some sort of AI robot to come along that would crush my skull in my sleep when it went rogue on me from buggy programming.

I just hope that if I do get one (tractor that is, not a robot), that I will be able to find enough things to do with it to justify the cost and the upkeep it will need over time. But one thing of interest. I have watched a lot of videos by people who have gotten tractors, and the general consensus from those people is that they don't know how they ever got along without one before. Of course, they are mostly farmer folk or people doing a lot of work in rather sizeable tracts of land. But heck, I have 50 acres, most of it heavily wooded, and I would like to cut some walking trails through it. So who knows? Maybe it is something I would find a lot more uses for than I can imagine right now.

I think I can afford one. When my mom passed away, she left me a little bit of money that I haven't done anything with. Maybe it would please her to have me use it on something that might save me from my final heart attack some day.
 
Not sure how large a machine you need, but I have a Kubota BX2380 and get a lot of use out of it. It only officially lifts 600 lbs in the loader (and in practice that's pushing it), but that's pretty good for mulch, and OK for gravel.

The mower and back blade get a lot of use (I wouldn't mind a sickle bar cutter too). I sometimes use the tractor to move trailers around, as it can be a little easier to maneuver than a pickup truck. I have a carry-all for the three point in back that is great for hauling cordwood out of the woods. Neat machine.
 
Well, not sure if I can keep this on the front burner or not. Got some issues with the medications Connie is going to be taking when she gets back from Tijuana, and not sure where that is going to go with how she will feel from them. Oral chemo drugs can be just as awful as IV administered chemo drugs concerning negative side effects.

But as of yesterday, the one that was top on my list was this one:

https://www.summittractors.com/

Main problem with them is that they are rather new on the scene, so don't really have a confidence inspiring network of service and support facilities set up. LAST damn thing I really need now is something else that would turn out to be a soul killing burden.

Rickey and I looked at the TYM/Branson brand tractors and there were some smaller models there that looked nice, but some features were missing. Plus the smaller tractors looked a bit "tippy" to me. Some areas on my property are not exactly level, so I would be worried about having a tractor roll on me if I get on an angle too steep. I am a complete newbie with this tractor stuff, so I sure don't want to kill myself with a tractor pinning me into the dirt.

Tractor overturns are the leading cause of fatal injuries on US farms, resulting in an average of about 130 deaths each year. 1 in 10 operators overturn a tractor in his or her lifetime.
 
That Summit is the same size as my Kubota. Looks pretty nice. The fluid filled tires on that one will make it more stable, though they're sometimes marketed as actual counterweight ballast (I use a ballast box for serious loader work, since weighted tires won't keep weight off the front axle, a weak link in tractors I'm told).

I put an aftermarket (Bro-Tek) pair of 2" wheel spacers on my tractor -- they bolt between the wheel and the hub, and basically extend the length of the back axle by four inches overall, and that makes quite a bit of difference in the feeling of stability (which was not at all bad to start with).
 
Drove down to Crystal River on Sunday. On the way back stopped in a couple of tractor dealerships. One of which was John Deere. Seriously, who thought up the color combination? Bright green tractors with bright yellow wheels and seat?

Made my eyes hurt just to look at them.

In case some of you haven't guessed this, I am focusing on this tractor idea as a way to keep my mind off of other things going on. I don't know if I will really buy one or not, but pretending that I might helps to keep my mind from galloping off into directions I really don't want it to be going. It sure beats all to hell what reading about cancer every night does to my mind and my soul.

Rickey has a Kioti tractor that he has brought over to our property several times to help us out with things. He told me that it is therapeutic to drive his tractor around and just, as he says it "knock over crap" with it. He has been divorced for a number of years and lives alone. Maybe it is something that he needs, and perhaps I need to be thinking that perhaps I will need it too in the future. But I think I would need a REALLY BIG tractor..........
 

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I can't wait to see the picture of your new tractor when you get it! (I think your Mom would have definitely approved) :)
 
Not sure about my mom approving. She really wasn't the country girl type. I would expect her to say "Richard, what in the world do you need a tractor for?"

My friend Rickey is picking me up tomorrow and going to a tractor dealership about an hour and a half away. That is the closest one that sells the brand I have been looking at lately. Tractor dealerships are few and far between around here. I would have thought there were a lot more farmers around here than there are, apparently.

But I will say that a number of things have convinced me that I should seriously consider getting a tractor with a cab on it with air conditioning. One that I was looking real hard at does come with a cab, but heat only, NO ac. That would be just about useless around here. So scratched that off the list. Unless I just can't find one with a cab and AC that I can afford and have to get an open air style. Which would be great fun during yellow fly season. :no01:
 
Been looking at tractors till I am blue in the face. Or depending on the brand looked at, orange, red, green, or blue.

The latest one I have been looking at that has risen to the top is this one in the pic below that someone posted on a tractor forum (go figure...) I have been prowling around in. Seems to be a lot of bang for the buck, but still a lot more bucks than I thought I would ever consider spending for something like this. But honestly, that is pretty par for the course for me. Think of something I may like to have, figure out how much I think it will cost me, then when it gets down to the wire, it winds up costing two to three times my initial estimate. Go figure....... :face_palm_02:
 

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Well, I placed the order for the tractor yesterday. Connie and I stopped by the place after our cardiologist appointments. Put a deposit down on a TYM T474HC. Options I am getting on the tractor are:

  • Front 3rd function kit
  • Double rear remote with detent

I decided against getting the backhoe. Money would be better spent on other things, I think. Plus it would make the tractor more unwieldy trying to get it between the trees.

Only getting the pallet forks with it right now. It comes with the front loader and bucket. Still trying to decide on which type of grapple and flail mower I want to get. And I want to get a combination root bucket/tree puller attachment for the front loader too. I want a flail mower heavy enough that I can keep it on the tractor most of the time to use as rear weight ballast when digging out stumps or pulling small trees out of the ground. The weight of the cabbed tractor itself is listed as being 3,660 pounds.

I think that will be enough to get started cleaning up around the planted pines a bit and taking out any dead ones back there, as well as putting in some decent walking paths all through it.

Guess I need to figure out a good way to store a modest amount of diesel fuel around here. At least 20 to 30 gallons. And some sort of pump to put the fuel into the tractor. The fuel tank on this thing is in the back and kind of high. High enough that I sure don't want to have to be trying to lift and hold up 5 gallon containers at chest high. 5 gallons of diesel fuel should weigh around 35 pounds, which doesn't sound like all that much to carry, but holding it steady at arms length trying to pour it into the tank will be a challenge for me I would rather avoid. The fuel tank on the tractor holds 9 gallons.

I have seen people hint that running out of diesel fuel in the tractor is a bad thing, but no one has explained why. :shrug01:

Honestly, this is all being really therapeutic for me, helping to keep my mind off of other things.

Below is a representative image of what I am getting. Mine won't be in for a couple/few weeks.
 

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Yeah, it is bigger than I want. But once I decided on a cab with AC, that put some limitations on my choices. Rarely do I ever find something, no matter what it is, that is a perfect match for what I want.

Now I am looking at implements and attachments. So here we go again... :face_palm_02:
 
For mine, I have a loader bucket, which I put an extender on (to hold more volume of granular material), and got some clamp on manure forks from a guy in Michigan who did a custom size for me. I thought the forks would be useful for scooping up slash and brush, but they're not nearly so good at that as a grapple would be. They're great for manure, though, and do help with carrying brush so long as I load it by hand.

I have a mid mount mower for the lawn, and a grass catcher that I don't use much but when I need it it is great. I have a back blade mostly for snow removal, but also occasional dirt work. I use a ballast box that mounts to the three point when I'm doing any serious loader work -- it is a lot easier to deal with than leaving the blade on for ballast.

I would get some use out of a sickle bar mower for mowing ditches, but they're kind of spendy. I just abuse my mower deck instead.

Looks like there is no shortage of fuel transfer pumps available for the fueling issue. I like the look of this one that just sits on the fuel jug:

https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Tr...mzn1.fos.006c50ae-5d4c-4777-9bc0-4513d670b6bc

Something that can run off the tractor's 12v might be even better.
 
Last night I was reviewing grapples, trying to find one I felt would best fit my needs. So was watching a LOT of YouTube videos and reading specs. I found one I really liked, and was zeroing in on it as the one I wanted to order. The WICKED 55 Root Rake Grapple. So there was a video about it posted a mere 12 days ago stating that this grapple was "new and improved". "Great" I thought.

But not so fast. I watched the video a couple of times:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejA3HK-v4zo

Something was nagging at me about it. Then I noticed. Right at timing mark 3:30. Those hydraulic lines running through the back of the grapple. Rubber hoses running through the laser cut holes that would be fully exposed to getting damaged from whatever you grab with the grapple. In my opinion, it would be extremely easy to have something sharp (broken off branch stub on a log, for instance) that would either jab and puncture a hose, or else just shear it off when pinching the hose between it and the hole in the tine). So I made comment in the video and also contacted the manufacturer about it. Surely they couldn't have made such a mistake as it appears to me, and perhaps I am just looking at it wrong?

But in any event, well damn................. Wouldn't be the first time that I looked at a product that was designed by someone seemingly insane and marketing hoped that potential customers wouldn't notice. Once you bought it, sure, you might be able to return it, but that return shipping will be on YOUR dime. So good luck with that.

And don't even get me started on the flail mowers I was looking at. I am feeling highly resistant to buying one made in China. One place has a nice looking one, and they seem to feel that having their design MADE in China is a good thing. Well, sorry, but FLAILING metal pieces at high speeds made out of inferior metal is just not a real good thing.

Honestly, there were a few moments last night when I had a wave of regret that I had decided to even buy a tractor in the first place. Do I really need this sort of complication in my life right now?
 
Well, got the new tractor on Friday. Haven't really done much with it yet, though. Figure I'll just drive it around in the yard and get used to the controls before I actually try to do anything with it. Of course, I really don't have any implements or attachments to do much of anything yet anyway.

My friend, Rickey, says that pretty soon I will wonder how I ever got along without one. I dunno, about that. But I was out in the yard today using the handheld hedge trimmer to kind of mow the law in front of the garage, and I did find myself thinking I was getting too old to be doing it that way any longer. So maybe some labor saving devices might be just what the doctor ordered.
 

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I spent half the day Sunday clearing away low hanging branches so I could drive the tractor down towards the walking path Connie and I had been using when she was feeling better. Found that a large pine tree had fallen across the path, breaking up some large bamboo culms and leaving a lot of debris laying around. Might give me a project using the tractor after I use the chain saw to cut up the tree to haul away the logs and other debris laying about. Probably will wish I had a grapple already, but I think I can put the pallet fork to good use as long as I am careful and don't roll a log onto the cab.
 
Well, still haven't had a chance to play with the tractor any at all. Hasn't budged from the spot where I parked it on the day it was delivered. Thought I would be able to do that today but spend the night and most of the day in the emergency room with Connie instead while she had dual thoracentesis procedures done.

But I am looking at implements for it so I can actually do some work with it.

Got a tree puller/stump ripper on order as well as a grapple. Looking at a flail mower.

I bought a grill guard and a toothed edge for the FEL bucket.

That should enable me to get some stuff done. Thought about perhaps a land plane for the driveway, but the toothed edge bucket might be able to take care of that. Just really need to smooth down the center hump that has developed over the years.
 
Had some spare time yesterday, and Connie wasn't coughing so bad and just wanted to close her eyes and try to sleep. So I finally was able to take the tractor out for a little drive. Just drove down our path near the gazebo and tried out the controls. The gear shift from low-neutral-medium-high is pretty stiff, but by rocking the transmission a bit I could get the gears to shift. No synchronizers here, so the teeth of the gears have to line up just right. Obviously no changing speeds while moving.

Changing from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive was about the same. Just a wee bit easier.

I just have the pallet forks mounted on the front end loader, so when all you have is a hammer, you start looking around for nails. There is an old rotted out tarp that we used to cover the citrus trees many moons ago during cold spells that is partially buried in the soil now. So I used the pallet forks to dig that out. Seeing the front tips of the forks is not all that easy to see as the tractor hood blocks a LOT of that area. Using that joystick is going to take some getting used to. My using a joystick with games is working against me. I keep on thinking I can use that the move the tractor rather than work the FEL. Up and down is pretty intuitive, but for some reason the "curl" and "uncurl" of the bucket/pallet forks seems to be the opposite of what my brain thinks it should be. And I thought I would be able to curl the bucket and raise and lower the arms of the FEL at the same time, but apparently that is not the case. Being a newbie it doesn't matter much, but I think as I get more experienced, I will like that less and less.

The cab with AC is just great! I only had the AC set on the lowest setting and it actually felt a bit on the chilly side in there. Doesn't seem to be just a "fan" setting, though, which is unfortunate. Or else I haven't found the right button to push yet.

Found myself wishing I had some real implements to use so I could actually DO something with the tractor. Got a grapple on order, but the backlog is about 4 months before I will get it. Got a tree puller/stump remover on order, which became a real snafu as apparently I ordered it from a company through a third party they advertise through. Price was much less than what they actually wanted for it. Seemed like they were going to balk on fulfilling that order, but I read the rules and stipulations of that site they used, and it plainly spelled out that the buyers and sellers were entering into a contract and were responsible for whatever transaction they set up. And I checked my credit card account and there is a pending payment there for the charge for that device. So, I sent them an email spelling out that we had engaged in a legally binding business transaction, and I had already fulfilled my part of the transaction. I told them that I spent a lot of time and effort figuring out which device I wanted to buy, and then spent a lot of time finding who had it in stock and had the best price I could find. Then I checked reviews for the company, and the mostly all good reviews convinced me to buy from them. Which also implied that I would rip them a new one, online, if they screwed with me. I got a later email saying that they were going to honor the purchase. So that might show up later next week or early the week sometime.

One fly in that ointment is that the way things have been going with Connie lately, there is a really good chance I may be in the emergency room or admitted into the hospital when delivery needs to take place. Not sure what I will do about that. Might be able to get a friend to go pick it up at the shipping depot, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. The tree puller weighs around 600 lbs.

I hear Connie coughing again, so got to go...
 
Even my hydrostatic Kubota is a little clunky on shifting the transmission. I think it is just a tractor thing

"And I thought I would be able to curl the bucket and raise and lower the arms of the FEL at the same time, but apparently that is not the case." When we tested tractors to figure out which we wanted, this was a small point for Kubota (which can do both simultaneously) and against Deere (which was also much more expensive and the dealer wasn't my cup of tea).

Even here in WI, an AC cab would be wonderful. You're going to be glad you went that route, I'm sure.

Connie is fortunate to have you to care for her. Hope you know that.
 
Actually started using the tractor a little bit ago. I needed to rehang the chimes we took down from the porch in preparation to that hurricane that came through, and with everything else going on, just never got around to putting them back up. That plus they are pretty heavy, and it is not something I was looking forward to. But I figured maybe I could use the tractor for the heavy lifting, IF I could get it close enough to the hooks in the ceiling.

I still had the pallet forks installed, and used some magnet lifters with hooks underneath the closest pallet form to lift up the chimes. One of them was really pretty heavy, and it took every ounce (and then some) of my strength to lift it from the pallet arm up the additional 6 inches or so to the hook. I really didn't think I was going to be able to do it. But I did. And then the other three just seemed to be somewhat easier to accomplish. Honestly, next hurricane, I will probably just leave them up. If they go flying through a wall and through my chest, so be it.
 

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