Tractor Essential Items

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Stercutus
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Tractor Essential Items

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 24, 2012 6:00 pm

For the tractor owners out there I am curious what you consider to be essential items for your tractors. Currently I have the following:

- Post hole digger (for post holes and planting trees and other large plants)
- Small Disk (Light plowing)
- Box scraper (light grading, snow)
- Bush hog (clearing)

I believe my next purchase will be tiller of some kind. The soil here is super hard and about wore myself out with the rear tine tiller putting in the initial garden in the unbroken ground.

I have all the tools and manuals to service the tractor as all good ZS members should. I keep a supply of filters, lubricants, PTO pins and such on hand also.

Any ideas?
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by CannonDC » Thu May 24, 2012 9:28 pm

Have you thought about including extra hydraulic hoses in your stash, or at least heavy duty patches. It would suck if a lot of your equipment couldnt be used just because you blew a hose.

I have a Kubota tractor that my uncle and i built a log splitter for, it attaches in the rear and I use the hydraulics to split the logs, it save me almost 4-6 hour with a full grown oak depending on its size. I know they sell premade versions of this but if you come across an old hydraulic log splitter theyre fairly easy to adapt to use on a tractor
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 24, 2012 9:51 pm

I was thinking about logging chains while out mowing today. A hydraulic log splitter would be nice if I needed fire wood. But I don't :(
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by CannonDC » Thu May 24, 2012 10:06 pm

Some people do some dont, we have a used oil burner and wood burner out in our morton building, and if SHTF in middle of winter I should be set till spring, but it was cheaper for me to make the log splitter than to put an electric heating system in the building :mrgreen:
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by KYZHunters » Thu May 24, 2012 10:14 pm

Ground powered manure spreaders can be got cheap at auction. Local dairy farmers are always looking to get rid of manure, so you can get free fertilizer. Chain harrows or 'ching harn' as they're called in Kentuck are cheap and really good for breaking up and spreading that manure around your pastures.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by offcamber » Thu May 24, 2012 10:38 pm

The tools we use most are a rear scraper blade, rotary tiller, 1 bottom plow and bush hog.

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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by crypto » Thu May 24, 2012 10:42 pm

If you have any hay, or ever might want some, a basic sickle bar is invaluable for getting it cut without wrecking it like a brushhog.

Also cheap at auction since most people in the hay business use a combine now.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 24, 2012 11:20 pm

crypto wrote:If you have any hay, or ever might want some, a basic sickle bar is invaluable for getting it cut without wrecking it like a brushhog.

Also cheap at auction since most people in the hay business use a combine now.
That sounds pretty handy. I am going to have to look into one.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by MJS8725 » Fri May 25, 2012 4:46 pm

Yes, thanks Crypto. You just answered one of my recent questions on how to cut hay on a smaller plot without the use of a combine. I knew there had to be an intermediate solution between hand cutting and a combine.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by crypto » Fri May 25, 2012 5:51 pm

Well, I'll be honest, by doing it with a sickle bar its a lot more of a pain. If you want to turn it into silage instead of just dried hay, you'll need to bale it too, which means you'll also need to rake it (with a rake, or by hand) and an old small square baler.

The small square balers are also cheap anymore, unless you live in horse country, where they're still used.

If you just want to cut it and stack it, though, yeah they're great. I will say, though, its a lot of work to get it into a proper haystack that will repel some water. Its kind of a lost art, which is why I'd recommend a small square baler.

Hell, you've probably seen people with old hay rakes out in front of their house as decoration:

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They pile the hay into a row behind your tractor, so you can hit them with the baler.

Then you just drive over the piled row with a baler, and the cheaper old ones will just poop out a bound bale every 30 feet or so.

Image
Thats an old PTO-driven one, but they've been making them since the 30's and some of the old old IH models dont even need PTO, they have a small engine on them that runs the baler mechanism.


If its a truly small-scale operation you should go simple like that, later on the small square balers had either a conveyor belt on an inclined ramp, or a hydraulic springboard that launched hay bales into a hay truck or cart that follows the baler. But, like I said, if you're not planning on using a hay wagon, theres no need for airborne bales, just let them fall behind the baler and pick them up after you're done.

Dont forget to stack and cover the bales though, or they wont properly dry and ferment.

And it goes without saying, dont let them overheat while stacked or they'll burn.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Stercutus » Fri May 25, 2012 9:24 pm

I have about five acres that I can use strictly for hay. I don't really want anything that is not PTO driven as that is just something else to maintain.

A lot of people ride horses around here but it is not really horse country. Most of my neighbors who farm use combines and much larger tractors than my old Kubota.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Ye Olde Spook » Fri May 25, 2012 10:35 pm

How big is your tractor? (HP) That will impact what you can safely and reliably use.

A front end loader is a wonderful attachment for moving manure and cleaning out a barn. Weights for the rear if there are no attachments to counterbalance! Some tractors can even deploy a small backhoe, expensive yes, but handy for all sorts of tasks.

Another thought would be a chipper attachment. Brush seems to spring up if not kept mowed and/or grazed. I have a harrow rake bought on the cheap which is handy for light grading. I second the thought of hydraulic hoses, fluid, and filters.

I have a 32 HP Cub Cadet, and wish I had bought bigger with an enclosed cab... COLD pushing snow around in January without one.

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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by DarkAxel » Sat May 26, 2012 5:11 am

Tractor equipment that my boss owns and feels to be essential items:

1. Scraper blade
2. Bush hog
3. Two blade plow
4. disks
5. Post-hole auger
6. Logging chains
7. Ball bar
8. Smallish socket set
9. Socket wrench
10. Vise Grips
11. Channel Locks.

ETA: 12. Boom Pole


They make all kinds of attachments for PTOs, like log splitters, sawmills, water pumps, generators, and such. None are quite essential in his line of thinking, though.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by crypto » Sat May 26, 2012 6:55 am

You know, if I had a diesel tractor, a PTO electric generator would absolutely be on my required list.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 26, 2012 8:01 am

The tractor is 43hp making it just big enough to do everything I need it to do without using too much fuel.

I already have a stand alone chipper/ shredder. I don't use it that much. Cleared cut wood/ brush I am mostly burning in the garden/ future garden area to help improve the soil.

Dark Axel- On your tool list you might want to a good sized strap wrench and a torque wrench. I do not have a ball bar. I really should get one.

The PTO generator has crossed the mind. We already have a generator for the house and I just can't justify the extra expense right now when other things need to get bought. Down the road a couple of years it would be nice to be able to put out 20KW on demand.
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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Anomic1 » Sat May 26, 2012 9:45 am

I am currently shopping for a tractor and a front end loader is definently on my list. On the farm as a kid we had one and it is verry usefull.

Firewood-- pushing logs and can cut logs in place and use bucket to move to splitter

Snow-- ull out snow from around house/buildings and move piles if it gets too deep to handle with snowplow

Get a set of pallet forks, buying stuff by the pallet saves $ have it loaded into your pickup then unload with tractor/ pull off frieght truck and save spliftgate charges! Or if freght trivk can make it to your location you can drive down with tractor to get it at main road

Light ground moving/ maintnance. Again lets you get a whole dumptruck of gravel or dirt ormwhatever and move it around to save $$

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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Tetra Grammaton Cleric » Sat May 26, 2012 12:24 pm

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Re: Tractor Essential Items

Post by Tetra Grammaton Cleric » Sat May 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Anomic1 wrote: Get a set of pallet forks, buying stuff by the pallet saves $ have it loaded into your pickup then unload with tractor/ pull off frieght truck and save spliftgate charges! Or if freght trivk can make it to your location you can drive down with tractor to get it at main road
QFT. 8-)

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