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Preparedness & Self-Reliance Forum Survivalism, Livestock, Preparedness, Self Reliant Homesteading, Individual Liberty

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Old 08-10-2023, 01:23 PM   #11
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...
Old 08-10-2023, 01:41 PM   #12
Socratic Monologue
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:


Something that can run off the tractor's 12v might be even better.
Old 08-10-2023, 02:14 PM   #13
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:


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?
Old 09-10-2023, 03:41 AM   #14
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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Old 09-10-2023, 06:05 PM   #15
Socratic Monologue
That's really sharp!

I don't know how I got along without mine.
Old 09-11-2023, 04:47 AM   #16
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.
Old 09-14-2023, 10:28 PM   #17
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.
Old 09-16-2023, 04:01 PM   #18
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...
Old 09-16-2023, 04:26 PM   #19
Socratic Monologue
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.
Old 10-03-2023, 12:24 AM   #20
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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