I spent several hours on my Kubota tractor last week, mowing grass in my pasture and down by my pond. I loved every sweaty minute of it.
My tractor is about 12 years old. It’s beginning to show its age, having sustained several scrapes and dents due to my driving. Sometimes I’m hell on wheels when I get on that thing. The first couple of times I tried to mow the weeds on my trails, I got off the trails trying to maneuver the cutter and became trapped in a tight space. I had to have someone come get me out. I’ve knocked the pier loose from its moorings at the pond, scraped trees, pulled up fence posts, torn fences and put a hole in the back wall of the shed where I park the tractor.
|Matias likes my tractor, too.|
My most recent escapade was last week. I had the tractor down by the pond when the mail carrier came by. So I put my mail in my bucket and drove back up the hill, intending to put the mail on my porch. I’m easily distracted, though. So along the way I decided to push some dead tree branches off the trail through my front “yard,” the latter being a euphemism for the scruffy area in front of my house. I noticed something whitish in the pile.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “Maybe I’ve discovered where Maggie buried my butter dish.” It wasn’t until I got off the tractor and reached into the bucket to retrieve my mail that I realized I had dumped it out and pushed it into the pile of dead branches. The “whitish” item was the box containing two copies of the photo book of my trip to Spain. I spent 26 hours and $40 each (plus shipping) making those darned books. Now the back of each one is broken.
When I was shopping for a tractor, the late Charles Fouts of Fouts Tractor here in Ashville came out and looked at my property. He recommended a package that included a 32-hp tractor with hydrostatic transmission, rotary cutter, box blade and front-end loader or bucket, as I call it. I told him I didn’t think I needed the bucket. He replied, “Elaine, you’ll use that more than any other implement.” And he was so right.
It comes in handy for mucking horse stalls, unloading heavy stuff from my pickup and cleaning out gutters, if the person helping me clean doesn’t mind being hoisted eight feet into the air. I sold the box blade last week, and we used the bucket to lift it out of the barn and onto the buyer’s flatbed trailer. It’s great for pushing dead limbs into a pile or carrying them to another part of the woods. Ditto for rocks I pick up in the pasture.
But the best use so far was getting my left front wheel out of a hole I encountered in my pasture a couple of years ago. I simply pushed down with the bucket, which lifted the tractor enough for me to roll out of the hole. When I got off the tractor and examined the spot that had trapped me, I discovered it was a sink hole several feet and two levels deep. I filled it with rocks, an old tire, bent wire that was lying around, and a bucket full of loose gravel leftover from a previous project.
“Sexy” may not be the best word to describe my tractor, but it sure gives me lots of cheap thrills.