I picked up the tractor on Christmas Eve! It took them a week and one of the connectors has been pieced together from three different fittings. It now has a rear hydraulic takeoff with its own lever. I will now be able to control the angle of the sickle mower and raise the back hatch of the hay baler so it can drop off the completed bale. I just need to get the lights fixed and working on the roll bar. I have to move them and attach the new rear facing light as the first time I put them in the wrong spot and lowering the roll bar caused us to destroy one of the lights. So now I am on the second light and a second wiring harness and the lights have not even worked yet!
While I was in the parking lot at Bimart I had a couple come up to me and ask my opinion about my tractor. I gave a whole rundown, cost and time savings benefit and the do’s and dont’s. I walked them around the tractor and spent 30 minutes espousing my love of this machine. They were convinced they needed one and thanked me for being honest. This beauty has been used and she shows some wear and tear but keeps on chugging along.
I came home with the tractor and had to feed cows in both spots so I pushed large bales around, moved the feeders over the new bales and even spent some time scraping the road clear of alpaca poop. Annmarie finally called me to ask me what was going on as she thought I was playing with the tractor. Adult men do not play with tractors, we work with tractors any man could tell you that. It was nice to be back on it. I could do 2 hours of tractor work every day and not think it was work.
We had two of the old maps framed and I hung them on our wall. The maps are from 1886-1912. We have about 15 left to frame, but it is going to take us a few years to get them all done. They are of various cities and railroad yards of the surrounding area.
Annmarie and I went out this morning to tag and band the three lambs that are currently out in the barn. The first one was out with the main herd. We went into the barn and closed the door so no one could escape. I slowly waded into the sheep and spotted the untagged baby. I tried to grab it but it snuck by me. Annmarie wanted to run all the sheep through the chute but it takes 15 minutes to set it up so then she suggested just squeezing them all at one end of the barn and then I could wade in after she shut the gate. As she was moving one of the panels I spotted the lone lamb again, I crept up on it and got it isolated. It started trying to dash side to side and squeeze by me, as it leaped up into the air to get past me, I dove reaching out with my left hand and snagged it out of the air in a flying tackle and ended up longwise on the barn floor in the straw, I had her! The amazing part is by the time we were done with all three lambs I ended up with no sheep poop on my entire body despite rolling around in the straw with a lamb. We had two girls and a boy and we moved the momma and babies in with the main herd.
On the way back from the barn, I told Annmarie about my plan to collect 300# rocks and put them on the hillside. She accused me of wanting to spend time with the mistress (tractor) when there were other things to do. So instead I worked on mounting the flood lights on the tractor. I had to run to Pilot Rock for some large hose clamps but I managed to get the lights all installed. I even mounted a separate on/off switch into a piece of grey plastic electrical conduit and clamped it to my roll bar. So now to turn on the flood lights I turn on the head lights then turn on the flood lights if needed. I wired in the flood lights through the tractor lighting circuit. I need some pins for the quick connect and will have to order them in. My next project is to order a conversion kit for the “buggy” to put in a large deep cycle battery under the driver’s seat and a trickle charger. This way we don’t have to worry about it starting whenever we want it to run.
I also need to get the machine shed wired so I can install lights and I need another metal cabinet for tractor parts. Plus, I need to get the sprayer motor changed out to the new one with double the flow volume.