Episode-2254- Listener Calls for 7-19-18 — 23 Comments

  1. From my experience, I recommend the Massey Ferguson 135 or the Massy Ferguson 35x.
    Both use an almost identical Perkins diesel engine.

    Has 3 point hydraulic hitch at back for attaching mowers, hay turners etc, as well as a PTO shaft.

    Also has drawbar for pulling trailers

    It can be kitted out for a front end loader.

    These two tractors with basic maintenance, oil change and antifreeze are unbreakable so long as you dont over turn them into a river.

    I think they have about 50 horsepower.

    I think they were build in the 1960s and 1970s, they can be reconditioned for ever both most don’t need to bd if they were looked after.
    A more modern version called MF230 aswell as MF240 were build in the 1980s but not as common.

    I hear that modern Massey Fergusons only share the same colour of paint with the old Massey Fergusons because the company changed ownership so many times in more recent years.

  2. Elton John has one of the best singing voices out there but on principal I have never baught any of his music because of his very close association with British Royal Family.

  3. Just wondering can quail, hen or duck eggs carry any parasites or parasite eggs which can be passed on to humans?
    I imagine that cooking well would destroy any parasites anyway.

    • The answer is yes and no.

      There is no way you can get parasites inside an egg, it does not happen.  That doesn’t mean there may not be parasites in your eggs.

      Two ways, one the egg is cracked, and what is on the outside gets inside.

      The other is if you have dirty eggs and don’t wash them, when you crack them you can get cross contamination.  So like we talk about our grandmothers not washing eggs and not refrigerating them.  Sure but my grandmaw anyway always washed em right before cracking.

      Make sense?

  4. My way to garden :
    For potatoes or vegetables with shallow roots, there is a quick and easy way to make a raised bed by only digging out the watter channels and heaping it’s clay over the sead potatoes.

    For deeper rood vegetsbles, carrots, parsnips etc better to culivate deeper and make long ‘apex’ rows.

  5. The most common security measures I see used for rural properties here in Mongolia are fences (most commonly brick/cinderblock, chain-link, and wood), dogs, and human security (usually a live-in watchman type of situation)… probably in that order. While fences are probably impractical or expensive for larger properties, maybe making arrangements with some retired folks in the community to watch the place while one is away might be doable (if a full-time watchman arrangement is too impractical or expensive).

    My in-laws got an unusual security lesson early this past spring when a neighbor’s camel (yes, a camel) broke a section of the ~7-foot tall chain-link fence surrounding their summer property and proceeded to knock lots of shit down and ruin some of their plants before leaving. Having a secondary security measure like a person or a dog would have prevented that, I’m sure. It’s funny as hell now, but at the time my father-in-law looked mad enough to make arrangements that would have involved a freezer full of camel meat 😉

  6. Tractors on a small homestead/farm:
    We got advice from multiple trustworthy people to buy a 1951 Ford 8N. It’s small, they’re cheap, parts are readily available, the run well and they have a wide wheel base.

    After finding myself underneath a moving Ford tractor, I recommend popping the extra money for something with more safety features. ROPS, PTO guards, better breaking systems, on newer tractors make them worth the obscenely high price tag. UNLESS you grew up around these machines, you’re a good mechanic and know your safety protocols very well, go newer.

    That being said, we replaced that tractor with a Kawasaki mule 610 4×4 UTV. BEST TOOL EVER! We got a hydraulic dump assist for the bed, it hauls trailers, we tote big logs on with a log chain and haul them out of the way when clearing trees. We’ve even used it to help pull a truck out of the mud.

    There are MANY additional tools you can get for them. We use ours a lot for clearing snow and general hauling. I also love the bench seats that allow you to slide onto a seat instead of straddling a seat. (Getting older and having arthritis really makes ATV’s uncomfortable. Plan for the future, not the present.)

    • I have used the Ford Dexta, a good little tractor probably build in the 50s and 60s but I found nothing can beat the 1960s and 1970s small Massey Fergusons.
      I like the way John Deere tractors were build on a chassis, that makes them easy to work on and they are reliable.
      But I found that the Massey Ferguson beats them all because I couldn’t break it.

  7. Hi Jack.  After a long search for a tractor on Craigslist last year, I finally found what I was looking for on Equipment Trader.  It was a 3 year old Kubota BX 2370 subcompact with front end loader and 60″ mid mount mower.  It also has three point hook up, rear and mid Power Take Off and four wheel drive.  The front end loader is a must.  It is a force multiplier and I count the front end loader as one of the greatest inventions ever.  The loader gets used all the time.  I don’t use the mower too much because my property is a too small but the loader is in almost daily use lifting things, moving things and more.  I even took my wife up in the loader two days ago to pick beans that were too far up to reach and too far out of reach for a ladder.  I plan to put a small PTO driven chipper / shredder on it before the end of summer for an endless supply of chipped and shredded limbs and leaves.  I paid $12,500.00 for this tractor with less than 50 hours on it.  It looks brand new and is in perfect condition.  I have seen them for a little less since I bought this one.  After a lot of research I decided to stick with either Kubota or John Deere because of Dealer / parts availability.  By the way, I use this all the time on a very small suburban property putting into effect a lot of the things I learned from you and Geoff Lawton but I think it would be just fine on a property up to five acres.  Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you for your comment Dan, mainly because your story about using the bucket to elevate your wife to pick beans recalled a memory of my grandad putting my brother and I in the bucket of his tractor so we could reach the top of the pear tree!

  8. ^^^ This.   Kubota BX series.   Loader bucket and 3 point.  Mower is a plus on anything larger than an acre but you may need a smaller push or ride mower for up close detail work if you prefer that nice and tidy look to your property.

    Also a big fan of the rotor-tillers that Jack mentioned.  Kitchen garden to micro swales and/or light Terra-forming.  This plus the loader bucket tractor and you can take care of pretty much any earthworks on your small homestead.

  9. I would say to anyone new to tractors, make bloody sure that the pto shafts have all the correct safety covers and that they are not cracked or broken.
    If you get your hair or clothed caught in a tractor pto shaft then you will end up either very badly injured but more likely dead.
    Some saftey training might be a good idea.

  10. As soon as I heard this on the show, I sent myself a reminder email to come here and post glorious praise about… yep, the Kubota BX-series as well. This model has been mentioned more than a few times in the past year on various TSP episodes and – dare I say – we should just make it the official TSP homestead tractor for up to 5 acres already. They have their place on farms and ranches well above 5 acres as secondary tools too, but man, they are incredible dream machines for the smaller farm or ranch. I got a used one recently.

    We have 4 acres and little over a year ago got a 2010 Kubota BX-2660 with about 140 hrs. on it for $12k including a super-handy single axle trailer, and it’s been incredible. It is certainly more expensive than a lawn tractor, but does so much more and faster. It’s a proper tractor, but closer to the size of a golf cart. All the boxes get checked that you want: 4WD, diesel (3-cyl), front-end loader, 60″ mowing deck (latest ones are drive-over removable), 3-pt PTO, and more. It’s been extraordinarily dependable and does everything we want it to. As a mower, it SMOKES our pastures in almost half the time our poor little 2008 John Deere LA130 did with a 48″ deck (now it’s regulated/retired to mowing the backyard and moving small stuff like kids around with a little garden trailer). In fact, that was the driving need- buying a time machine of sorts. I’ll also haul (*3-string*) bales of hay and 40-lb feed bags around from our truck back to the barn with it as well, but usually leave the front-end loader off during mowing season for better maneuverability. It moves and turns compost piles like champ. Spreads stuff out like blade well too.

    Another big draw to this was a great reputation. High points on this: they’re reliable and dependable, the Toyota of tractors is a decent analogy. Big brand and dealer network- see if you have a service center nearby for rare heavy work but for parts too (I needed some seat bolts and some DIY tune-up materials to service it myself). And a biggie nowadays, in that it’s NOT a John Deere- they’ve become big DRM fans and not allowing owners to service their own equipment, requiring services be done through authorized dealers (mainly on their bigger stuff, but nonetheless, nothing I want to support in throwing a bunch of cash to any company). We know this is BS and have the right to repair our own equipment- Kubota is cool with this, JD is not. Kubota is also a US company, TX even, kinda; Japanese company but their North American HQ is in Grapevine, TX (so I’m an even bigger fan being in the DFW area).

    It’s just awesome and smooth and comfortable to drive around in all of its hydraulicky goodness that sometimes I’ll even mow the other side of our street, about a half-mile long, just for the helluva it. Pop a beer in the cupholder, some Bluetooth earbuds in your ear holes, build some social capital and get shit done.

  11. Tractors for 3 acres. I grew up and still use 1970 – 19802 era Ariens GT series tractors. I have a 1970 SH 14 that I have a 48″ pluw, mower deck, and they have a class 0 3 point hitch with front, center, and rear hydraulics. Hydrostatic drive. Makes plowing wood chips or snow easy. You can get a Johnny Bucket Jr. for them for about $2k. But I don’t find it necessary. You can find them without implements for under $1k on craigslist, and with for the same price sometimes. There are snowblowers, plow blades, harrow plows, discs, mower, and tiller attachments. New Holland also made some of the same types with interchangeable implements w/ariens.

  12. Road Flares. I hit Harbor Freight about every 3 months. I buy about 10 of those red triangle LED lights every time. There’s about 10 in each vehicle now. I give them to friends. They are worth their weight in gold. I had a similar Jack almost dead on the highway story and have never been without one since.

  13. Just wanted to chime in on opportunities for Teachers to earn more. My wife successfully taught K-8 for a decade until she decided she wanted to make more $.

    She started her own consulting business helping schools teach their teachers how to be more effective in engaging students. Apparently there is demand there because she makes much more than a teacher today. Of course she doesnt take off work every summer!

    If a teacher is truly talented and hard working, there are plenty of other jobs outside of the government school classroom.

    She’s tried to hire teachers to work as full time consultants, but most don’t want to leave the classroom because of the lack of “benefits”, required travel and work hours.

    That’s just what we’ve personally seen.

  14. I started searching for a tractor a few years ago after knowing nothing about them.  The John Deere 1000 and 2000 series modern tractors have some nice features but are just way too expensive for me.  Kubota are aldo really nice and probably more reliable than deere and are less than deere.  Kioti is a korean licensed New Holland and i was told all parts are interchangeable for about $13k for a comparable compact tractor.  Every dealer has a $99/month deal.  I bought an antique in running condition with a charging problem.  1953 ford jubilee for $1,500, it’s pretty good and has 30 HP at the PTO.  If you can’t afford the front end loaded (FEL), consider the carry all 3 point attachment from tractor supply.  It’s not exactly the same but will allow you to carry 800-1000 pounds of anything including 55 gallon drums with a pump and sprayer boom or fire wood or a palatte full of bags of mulch.  you can get a post hole digger for the 3 point and install fence posts or plant trees fast.  whatever your choice take your time with inspecting it before committing and do consider the equipment auction at your local 4 H or the fairgrounds to find good deals.

    Jim in Northern Virginia

  15. I just recently bought a Mahindra MAX 26XL 4wd. I outfitted it with the front-end loader, 5ft bushhog, 5ft tiller, 9in post-hole digger, and a shade canopy (all new for $23,000.00). This is a sub-compact tractor so it is small, but 26hp is pretty handy. The loader will lift about 1400lbs. I have been using the auger to not only dig post holes for fencing, but also to start holes for planting trees. The width of the 5ft bushhog and tiller gives you about 3 extra inches on either side. The canopy is worth a lot! If you spend a few hours out in the Georgia heat and humidity, a little shade goes a long way. Maintenance on it has been pretty easy so far. I advise take a little extra time to take care of it, and It will take care of you.

  16. Another tractor to look at is the LS Tractor (that’s the company name.)  Well built and many options on the others are standard on the LS.  One note, you want to try to avoid clutch tractors with a front bucket, they eat clutches.  Hydro static and shuttle shift are much better with a bucket.

  17. Mow and till on 3 acres… Tractor?  Depends on your budget.  Here are some options:

    Get a Z-turn mower and buy/rent/hire a walk behind tiller.

    Get a bigger riding mower/lawn tractor with a tiller attachment.

    Get a 2 wheel walking tractor with attachments.

    An old Ford 8N, Allis Chalmers WD or D series, or similar size and vintage are cheap, reliable, will fit in a garage, and will run a 3 point tiller.  Just keep a spare pillow to put on the seat if you’ll be on it a while.

    If you have more $ than you know what to do with, same as above, but get newer or new.  It will have a comfier seat and can even get one with AC and heat.

    Personally, I have a Kubota B1550 with hydrostat (bought well used and sputtering from dirty filters for $1500) and a riding mower.  The rider gets into tighter spaces than even the baby Kubota.  The Kubota is undersized for a 4’ tiller, but with hydrostat I can go real slow. 

    If you get a loader you at least want power steering.  Front wheel assist is also a big plus with a loader.

  18. We “only” have a little under 400 acres, but really have had little to no problem over the years.  We keep a dog around house and equipment, but the cattle are pretty well on their own.  We do try to control inlet and outlet to the property, but honestly keeping gates shut and making entries go past buildings and extra vehicles goes a long way.  We do have some hunters cross fences.  The best way to keep that in check is to invite hunters we like and the rest takes care of itself.  😉
    We have had one person try to rustle cattle.  But they were so dumb, they got their trailer stuck and had to go get a tractor to get it out.  All within 150 feet of my cousins “deer camp”.  They had guns ready for tires, but since no cattle were loaded, they just called dad (who called the sheriff), wrote down the license, got a description, and watched the show.  LOL

    Realistically, take reasonable precautions, have insurance, and sleep peacefully.  🙂