Lets talk tractors!
When you look at acreages, you typically see a farm truck or a tractor sitting out. To do all the heavy lifting you need something to move whatever it is. When we first moved into the Sanctuary, we didn't own a tractor. Thankfully the neighbors up the road wanted to get something different.
Enter the Massey!
It got us through that first year or two but it wasn't ideal for just about anything. It really didn't have anything. I would watch Mike steer and the vein in his forehead would pop out and I was afraid it would explode. The Massey doesn't have power steering, nor does it have just about anything else. It blows smoke everywhere we go.
Luckily we bought the farm truck a few years back and the Massey has been sitting in the red shed after since. We should sell it but it's not worth anything and if we have the time to fix it, it would be useful for us.
Then came the BIG tractor! When we switched over to round bales permanently, my uncle knew of a tractor for sale. It wasn't shiny and it wasn't nice in the least but it ran and it worked. Enter the big tractor. We still owe money on it. We are paying for it ourselves and not through any grants, donations, or anything like that. Just trying to pay for it ourselves. I would have loved to have gotten a grant or some type of donation. Money to the tractor eats away at other things that could go directly to the horses.
But I a thankful for the tractor. Because without it, we'd be using the truck to push and pull in round bales. We did that one winter. It would take us two hours to push/pull in two bales. Now, it takes two minutes (once the horses are out of the way).
It has some sort of quick release thingy so that we can unhook the bale spear and switch over to the bucket. The tractor only came with the bucket. We had to go in search of the bale spear afterwards. My uncle also gave us a bale spear for the big squares. (Have I mentioned I have an awesome, awesome, awesome uncle!)
Then last fall, my dad knew of a little Alice Chalmers that was going to be sold. It was actually the Izaak Walton in Madison. And because Dad is the president of the Ikes in Madison, he had connections enough so that we could purchase the tractor.
You may be asking, why in the world do we need another tractor. Well, this one might seem a bit frivoulous but it isnt'. We can mow the pastures with it, we can mow the lawn with it, and we can use it to drag the drylot or even spray the pasture with it. We'll be putting it to use more as we find time. This tractor, like the other tractor, is not yet paid off. I have it half way paid off and I am paying for it personally. I have $900 left to go and I would LOVE to get it paid off sooner. Because then that money can go to pay off the big tractor or go to buy yet more hay. Because the more money I can put into hay (and stash away for vet bills), the better opportunity we have to open our doors for other horses (as now is the season for dumping horses)
The big tractor is our best investment and the others aren't necessarily needed but will and do come in handy when we need them. The big tractor also has a three point so we can attach our post hole digger (again courtesy of my uncle). It's not the greatest post hole digger but beggers cant' be choosers. I am simply happy that we have access to it.
So those are our tractors at the Sanctuary. Each has a set of chains so we can use them in the winter (but we don't except for the big tractor...thank goodness). It may seem like we are spoiled but, trust me, we aren't. These are all OLD tractors and they ALL have problems.
The Massey currently doesn't run. The big tractor has an issue that Mike cant' yet put his finger on so we'll just run it as is until it completely breaks and then scramble to figure out a solution. The little Alice with the mower also doesn't run the greatest. But we make due and dont' push them to the extreme.
Just like our horses, we have old tractors. Unlike our horses, we DO make these tractors work (even if we have to be super careful on how hard we push them so we make sure they don't blow up).
If it wasn't that Mike was mechanically savy, we wouldn't be able to have any of these tractors as they all have problems. Whenever we plan on using one, it takes an additional hour of tweaking to get everything running.
So, those are the tractors of the Sanctuary. I'd love to see your tractors!