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Thoughts on Tractors (and trucks)

As we begin to build out our new property, one of the things much on my mind of late has been used tractors. I have a whole host of things I’d like to be able to do down there that would be made easier with some diesel power on hand, and now that I have a roof to store it under (at least temporarily) I need to get with it. I am very much a fan of heavy duty and more (rather than less) horsepower than I absolutely need to get the job done.

Ideally, to be a multi-use tractor around here, I’d like something with a minimum of 80 hp (and I’d really prefer 100), a loader with a bucket and hay spear is essential and 4×4 is just barely non-essential. If I skip the potential field work I could put it to use doing and concentrate on it’s loader functions, I could get away with slightly less horsepower, although not a whole bunch less because we feed a lot of large round bales in the winter and I am a real fan of being able to carry one on the three point hitch and one (or two) more on the front end loader.

We currently run a Ford 7610 (100 hp, loader and 4×4) and a Kubota M4950 (55 hp, loader, 2×4). Of the two, I like the Kubota better than the Ford despite the fact the Kubota is half the size and very old. If money weren’t an object, I’d probably own two Kubota M105 cab tractors, both with loaders. For our current applications 110 hp is enough complete any job I would need done.

Jason on the Ford 7610 tractor last winter

I feel much the same way about trucks (lots of horsepower and heavy duty). When I moved down here, I brought a simple Chevy Silverado half ton with me. It wasn’t fancy and it sure wasn’t intended to haul anything. On my farm in Ontario we had big trucks to do any hauling, so all this truck had to do was get me from home to the coffee shop, the grain elevator, or to the farm equipment dealer for parts. For all the work it did, I may as well have owned a minivan ! LOL ! Against my better judgement, Melissa talked me into adding a fifth wheel attachment for her horse trailer (2 horse straight load gooseneck with dressing room) and we did some hauling with it but I never felt comfortable that I had enough truck (or enough brakes) in front of me. (Melissa putting in my two cents here that I originally had an F-250 diesel to pull this trailer – long story involving a divorce as to why I no longer had that truck!)

After a couple of years of this I couldn’t stand it any more so we bought a Chevy 2500 HD Duramax diesel with a six speed manual transmission, which is just enough truck on her trailer to make me feel safe hauling it around. We also have a 24 foot Featherlite aluminum stock trailer that we haul with this truck as well. If we were doing serious long distance hauling and if our trailers were larger than our current set up I would be pushing for a single axle five ton truck outfitted with air brakes. (One more comment from Melissa – having hauled with both 3/4 ton and 1 ton gas and diesel trucks over the years I would always take a diesel truck over a gas truck. Of course Jason thinks anything larger than a two horse trailer should be hauled with the above-mentioned 5 ton truck with air brakes.)

Current towing truck, Chevrolet Duramax Diesel

When I want action shots I just have to sit in the Big Boys’ field for awhile; here we have Apollo and Thomas on the go.

Chance on the run

Lucky, Chili, O’Reilly and Lightening

#farmmaintenance #jason

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