I’ve been spending time on the back of a tractor, contemplating all the mysteries…
27-ton, chainsaw, chopping wood, family, farm boss, farm chores, farm equipment, farm tools, fireplace, firewood, front-end loader, hydraulic, kubota, laurel oak, log-splitter, nephew, Quercus hemisphaerica, Quercus virginiana, southern live oak, splitting wood, stihl, troy-bilt, winter fire
So, besides the feeling of power and glory, compensation issues really, the main reason that I chainsaw is for firewood.
On the ground is a Laurel Oak (Quercus hemisphaerica) that we took down because it was growing too close to a Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana). Don’t you just love the Quercus rolls off the tongue? Go ahead say it really fast three times over.
After the initial felling, the main trunk is broken down into smaller sections known as rounds, using the Stihl Farm Boss, which I referenced in an earlier post.
I tractor up and use my front end loader to move the rounds from the tree site to the well house shed where I can split the wood.
Now, I used to split wood using wedges, hatchets, axes, and mallets, but that was before my enlightenment. At the shed, out comes one of my favorite boy toys, the Troy-Bilt 27-ton hydraulic log splitter, and a complete exercise in brute power,strength, and dominance.
From there it is just what you would expect. Stack the wood.
Burn the wood. Enjoy the life…
I had big plans for the day, which really were no plans, perhaps do some fishing, get my sailboat out, chase a golf ball, float in the pool. Instead, as the heat index reached 100 (that’s about 38 degrees for my Celsius friends), I found myself shoveling dirt in a horse stall.
With our farrier making his monthly, bimonthly, six-weekly, visit tomorrow, I found myself under the gun to get the main run-in stall back in decent enough repair that I could hold reins and not be terribly embarrassed by the condition of the barn.
You see, the flies this time of year bother my boys terribly. Hell, wouldn’t you be? The damn flies bother me terribly too, but I least I can scoot into blessed air conditioning when the going gets too tough. No such luck for the horses, so what they do is paw up dust to keep the bugs away. Paw enough when you’re big enough and soon enough there’s a mighty fine hole in the ground and a mighty fine weekend of plans of doing nothing much goes bye-bye.
Bear with me, just a few more comments. The whole job would have been easier with a backhoe, instead of the front-end loader, but I am too cheap to buy one, and have no place to store it if I did own one. It is amazing how tight a barn stall can get, especially when you’re on top of a tractor. Things might have been easier if I had taken off the mower deck, too lazy, too hot, too bothered…
Well, there is an explanation, broken heart, and broken tractor, and, so, I have been running late, and running behind.
The broken tractor is easier to explain than the broken heart. Underneath my rotary mower, manufactured by Taylor Pittsburgh, in the center part, is a contraption known as a stump jumper. The stump jumper is dish shaped so the mower will slide up and over large stumps and rocks. Bisecting the stump jumper is a brace, bolted to which are two blades that do the cutting. It is that brace which failed and put a damper on my spring fieldwork.
Of course, that is not the only equipment failure. There is an adjustment bar for the mower wheel simply vanished somewhere in my back forty, a victim of my negligence in checking for fastness. At least that job did not require a trip to the welder, just a wait on the UPS man.
Both zero-turn finish mowers, a Kubota, and a John Deere, required more than one trip to the shop. The John Deere had an alternator issue, thankfully covered by warranty. The Kubota suffers from a faulty starter, unfortunately not under warranty.
Tomorrow I make a run to pick up the now repaired Kubota. The John Deere I used today around the barn and pool area. The tractor went into the woods for a hard mow to maintain our hiking and horse trails. The new adjustment bar will need some adjusting; the back part of the deck keeps dragging, cutting down on my efficiency, and not helping the aesthetics of my mow.