Friday, May 18, 2012

Plowin' ...The Four Tractors and an Army Truck Technique

Today I'd like to share a new method of plowing that I'm sure some of our readers are not familiar with. It's a new technique that requires four separate tractors and a 6 x 6 army truck thrown in for good measure.

It started off as an exciting day. Plowing day! Tilling the soil is somehow inherently human and just feels right. We were feeling so blessed as we hitched the plow to our Alis Chalmers tractor. Our neighbor loaned us his plow and disk harrow so we could start our cornfield and pumpkin patch. Nostalgia and sentiments warmed our hearts as our farming adventure took another leap forward in this monumental new milestone.

After a couple of satisfying swipes, the double bottom 18" blades sliced clean through the soil and flipped the black earth to the sun. A couple little hick-ups here and there, but what the heck, it's our first time...things were going great!

And then suddenly Zach decided to make a large sweep with the tractor to get the plow lines straight. "Oh no" I thought. I knew it was marshy over there, I had seen a pair of mallard ducks land there just the day before, and heard them splashing around. I felt myself running toward the tractor in slow motion, hollering "Wait! Don't go so far." But it was too late, and the roar of the tractor drowned me out as the wheels sunk deep into the muck.

The difficult thing with our property is that the grass grows three feet tall everywhere so the marshy spots don't look any different from the dry spots. There's also a good 6 inches of dead grass from years past that creates this spongy almost boardwalk all over the property. So even if you walk the area before, the weight of a human won't always reveal the water that's hiding underneath. We're breaking virgin soil here and we never know what we'll find. 

Nothing to fear right? It's a tractor after all. Tractors don't get stuck. Well, they do in fact. Right to the frame they get stuck. So over came our trusty neighbor with his Ford tractor. This is the same neighbor that loaned us the equipment not an hour before. Side note: (At this point we're certain our neighbors think we're nuts. We hope that the idiotic entertainment we provide is fair enough trade for putting up with us. I'm certain that the "normal" people in our neighborhood make them self a cup of coffee in the morning and wait to watch the show at the yellow house.)

Anyway...we hooked up the chain, with hope in our hearts, surely another tractor could pull Alice out. After much configuring, miscellaneous tie straps, chains and five different positions...the Ford couldn't budge her. We hitched the plow to the Ford and at least got it out of the mud.

All hope was not lost. We called our friend Elliot, who just happens to have a 6 x 6, deuce and a half army truck, doesn't everybody? Surely 10 tires moving could pull out a tractor! Well...not if all ten tires also sink into the field.

At this point I was starting to pick out the types of flowers I would be planting in all the vehicles stuck in the backyard...I think petunias in the bed of the army truck and maybe some daisy's in the tractor shovel would look nice.

Luckily, Elliot also has a four wheel drive Kubota tractor, he promised to bring the next day. In the meantime, we hooked the plow to our Farmall H (Ruby) and finished the field. (more about this in a post coming soon)

In the end, a days worth of sunshine helped dry the field a bit and the Kubota got the army truck out. Then we used a longer chain and the army truck got the Alis Chalmers out, the Ford saved the plow, and the Farmall plowed on...


Amber said...

This is too funny! Good thing your friend just happened to have that giant 6x6 laying around;-)

Ian said...

After the army truck, what was the back-up to the back-up? :-}

Camille said...

This is hilarious!!!

Anonymous said...

Love reading your posts, they make me smile. There is nothing better than living on the farm and the experiences it brings. There are many lessons learned on a farm, ie: patients, hard work pays off, a hand shake does still mean something, and many many other ones. Thank you for sharing with us.

Bernadine Koster said...

This is quite a funny experience! What a story to tell. Good thing the sun came up before setting on all your big vehicles. :D How is Alice doing now? Remember to wash off any grass left after mowing, since wet grass that are stuck to metal parts can cause rust or corrosion.

Bernadine Koster

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Merlin Guernon said...

Thanks for sharing!

Kubota tractors are always good for farming as Kubota equipment has been designed and built with your safety in mind, but a tractor and its attachments are unable to control their own operation, or to choose the environment in which they work. With its hard working style it is better to keep a Kubota parts dealer. Country Sales and Services are online dealers from where you can buy OEM Kubota engine parts quickly & easily. Their online catalog carries rebuild, overhaul & cylinder head kits with fast shipping & free technical support.

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