Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: farm equipment

Almost Time To Cut And Split Firewood

Cut and split firewood

Some people may wonder why I would cut and split firewood in the middle of winter. The leaves are off the trees and the weather is cool. What better time to cut some small oak trees, split them and put the firewood up.

I do not have a fireplace. I hope to have one in a few years, but that is in the future. So the firewood is used for cooking, and for outdoor activities here on the farm. It is nice to sit outside in the cool weather and enjoy a fire with friends and family, or just my wife and I.

Here on the farm there are a number of small oak trees that are growing at an angle. I say small, but they are at least six – eight inches in diameter. The trees grow at an angle because the small trees are shaded by larger trees. So the small tree grow at an angle to reach sunlight. They will never be a nice straight mature tree. The best thing to do is to cut them down, split the wood, and use the wood for cooking. Thinning the small trees will help the mature trees grow better.

Tractor Mounted Log Splitter For The Farm

Tractor mounted log splitter

Landed a tractor powered log splitter for the farm. This is something I have wanted and needed for a very long time. An older gentleman had a log slitter he was no longer using. It had been left uncovered for so long the hoses and seal on the ram had dry rotted.

The splitter works with a pump that slips over the spline of the tractor PTO. The hoses going to and from the pump were dry rotted through and were leaking.

There is a place in Jasper Texas called East Texas Mill Supply. They can make up a new hose in a matter of a few minutes. That is where I took the hoses.

Hydraulic oil was drained out of the tank and replaced with new.

The pump wanted to turn with the PTO shaft, so a chain was rigged up to hold it in place. The pump was supposed to have what is called a “torque bar”, but it was not on the pump. Rather than contacting the original owner and bothering him, I am rigging up something that will work. It just needs to be something to hold the pump in place while the PTO shaft turns.

Grinding Stumps At the Farm

Tractor mounted stump grinder

Now that the trees have been cut and some of the small timber has been thinned, its time to call a stump grinder out to the farm. A stump grinder is machine with carbide bits which cut the stump down to below ground level. No digging around the stump, no burning the stump, no pulling on the stump with a truck,,, nothing but a machine that turns a tree stump into chips.

Instead of buying a stump grinding machine that would rarely be used, I called a contractor that works by the hour. In 3 hours the contractor had ground 109 stumps.

There are a number of stump grinder designs on the market, some of them look like large tillers. The one the contractor used attached to the back of a tractor and was operated by the power take off (PTO).

Why are we having stumps ground? The stumps are in the way of driveway, chicken yard fence, chicken coop and where the shed is going. Instead of having to drive around the stumps, and waiting for them to rot, now the stumps are ground 6 – 8 inches below ground level.

Grinding Stumps At The Farm

Using a Tractor to Move Debris At The Farm

Mahindra 4530 4-wheel drive tractor

After several weeks of having to manhandle debris while cleaning up the homestead, we finally got some heavy equipment on location. The tractor we were able to get was a Mahindra 4530 4-wheel drive with a grapple, bucket and brush hog.

The main goals for this weekend include – get the brush piled up, clean out the hole that had been used as a trash dump and clear out various small brush.

Piling Up Debris

A couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine, my son and I thinned out a bunch of small trees. Instead of pulling the trees to the burning pile like we did the day before, the trees were pulled into an opening so they could be pushed by a tractor.

While the loggers where cutting the timber, they left a rather large mess in a 2 acre field directly across from where the house is going.

Besides piling up the trees that had been thinned out a couple of weeks ago, the debris left by the loggers also need to be piled up. For one pile the operator of the Mahindra 4530 used the bucket to push the trees together. On the other pile, the bucket was replaced with a grapple. the trees were pushed, pulled, lifted,,, and whatever else it took to get the debris cleaned up.

The 4-wheel drive capability of the Mahindra 4530 tractor is what saved the day. Some of the tree trunks that had to bee moved would have stopped a 2-wheel drive tractor in its tracks. The grapple allowed the debris to be stacked, rather then just pushed together.

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