Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My first tractor

I have a lot of earth moving to do, and any tractor would have been a compromise, so instead, a neighbor, who owns a construction company, will be coming up to do the heavy lifting with one of his excavators. Not a mini ex, one of the big boys.

But beyond the big stuff, there is a lot of work to do on my property (15 moutain-ish acres, heavily wooded).

Pulling stumps, moving boulders, lots of leveling, smaller excavation, etc.

So I shopped smaller, and decided on a BX25D.

She was delivered Friday, when I was at work, which made for a long work day.

I already have a shopping list. Going to get spacers from Bro-tek and armor, ripper and thumb from BXpanded. Also going to pick up a lands pride grapple kit at some point.

I have never owned a tractor, but I have driven backhoes and such on occasion. I figured I needed practice, and before I start doing real work near the house, I decided to do some easy, no impact work away from the house.

My home site on a very steep hill. My driveway is about 1300 feet, and ends with in a circle, with my house at the bottom of the circle. Works fine for me and the GF, but any time there are visitors, parking has always been a challenge, as people get blocked in, etc.

So I decided to make some parking spaces. A section of my driveway, right above the circle and the house, goes cross slope. The driveway is level, but to the right is uphill and to the left is downhill.

For my first practice project, I dug up 2 parking spaces uphill and filled in three parking spaces downhill. It was a good learning experience and I am very impressed with the amount of work this little guy can do. I have extremely rocky soil. Lots of boulders and granite rock. Given that, I have plenty of rocks to make a boulder wall, which is what I did on the downhill side. I put a row of boulders at the end of the parking area, and filled in dirt behind to build up the spaces. I still need to get more boulders and more fill to get it completely done, but I am happy with what I accomplished so far.

Of course, as I was learning, I dug too deeply in spots and filled back in, didn't bring enough material, made errors dragging, blah, but it has been time well spent.

There were several boulders that Britney (That is the name of the BX. My GF named her) could not lift, but she was strong enough to push them, so I did that in several cases.

I also wanted to test the stability and ability to climb the hillside. I have 30+ degree slope for most of the property, and she handled fine up and down. I had to make a cross turn at one point, but thanks to the knowledge gained here, it was a non event, albeit slow and pucker factor inducing, plus it was on a 20 degree slope, not the 30.

I had a second task I had to perform that was unexpected. While taking out the trash, I discovered a 10' long branch laying across the driveway. Being curious as to where this came from I looked up, and saw a 50' dead tree, leaning against another, right overhead. Bad situation. But using Britney, I was able to bring the tree down with little fuss and then moved it off the road. Just a little beast of a machine.

I tried to attach photos, but was unsuccessful.

So far, I am very happy. Because of the condition of my soil the bucket and loader are already minus a good amount of paint, but this is a work machine, not a show piece, so I do not care.

Getting a grease gun today, to do the first lubing.

I burned about 8 gallons in 10 hours of run time.

Kept her at 2500 RPM for break in.