Playing Tractor

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In aviation, they say that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. And if you can use the plane again, it’s a great landing. If those metrics transfer to tractors, I just did a great job of mowing my first field. By which I mean I didn’t die, and our tractor is (mostly) unscathed.

Oh, hey: did I mention that we now have a tractor? It’s an old Kioti LK3054 – a little 30 hp Korean diesel pony of a thing. In case you’re tempted to pronounce it Kee-OH-ti, their logo is a little howling critter that indicates you’re supposed to pretend it’s spelled “coyote”. You’re really not supposed to pronounce it “대동”, which apparently comes out something like “Daedong” if you read Korean.

But yeah, we’ve got a tractor, and with the help of Rick, who sold it to us because he’s moving to Costa Rica, I managed to get the brush hog – effectively a five-foot-wide mower/shredder/mulcher – hooked up off the back and cleared an acre or so of overgrown pasture.

Mind you, the field I mowed now looks like that haircut you gave yourself in the mirror when you were seven – the one that caused your mom to shriek so loudly that your dad came downstairs and when he couldn’t stop laughing made your mom so mad that he was the one who had to take you to the barber first thing the next morning, even though you’d miss school and he had to reschedule that meeting he’d been preparing for all week. Yeah, that haircut. But the field is indisputably mowed, and no one’s going to laugh at it for having sloppy bangs.

But here’s the thing I learned: mowing the field without hurting myself was the easy part about tractoring. The hard part is going to be coming up to speed on the seventy-billion details one appears to need to know about owning and operating one of these crazy Rube Goldberg devices. How to brace the excavator frame for removal, how to secure the sway bars so they don’t bang into the wheels. Calcium carbonate or rim guard in the wheels? How do you keep the radiator screen clean? How often to lube the Zerk fittings? Where *are* all the Zerk fittings? What does “Zerk” even mean? It’s a whole new world.

Still, the important thing is that we have a tractor.

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4 responses to “Playing Tractor

  1. The calcium solution would be calcium chloride. These days, they use beet juice. As you might imagine, it reduces the likelihood of corrosion. (Dad has been in the tractor business for over 40 years, I’ve been around it for that long, and last year I had a close encounter with ownership of it.)

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    • Right you are: calcium chloride – which is why (like its neighbor sodium chloride), it rots rims when it leaks. Which is why our first purchase is a new pair of rear rims I’ve got on order. Still trying to decide whether we’re even going to fill or not. If we do fill, it’ll be with the beet juice stuff.

      But now that I’m on to your expertise, look out for me pestering you with all sorts of newbie questions!

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