Bruce's Journal

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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I just finally got to the end of your journal, looks like you have done a ton to your property! My in-laws have that kind of soil, can barely dig without hitting a rock; I'm hoping my new place isn't the same but we haven't had to dig yet.

Did you ever figure out what caused your garden tractor to not turn on intermittently? I'm sorry if I missed it. I was wondering if it's because you weren't sitting in the seat when you tried to turn it on. Some tractors/mowers have a "safety feature" to prevent operator injury and won't start/change gears or will even shut off if the person doesn't stay seated.
 

Bruce

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Not a safety switch issue. After taking the starter out (incorrectly at first, it is a royal PITA to get the brushes backed out and the commutator put back in place!) it worked. I guess the starter somehow "froze". Maybe I could have just smacked it with a hammer or something.

I hope you have rocks only where you want them!
 
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Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Mr. @Bruce, sir!

Have you gotten much if any snow there in NW Vermont? I don't recall you having mentioned it. The reason I am asking is that I watched a YouTube video recently where some guy had a snow blower on his tractor, and many of his neighbors would hire him to clear their driveways. Do you have neighbors like that, who might need their driveways cleared. I saw a YouTube video on the Colorado Mountain Living channel that showed the wife driving the tractor by herself for the first time clearing their driveway using a rear mounted snow blower:


Senile Texas Aggie
 

Bruce

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Only a small bit of snow so far and it has melted. There are people who have their driveways done but it won't be by me. And there is no way on this green (or white) earth I would EVER get a rear snowblower. First I can't even imagine what shape I would be in having spent a lot of time twisted around to see where I was going. Second, I don't have a long driveway where you can aim and go, I have to work around a lot of obstacles. A rear blower on the real tractor would be very inefficient and likely result in damage to cars.

I did buy a new winch for the blower on the garden tractor since I figure the broken part of the old one couldn't likely be welded. The new one is a new part number but is the exact same winch with a MUCH shorter cable. I guess they figured out you don't need 50' of cable to pull the lifting mechanism on the blower back 3". It kept over wrapping, getting the "running part" stuck under the part on the reel. I'm sure it would be fine for whatever work the generic winch was actually designed to do.

At one point I replaced the cable with a shorter "rope" cable, that worked for awhile until it wore through. So I cut off a length of the metal cable with the loop and thimble on it and put that on the winch, all OK again until .... the cable frayed right at the thimble while I was using the blower. Of course it dropped to the ground and there is no way to get it back to the barn dragging it on the ground. So I made a loop in the cable and put a couple of cable clamps on it, finished the work. I THOUGHT everything was OK until I got off the tractor and saw that the 2 parallel bars that hold the side of the winch plate to the motor were bent and one broken off. Spool for the wire barely hanging in the motor. The bars have a thin threaded end that goes into the motor and female thread for small screws to hold them to the plate on the other end. Thus I had bent threaded ends and bent and stripped out screws on the other end.

I just used the real tractor last year and could again this year except .... Last year there were 3 cars max since DD1 had her car at school in Canada (and does now). I could move enough snow for DW and DD2 to get out to work then have only my car to deal with later. But DW kept her 2006 Prius (drives it to work once a week) when we got the Leaf and her sister is living here at least through the end of the year (she's a teacher in VA and they are fully remote) so she can visit their parents (except that there are severe Covid driven limitations on anyone going into the community now), there will be at LEAST 3 cars to deal with when DD2 goes back to work and DW is at work and as many as 5 in the morning before they leave. I can maneuver the front mounted snow blower on the garden tractor around the cars much more easily than pushing snow with the bucket on the tractor.
 

thistlebloom

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A walk behind blower is perfect around here for clearing the driveway, 150'ish, plus all the house walkways and animal chore paths. Usually dh uses the quad with the plow for the driveway, but there comes a time when you don't have anywhere left to push the snow, so the blower is good for carving out bigger spots.
 

Bruce

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I can't even begin to fathom the necessity to dig out my car as part of my morning routine to go to work.
I don't dig out my car to go to work, I'm retired! ;)
I clear out DW and DD2's cars though. I figure if DW is going to work I can at least get her on her way. And I'm already out there so I make a path for DD2's car as well. Not real hard with the blower on the garden tractor. Usually I move enough snow so they can get out then clear everything later when the sun is up and it MIGHT be warmer.
 

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Happenings on the "farm".

Got the chains on the rear tires of the garden tractor and about 100# of weight on the back. You can sure feel the weight of the blower on the front, it is like driving a car without power steering. The weight behind the axle gets more traction on the rear tires and balances a bit of the weight way out front. In any case, with the blower on the GT it is a real slug, it can't back up any sort of hill. Have to make a cul-de-sac and turn around.

One of the Christmas Cacti
DSCN2186.JPG

They came to put in the ground screws for the new array today and dig a trench to the old one so they can use the existing conduit to the house. Not the most exciting pictures

DSCN2183.JPG DSCN2184.JPG DSCN2185.JPG

I have no idea when they will be back to build the racks and put in the panels. Heck, I didn't know until after noon yesterday that they were doing this work today!
The guy that came yesterday afternoon to mark out where the anchor posts were to go didn't know when the batteries will be in. Apparently they are in somewhat short supply. IF I'm lucky they can get it finished this month.

Looks like someone up the hill is moving. I saw a truck pulling a trailer FULL of plastic kid "yard toys" and if you look at the top left of the first construction picture, there is a U-Haul truck at the first (of 8) house up the hill.
 

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