Homesteading, off-the-grid, the new-age way to do life, right? Move to a barren spot, build a tiny house, get a few chickens, and voila, you have a homestead. Not so much. There is an awful lot of work involved in making what was into what you want it to be. So what you need to be thinking about is what highly effective homesteading tools are right for me?
The largest parts of homesteading are raising a vegetable garden of your own, raising animals for food, and sometimes making sustainable energy sources. These all take some level of work either moving dirt, building shelters, or digging ditches or holes. Moving the dirt, lifting the poles, and hauling the dirt.
You can do it with shovels, hammers, rakes, and wheelbarrows, but it is much easier and effective to use a tractor. Not the huge, four-wheel drive monster you see tearing up the thousand-acre fields but a smaller one. One that you can pull behind your pick-up on a trailer if you have to. There are many of these to choose from so how do you decide what to choose. Start with what you want to do with it. How large of an area are you going to be working in, what are you going to do to that area, and of course your budget.
You can go brand new and top end with all the bells, whistles, and computers, or shop the Craigslist ads and just go by price. Be aware tractors are working animals and are not always treated with care.
New paint does wonders for most imperfections but always look at the places where there should be grease. There should be grease. There shouldn’t be grease oil or gas where there shouldn’t be any, like on the ground or in the water.
Tractors have many attachments also that are very useful. You can have a bucket on them to move dirt or snow, a blade to scrape snow, a hole driller for an easier way to dig post holes, ditch-digger, disc, and so forth. It does, however, depend on what tractor you have as to how many and what kind of attachments you can use. If you have a 3 point or if you don’t. The 3 point is what operates the attachments through the use of hydraulics
The older the tractor, the less likely you are to be able to find attachments for them unless you get them with the tractor or you can find a collector. Then, however, you are more likely to pay much too much.
Tractors are a great tool. You can do almost anything with them and they are indestructible. Unfortunately, you are not. More ranching accidents have happened because of tractors. Either misuse or being inattentive because they have worked with them so often. The older ones turn over easily and have no roll bar. On the positive side of the older ones, they were built to last, they are simple to use and work on and they don’t break the bank. I love my little old tractor. I can disc and harrow to my heart’s content.
Finding the “Best” tractor is according to choice. Just like anything else, there are dozens to choose from. John Deere, Caterpillar, Kubota, and New Holland are at the top of the U.S. list. There is also McCormick, Massey Ferguson, Farmall, Alis Chalmers, Ford, and Case IH. It’s like buying a car, you just need to find one that speaks to you.
If you choose to buy a tractor, be smart and buy what you need not what looks good. If it won’t fit in your property, it’s not going to work very well. More is not always better.