TractorByNet.com kicks off our new member of the month section in April, 2010! This month we interviewed Chris Britton (aka Sounguy on TBN) about his tractors, property, hobbies and life in general.
Name: Chris Britton
User Name: Soundguy
Posts: 23,572 (#2 all-time)
Location: North Central Florida
Lot Size: 13.2 Acres
How long have you been a member of TractorByNet.com? How did you find the site?
I’ve been a member since early 2002. I found TBN while doing an internet search looking for sites with information on Yanmar tractors.
What do you like best about TractorByNet.com?
I like the diversity, both in topics and membership. I belong to many other tractor web sites, but most of those focus totally on tractors. Here at TBN if I had a question about what dishwashers members were using and how they liked them, I’d likely get quite a bit of replies in short order. While there are many topical forums, there are a few where all sorts of questions come up, electrical wiring, automobiles, etc. While much of it is farm related, there is also a huge user base in the industrial fields as well as the smaller estate owners. So many people, and so much information available.. Different geographical areas, and different membership background.
What type of tractor(s) do you own?
Mostly antiques, and of those, mostly Ford. I do currently have one ‘newer’ tractor, a 2000 NH 7610s, though that pretty much counts as a ford if you close one eye. My collection ranges from 1946 through 1975, plus the ‘newish’ tractor I have. While I have a few tractors of other brands, like Yanmar, Allis Chalmers, John Deer and International Harvester, my passion is for the old Fords. It started with the N series fords that were built from ‘39-‘52, then moved to the newer more featured models from ‘53-‘64, plus a couple of the ‘blue ones’ from the ‘65-‘75 year range. Good hard working diesels from that year range. I’m quite fond of my ‘75 Ford 5000. My overall favorites are the ‘53-‘64 4 cyl gassers. Good to play with, easy to work on, and still featured enough to do an honest days work. My hardest working tractor is a 1955 Ford 850 with a Ford 711 1-arm loader.
How long have you owned or operated tractors?
I’ve owned tractors since about 1998, though have operated tractors back since I was a kid. My earliest memory of a tractor was riding on the footrest and holding onto the fender of my grandfathers blue Ford tractor while he drove it down a back road to disc up a pasture. When I was a little older, my cousins and I would all pile up on my dads tractor and drive it down the road to a jiffy store to buy candy. There would be 4 or 5 of us piled up on that tractor. One steering, a couple riding on fenders, and a couple riding on the running boards. Back then nobody thought anything of it…
What do you enjoy most about tractors?
I view tractors in 2 different ways. 1, as work tools. It’s nice to be able to hop on a machine and make it work for you. 2, As therapy. I’m in a happy place when I’m working on or with one of my tractors. The constant drone of the engine helps me clear my mind. Or if I’m restoring a tractor, I can focus on my work and block out all of the unpleasant distractions of the real world.
How often do you use your tractor?
Daily, if I’m lucky. Even if it is only to run some feed to the back of the pasture, or a trip around the neighborhood or down to the cluster mailbox at the entrance of the community.
Tell us about your property (how much acreage, home, buildings, etc):
I have 13.2 ac divided roughly into a 10 and a 3 ac piece. About 4 miles separates the parcels. On the smaller parcel I have my house, detached garage, horse barn, and equipment barn, plus a couple open lean-to style sheds. On the 10 ac piece, pretty much one a single lean-to, plus animal pens.
Tell us about your vehicles (trucks, trailers, ATVs, etc.):
I drive a Dodge Ram pickup mostly, though occasionally drive my wife’s Yukon.
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them:
Plenty of pets. We have an odd assortment of cats and dogs. The cats are mostly strays we brought in or found as abandoned kittens and raised. Same with the dogs. We have a couple beagles, a jack russel, and a papillion, plus a retriever/husky/chow mix. The cats? Well… An assortment of domestic short hair models plus a manx or two. The wife raises birds. Everything from finches to larger ones like an African grey parrot and a cockatiel. Some other smaller parrots like quakers, plus other smaller birds like lovebirds, and even a few button quail. If you poke around you will find a Russian tortoise and a gecko.
What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
Most of my mods are probably added extra lighting and extra foot steps to make it easier to get on the tractors.
What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis? Tell us about them:
Mowers get the most use around my place.. I have a JD1517 15’ batwing I pull with my NH 7610s. I also have a Howse 10’ 3’ mower that my Ford 5000 pulls as well as a 5’ King Kutter mower that hops from tractor to tractor depending on what I feel like mowing with. Currently the 5’ mower is on a 1955 Ford 740 trike. I have most of the ‘regular’ implements like a box blade, rear scoop, boom pole, 3pt cultivator, 2 bottom plow, disc harrow, chain harrow and pto generator. The boom pole and rear scoop havn’t gotten much use since I started collection Ford 1-arm loaders and installing them on some of my old Fords. The 2 bottom plow is an old Dearborn 10-1 plow. An antique for sure, but a darn good plow.
What do you mainly use your tractor for?
I’d say 60% of my tractor work involves mowing. And 30% in moving hay around to feed the animals. The other 10% would be general maintenance, moving dirt, using the loader as a crane to load / unload stuff, etc.
Do you maintain crops? For hobby or agricultural purpose? Which crops?
No real crops, though I do plant a garden every year. Tomatoes, onion and potatoes. Have had some luck with watermellon and pumpkins as well.
Do you keep livestock? Tell us about it:
Currently I have an assortement of horses, including mini’s and a mule. Also have some cows, black angus and Florida longhorn. Pigs, a large assortment of chickens (from banty’s to the larger Rhode Isle reds, and just about anything in between). I also have royal palm turkeys.
What do you like/dislike about the area you live in?
I like the flat ground that much of Florida has. Not too much I dislike about Florida. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
What sort of terrain is common in your area?
Florida has plenty of flat land, and lots of limerock. That limerock brings with it a good underground aquifer, and an occasional sink hole.
What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
Argentine and Pensacola Bahia are the average pasture grasses you find around here. Plenty of orange groves too.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I like zombie movies.. I really really like zombie movies. Vampires and werewolves are ok too.. But zombies are great. ( Note: my wife doesn’t care for werewolves, hates vampires, and REALLY REALLY hates zombies)