This month we interviewed The Kid. In just 5 months on the forums, Robert Kidwell has become a recognized and friendly face you can count on. Read his Member of the Month article to see his family and learn more about his day to day life!
Your Name: Robert (the kid) Kidwell
Join Date: April 2012
Post Count: 975 (#546 of all-time)
Location: Cheatham County, Tennessee; north of Nashville.
What do you enjoy most about tractors?
Learning how they work, hydraulics, and mechanical parts.
What make and model of tractor do you own?
I am the proud owner of a 1965 Massey Ferguson 135 with Continental Z145 4 cylinder engine; currently getting a makeover.
Tell us a little about how you found TractorByNet and why you decided to make it your home. In March of this year, I bought my first tractor from a gentleman in West Tennessee and was searching the web for good information about it. I read a few messages in different areas and it looked friendly enough. I was impressed with the manners exhibited here. People were friendly and many had vast knowledge of tractors. Being that I knew very little about the mechanics of a tractor, but knew how to drive and use one. I thought this would be a good home to listen and learn and pass on anything I might know of the subject matter. This site has been extremely helpful while I refurbish my new hobby.
Tell us about your property.
I am a widow and remarried and moved to my wife’s place where we have about 8 acres I maintain. I mow about 4 to five acres and the rest is left to the tractor to clean up. My other house is about 70 miles south from my current location where I have 38 acres. My son and mother-in-law currently live there. My son has an old Ford 9N and the 135 will be a welcome addition when I take it down there for the winter.
What do you mainly use your tractor for?
Mostly to keep the brush knocked down. Right before I started refurbishing it, I cut about six acres with the bush hog to get a feel for it. I plan to finish that part of the property in a couple of weeks when I finish putting my tractor back together. Then I will be moving it to my other piece of property that needs cleaning up. I also hope to put out a garden here next year and the 135 will see some action on that.
What sort of tools, attachments, or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
I have a five foot brush cutter and five foot box scraper on this property. My other property has the above plus a one bottom plow and two row drag disc, boom pole, post hole digger, blade scraper, and fertilizer spreader. The brush cutter is probably the most valuable and useful piece, next would be the blade scraper and the box scraper. We have a driveway that gets washed out on occasion and those two pieces are really handy.
Tell us about your vehicles:
My wife loves Volkswagens and currently has a convertible. I just recently bought a new Honda Accord with all the goodies, but she drives it more than I do. I also have an old ‘94 S-10 that I just can’t let go off. It’s stingy on gas and I mostly use it to haul the garbage off with. And I have yet another automobile in the basement. It’s a project: a 1941 Studebaker Champion street rod.
Not to mention, I’m also a sucker for Mustangs. I can’t keep one very long. My first was back in 1970 and was a 1968 coupe. My next Stang was a 2000 Red GT convertible. My next was a restored 1966 GT coupe—nice ride and it won a few awards at Mustang shows. My last was a 2001 Cobra Mustang convertible: mineral grey; kind of like Massey Ferguson flint grey metallic. I took that Mustang to the National 40th Anniversary show.
What sort of modifications or customizations have you done to your tractor?
I converted the generator to an alternator and replaced all the gauges. The alternator has a tach drive made into it, so the truthmeter now works. I put a Petronix electronic ignition in the distributor. I exchanged the foam stock seat for a more modern spring ride. I’m going to customize the seat by changing the vinyl color to light grey and paint the back and base Massey Ferguson Red (it will look like a factory option). I’ve added waterproof switches to the dash for the headlights and plow light. I also added a red LED to indicate the switch is on, right above each switch. I’m basically giving my tractor a total makeover but adding modern components for reliability. I’m also getting new paint and sheet metal where needed.
Do you keep livestock?
We used to have Black Angus and since I moved, we had to sell them off. I hope to in the future start another herd and let my son care for them. We have some Scottish polled cattle and farmer leasing the land recently moved. He left one or two sheep for the grandkids to care for.
Do you have any pets?
We have one. Her name is Lexi. She is a miniature Dachshund. I call her the “red headed house queen”.
What do you like or dislike about the area you live in?
Although I live on a busy road, I have a lot of privacy. This area is zoned 6-10 acre tracks, so we have room to stretch our legs. The one thing I dislike is being 70 miles away from my kids.
What is the environment like in your area (terrain, vegetation, trees, etc)?
We have rolling hills on both properties and some rock areas. Where I currently reside we have mostly hard woods. Good soil. My other property is about the same, only I have an abundance of walnut and fruit trees. My 38 acre property has two ponds and about half is pasture and the other trees.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
My handle, “The Kid”, was given to me by my co-workers over 35 years ago. I’m retired and enjoying life one day at a time.