This month we interviewed Tom Kappeler about his tractor, family, lifestyle, and more. Tom is building a home in New Jersey with his new TYM T293!
Your Name: Tom Kappeler; a.k.a. tkappeler
Post Count: 358 (#1,541 of all-time)
Location: Hainesport, NJ; 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia
How long have you been a member of TractorByNet.com?
I joined in the June-July 2012 time frame. I found the site while trying to become an educated consumer while looking for our first tractor. My fiancé (now wife) and I purchased some acres and quickly found out that we had to work smarter, not harder, and a tractor was absolutely necessary.
What do you like best about TractorByNet.com?
This is easy, but it’s not a single thing. I love the willingness of the membership to help others, especially newbies, with patience and without any sense of condescension.
I love the resourcefulness of the members and seeing some great ideas on how to overcome problems.
I love seeing the home made fabrications and have learned a lot in a short period of time yet still know I am only scratching the surface compared to the depth of knowledge of the other members. I also like the insight and opinions that helped us to pick our first tractor.
What type of tractors do you own?
We own a TYM T293. We purchased it in August of 2012 and already have 100 hours on it. The work we have been able to tackle with it on our property has already paid for itself compared to hiring out the work.
How long have you owned or operated tractors?
We are really newbies in this area. We have only bought our first one in August of this past year.
What do you enjoy most about tractors?
The ability to become more self-reliant and tackle larger projects.
How often do you use your tractor?
It varies as we enter different phases of construction of the new house. During the initial site preparation, it was daily, now it is down to once every other week or so.
Tell us about your property:
We own 3.5 acres in south-central New Jersey. This is a tiny amount for some of you, but it’s hard to come by much over an acre in this crowded state. We are in the process of building our new home on it. Like I have seen done by others on TractorByNet, we have created a thread, “New Home Begins”, that shows the progress of the site work, demolition of the old abandoned home and beginnings of the new one.
Do you have any pets?
We have inherited a three year old female Australian Shepard named Holly from my wife’s son. She is a fantastic farm dog—very smart and obedient. We also have two indoor cats as a result of combining families.
What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
Not too many yet. I have only made ballast barrel from ideas on TractorByNet and added LED floodlights to the ROPS to help with the shorter winter nights.
What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
We only have a set of pallet forks along with the 56” bucket. While not a grapple, it has been very helpful in moving brush nonetheless.
What do you like or dislike about the area you live in?
This is easy: taxes. We have the distinction of having the highest real estate taxes in the country.
What sort of terrain is common in your area?
It’s southern New Jersey, which means flat. We are 60 miles from the ocean, 15 miles to the Delaware river and still only 33’ above sea level.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I am a computer consultant and my wife is a seventh grade science teacher. We were married right before Christmas and now begin a new chapter in our lives by building our home together. Woodworking and furniture making is a hobby that I find very calming and relaxing. I am looking forward to re-learning welding and have many projects planned after the home is complete.
We plan on tackling a lot of the construction of the home ourselves, even acting as the General Contractor. We have been incredibly blessed to be where we are and surrounded with great family and friends and this extends to the TractorByNet family as well.