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  1. #1
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    217
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    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
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    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    No, not THAT first time... Just wanted to get your attention.

    I just took my tractor out yesterday for my first attempt at actually using the thing, and my first extended time operating it on my hilly, bumpy land. I've never driven a tractor in my life, other that about 10 min. when I got this one.

    Yow, what a learning experience! Dumb stunt no. 1, like about everyone does at first, and I knew it, (thanks to you guys), and did it anyway - it's bogging going up the hill, so what do I do? Hit the "gas", which of course isn't the gas, but the treadle, and boom, dead stall. So dear, disgusted wife (see siggie, and hereafter known as DDW) comes home from shopping to see the extension chord down over the driveway and the hood up on the tractor and figures I've screwed it all up. No just a low battery, I'd already used the one start it had in it - especially when I tried to re-start it with the lights on! (dumb stunt no. 2). Finished felling a tree whilst the battery gathered electrons, and I'm on my way again.

    And what a way! I had no idea my land was that rough! And I can't figure out if my "pucker factor" is calibrated correctly. My brother-in-law (BIL) was working with me and said I had one wheel off the ground at one point and I didn't know it. I had a dip to cross that about made me soil myself the first time, but after the tractor didn't tip that seemed better. Had to ease it down over fairly steep banks, kept it parallel to the grade so it didn't feel tipsy at all, but I was leaning back in that seat and creeping it, I'll tell you.

    From the trees I'd felled we hauled up 3 bucketfuls of wood (small, scrubby trees). Keep the bucket low, Tom, keep it low... until I can't move as I back it up my tractor path - yup, dumb stunt #3, I bridged it, now I have a big bucket drag mark on my nice grassy lane. Going back down, my BIL said I dang near clipped my ROPS on a low branch - there's a lot to keep in mind! This is definitely NOT your father's Oldsmobile!

    Going down for the third bucketful I must've went into a rut from the first two trips because it lurched enough to really scare me, not soil yourself scare but heart attack scare. Whew! Got my confidence back and decided to try pushing a couple of stumps out. #1 was small and came out fine. #2 wasn't budging, though I think if I'd had time I could have come at it from a better angle. #3 was from a tree I'd just dropped, but the tap root was still ubnderneath it, it came right out.

    Going back up with the 3rd bucketful, after three or 4 attempts to get up the rutted part (Low, diff lock, all that), I gave up. Boy, can those R4's move some dirt! So I backed'er down, got'er turned around and had to take the full bucket down a steep bank. I didn't want to go that way because I'd heard about small stumps of bushes and trees puncturing tires, and DDW would be very upset about an expense like that! But I got it done, roaded it back up to my grassy lane, backed it up the tractor path (lifting the bucket this time...), and got it garaged again just as darkness fell - at which time BIL had to remind me to...guess...(drum roll)...LOWER MY ROPS! Glory, what a dolt I was! So I got off on a pretty flat part of the drive, the thing starts drifting (very slowly), I didn't see it so BIL points that out again! Jump back on, thought I set the parking brake, BIL points out it's drifting again! Am I up to dumb stunt #6, I've lost count!

    Exciting, exhilerating, scary, fantastic! Everthing a first time should be, and both I and the machine are dent free! Whew! I'll be taking it even easier the next time out. I'm still getting the pitter-patter just typing this!

    Anybody else have any memories of their first time they'd like to share?
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  2. #2
    Gold Member Dyer, retired's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    470
    Location
    Belgrade, Maine
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1800 and 2010 B3030

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TomOfTarsus
    Anybody else have any memories of their first time they'd like to share?
    TomOfTarsus,

    Sounds to me like you did everything right...you got all the scary stuff out of the way on the first day out! Contrary to my first tractor experience (BX1800) you didn't break anything the first outing. I don't think the delivery truck had made it out of my driveway before I backed into my fence and broke out one of the amber lenses on the 4 way flashers. I had to wait for nearly two weeks for the dealer to get a new assembly in, so I had super glued the lens back together and diverted visitors from looking in that area of the new tractor, so I wouldn't have to explain why I broke my tractor in 4 minutes of ownership.

    I went to work after my first day of snowblowing and told one of the guys (who has owned tractors his entire life) I worked with that I wasn't as happy with the snowblower as I thought I'd be, because I was constantly adjusting the level and digging up my dirt driveway, but that I hoped when the ground froze up a little more it would be better. He asked, "You've got the blower in float mode don't you?" My response was, "What's that." Amazing how much better that thing worked when the operator knew what he was doing!

    You'll have lots of fun playing with your new tractor and learning how much work those things can do, beyond what you thought when you bought it. Good luck, have fun, stay safe, and keep us up to date on your progress. Dyer, retired

  3. #3
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    217
    Location
    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
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    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    Dyer,

    Probably the only reason I didn't break anything was my brother-in-law pointing out that I still had the ROPS up as I was backing into the garage! Thanks, I hope we get more entertaining reminscing here! And I'd have done the same thing as you about float mode, were it not for extensive reading here on TBN!
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    342
    Location
    North Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 5203

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    It's been long enough that I don't remember my first time. It was a good read and good that you can keep your sense of humor. Now that you have all of the jitters out of your system, you can just sit back and enjoy the tractor seat experience. Hopefully remembering everthing and not needing your brother-in-law's advice. Soon your wife's expressions will change to awe.

  5. #5
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    217
    Location
    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
    Tractor
    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    Who says I have all the jitters out of my system? I'm still jittery just thinking about it! And I haven't even been up on the hill yet!

    Thanks. Bring'em on, guys!
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    116
    Location
    Horry County,SC
    Tractor
    140 Farmall w/belly mower NH 1925 FEL/BH

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    I am certainly not an expert/ but take it easy- take on small jobs first
    work your confidence and ability up together/
    A lower gear and higher RPM may be helpful.
    LoopHole says- Got a tax problem ? Buy a tractor !

  7. #7
    Platinum Member PitbullMidwest's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    948
    Location
    SE Iowa
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota L2900GST

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    My first time was a little different than yours.

    After my wife and I bought our property, my FIL taught me to brush cut with his 8n. With all the confidence a city kid could muster I climbed on and made my first trip along our tree line. I heard the mower hit something and turned around expecting to see a log, instead I saw the remains of a spotted fawn . I'd driven right over him in the tall grass, didn't even see him.

    I'm always careful while brush cutting but it seems like the first time I mow each spring I'm just a little more cautious.
    Curt
    "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God" - Luke 9:62

  8. #8
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    6,825
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    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    First time for anything can be pretty overwhelming at times. Especially with a tool as powerful (and dangerous) as a tractor. Looks like you survived to tractor another day.
    Good job.

    I heard the mower hit something and turned around expecting to see a log, instead I saw the remains of a spotted fawn
    Now that first time would be unforgettable. Jeez, what did you do? It must have been horrible.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  9. #9
    Silver Member Megado's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    108
    Location
    Burton, TX
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40A

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    My first time experience consisted of knocking the foundation blocks out from under the corner of our house! Yikes!

    After spending the first day mowing open pastures I figured I'd gotten the hang of it and decided to mow up around the house. Major rookie mistake! So there I am running along being very careful as I make my first pass up next to the house when I suddenly feel a jolt and look back to see the concrete blocks from a corner of the house scattered along the ground. What I hadn't taken into account was that the mower was offset to that side of the tractor and thus it hooked the blocks. The worst part of the whole ordeal was the look on the Mrs face as she came flying out of the house wondering what the **** I'd done! Needless to say the rest of that afternoon was spent getting the hydraulic jack out to lift up that side of the house and reset the blocks. We later put a split-rail yard fence up which my wife says was more to keep the dang tractor away from the house instead of the cows!

    Jim H.

  10. #10
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    4,523
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    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R

    Default Re: Memories of your first time... a pleasure reading thread

    My first time was on a big tractor when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I progressed to running a 2 disc plow and then a multi disc and harrow. Didn't have a loader in those days, and I didn't hook or unhook the equipment.

    When I first got my Gravely, I headed off down a little trail through my woods behind the house. I ended up IN the woods and had a heck of a time getting it back out. Decided the thing (12 hp; the 8s were probably okay without) needed steering brakes. Got those and eventually ended up with dual wheels in an attempt to make it usable on these hills.

    The little 4wd JD was a BIG improvement, but two of my carriage house doors bear scars before I learned NOT to maneuver the FEL while within or near the doorways.

    Also learned to give the PTO a tug to and fro to make sure it snapped into place. Had it come off and come apart while running the brush hog because I didn't have it secured.

    I've also learned the value of parking implements on something (like pieces of wood or dollies) to allow them to be moved. First I dropped the brush hog and took it off, I had a terrible time getting it off and then back on with it just sitting on the ground.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

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