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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Well, I'm a little ashamed to tell this one, but maybe there will be some value to someone out there.

    It's amazing how fast I went from the illusion of being a clever tractor fellow to feeling like I had the the IQ of a presidential candidate. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img]

    I was basically putting my 'Bota through its paces, trying to clear and level some of the area around the house. There were a number of small trees left over from my dad's orchard which were pretty much dead and just getting in the way. I used them as guinea pigs for trying out some tractor tricks.

    Knocking them over with the bucket was too easy and a little boring, so I thought I'd try some of that forbidden chain-lifting with the loader. I started with some of the large wooden stakes that I couldn't quite pull out by hand. I looped a chain and slip-hook around them and secured the other end to one of the grab-hooks bolted to the top of my bucket. They slipped right out of the ground like a wet bar of soap -- cool. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif[/img]

    I then approached a small, mostly dead sapling just a couple of inches in diameter and hooked it up the same way. Since my bucket-mounted grab hooks are near the outer edges of the bucket, I had lined up the tractor so that the rightmost part of the bucket blade was almost touching the tree. After hooking up the chain, I casually sauntered over next to the loader control joystick where I could actuate the bucket and still have a good view of the sapling.

    My attention was focused on the tree while I applied the hydraulics. It was one of those disorienting experiences where I knew the cylinders were moving, but the tree wasn't! It still hadn't quite registered what was happening, but I let go of the joystick 'cuz something felt terribly wrong. And I was right!

    When I looked at the tractor I was standing next to I realized that the two left wheels were off the ground -- way off the ground! The whole dang thing was tipping towards me and had already exceeded that 15 degree safety margin I was usually so watchful of!

    I'm not sure which happened first -- my mad dash to safety or the soiling of my pants. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img]

    I'm sure if my heart rate was closer to normal I would have had the presence of mind to go for the camera while the tractor stood poised like a dog at a fire hydrant, but instead I slowly approached the machine once again (being careful no to startle it), and, while concentrating very hard on which way to push the joy stick, I gingerly lowered it back to the ground.

    Thankful that no one had seen this episode, I then re-aligned the tractor dead center on the tree, slid my bucket forks to sandwich it in, and then wrapped the chain around them. This time all went as planned and the tree came right up. I was amazed at how pitiful the root system was that nearly toppled my mighty 'L' (see attachment).

    I learned a number of lessons here, but I will ask one general question -- is it common practice to work the loader controls while standing next to the tractor? I find myself doing this quite a bit, but now I'm wondering if my IQ is still in question. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img]


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Yep, that's a violation of one of the most basic safety rules. It's also one of the most violated and one responsible for many accidents. It's also easy to sit an implement down on your foot or pinch off a finger with the 3ph lever or forget the PTO is running. On many tractors it's also possible to bump the tractor into gear and have it lurch or run off and take out what ever it hits. It's fortunate that some learning happened through a scare rather than an accident or equipment damage.

    That particular rule heads many safety don't's lists, and may be printed in some owner's manuals. Never the less it's something commonly done, but most commonly for the purpose of making adjustments. I'd guess that far fewer people attempt actual work from the side of a tractor, and I'm not one of them.



  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    160
    Location
    TEXAS, CROSBY
    Tractor
    CASE 580 BACHOE JOHN DEERE 920 AND 820 FARM-ALL CUB

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Another highly violated basic safety rule is operating the back-hoe from the ground. I know many of you have one, and I have an old 580 that typically when Iam greasing i operate it from the ground. But like yall said you should always do everything from the seat..


  4. #4
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,457
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Harv,
    Whew..glad your okay my friend !!

    One never knows when it comes to cutting down trees or removing them such as you did.

    My stupid tractor trick was last fall when I used my FEL to try and knock down a big wasp nest,and to my surprise there was somebody home [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] ouch ouch and I mean that!

    Thats how we learn from our lessons.

    Thomas..NH [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    271
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 5210, JD 521 Loader, JD MX6 Rotary Cutter, TufLine 6' Disk, TufLine 6' Grader Blade, TufLine 6' Box Blade

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Harv, I'm glad you got the situation under control before anything bad happened. It looks like you have learned a couple of valuable lessons. I have never operated the FEL without being on the tractor but I have pulled up fence posts with the chain attached to the corner of the bucket. One time I had a rear wheel come off the ground while doing this and I quickly learned to lift only from the center of the bucket, even if it takes more time to manuever to this position. I like the idea of using the forks the way you did. I wish I had some for my FEL. Continue to be careful.


  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,773
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Yep, Harv, I've been there and done that.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img] It can get exciting, can't it? I don't often operate the front end loader without being on the tractor and having whatever I'm lifting or pulling centered, but I drive steel stakes in the ground to mark the ends of the rows in the garden, and leave the stakes at one end all summer to serve as guides through which I can pull a garden hose for watering without dragging it over any of the plants. In the Fall, if the ground's dry, I have to use the front end loader to pull them, and I do it without getting on and off the tractor; I just operate that lever very gently.

    Bird

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    10,157
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks


    Harv, just so you don't feel to dumb, I'll share my own Stupid Tractor Trick.

    I was and I'm still trying to get this 24 inch diameter stump out of the ground. I dug a trench 2 feet deep all the way around the root ball which is about 5 feet in diameter. The backhoe can't even budge this thing. If I get the FEL under the ball, the FEL just sits there as does the stump. No movement at all. Nada, nothing, zilch. I mean not a spec of bone dry dust moves.

    So what do I do next besides heavier equipment or something that goes boom?

    I grab some chains, it acutally took two chains to hook the stump to the tractor. One change went around the stump, and it barely wrapped the stump. I think that was a 16 foot long chain. Then another chain went from stump to tractor.

    And here is what I did wrong. I had a box blade on the back of the tractor. To get the chain to the draw bar the easiest and fastest thing to do would be to reach under the box blade as it hung in the air. Hmmm, I DONT like that idea, seems like a real good way to lose and arm or part there off. Hmmm, ok, I'm not supposed to do this but lets just hook the chain around the top of the box blade that attaches to the 3PH top link.

    Do you see WHY this is a really bad idea? I did keep me from reaching UNDER a raised box blade but....

    So I make my attachments, lower the box blade so it is real close to the ground. I KNOW I'm not doing things QUITE right but lets give it a go. With the tractor in A range and first gear off we go. Well, Off being the front wheels trying to leave the ground. Thankfully, the box blade stopped my tractor movement, at least I had thought that far in advance. Nothing had moved expect the fore/aft shift of the tractor and my bowels. 8-)

    All this took a split second and as soon as I felt the tractor move in this very unnatural manner, throttles got moved to idle and gears put into neutral real, Real, REAL fast!

    8-)

    After my heart rate returned to somewhat normal I did what I should have done in the first place. With the box blade on the ground, I attached the chain to the drawbar and looped the rest of the chain away from the box blade. When the tractor move forward the chain pulled under the box blade.

    But the stump still did not move.... 8-( Nada, nothing, zilch. 8-)

    To remove the chain safely I just reversed the tractor until I had enough slack in the chain to move it to the side of the box blade. Then I could lower the implement and remove the chain safely.

    Hopefully this remind people to use the drawbar. I was trying to do the safe thing but end up doing a not safe thing. 8-) At least I realized what could happen and put the box blade into position to prevent anything bad from happening except another pair of Fruit Of the Looms being ruined! 8-)

    Hope this helps....
    Dan NotTopseyTurvey McCarty


  8. #8
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,161
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Dan, Iím certainly no expert, and am sure others here have vastly more experience than I, probably even you (having more experience than I) That disclaimer said and not knowing what kind of tree your trying to uproot, Iíve been doing similar on specifically pine and a few cedars. What I found at times, when digging the stump is I had do dig in vicinity of 6 feet down on two of them go finally get them out. It was my first attempt ever at digging a stump and I was using rented L-35 so my experience was as you said, zilch. I was amazed at how deep I had to dig and all the while the stump would either not budge or near the end, would wobble some from side to side. Finally, I accidentally got the hoe hooked on stump and was pulling straight UP as opposed to pushing/pulling sideways and just like a cork, the stump popped right out. (This was after timidly digging for 3 hours so I had quite a hole) Now that I better understand how far that tap root might go (and having Brutus), I just aggressively dig in and can usually get my stumps out in 15/20 minutes. For perspective, in my back yard, Iíve so far cut/pushed maybe 50 mature (tall) pine trees and a handful of cedar and dug up maybe 20 stumps of those trees. THANKFULLY after last nightís dropping (chainsaw) of 4 trees, I only have 5 more trees of immediate concern on my land. Then Iíll have a dozen or so on the border of uncle in laws land that could hit my house if they fell. After that, Iíll sleep soundly.


  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    10,157
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks


    The PineStump that is arguing with me does not appear to have a tap root. I look at root balls that have been uprooted during our previous Hurricanes/Storms to get an idea of what I'm dealing with. There is another pine root ball that came down in our big snow storm last year and it does NOT have a tap root. The PineStump That Argues has the same size stump and root ball. The depth of the root ball matches the one downed by the snow.

    I went through the area that was all pine and all of those trees seemed to have tap roots. Those trees are 1000 feet away from the one in question. I have lifted stumps with tap roots from the ground as you did. Its kinda neat! 8-)

    This stump really has 5 feet of roots that are about 2 feet deep. I have a trench about 3 feet deep all around the stump but "hooking" they backhoe to it does absolutely nothing. And I mean nothing. 8-(

    I got off the phone with a Explosives guy a bit ago and they don't do stumps. Only rocks. So I have more phone calls to make... The Arguing Stump is going to leave. Its just a question of how, time, money, and when! 8-)

    I have some oak stumps I'm finally going after this weekend, at least if the ground has dried out a bit. I'm hoping they will come out fairly easily since they have much shallower roots. I'm gonna find out one way or another! 8-)

    Later...
    Dan


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Stupid Tractor Tricks

    Dan -

    Thanks for sharing your story. It doesn't make me feel any less dumb, but it helps to know that others have had their moments. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

    BTW - I was advised to leave my drawbar off the tractor when I have a 3-pt implement attached. Can't remember the reason given. Have you noticed any problem?

    Ever since my little faux pas I keep the thinking of the axiom, "live and learn". It occurs to me now that it is crucial to achieve the former before you can benefit from the latter.


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