Member of the Month: Timber
Name: My name is (Charles H. Alexander 111) I have two internet names: Timber as I am known here and Kursac. My employees and friends usually call me Charlie, Chuck, or Chuckles.
Post Count: 1,618 (#268 of all-time)
Location: I live in the North Eastern corner of the United States (New England) in a country town called East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a nice setting here, very rural but close enough to civilization to keep life convenient. I am able to enjoy my privacy & seclusion that I desire at times, but still have quick access to medical facilities, supply outlets, and friends.
This was once a farming community and still is in many ways, but like everywhere these days, it is a shadow of what it once was. Although there are plenty of tractors around and it is not uncommon at all to see them on the main roads pulling a harvest wagon. We have plenty of feed stores and tach shops. It is always a pleasure when the season comes around and all the baby chicks and ducklings are on display at the feed stores.
How long have you been a member of TractorByNet.com?
I’m not sure how long I was a lurker here at TBN before I joined in July of 2006 when I was getting ready to purchase my tractor. I found TBN, as I think as most people have, by researching my tractor purchase. In fact TBN is directly responsible for altering my decision on what tractor I did purchase.
I was originally looking at a subcompact tractors and realized, through conversations with other members in the forums, I would be better off purchasing a different model. I had plans for horses and many projects (which I have now completed) and more property that would have been more of a challenge for a smaller tractor.
What do you like best about TractorByNet.com?
Well I guess it has to be the people! It is the members that make TBN such a great resource. I find the collective knowledge of the members and the overwhelming willingness to help is what makes TBN such a wonderful place.
Here’s an example of that generosity: One day I started a new thread mentioning a project I was thinking of doing, and next thing I know I have a PM from another member stating he had a major component for the project sitting by his barn and it was mine if I wanted it. He wouldn’t hear about taking a penny for it and was just happy he could help.
What type of tractor do you own?
I have a 2006 Kubota B7800. It’s my primary piece of equipment. I also have a CubCadet LT1050 as a primary lawn cutter. I also have a snow cab for this tractor and a 42″ front mount snow thrower.
How long have you owned or operated tractors?
I have owned my own tractors since 2005 and purchased the B7800 in 2006. My Dad is a farmer by trade & we lived on a small farm when I was very young till I was about 12. I remember holding the steering wheel in the cow pastures while my dad and the farm hands pulled cut corn stalks off the back of the wagon and pickups to feed the Brown Swiss cows. Later my Dad bought a small homestead and we had a tractor that was made out of a 1928 milk truck. I believe he still has it. Most of you know that these were affectionately known a Doodle Bugs. This was our primary tractor ’till I left home.
What do you enjoy most about tractors?
Well they are a lot of fun for one. I had all those Tonka trucks when I was a child and I believe we are all just children that get old. But to answer as an adult I guess it has to be the ability to do projects that could not be accomplished without it. My tractor really did open up my world to doing things I didn’t even consider doing before I purchased it. It has also been a great time saver on other projects that would otherwise take days to accomplish.
How often do you use your tractor?
It really depends on what my itinerary is. I have had it sit in my barn for weeks at a time and then I have had projects when I used it every day for months. I have many projects going all the time, I have been building a water garden for a couple of years now and I work on it for a couple of weeks and then leave it to do other things for months. I tend to go from project to project and that determines how often I use my tractor.
Tell us about your property.
In 2005 we sold all our properties and bought this small 6 acre horse farm. I guess it really doesn’t count as a farm but more of a homestead. It is in a nice secluded spot off the beaten path. The house is set back off the road and has about an acre of lawn and paved drive in the front yard.
Behind the house I have another acre of land fenced in with oak corral fence that is then covered with black mini mesh. I did the fencing this way to cover the law for the in ground pool and water garden and keep the ranch style theme of the property. There is a large paddock in front of the stable that is included into this fenced area. Off the back of the house is a 16 x 52 foot deck with a full pergola that goes down to the patio around the in ground pool.
Behind the barn there is about 3 acres of wood that leads into about 167 acres of wooded conservation land. The house has an attached 2-car garage and I recently added a 10 x 24 foot shed to the driveway turnout. The barn is a 40 x 40 structure that contains 3 stables, a tack room, a grain room, and a large open area in front of the stalls. I also have a large pool house under construction. We also have a small piece of pasture off to 1 side.
Tell us about your vehicles (trucks, trailers, ATVs, etc.):
We have a 2003 Z71 Extended cab. We don’t use it very much. I think it has about 56,000 miles on it since we bought it. It’s great for bringing the dogs to the vet because the way the back seat is configured. I use it for all the heavy work when you need a V8.
I drive a 2006 VW Beetle convertible that I traded my ’06 Chevy 4×4 in for. I love this car but then I was a big air-cooled guy anyway. I built several dune buggies, baja’s & sand rails over the years when I was younger. Some people don’t get it, but it is a fun car to drive and pretty good on gas.
I also have a 1986 E150 high top conversion van that is my camper. I tripped over it for sale on the side of the road for very short money. It was incredibly solid for a Ford here in New England. It came from Florida & had low mileage because it is a camper. This is my current toy & restoration project. It is a driver though and I use it when ever I get a chance. I am fortunate that I have a warehouse I can keep it in during the winter months. Some times you just miss the sound of that throaty V8 of yesterday.
Do you have any pets?
We have two Dobermans, Charlie Brown is a 105 lb. male Blue Doberman & Gingersnap is a 90 lb. female Fawn Doberman. They are brother and sister 1 litter apart. Charlie Brown is enormous for a Doberman, even at 7 years old he is still very lean. He is a big goofy dog that is afraid of everything, he has no idea why anyone is afraid of him.
Gingersnap on the other hand is far more aggressive. She is the one that considers everyone an intruder until she decides your not. She has also been a very expensive dog to own, she tore one of her legs up pretty good at 4 years old. She is a great dog though.
I miss my horses Dakota & Lacey dearly, I don’t miss the flies but I have never been the same since they left. I will never replace them but I regret the day I let them go.
What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
I haven’t done much really. I have never removed the loader from it & don’t see a reason to for my needs. I installed an ATI grapple on the bucket and a diverter valve on the joystick. I would like to put a set of rear remotes and a top & tilt at some point. I had a tooth bar installed when I bought it. I need to replace the turnbuckles on the 3-point hitch with the better designed ones used on the 3030. I will say that adding a Tach-All to the 3-point hitch did improve that situation. It all comes down to priorities I guess, when I need them is when they will get done.
What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
The loader and grapple along with the bucket forks are used the most. The forks are always either on or in the bucket. I am in the trucking industry so forklifts are part of my everyday life. It’s a mind set!
I guess my PHD is my favorite implement of all and also the first one I bought. I know most people hate them but when you dug as many vertical holes in the earth as I have in rock infested Massachusetts you have a greater understanding of how to use it. The list of implements I have is forever growing. For the money, I have to say the box blade & man lift are about the most useful implements. I use my 72″ rake for grading my arena & the gravel along my rail service. I have a brush cutter that gets a lot of use. I modified an engine crane to fit on my 3-point hitch. In the winter I mount a 6′ plow into the bucket for snow removal.
What do you mainly use your tractor for?
Well it depends on the season, during the winter months I mount the snow plow in the bucket and put the ballast drum on till the last snow. The rest of the year I use it for keeping vegetation under control, keeping my arena level, laying fence, cutting a pruning trees back. I use it at work on occasion to maintain about 3/4 mile of rail side. I have used my PHD for laying fence, making dry wells for drainage, making footings for decks and out buildings. Setting anchors for shelter logic buildings. Just about anything
What do you like or dislike about the area you live in?
I love the seclusion of my home and all the wood. I leave for work in the early morning & many times I open the front door to a yard full of deer or the sound of a pack howling coyote with a fresh kill. I love to see the hawk that resides in my tree line when I have my coffee on a Sunday morning.
I have an endless parade of colored finches constantly filling the air with playful song and bluebirds that make sport out of teasing the dogs. The spring is full of nesting barn swallows & chicks sitting in the rafters. We have squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies running around. We also have wild turkeys year round about 40 strong strutting around fighting with their reflection in the truck’s bumper and flying into the trees testing the integrity of the limbs. And the evil fisher cat is forever on the prowl.
I am a solitary man and take great pleasure in the nature that surrounds me. I am not unsocial but when the work day ends, I prefer to retreat from the business of men. I keep few friends and extend every kindness to the people around me and those I encounter on the road. I love everything about my home and the town I reside in. My neighbors or more than kind and town government has always been very helpful with all my projects. I am content.
What sort of terrain is common in your area?
My home and the immediate area is low land and close to the water table. It is nice on one hand because the grass grows green and healthy but I do have to deal with a wet muddy spring. The ground is full of stone and digging can be a chore. Granite is in large abundance all over. I myself am in low land but the area is covered in glacial hills and mountains on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other.
The ocean is cold within the cape and north where the shell fish and lobster are sweet. On the south coast facing NY the water is warm and the waves are tall and fun but the undertow is strong and the Great Whites chase the seals in close to shore. There is no place in the world I would rather live. The winter is short and around 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it rarely drops below zero but it does happen. The spring is wet and the summer is warm usually 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it does break 100 a few times a season and the air is humid. The fall makes it all worth while & clearly the best season of the year. The earth is challenging to dig but the soil is black and fertile and gives life to any seed that falls upon it.
What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
I think Pine trees are the most plentiful but we have plenty of Oak, Maple, Birch, Cherry, Cedar. We have plenty of fruit trees, apple trees of every kind and pear trees in every variety. The Weeping Willows are some of the most beautiful trees around.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I guess the most significant thing that most don’t know about me in my life is that as a very young boy in the summer of my 11th year, I was run over by a 1966 Chevy Impala. I went underneath the car on impact & suffered major head trauma that involved brain damage, scull fracture, and a synthetic plate that is part of my scull today. I guess it changed my life after that, the brain has an amazing ability to repair itself in the young.
I was into body building for many years and built off-road dune buggies & Baja Bugs. I am also the unlikely New England division manager of our company. I hold a Class A license & can drive just about anything with wheels. I am also a long distance bicycle rider and spend most of the year commuting to work by bicycle 23 miles each way.