Member of the Month: Jay Stewart
Name: Jay Stewart “jayste”
Posts: 1,286 (#267 of all-time)
Location: Seminole County, Oklahoma
How long have you been a member of TractorByNet.com? I’ve been a member since Feb. 2008. I found TBN by doing a search for Kubota tractor information. Like others I “lurked” for a while and then felt the draw to join. I will usually come to TBN first for technical information on a lot of things. I think it’s unique that you can get technical information, recipes and get things like “having a bad day” off your mind all within the same site and even the same session.
What do you like best about TractorByNet.com?
Camaraderie—this is a site where salt of the earth folks share their knowledge, personal experiences, hardships and accomplishments with the ease of a group of folks, standing around a campfire, just “lettin’ it fly”; Knowledge, family, work, personal hardships, joys and “life”.
What type of tractors do you own?
I own a 2004 Kubota M4800 S/U (that’s special use, not sport utility!). It’s a good tractor, but is limited by not having an FEL (that’s front-end loader for you new guys. I’m only saying because I once wondered what all this tractor speak was), 4WD, auxiliary hydraulics and having no weight add-on’s yet.
How long have you owned or operated tractors?
This is my first tractor to own. I first operated one when I had a “room and board” job when I was 13 yrs old. Wow! That was 34 years ago, now that I think about it. I believe it was a late 60’s model David Brown. I really thought I was wading around in tall cotton driving that thing.
Several things I learned that summer about tractors and life: it’ s a big responsibility, always keep fuel in a tractor, grease everything daily (while using daily), implements (hay rake) protrude out further than the tractor and won’t knock trees down, speed is not everything, umbrella’s are not always for sissy’s, brakes are needed to keep you out of deep creeks and when you get hot enough, you’ll strip down to your underwear and jump in one of the ponds!
What do you enjoy most about tractors?
I enjoy what a tractor can accomplish. With a wide variety of attachments you can accomplish a lot of tasks. My tractor is a little limited but I usually figure a way around that. Some of that has been learned right here on TBN.
How often do you use your tractor?
It’s a little hard to figure. It depends on the weather and time of year. I may use it quite often in the spring and summer and then not much late summer into early fall. Wintertime I’ll use it for feeding some. So lets average this out to using it every 10-12 days.
Tell us about your property:
Our “home ranch” is 10 acres. We’ve been here since 1997 after we moved back from spending one year in Florida. We bought our land from my wife’s family and had to develop it.
Actually my wife “homesteaded” it while I was out on the road driving a truck. She managed to buy, and have delivered our mobile home, have our well drilled and installed, and have our septic system installed. She did all this while working 40 hrs a week and corralling 3 young teens. Trust me she’ll make a hand when duty calls.
I came in off the road and we went to work finishing it out with a driveway, perimeter fencing and cross fencing and built a well house. Our original plan was to get the kids raised and move our mobile home off to a lake lot and build us a house here on the place, but so far the latter two hasn’t happened. Things change and we’ve managed to buy out the families’ remainder of the 40 acres instead. So presently we own 40 acres, sectioned off into 4 pastures, with 2 houses, 2 barns, a shop building, two well houses and four ponds. Oh! Did I mention we also have two yards. We want to turn one of them back to pasture but can’t decide which one. We like the other yard but prefer to live in our house!
Tell us about your vehicles (trucks, trailers, ATVs, etc.):
We have a handful of vehicles. Our truck is a 1999 Ford F250 Superduty with 7.3 PSD. I had a 2003 F350, Superduty, DRW, 6.0l PSD, 4WD, flatbed but sold it a few weeks ago. We pull a 20’ GR gooseneck stock trailer with the F250 as well as a 16’ utility trailer. We have 2 economy cars to drive back and forth in because civilization from here is at least 25 miles! Other trailers consist of a smaller 5’X8’ utility trailer and a 4’X7’ utility trailer that I built for pulling behind the 4 wheeler. The ATV is 1994 Yamaha Timberwolf that I won in 1994. (BTW, free ain’t free when the gift tax cost me $1000 in tax return that year!) Our other “ATV” is a 1995 EZGO golf cart. It’s electric and quiet.
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them:
Pets? Ha! We’re “pet poor”! Where do I start? Ruger is a 15 yr. old, male, buff colored Cocker Spaniel, Remington is an 11 yr. old, male, wild boar colored miniature Dachshund and Reesie is a 10 yr. old, female, chocolate and tan dapple colored miniature Dachshund. Those are the inside mutts. Our outside pets consist of 2-4 yr. old, Border Collie/Blue Heeler/Aussie Shepherd mix females that answer to Bandy and Allie, a 4 yr. old white cat that answers (or doesn’t – you know cats) to “white cat” and a vagabond, less than 5 yr. old, male, big-headed, Beagle. He goes by the name of Shorty and gets fed at every stop he makes here in the mile section. Nobody owns Shorty but we all look out for him.
What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
I haven’t modified my tractor too much. I’ve added a rear work light, a side box to carry my chains in and a tool box that nestles behind the seat. I’ve got a canopy in mind for my next project but haven’t settled on which direction to go. I’d like to use a golf cart canopy and build my frame for it but I haven’t been successful in finding that “right” canopy.
What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
I only own a few implements. A 5’ KK brush hog, an 8’ disc, seed and fertilizer broadcast spreader and misc. attachments I’ve built for it. Probably my next purchase will be a 6’ box blade. I’ve managed without one but it’s not been easy. I did have use of a 7’ blade at one time but that since went away. I’ve built a forklift attachment for my 3PH and have now included a receiver hitch as well as a gooseneck ball on top. I’ve fabricated several tools or attachments for the receiver hitch and plan on a “cherry picker” attachment to allow the forks to slide into and use. I have a driveway “maintainer” in the building stage but need to acquire a couple of blades for it to finish it. I also have built a bale spike for the 3PH as well.
What do you mainly use your tractor for?
My main uses for the tractor and implements are for mowing, dirt and pasture working, feeding livestock and general farm/ranch use.
Do you maintain crops? For hobby or agricultural purpose? Which crops?
I don’t maintain crops, but do manage grass in 4 pastures. I rotate my animals between the pastures and try to maintain the quality of the pasture through rotational grazing, spraying, mowing and fertilizing. I’ve considered buying equipment to put up hay with but haven’t jumped into it yet.
Do you keep livestock?
Our livestock consist of 5 horses. We try not to spoil them too much. They’re “using” horses so they get “used” at times. We don’t show or have a breeding program so they just get rode. Oldest to youngest is a 15 y/o, black and white, grade paint mare, 12 y/o, sorrel and white, APHA paint mare, 10 y/o, palomino and white, APHA paint gelding, 7 y/o, sorrel and white, grade paint gelding and a 5 y/o, dark buckskin, AQHA quarter horse mare. All are broke to ride. Some good, some not so good. We trail ride and out-ride in wagon trains. We don’t compete or show our horses. Some know a little about working a cow but don’t have to usually. We’ve come close to downsizing our horse herd and buying a few cows but haven’t yet. We’ve considered enhancing our 401k investment with “401kow” but haven’t jumped off the plank yet!
What do you like/dislike about the area you live in?
We really like the area we live. Unfortunately, it is 30 miles from our place of employment and at least 15 miles from most anything. Our mail comes from the next county over and our local phone service (when we had it) is out of a community that we seldom frequent and is about 8 miles away. Either way you travel to our house it’s 5 miles of county/gravel road one way and 6 miles another. Having said all that it’s still home. Lots of stars on a clear night and you can hear a pin drop on a lot of nights here. “Ssshhh! You hear that?” “No,” “That’s what I’m talking about!”
What sort of terrain is common in your area?
We’re nestled a little East of the middle of the state and pretty much in the middle North and South. They call this area the “cross timbers”. Years ago travelers didn’t like coming through here because of the thick scrub Oaks and rocky terrain. We have some clay and sandy loam mix soil along with Oak, Blackjack, Elm, Cottonwood, Hickory & Pecan trees. Oops! Did I say Blackjack? Sorry didn’t mean to curse! Ha! There’s a few things that the cross timbers will grow and that’s Blackjack Oak trees, sand rock and ticks! In between you’ll find some pretty good graze.
What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
Fruit trees do pretty well here and we have our usual persimmon and berries. Blackberry grows well as Briar! Native grasses as well as Bermuda do well.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
Well, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from OSHK. Oh! For those that don’t know that’s Oklahoma School of Hard Knocks! Ha! No, I’ve got a few hours of schoolin’, more of it in the trades. Welding and machining are my trades and not in that order anymore. I’ve managed to obtain about half of a degree with loads of OJT (on the job training). Anyway, I work now as a programmer for CNC machine tools. In the middle of all this I’ve managed to obtain my CDL and drive a truck cross country for a while as well as work a year in the garage door business. I’m blushing while typing this so don’t think it’s a brag. But I graduated top honors in high school…..in welding! They gave me the “Welder of the Year” award. Anyway, I didn’t get to fulfill one of my childhood goals: Serving in the military. A little thing in my physical kept me out, but I’ve often stood behind and would stand beside, if asked, those who have served. God bless America and her veterans!