Member of the Month: Brandi Williams
Name: Brandi Williams
Location: Willis, Texas
How long have you been a member of TractorByNet.com?
I have been a member 7 years. I found TBN searching tractor forums while buying my second tractor.
What do you like best about TractorByNet.com?
The friendships that develops online that turn into group projects and eating together
Tell us about your tractors and equipment:
I currently own a 2007 Mahindra 6520 4WD with a 511 Backhoe. I have had tractors since 2004. My first tractor was a Ford 3055 that I sold when I bought the Mahindra. In terms of customizations, my Mahindra, the Big RED Beast, has a expanded metal bumper, along with a canopy. I have added forward and rear canopy lights, so I can dig later that sundown. For hot Texas summers, I added a thermometer under the front of the canopy. I also added a diverter valve, that I pieced together, to run my 6 foot grapple
My backhoe stays on the tractor over 99 percent of the time. I only remove it for brush hogging or discing. I have a Danuser Hydraulic Auger for the backhoe. It will fit on the front loader bucket, but I like it on the Backhoe. I also made a grader blade to fit the backhoe’s bucket. I use my tractor almost every day, mainly for digging in the dirt, but I find new uses for it all the time. Especially the backhoe.
My next purchase will be a mini excavator. I want to start doing more pond clean outs…or mucking out ponds. The mini excavator will be in the 7 to 8 ton class and I have been looking at Takeuchi, Bobcats, and Volvos. But I will buy used, so I haven’t ruled any brand out.
Do you have any advice for first-time tractor owners?
Figure out what size you need, then buy a tractor one size larger. You won’t regret it. Play with and on any tractor you might buy, to make sure it really fits you and your expectations.
Have you completed any major projects with your tractor?
I have built a 30 x 44 foot pole barn. My tractors helped alot. I have built two ponds here. One a small 11 foot deep pond near the house and a 150 x 50 foot pond with an island out past the driveway. It is 11 & 1/2 feet deep. I have fenced around the island pond and raise Mallard ducks there.
Tell us about your property:
Currently, I live on 5 acres. I have built two ponds on it and am in the process of fencing it in to keep my Austrian Heeler puppy at home.
Tell us about your vehicles (trucks, trailers, ATVs, etc.): I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 dually diesel. I drive it to work commuting across Houston. It pulls my 29 foot 10 ton dual tandem gooseneck trailer, which is too small already.
Tell us about your family:
I have a son, Luke, and daughter, Rebecca. Rebecca has a 17 month old toddler named Chloe. I call her my Pumpkin Doodle. Luke lives with me and Rebecca and Chloe live just east of Austin in Manor, Texas.
Do you have any pets?
Inside I have two ferrets and my son has a cat. Last June I had Booger, my tractor companion of 14 years put down. Last October, I adopted my Austrian Heeler. I named her Belle, and call her Cow Belle. She is 9 months old now.
Do you keep livestock?
I’ll get a couple of calves once I finish fencing. Hopefully, I will get another horse. My brother and I were raised with 4 horses, so I miss them. Last year I started raising Mallard ducks.
What’s the weather like in your area?
I live an hour north of Houston, so it is usually muggy with humidity. Right now it is cold and no humidity, which I like very much.
What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
The biggest crop around here, like the rest of East Texas, is pine lumber. We have yellow pine everywhere.
What do you like or dislike about the area you live in?
The high humidity. I want to retire around the Giddings, Paige, Lexington Texas area.
Have you or any of your family members served in the military?
My son was on the USS Ingraham, a guided missile frigate. His ship was on the way to the Persian Gulf on 911. Once there, they mostly inspected foreign ships in the Gulf and shooting mines with M14s. Dad was a 2nd Lieutenant in World War II and flew B-17s and B-24s. He is why I got into aviation.
Do you have any specific skills or trade?
Hehehe. I am an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. My specialty is sheetmetal. I used to rebuild wrecked helicopters, which I loved.
What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I used to play summer baseball and played Alto and Baritone Saxophone in High School marching band. I was Lone Star (state) Farmer in Future Farmers of America (FFA) and in the National Who’s Who of American High School students in high school.
My projects are my hobbies and interests. It isn’t work to me, but therapy. Especially on the Big RED Beast.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your pond builds, and fell inspired to build a small pond and stream project on my 7.5 acre plot in east central Alberta, Canada.
Congrats on all your accomplishments!
Great job on the pond! Girl you’ve got a beautiful place, truly enjoyed reading your life story & pictures!!