Member of the Month: Artisan

Artisan holding his pet tortoise.

Your Name: Artisan. My Webster’s, 1929, 3-volume Dictionary set, defines Artisan as a highly skilled or trained mechanic. Works for me!

Location: Currently Monrovia, California; Originally Massachusetts.

Post Count: 1,731 (#269 of all-time)

How long have you been a member of
Shortly after deciding on a tractor a year ago or so I went looking for like-minded folks online, a forum, to pick their brains and learn all I can about this little beast I just bought. I did my tractor buying research before finding TBN and what a relief it was in finding out that the BX25 is indeed a real winner in the eyes of many a soul in this forum!

A quick search, and I was quickly led to TBN. It only took me a few minutes to realize I had found a real honey hole of quality, like-minded individuals who I felt cared as much as I do about things and were real people and not a bunch of fraudsters, and sign up I did! I have enjoyed this forum tremendously and I am sure I will continue to do so for a long time to come. The knowledge within these walls is second to none.

What do you like best about
Without a doubt the BEST part of TBN is its members. You will be VERY hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable, giving bunch. Folks that see it is okay to help another man and do so without demand of payment; most all paying it forward.  You can give a man a meal, if you teach a man to plow he will never be hungry ever again.

Additionally TBN has a plethora of information that one can harvest from the site, both in archives and in real time. It is an anomaly that a forum such as this has so many guys, and gals that are ready, willing, and able to reply to a man’s questions with such quality input. When I first joined this forum, I believe one member suggested to, “Pay it forward”. Well, indeed this is a great way to think and I try very hard to do just that.

His JD L110.

What type of tractor do you own?
I roll with a BX25, although now it has been modified heavily. Additionally, a little JD L110 Automatic pulls my log splitter and mows as well. My split logs conveyor is basically done, less strapping my generator to it and powder coating it.

What do you enjoy most about tractors?
The very best part of tractoring is turning that key, it matters not what the task is, firing off that little Pit Bull is a real joy no matter the task.

How long have you owned or operated tractors?
I am relatively new to tractors but I have commanded many a machine in my life, including airplanes. Yep, I was certified solo at John Wayne Airport many years ago, the 727s used to wait for me and I would likewise, land 19er L with an East Jamboree departure out to the Indian war grounds (I was usually in a PA-28-161/Warrior) but I do have King and Queen Air left seat time logged. What a thrill all that was… oh, the old days. Then I found my one and only wife, and all that stopped.

How often do you use your tractor?
I do not use my tractor often enough, but somehow, the wife and I will be leaving California for the Pacific Northwest eventually (hopefully more sooner than later). Anyone have property for sale up there and want a good neighbor?

There is nothing wrong with arriving prepared but primarily I purchased it for future business use. I am a plumbing contractor and a small unit such as this is absolutely perfect for sewer repairs, water services, and other chores around the house, the commercial building, or on the farm. The uses for this tractor are huge. I wish I had bought one decades ago.

Front receiver.

What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
Oh boy, my modifications? Where to start? Well, on the TBN website, here are just a few links to some of my threads, regarding my upgrades to my tractor, and a couple YouTube video links as well for good measure:

BX Goodies

Grapple Omatic

BX25 Overhead Console Radio

BX25 Grapple w/Fasse

BX25 Mixes Cement

What sort of tools, attachments, or equipment do you use with your tractor?
I have acquired a few implements for my BX25 in the first year of ownership. First was an older BearCat Chipper/Shredder, I believe it is a #554. I found it priced right but rusted up, I rebuild the shredder blades via full replacement and new chipper blades and rattle can touch up along with copious amounts of WD40. It is a fine machine for occasional use.

Artisan's modified version of a Kubota BX25.

Additionally, I scored a 60” KK rear blade and most recently a Gearmore AS Series tiller. I found a gal in need of plumbing and we did a barter. She got a way better deal than me—an elderly gal she was—just my way of doing things!

I recommend to all to get Kubota’s optional BH outrigger Combination Padded Feet, they work well. Another add on recommended is a good fire extinguisher.

Rounding things out, I splurged on a HF QH and of course I had to modify it as well. So between the FEL with Grapple, the BH, a chipper/shredder, a back blade, and a rototiller we have a pretty good compliment of attachments and implements. In the works is a 4-wheeled, front steer pintle hitch trailer to drag behind the tractor and we have added front and rear 2” receivers that themselves open up a whole new world; for instance, self-recovery with a winch. There are two kinds of folks who run tractors, those who have been stuck, and those who are GOING to get stuck!

What do you mainly use your tractor for?
My tractor is used mostly for chores here and there around the house. It will serve us well when we head North clearing lil’ bits of land and running utilities, ’till retired to garden use or, when it is passed down to the wife when I get a full size tractor. 😉 I will try to keep the BX25 for life if possible, it is not replaceable. It is a Pit Bull on wheels it will do things and go places larger tractors will not and that is a real plus! We expect decades of use out of it, all the while sporting an ear to ear grin, while saddled up upon it.

Tell us about your vehicles.
I do believe my vehicles are a true representation of my soul. My favorite being a 1979 Jeep J-10 (now a J-30) truck, under construction, followed by a 2007 FJ Cruiser, then a Ford Super-Cab 4×4 that pulls a Toybox trailer or my 14’ Dump trailer, that doubles as transportation for my BX25. Add a Harley Road Glide, a couple of quads and an as-new 1986 CT110 with only 400 miles on it, then a JD L110 with an Aircraft tug for good measure.

Gorgeous: the California Desert Tortoise.

Do you have any pets?
Currently our one and only pet is a California Desert Tortoise. These animals are endangered and very illegal to possess. DO NOT take them from the wild. Ours arrived in our backyard about three years ago in distress; I still say she was led here. The previous custodians were horrible people. They drilled holes in her shell’s edge to tie her up, they carved what appeared to be a phone number in her shell and they spray painted her. No way was I going to attempt to find these folks and return her to the hell from which she came. She came right to me. It was surreal.

She was emaciated; she literally looked sad. I picked her up without thought of a bite. We made contact. I did a lot research on them, found a group of folks dedicated to them online somewhat locally and called them. The lady explained to me all of them that have been in contact with humans get a respiratory disease, and indeed she showed those symptoms, and if you return them to the desert they will spread the disease. So seeing I was interested and proving I had the inclination, means and want to care for the animal she asked me if I would like to keep her. I approved, of course, and this desert tortoise association started a process with the California Department of Fish and Game and after a while I was given a permit to possess the animal.

Her name originally was Handsome. The bottom of her shell was concave, we assumed because she was mistreated and underfed and a couple other indicators, then about 8 months later “he” was digging a hole with his rear leg and throwing a fit! It was foaming at the mouth and hissing, I thought it was digging its own grave! Then all of a sudden an egg plopped out! Ha! Her name was instantly changed from Handsome to Gorgeous. Believe it.

P.S. She has gained a lot of weight and runs around happy and enjoys us both, she hangs at my feet and makes trouble! Currently she tucked herself up for a good long nap. She will awake for a few hours here and there over the next quarter or so but will probably not be good to go till next spring. This year she went to hibernate early—times they are a changin’.

Thank you, Mr. Muhammad Chishti for this recognition. I had a bit of a bumpy start yet in the long run it was worth it. Thank you for providing us a place on the web to laugh, learn, and teach.  Pay it forward ladies and gentlemen—what comes around, goes around. Karma is what it is, IMHO…



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