Member of the Month: Bluest

Mike "Bluest"
Mike “Bluest”

Your Name: Mike (“Bluest”)

Location: Whitworth, Lancashire, UK

Post Count: 92 (#4,715 of all-time)

How long have you been a member of
I’ve been a member of TBN since March 2014. I’d just bought my tractor and was searching the net for Yanmar info and TBN popped up at the top of the Google results.

What do you like best about
No matter what I’ve needed help with, TBN members have had the answer. No need to go anywhere else for tractor discussion. Also, I really enjoy reading the Rural Living section, as much of it is so different from life here.

What type of tractor do you own?
I’ve got a pretty ancient Yanmar F14D. It’s pretty feeble at 14hp, but it has 4×4, diff lock, independent brakes and some kind of auto draft control. I didn’t know what it was when I bought it (TBN supplied the answers!). I’d guess it’s about 30 years old, and only came to the UK from Japan recently. It looks a bit crusty but every thing works as it should.

Mike’s “new” Yanmar F14D was his first tractor, purchased in March of this year!

I also have a DR wheeled trimmer with a nice Kawasaki engine. That was left to me by the previous residents of our house. They thought it was broken, but it was just overfilled with oil. Runs perfectly now; the cylinder isn’t full of 10w40!

How long have you owned or operated tractors?
This is my first tractor, so only a few months! I could probably get by without one, but having a bit of land was too good an excuse to pass up buying a toy.

What do you enjoy most about tractors?
I love that it’s a practical tool that actually makes life easier. I must say that I enjoy working on the tractor.

How often do you use your tractor?
I’m using it two or three days a week while the weather is good. I have a lot of logs to move as I’m clearing land. Once that’s done, it should get an easier time, with maybe mowing every week or two.

Tell us about your property.
We have a two story house with attached double garage where the Yanmar lives. In front is 1 acre of overgrown pasture that is steep. Some areas are over 20 degrees, which is a lot worse than it sounds.

We’re in an area that is designated as green belt, which means it is protected from development and consequently has relatively little value. We have great views of the Pennines.

Tell us about your vehicles.
I’ve been into sports cars all my life and have owned a couple of Porsches, but at the moment I have a BMW X1. Not the best car ever made, but I wanted something that had 4×4, a little ground clearance but still handled well on a twisty road.

Basil, the Bassett Hound

Do you have any pets? 
Yes, we have Basil, the Bassett Hound. He’s 18 months old and can’t be trusted on his own for a second. He is as friendly as they come though, so a useless guard dog.

What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
Something I’m pretty pleased with is my homemade lower link bracket. From a few photos I posted, TBN members pointed out my 3-point hitch looked a bit home made and weak. So I welded up a replacement bracket for my lower link arms. I’d never fabricated or welded anything before and the result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
I’ve got a 4-ft. finish mower that was a cheap second hand buy. I don’t know the manufacturer or the age, but it works fine. The only trouble is it leaks oil a lot, so I need to get round to replacing the seals on the gearbox.

I also have homemade (not by me) 3-point hitch transport box. Looks rough, but it does the job.

What do you mainly use your tractor for?
It’s mainly used for mowing and transporting logs, cuttings clippings, etc.

Do you keep livestock?
No livestock. My wife and I did talk about having a few goats, but animals would be too much of a binding commitments. We like traveling abroad and don’t want to give that up.

What do you like/dislike about the area you live in?
The village we live in, Whitworth, is only about 15 miles as the crow flies from Manchester city centre yet our neighbourhood feels quite rural. It is very quiet, with views of the Penine hills but only a short drive from all the amenities you could want. There is a lot of industrial heritage, as this whole area was where the industrial revolution really got going.

What sort of terrain is common in your area?
One word: hilly.

What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
Open peat moorland, much of it unspoiled.

What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I’ve driven a 13 minute lap of the Nurburgring Nordshleife—at my first attempt—in the rain—in a Ford Focus.

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