Member of the Month: Wagtail

Randy Wilson. a.k.a. Wagtail

Your Name: Randy Wilson; a.k.a. Wagtail

Location: St. Helens, Tasmania, Australia (NE Coast of the Island)

Post Count: 279 (#1947 of all-time)

How long have you been a member of
I joined the January 15, 2013 and found the site while researching the purchase of my very first tractor via Google. I believe I read a review of the tractor I was considering at the time.

What do you like best about
The good, honest answers provided by the many helpful members to anyone. And that this truly is an international forum. I’m always learning about something.

What type of tractors do you own?
I bought a new John Deere 4105 CUT and recently added a new John Deere D110 Lawn Tractor.

How long have you owned or operated tractors?
This is my first experience with tractors of any sort.

What do you enjoy most about tractors?
Being able to “get the job done” when it needs getting done. I also enjoy helping my neighbors when they need it.

How often do you use your tractor?
I use my rig (4105) at least once or twice a week. The D110 is for “touch-ups” around the property.

Tell us about your property.
I bought my 6 acre property 16 years ago as a retirement dream, renting it out until I actually retired this past December. The house is a 3 bedroom “owner/builder” constructed of rammed-earth (like mud-brick) and pine. Since moving in, I’ve added a 5-bay shed (Australia doesn’t really have barns, just sheds) with one of the bays dedicated as an enclosed workshop and I’ve internally fenced the land to create 5 horse paddocks & an equestrian exercise ground. The land is fairly flat with a 2 degree up-slope towards the back.

Tell us about your vehicles.
I have a ’07 Toyota Hilux Utility (Aussie’s call any vehicle with a ‘bed’ a Ute, which is short for Utility). No trailers as of yet but I’m looking for a horse float.

Do you have any pets?
I have 2 thoroughbred horses that I ride for pleasure and they’re spoiled rotten. Heck, when you think about it, I’ve bought, improved & maintained the property all for them. And they weren’t even born when I started out!

What sort of modifications or customization have you done to your tractor?
The first thing I bought & installed on my 4105 was a fire extinguisher. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around.

What sort of tools, attachments or equipment do you use with your tractor on a regular basis?
So far I’ve been using all of my implements on a regular basis: a 300CX FEL with 4in1 bucket and a combination bale-spike/pallet-fork on the front. I have the iMatch quick hitch for a ballast box (filled with bricks), a 1200 slasher and a JD 655 tiller. A chain harrow rounds out my inventory…for now.

What do you mainly use your tractor for?
I use it for improving the paddocks (which have been un-worked for 20+ years), driveway maintenance and moving rounds of hay.

What do you like or dislike about the area you live in?
There’s nothing to dislike about where I live. The small town of St. Helens is a 6 minute drive away. My neighbors are great and we help each other as needed. My big “next door neighbor” is a State Forest so I have plenty of wildlife visiting during the evenings (wallaby, potaroo, brush-tail possum) and birds of every description (parrots, kookaburra, fairy wren, flame robin & Willie Wagtail) to name a few. There’s even a pair of Wedgetail eagles close by. It’s so quiet & peaceful here—a paradise.

What sort of trees and vegetation are common in your area?
Typical Australian trees & vegetation; many eucalyptus trees surround and I have predominantly Blackwood trees on the property.

What’s something most TractorByNet members don’t know about you?
I retired after over 37 years of combined Naval Service. My first service was 21 years in the Royal Canadian Navy, I then transferred to the Royal Australian Navy for a further 16.5 years leading to my retirement in December. I still remain in the reserves and volunteer as an instructor with the local Naval Cadet youth organization.

All of those years in Navy have made me a wee bit pedantic about safety, especially when I became responsible for the safety of others under my direction. The same attitude has shifted to working with my tractors. For the most part we all work individually with our “toys” and if we screw-up, help can be a long time coming.

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