Posted by: 347bennetrd | March 14, 2010

Tractoring: Filling the Trailer with the Bucket (plus mouse)

Today Dad and I took advantage of the weekend to do some training in using the tractor.  We hitched up the Giltrap trailer and then I did a bit of reversing practice including reversing all the way round the workshop.  When winter comes, a big part of every day will be spent in feeding out silage with a large trailer so the more practice beforehand, the better…

Far out, driving the tractor is mentally challenging.  Clutch is with left foot – that’s ok.  Brakes (one for left side wheel and one for right side wheel, but you can join them together) are with the right foot – that’s ok providing I use all my strength.  Switch for “go forwards-neutral-go backwards” is near left hand – that’s ok.  Then the gear stick (6 gears) is used by your right hand – that’s ok, but then there’s a little switch next to it that gives you 4 intermediary gears per gear – this is less ok but manageable.  Just.  However there’s still the accelerator knob, also operated by right hand.  And also the stick that moves the front-end loader up and down and tilts the bucket back and forth is operated by right hand.  Oh yeah, and the levers that operate the hydraulics on whatever you’re pulling….  AAAAAGH!

Anyhoo, a trough had leaked last week, and though Marty and I had fixed that (really only Marty while I did the menial tasks) there was a huge moat all around that needed to be filled in.  So we went up the hill to the little quarry to pick up rocky dirt and load the trailer.  Dad was outside telling me how far to lower the arms, which angle to tilt the bucket down, when to drive forward while tilting bucket up and then when to dump it without knocking the trailer or without lifting the arms too high and reversing up a hill and lifting one back wheel off the ground.  It was all quite difficult and stressful and I’m ashamed to say there were some tears involved.  Here I am though, successfully dumping my trailer;

Dad did some a display of his skills and used the bucket to spread the dirt around the trough between the fence and without knocking anything.  I took the shovel and starting evening things out.  Then look what I found!  Actually Dad saw what it was – I had thought it was a thistle head.

A cute little baby mouse!!  I was in ecstasy over it – it had nearly drowned in a pool of mud and had managed to fight its way out.  Poor little guy, clods of mud were stuck to his little feeties and he was shaking them just like a cat would if you were to stick sellotape to the bottom of its feet….  Not that I would ever do that….  So I tried to grab it and remove the hunks of dirt, and do you know what?  the ungrateful sod bit me on the finger with his needle sharp teeth!  Luckily it was only a baby and his teeth couldn’t pierce my hardened skin, but still.  I could have been at risk of salmonella or some other gross transmitted illness, that’ll learn me.  Here is Dad doing the finishing touches to filling in the moat.

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Responses

  1. Brilliant – another great post that has made me laugh out loud – thank you for another dose of laughter therapy which is welcome amongst the sleep deprivation! I’m impressed about the backing around the workshop – you have some narrow bits with sharp corners to negotiate…I would have needed all afternoon! It is very taxing on the mental skills backing, not to mention all the tractor controls. I hear you about the strength for clutches and brakes, although clutches are a little easier than they were I believe! Well done you. After the winter you’ll be an expert!
    BTW, we’re loving the merino socks, hat and gloves and the bibs these days – very handy ta!

  2. I do hope you were very carefully with the neighbour’s fence and treated it with the the required dignity. He can be a crusty old B……


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