PTO or Power Take Off on your tractor makes it a wonderful machine. This gives you the option of running different implements to do various task. The most common is the rotary cutter. You will need to engage the pto some how. This usually requires pushing the clutch of the tractor down as far as it will go and then moving a lever to engage the pto shaft coming out the back of the tractor or just moving a lever, knob or switch. Now whatever you have on the PTO power take off will start doing what it is intended to do. When disengaging you do the steps in reverse.
Also there is the choice of the live pto and independent pto. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. I think it is more personal preference and how you will use the tractor. One will stop receiving power when the clutch pedal is push down and the other will not. When using an independent you normally do not have to engage the clutch to use it where as a live you must fully press the clutch pedal as far as it will go to engage both the transmission and the pto clutches at the same time. The hydraulic independent clutches are real nice. Just flip a switch or turn a knob and your done.
Now there is the older models where the pto drives directly through the transmission and if the implement doesn’t stop neither does the tractor. In this case you would need an over run clutch so the rotary cutter doesn’t push the tractor off a cliff while you are on it.
Basic rule of thumb is 5 horsepower for every foot of implement. There is a difference between engine and pto horsepower. If you have a 6 foot rotary cutter you will need 30 pto horsepower. Hope this helps.
How much tractor do I need? That is a good question. There is a lot of things that can make this decision or break it. Lot of times more is better, but not always. If you have 5 to 100 acres something with 35 to 50 horse power is usually plenty. Of course this does depend on the use of the unit as well. I think as long as you can manage 5 – 6 foot implements you will be fine.
One thing to keep in mind is weight. One deciding factor in us buying a tractor was we wanted the ability to stack round bales if necessary or to be able to off load round bales from a trailer. So lifting height and capacity of the front end loader did play a factor in our decision. If not for that we could have picked a smaller unit for our farm. At the time of this article we have a 4 wheel drive 4025 Mahindra. Believe me it is plenty for a small farm. Now that we have customers a little more under the hood would be nice.
Always keep in mind when it comes to tractors more power doesn’t mean you can go faster when doing a job. It means that you can run bigger implements, attachments or not bog down as much running smaller ones. You may gain a little speed, but odds are your travel speed will remain the same.
Here you can see in the video below that with 41 engine horsepower and 31 pto (power take off) we can run a 6 foot rotary cutter through some serious stuff. So bigger is better, but not necessary if you have the time to go slower. The canopy on the tractor is approximately eight feet off the ground to give you an idea of what is being tackled on the jobs we do.
Shredding San Antonio, TEXAS and surrounding areas.
We maybe getting the wagon in front of the horse, but we have customers calling already. They are wanting their fields cut and maintained. Shredding San Antonio and surrounding areas is upon us folks. We get booked fast. ESPECIALLY WEEKENDS !!! Please be flexible and try to schedule our services during the week because odds are the weekend you want is already gone. Again weekends go fast.
We provide all sorts of services like shredding San Antonio and surrounding areas. If you are in Bexar county or surrounding counties please do not hesitate to contact us and see if we can help you. Sometimes, but rare we will travel farther than normal because people just prefer our services. You can get a jump start on scheduling our services by clicking HERE. This is the best way to reserve the time and day you would like to have. Although not guaranteed the chances are higher by using our book online option.
We do take all forms of payment such as checks, cash and most major credit cards.
We have sharpened our blades and are ready to maintain your property. Rather you call it shredding, mowing, or bush hogging let us help you. We have added a video and pictures of our sharp blades because we maintain our equipment to help you while at the same time it is easier on our machines, operators, and both of our pockets.
Finally here is one way how we sharpen our blades.
Well used blade. Needs to be sharpend.
Abused shredder – rotary cutter blade.
This is one of the ways we keep the blade from moving while sharpening.
Sharp! Sharp! Sharp!
Got an edge on the blade now.
Very sharp, probably to sharp off a rotary cutter blade.
We are making progress. We have built the storage area or possum belly on the trailer to hold the water barrels. When raising livestock you have to make sure they have plenty of fresh water. With two fifty five gallon drums for a total of a 110 gallons of water the animals should have more than enough water. We still have to figure out how we will fill the barrels.
On another note we are kicking around the idea of how we can put rabbits on the trailer also.
We had some scrap goat / sheep panel wire that we are going to put in to help hold the water barrels.
You can see the water storage or possum belly sits about the height of the axle. If done again we would drop it a couple more inches.
Everyone calls theirs an egg mobile. We like calling ours a Chicken Wagon!!!
Why would you want to build such a contraption. There is so many benefits to having one of these. We have two big goals to accomplish by doing this and a few smaller ones. First and by far the most important is EGGS. Second is fertilization. Then a bunch of other little goals we will get to in a bit.
EGGS. Everyone loves farm fresh eggs and the nutrition value is awesome. Eggs are like potatoes or hamburger meat. You can make so many different things out of them to eat. When chickens get free range, organic feed, grass, bugs, etc. they are some of the happiest and enjoyable animals to watch. When they are happy you will be happy with your egg production. Also this is what most beginning homesteaders want is chickens and eggs.
Fertilization. We live in the sand and we can never get enough fertilizer in it. Every time it rains any fertilizer will wash away. Manure seems to hold up better for us. By adding the chicken manure we will build our soil value. When the soil value comes up we will grow better grass for our cows to graze on. This will make us into grass farmers in a sense and that is an awesome step forward.
Weeds, pest control, entertainment, etc. Having chickens supply us with eggs and fertilizer is great, but what else can they do. They will eat some of the weeds and grasses the other animals dont eat, they eat bugs that other animals, they will give you some of the est entertainment you can get and so much more.
So with all these things stated here its time for a chicken wagon.
Couldn’t see paying for one of those high dollar tractor canopy when we can just build one ourselves. O yea and the wife wanted something to hold her cell phone while on the tractor.We also installed brackets for future lights on each corner of the homemade tractor canopy. We figure it cost us less than a $150 to build. That is better than $450 and ours even has brackets on it for adding lights later. We also put a piece of fiber board / asphalt sheathing under it. This makes it bout 10 degrees cooler or so.
Also this homemade tractor canopy is durable and will withstand abuse compared to that expensive dealer model. Slam each one into a tree branch and then tell us which you would prefer. Although you are not supposed to ram trees it will happen. Best bet is to be prepared. We have customers that want their fields cut and at times we have to go through brush, tree branches, etc to get the job done. When we do hunting leases the customer only wants the line of sight cut from the deer blind to the feeder. That high dollar dealer model will not stand the abuse like our homemade tractor canopy.
One of the ways we get feed for our animals is to pick up left over produce or what some call compost. There is always all kind of goodies for the animals. We feed this to all of our animals, but do have to be careful depending on what we are giving to which animal. This is a great way to cut feed cost, mingle with great people, spread the word about local farming, and just get a quick break from the farm.
Full load of goodies for the animals. The hog will be eating high on the hog tonight.
Loading the goodies in the tractor to distribute to all the animals. Our tractor has to be on of the most useful tools we have. Its like having 20 more people working for us. The Mahindra 4wd 4025 model is what we have and we love it.
We always have to be thankful for our kids because they always lend us a helping hand. Kids love animals and what better reward for them, but to spend time feeding and watering animals. there is always entertainment watching the chickens peck.
Here is a few of our AGH piggies chowin down on the wholesome goodies. These guys are so easy goin. They love these wonderful treats they get a few times a week.
Turning the compost we think is important, but what maybe real important is how often. Some people turn theirs once a week and some dont turn theirs at all. We think at least once every two months. Sometimes we do it as often as every two weeks. As long as you monitor your compost you will know when or when not to turn. Also yes we are human and we forget and dont always turn ours when we should so dont feel bad if you miss a turning date.
It boils down to a few things.
How active. If it is active then we leave it till it starts to become inactive. It needs to do its thing so lets let it. Remember activity creates heat. Lots of activity makes lots of heat.
How hot. If it is HOT then we dont touch it. If we do anything we add water if it gets to extreme. When your pile gets active it will get hot and remember activity creates heat and you are on the right path, but you will need to monitor the heat. We use a compost thermometer.
How wet. Being in such a dry climate in south Texas it is very important to watch the moisture in the compost. We always add water when turning the compost. Sometimes we will add water even when not turning. Especially during our hot summer months. Remember the little active microbes in there are living and need water. We use a moisture meter also.
Oxygen. The little living microbes, worms, bugs, etc. need air like we do. So try to make sure you have something in your compost such as straw, cardboard, etc. to trap and hold oxygen in the compost pile.
Fertilizer. You dont need much if any fertilizer when composting. Also puts us in more of a natural gardening sense. If you do need some fertilizer or something in your soil you can add it to the compost and it will help your soil along with the compost.
Dont turn it!!! Sometimes people turn their compost to often and it never has the chance to get hot or active enough. If its hot then, then its active. If its active it will get hot. So if its hot and active dont touch it. You need to turn it when it begins to cool down and starts becoming less active.
Tools. Not so much about the compost, but makes doing it easier. Right tools and the job is easier. In this case you can see we use our tractor. It makes short work and since we always have very little time it really speeds up the process. Its like having a dozen people with shovels and wheel barrows.
There is a lot more to composting than just what we have mentioned here, but this is great basics to get you going. Below you can see the thermometer and moisture meter we use. Good Luck.
Stocking up on hay again. Got a good start and a great deal. Hopefully we get some more rain and some more good hay. With our droughts here in South Texas hay is very important to have for the livestock. We have been fortunate enough to get some good rain so far this year, but not enough and with winter around the corner no time like the present to get them round bales stocked up.