The new tractor is going on 11 months old now and Mike has been the only one to drive it so far. That seems like a long time with a new rig without at least one other person learning about it, but the year has flown by with projects, the huge logging cleanup and inevitable planting, winter downtime (not for me but for many of the pieces of equipment because of mud, muck or snow), the new firewood bundling job, and the list goes on. The tractor was Mike’s to work or play as much as he wanted but the time has come for some learning to go on so that hay season runs smoothly.With the rotary mower on the back of the tractor we all took turns to experience the tractor and get the back pasture knocked down back by the spring.
With these practice runs we (especially me) learned the new controls, how the PTO (power take off unit that controls the blades that cut the grass), how the four wheel drive works on hills, how to raise and lower the cutting height and how the controls for speed work since it doesn’t shift gears like any transmission we have ever used before.
The days of practice gets us ready for hay season while it cleans up the grazing area for the cows and controls weeds that are growing at fast pace.
The herd happened to have heard us during this practice session and before long it looked like a stampede heading to see what was going on the in pasture. The calves were squirreling around and fighting each other, the mother cows were scouting around trying to find fresh cut grass to munch on, and everyone was kicking up heels and scooting around the tractor. The practice had to be cut short on this day because of the danger of a rock or a stick didn’t get thrown up by the whirling blades.