Tractor Yoga

It’s time to practice homesteading Yoga.

Step one is to start your tractor.  This might take a while depending on what piece of crap you have parked in your barn.  Exercise that doesn’t involve guns should involve piston engines.

Step two is to mount the plow.  The plow weighs a ton, the tractor’s three point hitch is all out of whack.  Did you bring a hammer?  It’s ok to swear.

Step three is to size up your field.  You know how it hasn’t been plowed in decades?  You know how you meant to burn the waist high weeds this spring but didn’t get it done before the weather changed?  You deserve what happens next.

Step four is to crank the throttle as high as she’ll go.  Drop the clutch in lowest gear.  Lower the three point.  Slide along the grass.  Swear, get off and adjust the hitch.  Try again.  Try  again.  Try again.  Don’t you wish you’d burned the fields loser?  Try again until it looks like you got the angle correct.

Step five involves steering with your left hand.  Don’t hold the wheel.  Use the suicide knob instead.  Hang on tight… it’s a rough field.  Drop the plow and smash your ribcage into the suicide knob.  Oh… now the name makes sense.  Whoops she’s starting to stall and the wheels are spinning like you’re sitting in a giant unsafe Cuisinart.  Hear the mighty roar of the little WWII engine as you’re working it to death.  Dream fondly of a tractor with twice as much horsepower, front wheel assist, and an actual roll cage.  Payments don’t seem so bad right now do they?  Lift the hydraulics until everything lurches ahead, then drop it until the plow makes a cut.  You’ll know you’ve gone too deep when you smash your chest against the steering wheel again.

Step six, get off and kick all the weeds and sod out of the plow.  After you’ve kicked 100 pounds of crap down on the ground the plow will cut the sod instead of just sliding along making useless furrows.  Repeat this process then thousand times.

Step seven, since the plow either goes too deep and stalls the tractor or too shallow and pops out of the sod you’ll have to manually modulate the hydraulics lever.  This is conveniently located under your right ass cheek.  Hunch over like a pretzel.  Keep your left arm strong against the suicide knob and try to steer in (or at least suggest to the tractor) an appropriate direction.

Step eight, you’ve got to monitor whether the tractor is actually plowing or just lurching along with a big wad of weeds in the plow.  So twist 3/4 in the steel seat and look behind you over your right shoulder.  Do this while steering with your left hand and modulating the hydraulics lever under your ass with the right hand.

Step nine, do this hour after hour.

Step ten.  When you’re too tired to swear, call it a day.  As a farmer… you suck.

Step eleven.  Thank the lucky stars that this isn’t your only source of income and the world isn’t counting on you to feed the masses.  You totally suck at this.  Look up chiropractors in the phone book.  They don’t even make phone books anymore grandpa.  Grab a beer and lay on the couch.

Step twelve.  The next day do it again.  At this rate you’ll have all your fallow fields plowed by October.  Your dreams of acres of profitable crops have totally faded.  Now you’re just hoping to cultivate the fields so they’re more reasonable next spring.  It’s a race to see if you can accomplish this before your spine explodes or the tractor throws a rod.  The bar was low.  Now it’s lower.  Next time you see a farmer, buy him a beer.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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5 Responses to Tractor Yoga

  1. MaxDamage says:

    Properly set, the plow should lift about the time the tires start spinning due to the depth control system in the top link. Of course, that part hasn’t worked since 1948 and for that matter never really worked then either. It works exceptionally well when running a bush-hog, though. Hit a stick and it will happily trip and raise the bush hog up so high that the PTO shaft actually grinds through the front of the mower deck.

    Fordson, Ferguson, and 8N owners need to remember that these tractors were made to replace two horses. Compared to walking behind a pair of sweaty, flatulent, ornery Morgans, your little grey tractor isn’t all that bad.

    – Max

  2. Reblogged this on danmillerinpanama and commented:
    This could should be an allegory for very noxious weeds infesting Government – and the society which allows their kind to spread – up, down and all around – as their powers increase. Then, it becomes increasingly difficult to get rid of them and we don’t bother to do it until after the time has passed when we could and should have done it without suffering too much pain in the process.

    • MaxDamage says:

      When the weeds overgrow the land, when the useful plants can no longer get the sunlight they need, we in the upper midwest have a little thing we call an agricultural burn. We set it afire, bury the remains, and plant a new crop. That’s probably an allegory for a number of revolutions, come to think of it.

  3. Tennessee Budd says:

    I used to borrow someone’s 8N from time to time. The lever wouldn’t stay locked in the “up” position, so if an attachment was mounted, one-handed operation was the rule. I was young & stupid(er) then: at 48, now I’d go buy a damned valve & install it before I went anywhere.

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