Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bought A Back Blade for Bessie

We've been smoothing our land for a couple of days now.  The contraption that Earl made out of the front end of a mobile home frame worked great, but it was time to take it to the next level.  A back blade.

Tractors pull things much better than pushing them.  Harry Ferguson's invention of the three point hitch made it possible for little tractors to do big tractor things because of the hitch's geometry.  When you pull something like a back blade or a plow, more pressure is put on the back tires giving more traction.

I decided to buy the back blade because it might be a tiny bit better at smoothing the land than Earl's gizmo.  Instead of a V shape pushing debris off to both sides, I can "plow" the debris in one direction just like plowing snow.  Plus, I can use the back blade for plowing snow in the winter.

I was looking for a used blade on Craig's List but not finding much.  I checked out Tractor Supply online and found that they sell new ones for $299.  I called the local store and they had one, so Pam and I, and Earl's trailer, hied ourselves off the mountain to buy it.  When I got there, I was told that it was $349.  No way.  Yes way, they said.  No.  It's $299 on the TSC website.   Well, then order it off the website.  No, they don't sell these on the website.  They only sell these in stores.  So after a call to the manager, I bought the blade for $299.

This is one advantage of being in business for many years, and being 62 years old.  You know how to work the system by being assertive.  The kid at TSC didn't have a chance.

The TSC kid loaded it on with a forklift.  Now, I needed to get it off.  It weighs about 250 pounds.

I fetched Bessie and used the manure loader and a chain to lift the blade off the trailer.

Earl supervised.  Yes, he's in his bathrobe.  He's 83.

Off the trailer and hooked up to two points of the three point hitch.  I had the foresight to buy the 25" top link, but not the foresight to buy the pin.

This was remedied with a carriage bolt from Earl.

The blade worked great, and the land is looking good.  All except for that wet spot in the middle.  We may turn that into a pond if it doesn't dry up soon.

We also decided that this tree, below, will be the center of a tear dropped shaped turn-around  in our driveway.  I'll fill that area around the tree with rocks and dirt, and Pam will plant wild flowers there.

Bessie and the back blade did a great job.

What a workhorse this tractor is.  For anyone considering working land, I recommend  buying an old tractor highly.

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