Equipment for Maintaining a Farm

Equipment for Maintaining a Farm

Tips for Buying a Used Tractor for Your Hobby Farm

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If you recently purchased a hobby farm and are in need of a used tractor, then you will be pleased to know there are specific things you can do to ensure that your new-to-you tractor meets your needs. Just as with buying a used car, buying used farm equipment requires that you perform some due diligence and possess the knowledge to know which problems will require inexpensive fixes and which will require major repairs. To assist with your search, here are some tips to help you buy the best used tractor for your new hobby farm’s needs. Tip: Purchase a Bit Bigger Than You Need Today  When you talk to other hobby-farm owners, the one thing they will always tell you is that they wished they had a larger tractor on their farm. While you do not need an industrial farm–sized tractor, you likewise do not want to purchase a tractor that is too small. As your farm grows and as you come up with new projects that need to be completed, you will invariably wish you had larger heavy equipment to make your life easier. By your selecting a tractor that is a bit larger than your current needs, your business will be able to grow, and the tractor will still meet most of your needs. For those one-off times when you must have a piece of larger equipment, you can always rent or barter for a machine to use short term. Tip: Make Sure That the Internal Wear Matches the External Wear When you are looking at a used tractor, you should compare the wear it shows on the outside with the wear of the internal cab area. For example, a tractor that shows a lot of dents and scratches on the outside should show similar signs of wear and tear on the inside. In the same way, a tractor being sold as having very low hours should not show excessive wear on its interior or exterior.  Tip: Check the Tractor’s Smoke Color Before you agree to purchase a tractor for your hobby farm, you should always test-drive it. However, rather than climbing in and starting the tractor yourself, ask the seller to start the tractor while you stand outside and view the smokestack. The smoke from a diesel engine should start out black but soon change to clear. If the smoke stays black or comes out with any color after the initial startup, then there may be a mechanical problem with the tractor’s engine, and you should have it checked out by a licensed farm-equipment mechanic.  Talk to a company such as Big Springs Equipment to get started buying farm...

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Buying A New Home? Two Reasons Why You Should Call A Land Surveyor

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Buying a new home can be an incredibly exciting time. You’re probably filled with ideas concerning how you’ll decorate your house and transform it into a home. However, in all of the flurry of activity, one thing you shouldn’t forget to do is contact a land surveyor. Land surveyors are skilled professionals who know how to delineate your property boundaries, so you’ll know just how much land now belongs to you. Learning more about the benefits of working with a land surveyor during a home purchase can help you see why it’s so vital for you to call one of these experts as soon as possible. Land Surveyors Help Prevent Boundary Issues One of the most compelling reasons why you should contact a land surveyor is because they can play a key role in helping you avoid boundary issues. The last thing you want to deal with when you’re moving into a new home is a dispute with a neighbor because there is confusion about who owns which tract of land. For example, you may be moving into a home that does not have a fence. You’re thinking about installing a pool, so you definitely want to have a fence up. It’s at this moment that you need to call a professional land surveyor out to your home. The company that you’re using to install the fence may not be qualified to properly determine where your property line ends. If you end up installing a fence on a space that encroaches on your neighbors property, this could build up bad blood that may explode into an argument, or even a court battle. The land surveyor will carefully go over your deed to let you know where your land starts and ends so you can install your fence with confidence. Environmental Changes Could Have Occurred That Affect Your Property Lines Another reason why you should contact a land surveyor when buying a house is because environmental changes may have affected your property lines. For example, trees could have grown in and obstructed a portion of your property. You may believe that the tree-covered area is community property, not even realizing that you actually have more property than you originally thought. Working with a professional land surveyor could prove to be one of the best decisions that you could have ever made. Contact a land surveyor today so you can enjoy these benefits and many...

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Three Types Of Boots Every Equestrian Needs

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Working around horses requires proper footwear, but all boots aren’t appropriate for all tasks. Farms can actually be harsh environments for clothing, especially boots, and you need boots that can not only keep you safe but hold up no matter what horse-related tasks you’re doing. Whether you are starting riding lessons, going off to horse camp or starting a job at a horse farm, you’ll need at least three types of boots. Riding Boots Whether you are taking lessons, trail riding or riding in horse shows, all riding boots should have a defined heel. The heel stops your foot from sliding through the stirrup, which can be dangerous. Although you should ride with the ball of your foot on the stirrup, beginners often place their feet too far forward so that the stirrup is underneath the arch. A defined heel helps keep the foot from sliding in any further, which can result in severe ankle injuries if you slide off the horse. Riding boots also have hard soles to reduce stress on the feet while riding, and the correct amount of grip to enable you to re-position your foot without your foot sliding off the stirrup. While some hiking or work boots can be used for riding, some are too wide to fit in the stirrup. Whether you use ankle- or knee-high boots is a matter of personal preference, but beginners may find ankle boots more comfortable. Muck Boots Cleaning stalls is a major part of daily life on a horse farm, and when you spend hours doing it every day, you’ll need a pair of muck boots. These boots are designed for spending hours on your feet in damp muck and manure. They are flat-soled to prevent fatigue and have thick, textured rubber soles for traction on wet surfaces. Muck boots will keep your feet dry and usually have a nub on the back of the heel so that you can remove them without touching them with your hands. Additionally, they are flexible but rigid, so you can step into them without having to hold them in place or pull them up. Most importantly, they hold up to the acids in manure and urine, won’t get damaged like leather will, and release manure easily when you are ready to clean them. Rubber Boots Lightweight rubber boots are invaluable for all kinds of tasks such as fetching horses in wet pastures, bathing horses, hosing out trailers and watering the arena. There are many messy jobs where you need to keep your feet and legs dry but don’t necessarily need heavy-duty work boots, and rubber boots can be extremely comfortable after riding or cleaning stalls all day. Some rubber boots do have defined heels and can be used for riding. However, the body of the boot might not be durable enough to provide protection if a horse steps on your foot while you are grooming or leading it. Of course, there are other types of boots for specific tasks or types of riding, such as those for shows, and some boots that claim to be dual-purpose. However, the most important factor is safety. Ride only in boots designed for riding, and preserve your riding boots by wearing muck boots for shoveling manure. If your rubber boots don’t have steel toes...

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Don’t Fix Up Only Your Home Before A Sale — Fix Up Your Trees As Well

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If you’re about to put your home on the market, you’re going to have to improve the appearance of the home to make it look like a place that people would want to be in. But many times, sellers end up concentrating solely on the house and not on anything in the yard. That can be risky because your trees could influence your sale by a large margin. Before you show the home to prospective buyers, have the trees checked out yourself to ensure that no major problems are forming. Tree Appearance and Health Well-kept trees along the west or south sides of the home offer shade on hot summer days, and if the trees are mature and tall enough to block out most afternoon light, that could be a great selling point. But you have to keep the trees looking good, and they have to stay healthy. Have a tree service come in and give the tree a tune-up, so to speak. An arborist can look for signs of infestations and infections, as well as check if the tree is nearing the end of its life span and would need to be cut down. Tree Integrity A tree service can also look for loose limbs that could crash down in a storm. You really don’t need an irate new owner accusing you of not disclosing problems with weak branches or rotten trunks if part of the tree should fall on the house after the sale. If the arborist finds that the tree has weak spots, he or she can remove those branches or remove the tree. Plus, if you do not inspect the tree, and the prospective buyer does, then the buyer could negotiate a lower price for the home if he or she finds that the trees need a lot of work. By taking care of the trees beforehand, you can help preserve the value of the home as a whole. Tree Roots The arborist can also look at the tree roots on the property and ensure that they are not headed toward a porch or driveway, where they might cause the pavement to buckle. Showing a home that has obvious tree root damage could impact your asking price in a big way. Before trying to sell your home, call in an arborist and ensure that the trees around your home are in safe places and are healthy. For more information, contact Sylvester’s Tree Service or a similar...

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Preventative Maintenance Tips for Cone Crusher

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A cone crusher is a key piece of equipment that allows you to make mining operations more environmentally feasible by crushing up the product that is removed from the earth during the digging process and depositing it in a location where it can be incorporated into the landscape. If your cone crusher should cease to function or function on a lower level than what is needed, then it could be very difficult for you to continue mining operations as normal. Here are some preventative maintenance tips for your cone crusher. 1. Clean Out the Oil Tanks When You Change the Oil Most companies know that the oil needs to be changed in the cone crusher on a regular basis. What is not clear is the necessity of constantly cleaning out the tank where the oil is stored. If you do not clean out the tank where the oil is stored, then the oil in the tank will not be as accessible and will not be able to provide the necessary lubrication for the cone crusher to function normally. This results in having to schedule regular repairs in order to get the cone crusher functioning at the highest level of efficiency again. If you don’t want to have to wait for this maintenance to be done, you can take a few extra minutes every time that you change the oil to clean out the tank. You will end up saving your company a great deal of money in the long run because you won’t have to pay for as much oil or for the repair costs. 2. Wash Off the Toggle Seats and Plates Every Day Next, you are going to want to make sure that you wash off the toggle seats and the plates each day. These are the parts of the cone crusher that are being used to crush up the dirt and debris. Inevitably, the dirt and the debris is going to build up on these materials. If you allow too much to build up, you will wear down the cone crusher so that its parts need to be replaced sooner than normal. Cleaning them off every day is a good way to make sure that this does not occur. 3. Check Amperage Levels Finally, you are going to want to check the amperage levels in order to make sure that all of the signs seem normal. Check every day. If they go above their normal levels as determined by the manufacturer, you will want to be certain that the bolts are tightened throughout the machine so that it is not off-kilter. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in cone crusher...

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Three Tips To Help You Find The Right Wood Chipper For Your Needs

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If you have a lot of tree materials to mulch up, a wood chipper can be a great investment. It may seem as simple as a machine with a hammer mill to tear through debris like never before. Wait. It is not as simple as that; there are many different types of chippers. For light duty, you may just want to a small machine, while larger machines can be good for larger materials. It is also important to consider what you are using the material for, which the chipper can create wood chips of different sizes. Here are some tips to help you find the best wood chipper for your needs: 1. Small Chippers For Light-Duty Garden Work If you have a lot of small trees and shrubs on your property, pruning can be part of annual maintenance. It can also produce a lot of waste with the clippings. To deal with this waste, a small chipper can be the perfect tool to handle pruning, and turn them into mulch and compost. These machines are usually limited to the size of branches they can handle and will not chip large branches from trees. 2. Large Chippers To Handle Heavy Duty Tree Maintenance Larger chippers are also available to handle heavy-duty tree maintenance. These versions can usually handle branches of a larger diameter than the garden chippers. If you have a lot of hardwoods or nut trees, this type of chipper will be a better choice. Larger chippers can also be good for lawn and tree services that need machinery to do these jobs. Tree services may invest in larger trailer chippers that can handle larger volumes of material, as well as include things like conveyor belts to dispense chipped materials. 3. Specialty Chippers To Create Materials For Biomass And Other Uses If you have a large rural property, you may use firewood or even biomass materials. The wood chips used in biomass boilers generally needs to be smaller. This means that a chipper with more teeth on the hammer mill needs to be used. If you plan to use the chipper to make biomass fuel, look for the diameter of the chipped materials. This is much more practical than running materials through a chipper several times to get them down to size. These are some tips that will help you find the best wood chipper for your needs. If you are looking for the right machine, contact a vendor of wood chippers and talk with them about some of the work you will be doing with yours. They will be able to find exactly what you need to get the job done...

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When To Use A Tree Spade Vs. A Tree Shear

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Often it is necessary to clear a lot of trees to make room for building projects. To clear trees in as little time as possible, you need the right equipment. Two options for clearing land include tree shears and a tree spade. Your choice for which to use will depend on the circumstances you’re working with.    What Is a Tree Spade? A tree spade is a large tractor or attachment that you can use to uproot a tree and transplant it to a new location. In many cases, you can move full-grown trees without any ill-effects. The one problem with planting a tree is that it can be years before your tree is large enough to really enjoy. Thus, people will pay good money for a full-grown tree. By salvaging mature trees in good condition, you can recoup some of the costs of building.   When Is a Tree Spade a Good Choice for Clearing? Tree spades are much slower to operate than tree shears. You have to drive four different wedged plates into the ground at an angle in order to cut out the root bulb, and you need a crew equipped with hand tools to prepare the tree for transplanting as well as to fill the hole once you have extracted the tree. While you can load several trees onto one truck to move them, you can only cut and move one tree at a time with a tree spade. Based on these disadvantages, tree spades are not a good choice if you don’t have a lot of time.   What Is a Tree Shear? A tree shear, not surprisingly, looks like the shears you use to prune trees except on a much bigger scale. Rather than operating the shears by hand, you need a tractor with the right hydraulic hookups to power the pistons that open and close the shears. If you have a front-end loader, you can get the shears close enough to the ground that you can cut trees off at ground level.  When Is a Tree Shear the Right Choice? If you have a bunch of small, scrubby trees to clear, then tree shears will help you to cut through the trees quickly and easily move them to a pile; thus, tree shears are ideal for when you need to clear a lot of land quickly. Furthermore, tree shears can easily be operated by one person, so you can pay one person instead of a full crew. If you want to save trees to move them to a different place on your property, or you want to salvage and sell trees, then a tree spade is a the tool for you; otherwise, you should be able to get your job done with tree shears....

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Tips For Selecting A Good Horse Trailer

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Summer is horse show and county fair season. If you’ll be going from event to event, you need a good trailer in which to transport your animals. If you’re new to these events, it may be confusing trying to decide what type of trailer you should buy. Not all trailers are alike, but the process of selecting one isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. Simply, keep a few tips in mind and you’ll find a trailer your horse will be comfortable in at a price you can afford. Tips to getting a good horse trailer First, make sure that you select a trailer that was built expressly for horses. While you can transport your animals in a trailer designed for other livestock, they’ll be more comfortable in a trailer that was designed with the dimensions and behavior of horses in mind. In addition, you’ll want to consider… 1. The type of loading gate. Horse trailers are available with straight loading, slant loading and side loading gates. While flat loading gates are generally the least expensive, they can be the most stressful for your horse. Horses usually prefer to walk on a diagonal ramp. 2. Number of compartments. If you’ll be hauling more than one horse at a time, it’s safer to purchase a trailer that has a separate compartment for each animal. That way, the horses won’t be injured by running into each other if you are forced to stop suddenly. 3. Safety features. Your horses are more than just an investment; they are part of your family. Keep them safe by checking that the necessary features like venting and padding are adequate in the trailer you are considering. 4. Construction. Horse trailers are available in steel, aluminum and in a combination of both materials. While an aluminum trailer is lighter and easier to maneuver, a steel trailer is sturdier and can stand up to weather, traffic and heavy wear and tear. Aluminum trailers are generally more expensive, up to 25 percent more, whereas steel trailers require more frequent waxing and other maintenance. 5. Other features. While not essential, other amenities like lighting, storage and moveable partitions are nice to have, especially if you’ll be traveling overnight. While cost and size are important, you’ll also want to consider the type of loading gate, the number of compartments and the safety features before you shell out your hard earned money for a new horse trailer. To learn more about horse trailers, contact a company like Colorado Trailers...

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Winterizing An Outdoor Fountain

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Whether your outdoor fountain is just for looks or if it supplies necessary drinking water for your animals, proper winterization is necessary. This is especially true in areas prone to freezing temperatures. The following guide can help you get your fountain ready so it can survive winter unharmed. #1: Drain the Water Water expands when frozen, so any water left inside the fountain can lead to a cracked basin or leaking water tubes later. Drain the water out of the fountain and then hook a compressor up to the water hoses and blow out the pipes. This ensures no water remains that can freeze. It’s a good idea to drain the fountain a couple of weeks before you suspect freezing weather, because this allows any moisture that is trapped inside the pipes or within the pores of the concrete to dry out completely before the cold weather arrives. #2: Store the Pump The pump and its assorted hardware are less likely to suffer weather damage if you remove them and store them indoors. Clean out the pump filter or replace it with a new filter when you store it. This ensures the pump is ready to use next spring. #3: Provide Protection You don’t want water or snow to collect in the fountain during the winter months. You have two options to prevent this, depending on the size of your fountain. For small fountains, simply turn the bowls upside down for winter. If your fountain is too large for this, fill the bowl with burlap and then cover the fountain with a fountain cover or tarp. The burlap absorbs any moisture that makes its way into the bowl, while the cover keeps out the majority of the water. Bonus Tip #1: Seal the Ground It’s a good idea to set a concrete or stone fountain on a cement pad. The pad should be sealed to prevent moisture from seeping through. If you do this at installation, moisture won’t leach from the ground and into your fountain. It can help prevent cracking if moisture isn’t making its way into the fountain from below. Bonus Tip #2: Providing Winter Water If you need your outdoor fountain to provide water to animals in winter, you can purchase and install a fountain water heater. These come in a variety of sizes, from those made for small birdbaths to large models that are meant for use in livestock watering...

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When To Supplement A Horse’s Diet With Alfalfa Cubes

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Alfalfa cubes are a dietary supplement that can help feed your horse during times when access to baled hay is difficult. Though alfalfa cubes look too small to be considered long stem forage, they’re actually compressed forms of processed alfalfa hay that act similarly to baled forms in a horse’s digestive system. Because they are the same composition as baled hay, you simply substitute alfalfa cubes in a 1:1 ratio for feeding. Alfalfa cubes can either be chewed whole or partially soaked in water to remove the hazard of choking for younger or older horses that have a difficult time eating them dry. But feeding a horse dry alfalfa cubes is still best done close to the ground though, so thorough chewing removes the chance of accidental choking. Though bags of alfalfa cubes can be more expensive per pound than baled hay, there are times when using them as a supplement can makes things easy. So if you had heard of using alfalfa cubes to supplement a horse’s feed, you should know when is the best time to do so. While Traveling Keeping the needed amount of feed for a horse while traveling or during competitions can be a difficult part of your journey, as hauling hay can be a large part of your cargo. So whether you want to keep the load light or keep an adequate amount of space for your equine companions, consider either switching out baled hay for cubed, or at least supplementing your load with compacted versions. When Storage Is Difficult Storing hay can be a spatial option that you may be lacking from time to time. And keeping hay dry and free of mold can also be an issue in humid or damp environments, where having excessive amounts of bales stored is not a viable way to maintain clean feed supplies. So if you are dealing with either lack of space or the right storage area for baled hay, having alfalfa cubes on hand can be a lifesaver. Alfalfa cubes come in 50 pound bags that can be easily and safely shelved, free of much of the mold problems and dust generation that baled hay have in storage conditions. Because cubes store and stay mold free for a longer period of time, they can also contribute to less feed waste than what you’d encounter with baled hay. If you’re spending a fortune on keeping hay and end up tossing molded feed with the compost, it may be time to supplement your stock with cubed...

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