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Monday, September 16, 2013

Outside Work

The new tractor performed exceptionally well in a challenging environment and received 5 hours paid work. Yesterday's preparation paid off and no mechanical problems were experienced.

The job was to slash as much of this 7 acre farm as possible. No grass had been cut for some years. First of course the owner walked me around and showed me where all the not buried poly pipes were laid from various tanks and watering points. Why bother following fence lines when you can traverse a paddock above ground? Then there were the known unknowns i.e. piles of building rubble, discarded tree trunks, old fence posts, roofing iron and poly pipe. All strategically placed to maximise the number turns or backing in and out. The concept of a central dumping spot did not exist here. The odd post hole dug years ago but unused presented no problem as some were marked with bright orange witches hats and the others didn't bother the tractor anyway. Just as well this is a small tractor as nothing larger would have been up to the task.

Then of course there were the unknown unknowns. The 20 metre long piece of fencing wire which presented no challenge to the slasher, The small quantity of chicken wire was also only a brief noise. The 5 metre length of 1" poly pipe did get me out of the seat to pull it clear of the slasher which was fortuitous (and seriously lucky) as it led to the discovery of the two piles of flattened pig netting which definitely would have caused serious grief. The 4 in 1 bucket came into its own with the pig netting enabling me to wrench it free of the metre high Kikuyu and stack it elsewhere.

The owner was concerned about snakes which is why the sudden desire to slash came about. No snakes were seen as they had left long ago. Just too many Occupational Health and Safety issues for their liking.

After 5 hours of operation at 2500 RPMs, covered in thick grassy dust and slightly damp from the arriving rain we (the tractor and I) retreated to return later in the week to finish off and perform some touch ups. Home to wash off the vehicle and owner and spend an hour with bolt cutters removing a relatively small quantity of fencing wire from around the slasher blade shaft.

This would have to go down as one of the luckiest days. With all those obstacles and impossible thick grass forcing driving at the lowest gear settings we did not come unstuck.

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