Field tractors, lawn tractors, and even garden tillers (for small spaces) are cheaper now than ever before making them easy on your budget while cutting your workload down to a manageable size when you live in the country.
However if you have a lot of land to plow, till, mow or plant, and you haven’t invested in a full blown work or field tractor just yet, don’t dismay, I think I’ve found the answer to having the work of a tractor without the huge costs associated with buying and maintaining one.
Many local farmers are happy to contract their services or their machinery out for a day or two’s work. You can pay them for their time (renting man and machine) or trade products and services with them. In most cases you’ll pay them a flat rate per day and set them loose in the field. They’ll often come in for lunch too so be prepared with something delicious and a lot of cold drinks as most will be parched after a 1/2 day in the hot sun.
Sometimes the farmer will send their son or daughter over with the tractor to do the work for you. If that’s the case you can bet that they’ve been running their dad’s tractor for many years and know how to do the work. This is work that many teenagers don’t mind especially if they haven’t already found a summer job and school is out. All teens like to have a little extra money for work that isn’t too laborious after all.
Contracting Field Tractors and Drivers
In our area we have a few semi-retired men with tractors who’ll work for less than $100 per day on their own machinery. And I don’t mean an 8 hour day – they work with the ethics of the old timers – from sun up to sun down! The last time I needed someone to come in he brought his own lunch and I traded him some cedar logs I had piled up and not in use for a straight trade of his work.
If you can’t find anyone to till, plow, or plant your fields, put a flyer up in the local convenience or country store. You might also try asking the clerk at your local feed store – farmers with field tractors are in and out of the feed stores every week. Some one, some where, will take you up on your offer – especially in the summer months when local teenager are looking for some extra cash.
If you do end up hiring a teen or two for the job, watch carefully how well they work. Good workers come in handy when it’s time to split wood, build chicken coops or a lean-to, or even just to help you with animal care while you’re away on business or vacation travel.
Buying Your Own Tractor
There’s no doubt about it, if you can afford it, owning a tractor is wonderful. You won’t need to borrow or hire someone else equipment and your tractor will be an absolute work horse on your farm. Even hobby farms of 6 acres or more can put a tractor to good use. Tractors don’t just look after fields, they’ll also move heavy objects around, perform snow plow duty on the driveway, and pull any car or truck out of a ditch in bad weather.
Field tractors even help you build houses! When we were building our log home we used the bucket of the tractor to lift double garden doors to the second floor of the home for installation. Eric was in the bucket with the 600 pound door, our neighbor was at the controls and I was inside the house steadying it until it was leveled and secured.
My point is that living in the country doesn’t have to be hard. There’s always a neighbor up the road who’s happy to lend a hand, drive a field tractor through your acreage, or offer advice.