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Trapped by sudden storms

Trapped by sudden storms

There was a slight chance of rain and the sky looked a little darker than usual for 5 PM but as I headed up to the barn to feed the horses I had no idea I was about to be trapped. I poured feed into buckets as the spigot was opened changing the light drizzle to a downpour. Our horses don’t seem to care about being wet but I rushed to get them in so I could remain as dry as possible. Our barn has a metal roof that seems to magnify the sound of rain so it sounds like hail. Soon the rain was followed by hail and the wind whipped through the open center aisle as I took cover in the hay loft. I wasn’t going anywhere. Fortunately, the storm lasted only 10 minutes which gave me time to think about how often this happens to me in east Tennessee. We sure get a lot of rain here. I learned a long time ago to always bring a phone but no one could hear me over that racket so I resorted to texting to let my family know where I was. And then I just sat there and watch the rain and muddy torrent of water rush down our hilled pasture. I need to work on erosion control.

Of course I also needed to put out a few round bales of hay so once the rain stopped, I hoped into our tractor and made my way down hill in the newly slick mud. Interestingly I had almost no control in two wheel drive going downhill. I know the key is to keep moving (though not too fast) but the front tires acted like snowmobile skids. Going uphill was no possible in 2wd, even with the rear axle locked (so both tires would spin at the same time). If you like in a place with clay soil and some elevation, don’t let anyone try to convince you that you only need a 2wd tractor. We use 4wd in our tractor very often. For more information about that, click the 4wd tag on this post.

Have you been trapped in your barn or shed by storms like this?

Why we needed a four wheel drive tractor

Why we needed a four wheel drive tractor

4wd tractorWe ignored the advice from our farm friends about buying a two wheel drive tractor for our small horse farm. To this day, they still tell us it’s a waste of money but we think otherwise. Our east Tennessee land gets pretty muddy and it only takes a little bit of rain to make it slick. If we planned on using this tractor any time other than when it was completely dry, we would have been out of luck with 2wd. 4wd isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity where we live and our 4WD Kubota with locking rear differential is serving us well. Here’s a short video (1:24 minutes) showing some examples of why we needed a 4wd tractor: