A while back we decided we needed some help. Which we still do, in many ways, but I’m talking about the heavy machinery kind of help. Tackling manual labor jobs by hand or with small equipment was not something that was feasible for the long haul.
We needed to clear more brush, move trees, pull stumps, do grading, and on and on. So with the help of some family friends, we found a great old tractor for sale in the Idaho area and brought it home with us. It’s an old Fordson, and it’s definitely not new, but she actually purrs like a kitten and does a great job still. There’s also something really nostalgic about an old school tractor. I suppose it’s images you have in your head of a simpler time, of life on a farm with an old man driving a tractor in a big field with a dog chasing after him. Kind of a simple, small town American Dream type idea. That’s what this old girl reminds me of. Sure, one day we will want to upgrade to the latest and greatest, but for now, seeing Rob brush mow or clear debris with this old Fordson is kind of nice. Also, I can drive it! Who knew I would be driving a tractor, and actually know how to work it. Life is full of funny surprises.
We then realized we had even more work to do, and wanted to take it up a notch. So we bought a small excavator. Now, when you see the picture of it, you’ll say to yourself “What in the world is THAT!?” And I really do get it. I think my eyes bulged out of my head when I saw it for the first time too. It’s purple and pink. There. I said it, and you’ve probably scrolled further down to see the picture now, instead of waiting and reading this. My macho, farm boy/cowboy husband runs a ‘Hello Kitty’ style excavator.
It’s a Komatsu, and it’s a direct import from Japan. In Japan, they use heavy machinery up until a certain amount of hours used on it. From there, many get shipped to the USA to be resold at a discounted cost. The colors we would think normal, like green, red, white or blue, just are a little different over there, and standard for these types are apparently purple and pink!
Also, everything on the machine is written in Japanese. There’s literally not one english word inside or outside of it, so you really just have to figure it out as you go. Rob is well versed in running machinery so it took him only a couple of minutes to be able to understand everything. And believe it or not, I can run this baby too. Farm and ranch friends of ours have often made jokes about me being from the city and “how will I survive” and on and on. It’s fine. I have always been able to laugh at myself. But I tell you, in a few short years, I have picked up more farm and ranch skills than I ever imagined. And you know what? I’m really good at it. City street smarts mixed with a good hardworking german ethic have made me quite useful. Take that!
We bought this beauty about a year ago, in Oregon, from a Contractor who had used it for a few years and had kept it in very good mechanical shape. The only obstacle we faced was getting it back home to Washington. Our truck has a large towing capacity, but our flatbed trailer was not large enough for this machine, and apparently, you cannot rent a trailer with enough towing capacity for this type of machinery either. It was frustrating at the time to say the least, but when you think about it, imagine all of the random people who might tow really large machines, or who knows what else, barreling down the freeway at 60 miles an hour with no prior experience or training, not totally sure if they even really tied it down properly. So, I get it now.
We had to hire an actual truck driver/delivery company to pick it up enroute and deliver it. It was fast, easy and once again, we met another really great person. To date, everyone we have worked with has been a Godsend, and I mean that literally. They have all been a blessing to us in some way or another. We will often call multiple places for trades services and either not get a call back, they are too busy, not very nice and you just get a bad feeling, or they are just the perfect person at the right time. Johnny was just this. You would have to meet him to understand what I mean, but the minute he stepped out of his truck to unload, we just liked him. Anyway, Johnny, if you ever by chance happen to stumble across this, we got your note, and appreciated it. God bless you and your family. And thanks.
So, when any of you Grandview neighbors hear machines in the back 40, it’s just us, getting it done, step by step. And if you ever need a helping hand with a project of your own, please let us know! We’re happy to help you out!
– The Homesteaders Wife