Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Frozen ...

Last night was one of the coldest on the farm this season. I'm not sure exactly how cold it was, but I know it was in the single digits ... And, I know it was cold because the hose was frozen tonight when I went to water the animals! I thought I had done a good enough job draining the hose last night, but I guess that I either had a pocket of water in the second hose (because the first in the chain of hoses was flowing fine) or I was a little too slow in draining it and it froze up around the end before I got that far. I guess it doesn't really matter why it froze ... because it was froze and I had to work around that issue!

Since the hose was frozen I had to go with the back-up plan which included a couple of 5 gallon buckets and a walking back and forth me! Even by brining the hose into the house it wouldn't thaw out in time and I needed to get water to the animals so buckets it was. The thing about using buckets is that roughly ten gallons at a time isn't enough for the cows. They can have that all gone by the time I get back so for the first 10 or 20 trips (I made a lot of trips) it was just getting enough there for them to drink. It is nice to see that they have a nice system worked out for getting water though. Basically it goes from biggest to smallest with the sheep all hanging out together until it is just the littlest calves at the water tank.

The good news on the frozen hose front is that it is supposed to warm up the next couple of days, so I'll get that all taken care of and be back in business! I just need to make sure I'm staying on top of things and getting it all drained out. In completely and totally unrelated news I think I am finally ready to make the jump into the world of trucks!

In the past I have written about wanting or thinking about getting a truck many times, and each time there is usually someone who is surprised that I've been farming without a truck for this long. Well, I'm not sure if I want to farm without one any longer and I'm ready to get rid of the Expedition and step into a truck ... a cheap truck ... an inexpensive truck ... a reasonably priced truck ... You know ... one closer to $3,000 than $5,000!

I do have a couple requirements though. It needs to be a 3/4 ton truck and it needs to be four wheel drive. Other than that I'm pretty open. Ideally it would be a long bed and an extended cab, but I don't think that is going to happen in my price range. So, what are your thoughts on a truck that will be for the farm and for my daily driver. If you could only have one (long bed or extended cab) what would you choose? I would love your input ... and if you have one for sale let me know ;)

5 comments:

wobbly.com said...

That's a lot of work in cold conditions. You have my respect. I have it easy.

I'd recommend a 90s diesel Hilux as being cheap, reliable, unstoppable, 4wd with an extended cab for the family but they don't sell the same thing in the States.

Rich said...

A long bed has a slight advantage if you are hauling things like gates, ladders, or 12'-2x6's.

A long bed might make it easier to haul square bales of hay (4 or 5 more bales per load?).

If you are mainly hauling bags of feed in the bed, I don't think a long bed would hold much more than a short bed since the tires and springs should be the same on both versions. Just pile it higher in the short bed.

I don't see a real difference between a short bed or a long bed when pulling a trailer (a bumper pull or a gooseneck)

A long bed might or might not make it easier to move round bales with a bale spike installed in the bed.

An extended cab makes it easier to haul groceries home behind the seat, store extra winter clothes in the cab, etc.

Personally, I would prefer an extended cab, but wouldn't have a problem with a regular cab LWB. Tires, engine type, gearing, and price are also important considerations and might influence my decision as much as whether it was an extended cab or a long bed.

To add to the decision making process, if I am remembering it right, the short bed on a Ford Super Duty used to be 6.9' long, and a Dodge short bed was 6.2' long. In my mind (disregarding other differences), a 6.9' bed is preferable to a 6.2' bed.

Jean said...

start bringing indoor the hoses after every evening chores? Have back-up hose accessible in house to trade if supposedly drained hose got plugged up with ice?

CJ said...

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm#Animals

Anything over a 6' bed is plenty, being able to lay a piece of plywood flat in the back is big in my opinion. Inside lockable storage would be a big consideration.

sugarcreekfarm said...

We have a 3/4 ton and it isn't really sufficient for as much livestock as we haul, or pulling the large flatbed trailer loaded with round bales. Using it that hard has resulted in some expensive repairs & maintenance. Matt's definitely going to a 1 ton next time...just hoping our truck can hold out until we can afford to trade!

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