The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. How true. Project House has a large number of outside projects to accompany the inside projects. This is actually good since it means I have fair weather projects and foul weather projects.
Outside projects usually mean dirt needs to be moved. A lot of dirt. And in the case of Project House, a whole bunch of rocks. The whole front and back yards are covered with rocks. The front yard is graded such that water from rain and snow flows towards the house. Not long after we put carpet in the basement a large rainstorm blew through. The water flowed right up to the house, filled up a window well, poured in around the window, down the wall and soaked the brand new carpet. Since it was outside ground water it was not covered by insurance. We called Serve Pro and they came out and vacuumed up the water, lifted the carpet and set a fan to blow air under the carpet to dry things out. Interesting fact, Serve Pro does not set their own rates, the insurance companies (the same ones that will not cover flooding for outside water coming into your house) dictates the rates Serve Pro can charge. Everything cleaned up very nicely and its like it never happened. But it did drive home the point that we needed to do something about the grading in the front yard. This picture gives you some idea of what we have.
Its all covered with rocks and there is black poly under the rocks so the water has no place to go but towards the house. We called a couple of landscape companies and learned that the cost of moving dirt was high. Very high. We have a hill that needs to be regraded, the whole front yard needs to be scraped so that we can put in a garden, there is a failed retaining wall to be rebuilt, I had a horse drinker and some electric and gas lines that needed to be buried. I am too damn cheap to pay others for things like that. I came up with a different solution - get my own tractor.
Now, I would like to say that the tractor was purely a purchase to help us save on our landscaping coasts. Truth be told, I had driven my brother-in-law's tractor and I wanted one. Bad. So after looking around a bit I settled on the Kubota BX25. It came with a front end loader, a removable back hoe (how cool is that! Useful too.) and I added a box blade for grading projects. Here is my tractor.
Here is the tractor "at work".
I have since used the tractor to bury the water line to the horse drinker, and electric line to the barn, scraped all of the rocks out of the back yard, turn the manure pile and shovel snow. As it turns out, a compact tractor is very handy machine t have around even if you only have an acre!
Now, I would like to be able to blame the purchase of this tractor on my promise to help my daughter own a horse but lets face it. This is Dad's toy. It has a 23 horsepower, 3-cylinder diesel engine (real tractors have diesel engines). It moves heavy loads, it digs holes, it fills those holes back in. It moves snow and I even used it move a 500lb table saw from the garage to the shop. And the daughters enjoy taking it out for a spin as well. Yep. If you have horses in the back yard, get a tractor! You will not regret it!