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Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #152: Not born in a barn, but I'm going to die in one

"You have to be careful," Steven Cole Smith told me. "My threshold was two thousand dollars for a long time. That's why I have an ex-Improved-Touring Fiero out on the property, along with ... many other things."

Yes to the tractor. Hugely useful for moving things, parking trailers, and as an engine hoist. May I suggest a quick detach bucket and forks for the front end loader. I get a heck of a lot of use out of my box scrapper and bush hog attachments as well. Besides, real men drive tractors.

A tip on the concrete. Don't skimp on the rebar. I went with a 6-inches fiber re-enforced floor in my shop without rebar, as the fiber was suppose to be as good. It's not. I have several cracks.

I see a dump truck in your not to distant future. 6-ton units are easy to acquire, don't need a CDL, and are awfully handy for moving dirt, gravel, and other stuff, even short distances.

There's an F800 dump truck for sale down the street. Looks like a mid Nineties, the one that uses a "bullnose" cab. My wife is very interested in buying it. I don't believe in coincidences so I'm guessing she paid you to write this comment! 🙂
Intermediate Driver

My folks bought a New Holland Boomer 24 for their 7 acre hobby farm about 7 years or so ago. Doesn't get used heavily but hasn't given them a lick of trouble. Mitsubishi three cylinder diesel, 4WD, I think it was $14k or so new back in 2014ish. They mostly just run a mower on it and pull a small hay wagon.

Congrats again on the property and the barn, hope to see it in person some time (perhaps with a GS1100G in tow).

I'm expecting that to happen!
New Driver

Jack you are so right about farmers being smarter than you or I. Besides the weather the farmer’s roulette gun is also loaded with bullets from the commodities markets.

Grew up on an Iowa farm and I loved the fall because there was always something I could drive, a truck, a tractor or if I was lucky a combine. The farm wasn’t large enough to support 3 families, so I went off to college and ended up in the big city while my little brother farmed with dad. While he was a D- student, always last in his class at school, he could fix/repair almost anything and became a successful farmer who was able to buy new equipment with cash. Don’t give up a kid who is bad at school, grades are not a predictor of future success.

The last spring he planted there were 3 monitors in the tractor. It had taken a year to get it all working smoothly but he had beaten the bugs into submission. Now 12 years later the amount of tech on planters has increased by a factor of 5.

The other part about the trades/farming is it is dangerous work, my brother died in a farming accident. I was to set in my ways and dad had retired to make the career change back to farming.

In other news, a 100 acre farm (96 tillable 3 acre yard) just sold for $2.6 million in Plymouth County (NW) Iowa.


Jack, great stuff. Wishing you well. Went through the Barn Thing a long time ago and even then it was expensive and had lots of Turkeys which we managed to resolve. It's ready to
be redone again; and I'm wondering at my age (84) weather I should sell everything and get
out of the Hobby and do what? or soldier on.
Intermediate Driver

Anyone that invokes Gordon Baxter can’t be all bad 😉

Have fun with your farm