Flat Stanley Letter 3

Hi Princess,

I miss you. These people don’t dance as often as you do. When I come home, will you dance with me?

My schoolwork today was all about farming.  Steve was telling me today about his tractors. You really should only ask him about tractors if you want to hear him talk for a long time. Like forever and ever. Here is some of what he told me, along with some pictures he showed me.

He uses all 3 tractors for different things. If he was rich he could have one tractor that did everything, but even then, he would want 2 tractors to share the work.

This big orange one is called an Allis Chalmers 190XT. Allis Chalmers is a brand name, like Ford and Chevrolet are for cars.   The 190XT refers to the model.  He uses it to cut the hay. It has the most engine power, which makes the PTO go faster, which cuts the hay faster. (boy, I hope I got that right!) The PTO makes the hay cutter work while Steve drives the tractor down the field. He has to set the level of how high off the ground it should cut, kind of like the lawnmower can be set.


After the hay is cut, he rakes it with his new rake. He attaches the rake to the Massey Ferguson 175 usually, but it can also go on the Massey Ferguson 285. The rake doesn’t take much power to operate, so the smallest tractor works fine for this job.  This is the 285 (the medium sized tractor)  pulling the rake.


And here is his old rake. He really needed a new one, didn’t he?


Next, he bales the hay. He bales square bales himself. They each weigh about 45 pounds. He uses the 285 to run the baler.


Then he stacks the hay on the wagon to bring it home from the field down the road. The wagon is pulled with any of the tractors that is available, but usually with the 175. (the smallest, oldest and ugliest tractor)


See? His method is to keep the haybine connected to the 190, so he doesnt have to hook it up, disconnect, and re-hook it. Since he works by himself, this is a faster way to do it. He usually leaves the baler on the 285. Then he uses the smallest tractor, the 175, to switch between the jobs of running the rake and pulling the wagon home.

One of Steve’s brothers sometimes comes help him when he is baling. And another brother and friend will come if he needs help getting hay bales off the field before it rains.

A neighbor who does custom farming bales all the round bales for Steve. (in this area, custom farming means someone who uses his own tractors and implements to work for other people, rather than on his own land) Steve still cuts and rakes it, then calls Paul to come round bale.

It is nice to have the round bales to put in the bale feeder during the winter. It takes the cows about 5 days to eat the whole round bale that weighs about 1000 pounds. If Steve had to feed square bales in the winter, he would have to feed them 4 or 5 bales every day. That would mean standing outside longer every day in the wind and snow. The cows also eat about 50 pounds of grain a day. He has 11 cows now.

Here is what it looks like when he is done haying, but before he puts the square bales in the barn.


And here are some round bales, with the rake sitting in front:


So…. those are all summer jobs with the tractor.

In the fall, he cuts down some trees, then pulls them into the pasture with a chain around the trunk… the chain is attached to the tractor.

Today, we woke up to 10 or 12 inches of snow.  That meant Steve had to put the back blade on the tractor to move the snow out of the driveway.


Did you notice that Gayle made me a hat, coat, scarf and mittens?   Good thing, because it was about 17 degrees.


It was lots of work.  I had to go inside an warm up.  Especially after I lost my mitten.

I hope you are doing your schoolwork too.

Your Pal, Stan


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 20:00:49

    I LOVE that orange tractor, but that other tractor that you said was ugly looks kind of pretty to me! And happy 2008! Hello 2008! How come you have 11 cows? Thank you for giving Stanley warm clothes!!! Me & Dad clean our drive way with snow shovels. Love the princess


  2. Trackback: Pennsylvania Day Three « Serendipity Flat Stanley
  3. freda1951
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 20:41:47

    That is so cool Stanley. Looks like you had a great time.


  4. TK42ONE
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 22:27:48

    Well I’m glad we came to visit when we did. 10 to 12 inches of snow is something I can do without.


  5. kayp
    Jan 03, 2008 @ 20:29:09

    love the new header and WOW nice new clothes for stanley!


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