She thinks my tractor's sexy.

He says:

So, if you are going to renovate a house in the country and live in it, you are going to have to do some country dig post holes and mow vast swaths of acreage.

We plan on building a front porch, a back deck, and a long fence at the road.  All in all, about 200 post holes will be dug.  We're also committed to mowing over two acres of "yard" out here.  So I went tractor shopping.

I wanted a new one for about 5 minutes, then I saw the prices.  Even a small "garden" tractor that can use a hole digger is about $20,000 without any implements to go with it.  Craigslist, however, had the answer.  This little beauty caught my eye:

It is a John  Deere 4100 tractor that has about 900 hours of use on it.  It runs well, uses diesel fuel, and has passably good tires.  It has the huge bonus of a front-end-loader installed to lift, push, dig and scrape with.  The ad offered it for $8,000 and the address was about 3 miles away from the reno.

Once we arrived, we found the tractor surrounded by every conceivable type of implement we could want, so we offered $9,000 for everything and drove away with the lot.  We got:

Front end loader
Dirt bucket for loader
Fork lift forks for loader
Yard mower
Brush mower
Wood chipper
Big garden tiller
Road maintainer blade
Post hole digger
Fertilizer spreader
Sun-shade roof thingy
Rollover protection bar (important!)

That should be everything we need.  A trip to the tractor doctor fixed an oil leak and got it a clean bill of health.  We've used it for everything, including:

Unloading wood and concrete mix for construction
Moving every heavy thing (including a hot tub) into place
Mowing and clearing brush
Pushing our dirt and rubble piles out of the way

I love this thing.  I love it so much I bought a John Deere T shirt to wear when I'm driving it, and I don't normally do things that geeky.  It runs for weeks around here on 5 gallons of diesel and so far nothing has really gone wrong.  Score one for the homeowners.

NOTE:   Little tractors can be dangerous.  Only buy one with a proper rollover bar, and always wear your seatbelt.  They can carry heavy loads for their size, they are tall and narrow, and as a result they can tip.  They are chock full of hot spinning things that can hurt you.  They are awesome and useful and I love them, but treat them with respect.  I can see that I will be writing something similar about ladders, nailguns, electrical wires...

She says:

I have, in my day, dug post holes with a two man post hole digger, mowed vast swaths of yard with an electric lawn mower, and tilled gardens with a hand tiller.  Yes, I absolutely think his tractor's sexy.

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