The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: Orchard Barn on October 20, 2015, 01:00:08 pm

Title: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Orchard Barn on October 20, 2015, 01:00:08 pm
I'm pretty new to small holding and land management, so am still learning the ropes. It's fair to say I've already made some mistakes! For example, to mow (top!) my c.4 acres I purchased a Countax 4WD garden tractor and thought it was great. Then a year later I tried a neighbours Kubota BX2350 Tractor which completed the job in a fraction of the time. I now own both!! Damn it.

I also purchased a petrol strimmer - I went big daddy and got the biggest and most powerful one possible so that I would never need anything beefier. I thought I was being smart. I was actually being rather stupid! Turns out, one half the size would be fine and a heck of a lot easier to use!

However, along the way there have been some gems. My best purchase so far has been a Leatherman Multi tool - it's amazing how many times a day I use it!

So, before I make any more mistakes, would be great if the forum members would share the biggest mistakes and also their best purchases...
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Rupert the bear on October 20, 2015, 07:45:45 pm
The bestest bit of stuff on the croft came free, although I had to pay for a license , Multitasking and adaptable, will always work in all weathers the maintenance is constant but acceptable, some squeaks whines are sorted with a bit of "lubrication" .
Unfortunately as a "one" off there are no spares available and unlike some other kit that gets older and shows signs of wear and tear this bit of stuff gets better and better with age .


I wouldn't be with out my MK1 Mrs RTB  :love:
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Backinwellies on October 20, 2015, 08:30:01 pm
Best purchase so far is probably the Austrian scythe I bought my OH  Christmas 2013  .... he loves it and the brush cutter has remained in the shed ever since!

.... and the Quad of course!
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: pgkevet on October 20, 2015, 10:53:40 pm
I used to pick up cheap leatherman type copies whenever i saw them.. often down to 2-3 for some of the chinese cheapies and always packed a few in my suitcase when i went on holiday to jamaica. Apart from being handy to have they made great bartering tools/gifts for local folk. I still have a couple about the place.
But personally I prefer to just carry a decent lockknife about with me here.
There was a husky strimmer I bought from the predecessors but at full power it destroys the 'string' fast and is a pain to rethread. I've bought a couple of small and light strimmers for one handed work and one of them takes other tools like a hedge cutter. Recently bought another full size jobbie off ebay..new at 60 was worth the risk and seems perfectly all right... wears the brushcutter head and saves swapping ends about. The Husky is fine now I've learned it's quirks, has the best harness and works well so long as never go above 3/4 throttle.

the tools you need depends on your property so yes i have a quadbike, tractor, topper, harrow, rotorvator etc three chainsaws and other stuff.

Wouldn't be wthout them purchases... buckets and rope and emergency tarpaulins.... jerry cans of fuel and emergency water cans. The generator is nice but one would survive without it.  A compressor is really handy.  A spare car saves for when the other one has problems or one of us has to go deal with relatives..

Toy freaks like me also end up with extensive toolkits, trolley jack, compressor, breaker bars and tyre leavers, a small welder and more recently a lathe, mill, bandsaw and more tooling...
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Fleecewife on October 21, 2015, 01:50:40 am
Best thing?  Polytunnel  :garden:
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Buttermilk on October 21, 2015, 07:54:07 am
A marriage license.  The OH is wonderful at doing almost any job.  Unfortunately the worst bit was the father in law who made life difficult.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Notasausage on January 14, 2016, 01:54:13 pm
Best - Grandpa's Chicken Feeder. It has more than halved our feed bill as we are now not feeding the rabbits/crows/robins though I have just seen a squirel work out how to open it.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: sabrina on January 14, 2016, 02:03:15 pm
Our 1956 Fergie. Could not manage without her.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Womble on January 14, 2016, 03:15:04 pm
At this time of year, frost free tap and automatic security lights.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: HappyHippy on January 14, 2016, 03:50:15 pm
Best purchase - a Costco snow shovel for cleaning out (pigs, ponies and cows as well as shovelling snow obviously) - it's outlasted any other one I've bought and is so comfy to use  :thumbsup:
Worst.....a quad which I kinda got talked into and never used.....
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: SallyintNorth on January 14, 2016, 05:20:59 pm
Best - a nearly-new Ashford Wee Peggy spinning wheel, which I only bought because I thought it was a steal at the price and I thought it was local so could go and pick it up.  Turned out to be 300 miles away (Cannington/Callington - doh), but was couriered up no bother.  I always expected to sell it on, since it was such a good price, but in fact it's one of my favourite wheels, easy to take out and about, and a very robust easy wheel for beginners to have a go on, so it's stayed.

Best livestock-related purchase - we commissioned an all-terrain tipping hay cradle (takes a big round bale) for the quad bike, from a handy-with-a-welder relative, and it's an absolute godsend.  This year especially, as it's been so wet and hence the ground won't take the tractor, and we weren't able to make any small bales.  It also has a winch, so you can tip the trailer to upend the bale, take off what you need, then tie the strap around the bale and winch what's left back onto the cradle to take it to the next group.

Best homestead purchase - can't call it between the Rayburn and the all-wool bedding.  Would hate to be without either.

Worst is perhaps the locking yoke feed barrier in the main cattle shed.  Mainly because we ignored the advice on sizing and 'all or none'.  It'd be fine if we had the space it needed to make all the feed spaces the right size, and locking, but as it's only the top end that locks we almost never use it as a locking barrier.  The small one, which is as per the advice, for the Jerseys, is ace - although Hillie has now worked out how to release herself, so I have to put a stick through the holes as well for her ::)

Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: DavidandCollette on January 15, 2016, 11:09:47 am
Poly tunnel animal shelter. Now houses two goats and when needed for ewes (yoes), spare Hay straw milking stand and feed :excited:
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Notasausage on January 16, 2016, 04:16:59 pm
snow shovels are ace for mucking out. We have a mini one from the local garden centre for cleaning the hen house, shovelling coal and anything else we need it to do. It's lasted ages.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Hellybee on January 18, 2016, 02:55:30 pm
Plastic wheelbarrow with plastic wheel, brilliant, light no tyre to pump.  Will never again use metal shovels for stables, why carry that extra weight init lol



Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Buttermilk on January 18, 2016, 03:34:12 pm
I have just got a four wheeled trolley that will take 90 meters of hose pipe and it is great.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Satsuma on January 31, 2016, 10:40:52 am
We are in the final stages of moving to a 4 acre small holding, apart from hand tools and a lawn mover I own no equipment.  I could do with something for moving materials etc around the fields.  Kubota b1700 or similar seems to be the best long term option but would welcome ideas.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: lars64 on March 05, 2016, 03:29:54 pm
Forks for the tractor. The 3pt linkage ones. No idea how I managed before them.
Title: Re: Your best purchases, and your biggest mistakes...
Post by: Satsuma on November 01, 2020, 11:39:30 am
Funny reading back through this, we have learned a lot in four years.  I have two tractors now, the most useful purchase was the tow bar for the three point linkage