Preppers: Farm Equipment The Bush Hog
Kevin Felts 10.10.17
Preppers, let’s put together a series of articles talking about turning a piece of land into a working farm. This could be after a world-changing event, such as nuclear war, or viral plague, or maybe you are just ready to get out there and work the land.
The most efficient way to work land is with a tractor. But, where do you start?
A bush hog (a.k.a. brush hog) can be used to clear overgrown fields. Let’s talk about some of the safety issues and just how a bush hog works.
Today, most tractors use diesel fuel, but some gasoline, so be sure what type of fuel your tractor needs, and NEVER put in the wrong type.
For the most part, tractors are just like any other manual-transmission vehicle. They will have:
- Gear shift.
- Gas pedal.
- Fuel tank.
Then there are things not found on a vehicle:
- Three point hitch. This is where equipment attaches to the tractor.
- Lever to raise / lower the three point hitch.
- Hydraulic fluid.
- Power Take Off (PTO).
- PTO engage / disengage lever.
- High and low gear.
There is a common misconception that tractors can pull anything, but that’s a dangerous notion. While they are designed to pull heavy equipment, tractors can flip if they are attached incorrectly to something like a stump. In a case like that, the front of the tractor will rise up and the tractor will flip over, which can easily kill or injure the tractor’s operator as well as bystanders.
Most tractors do not do well on slopes and hillsides and may well turn over. It is no different than using a lawnmower in a ditch, just on a larger scale.
This is basically a large tractor-mounted lawn mower, but designed to work with heavy brush.
The bush hog attaches to the tractor via the three point hitch. Power is supplied to the bush hog through a drive shaft which slides over the PTO.
The drive shaft of the bush hog is a danger zone. Any hand or arm caught in it will be ripped off.
Bush hogs have ratings to what size brush or trees they can cut. Try it on too large a tree and you may break something. Fortunately, there are parts in the bush hog that are designed to break, so they will give before the expensive gear box or drive shaft are damaged.
To engage the PTO, there should be a lever near the tractor seat. Push in the clutch when engaging the PTO.
When bush hogging, set the engine RPMs to about 2,000 and select a gear that moves the tractor along about as fast as a fast walk.
Always disengage the PTO before you turn off the engine.
Sounds simple enough, right?
The honest truth is that farm equipment must be respected. Just a split second of not paying attention could cost someone’s hands, arms, legs, or even life.
NEVER let a child ride on a tractor while bush hogging.
On a personal note, my jr. high school coach had one arm severed at the elbow. As a child, he was riding on a tractor, fell off, and the bush hog ran over his arm. Doctors were able to save his life, but he lost most of his arm.
I am sure I’ve missed some important points. Surely the readers are willing to offer up some suggestions?