Equipment Love: Mahindra 2415

A (long, long) while back Andy mentioned I should write about the equipment we own. I told him he should write about the equipment we own, in my never ending quest to have Andy write a blog post which I’m rather certain he never will. That said, writing about the equipment we own is a pretty good idea. He’s right that without some of our equipment we wouldn’t either have certain things done, or it would be a lot harder.

No single piece of equipment we own is bigger than our Mahindra 2415, both in size and how crucial it is to having our little homestead. Unlike my relationship with Troy, I’m on good terms with our tractor who I lovingly call Mah. When Winnie was a puppy she was even featured in Living The Country Life magazine while sitting on her (yes the tractor is a she, says me). I grabbed this photo with my point and shoot, and when I saw there was a call for cute animals I sent it in.

561701_487242111305592_29761995_nWe like to tell Winnie she needs to earn a living and she definitely pulled through, at least once. To this day our dogs like jogging along the tractor in their older age, and still enjoy a lap ride now and again.

To really write about Mahindra I had to ask Andy for his input. Buying this tractor was primarily his gig though I was definitely on board. He had wanted one for a very long time; as in childhood. I more or less saw it as a means to an end, and ended up loving it after we had her a while. When we bought this property we knew we needed a tractor in order to fix up the land and build our house. Then it turned into both a tractor for around our homestead, but also for agricultural use up at the farm. All in all, it’s been well worth the money.

This was one of the very first photos we ever took of our Mahindra, long before the barn and garage were even started and clearly well into my phase of color blocking photos on my point and shoot.

6.8.2008 005Over the years we’ve really loved this girl, though there have been a few times we’ve debated on upgrading to a larger model. We always decide to stick with the 2415 though. It really is the perfect size, both for us, and the farm. While the farmer owns lots of larger models, little red can fit under the barn to muck it out. If we got a bigger tractor we wouldn’t be able to get under the barn, and mucking it out is pretty important.

DSC_4931-01We have a few implements for the tractor that we’ve accumulated over the years including forks for the front end, and for the back a bush hog, a finish mower, a box blade. Andy has even altered the Mahindra to attach to a plow which can be controlled by the hydraulics. Heck, she’s even skidded logs before by a chain.

DSC_4927-01Andy would be the first to tell you my favorite attachment is our 1710 backhoe. I can’t explain why, but I just really enjoy using it. I think it’s the same reason I loved digging holes in the dirt as a kid—there’s something inherently fun about getting dirty and even more so when the thing you’re digging with has an engine.

6.8.2008 027The next implement I’m pushing for is a hydraulic logging winch. My goal is to get a sawmill within the next couple years, and the winch would come in handy, but that’s another post for another day. All in all, Mah definitely earns her keep around here and she’ll be around for a long time to come, I imagine.

6.8.2008 029Do you guys have any pieces of equipment, large or small, that are staples at your place?


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s A Porch!

The dumpster and lumber for our addition showed up in the driveway today, so excuse me while I squeal with delight but also because I know it’s catch up time on the blog. There are going to be a lot of different projects going on at once so I’ll be updating them as they get worked on. I am absolutely positive tomorrow is going to be crazy. Why? Andy told his brother to go to bed because he has to be up early tomorrow. Before the mayhem happens let’s play catch up!

Last weekend while Casey and I were ripping boards off the walls in the living room I happened to glance out the window, and I caught my husband standing in our dirt driveway and looking at the house. Except, I knew he wasn’t looking at the house, he was picturing the porch. Meanwhile, I was just excited our living room looked a little more like this.

The next morning Andy told me he needed the cement mixer from the farm to pour the footings for the porch, and before I knew it I heard the tractor coming down the street with a loud clacking noise behind it. The cement mixer is very old, and looks like it should be at a fair. In other words—it’s pretty cool.

Before anything could be mixed though, it was time to mark out the spots for the sonotubes which are used for the footers. Sonotubes are concrete forms used to make the footers. After the concrete is dry, the forms are removed.

After taking some careful measurements, Andy started stringing up his points just to make sure he dug in the correct spots.

There was some geometry involved in the measurements, and I didn’t want to forget what number he told me so I grabbed the nearest marker and wrote it down. On my hand. Paper? Over rated.

Once all of the measurements were taken, Andy placed the base to the sonotubes down and marked the dig line around them. I asked Andy if the bases were necessary and he said no, but that they helped a lot.

After he completed marking the footings, it was time to dig! You never know what you’ll find around here, including a rusty heavy duty cable.

Time for a test fit.

After spending a while measuring, digging, etc. he finally placing them all in. I didn’t get a photo of the sonotube bases in there before he back filled the holes with dirt. I know, I’m really on top of things. Sidebar: Can you spot the dogs? Can you also spot that they are sneakily eating the rest of the popcorn we left on the steps? Trouble makers.

If you look close in the photo above, you’ll notice there’s a gap in the center where there should be a fifth sonotube. After laying them out, Andy realized he needed another base and sonotube. Because the bases weren’t necessary we decided to use a large square piece of concrete we already had left over from another project. To make the sonotube, and I am not kidding, he cut the extra off the tops of all the other tubes (which I’ll show in a moment) and then adhered and braced them together. That might sound wonky, but I swear it will not compromise the structural integrity of our porch in anyway. Mainer ingenuity at work.

Guilty popcorn eating dog at work.

“Who, me?”

After we shooed the dogs inside, it was time to start mixing the cement into concrete.

Casey pulled out only his best for this activity, including his risky business sunglasses—hence his nickname of Tom Cruise.

The boys tried pouring the concrete from the mixer into the sonotubes, which should have worked. However, it didn’t. They just couldn’t tip it far enough to get all of the concrete out. Instead they put it in the wheel barrel and hand shoveled each tube.

Once they were all complete, Andy finally took a break after hours and hours of working straight. These might look all over the place in terms of height, but I promise they are exactly dead on and correct.

After a short break, Andy graded out around the sonotubes so everything was more or less flat again.

I’ll be back soon with another post on the progress of the actual addition itself, since you can tell in the post above part of the siding is missing!