Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mode of Travel…4-Wheeler

Most farmers around here have at least one 4-Wheeler or Quad as they are called in some parts of the US.  We use them for fun at times but the main reason we have them is for work.IMG_4092John drives one out to the fields to check irrigation every day during the summer.  Some places the pickup can’t go or would get stuck so the 4-Wheeler is the vehicle of choice.  This one has a large tank attached with a sprayer on the back and another hose with a sprayer hand wand on the side.  We use it to spray the ends of the fields and pasture for weeds.  The tank sort of looks like the back of a chair doesn’t it? 
John also uses a 4-Wheeler to check the cows and fences in the pastures.  Again you can maneuver a 4 wheeler where you can’t take a pickup.  If he needs to use it and it is too far to drive John loads it up in the back of the pickup using a folding ramp then drives to where he needs to be and unloads it.  It is not unusual to see farmers around here driving around with their 4-Wheeler in the back of their pickup trucks.

I usually drive this one as it has an automatic shift.  I hate shifting gears so this works pretty slick.  I don’t think I could ever drive it long distances as my arms get tired being stretched out all the time and the throttle is run by the right thumb and pressing it all the gets tiring too. In spite of all these inconveniences or fatigue, they are fun to drive. IMG_4093John and I each rode one down to one of our pastures that is only 2 1/2 miles away tonight.  It was nice out with no wind but the gnats were flying all over.  One thing you learn rather quickly is to ride with your mouth closed at all times…sure don't want to swallow a few of those tiny bugs.  We also noticed a lot of Dragon Flies tonight, especially in the pasture.  I am thinking that maybe they eat gnats but don’t know for sure. 

The cows just looked us over as we drove by and the 3 geriatric horses were happy to have their special treat for the day, some horse pellets.  Sally is 19 and has had some health problems in the past and can’t be ridden anymore, Lucky is 27 and was my father in law’s horse so he will live out his life on the farm and can’t be ridden either. They are both looking good and have put on some weight this summer.

Bandit belongs to a friend and is spending the summer in our pasture to try to get more weight on him as he went down hill for no apparent reason last winter even with unlimited food.  The veterinarian was stumped and attributed it to old age.  I don’t know how old Bandit is but know he is over 20.  He is looking a little better now but old horses can look like they are starved as they have sway backs and sometimes their ribs show even with special food and care.  We take care of them and try to make their life happy how ever long that is.



Elaine Adair said...

Photos of 4-wheelers are OK, but I really was hoping for photos of the old horses! 8-)))

See? ya can't please everyone! LOL

You are a real trooper, aren't you? I suppose you do the pulling calves as well? You ranch women are amazing!!!

paula, the quilter said...

I have seen some 4-wheelers with steering wheels. Polaris, maybe? I dunno. But I would think it would be easier on your arms. They are also side-be-side two seaters.


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