Slope Sissy Hotline
October 12, 2018 08:56AM
I'm sure feeling the need to call in. Our orchards are on varied slopes yet I've found a way to traverse my way through the trees on a mid-size tractor. Only what used to feel a tad risqué now seems outright death-defying in places. Apparently the wheel track on the downhill side has been compacting over the years so as to increase the slope differential. I felt this all the more delivering buckets of fresh wood chips to trees these past weeks when the upslope rear tire slightly lifted in places. That was remedied in part by putting the sprayer back on and filling the 100-gallon tank half-way so as to have counter weight on the rear end.

Still, I had a load of crusher run (gravel/sand mix) delivered and I'm shoveling that into low tracks and especially suspect curves. You get to do such things in an off-year with far fewer apples to pick. I'm ready for another dump load. I fear part of me has committed to making the world flat. Ten degrees (tilt) or bust is the new motto!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Slope Sissy Hotline
October 25, 2018 03:12PM
ha! I thought my increasing unease with the slopes I grow up on was in my head - a product of age & wisdom...but this year I'm finally convinced the darn things are just steeper! Well you make a good point, that slope is easier to fix than my mind. ; )

Earthworks
Zone 7a in West-Central MD
Re: Slope Sissy Hotline
October 26, 2018 06:18PM
But Josh . . . it may all be in our mind! The more I think about tilt potential, the more I feel something is bound to happen. Wheel off the ground, going, going, gone. I have a hard time believing I did the things I did for years. Anyhow the idea of a "slope sissy hotline" was meant to interject a vein of humor into the legitimate danger faced by those who farm on slopes. Keep safe, y'all.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Slope Sissy Hotline
October 30, 2018 01:40PM
+1 and amen to that!

Earthworks
Zone 7a in West-Central MD
Re: Slope Sissy Hotline
December 19, 2018 03:44AM
I need that phone number too! Yikes, we had a large crop but I could not fill bins completely in the orchard because it is too precarious trying to then transport down the hill and even worse, having to make a turn on that slope with a 900lb bin of our precious apples.

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: Slope Sissy Hotline
February 26, 2019 06:50AM
We have some (well, lots really) of steep slopes and odd angles here, and have struggled with how to farm them for years. Tractor spraying in the orchards was a particular problem, but one which I think I've now solved. We went from using a newer 4wd john deere to a 1964 International B414- the old tractor has a much lower center of gravity, and though smaller is also heavier and so "sticks" to the ground (or at least feels that way) and allows me to comfortably work on hillsides that were quite terrifying with the JD. Sometimes, smaller is better!
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