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post #1 of 12 Old 12-04-2018, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

I was long waiting to use my new rototiller with the BX2380. Previously the ground was too dry and hard but recent rains have loosened up the soil. Too loose, even though I had waited three days from the last rain. I drove on the lot and immediately sank in 3-4 inches. In three minutes, the industrial tires were caked in mud clay. I drove back onto the driveway and spent the next three hours scraping the mud off the treads.

My question: Can you actually use a tractor in conditions like this? Any tips on getting the mud out of the treads if so?
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 02:41 AM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

R1 Ag tires for soft soil/mud conditions.

R3 Turf tires for grass and firm surfaces. Not for soft soil/mud conditions, but good for snow/ice conditions.

R4 Industrial tires for firm surfaces with road hazards. A compromise between turfs and ags, and not a very good one for the extremes of useage for small tractors. Poor traction in soft soil/mud as well as snow/ice conditions, but with thicker rubber in the tread and sidewalls to deal with sharp road hazards.

Either power wash the treads while the caked in mud is still wet, or wait until it well dried and drive it on a firm surface to break it out. It makes a mess either way.

Bob

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 07:49 AM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

You would ruin your soil for quite a while if you rototill it when its too wet. Best to learn how and when to work your soil type before just going at it with your new toy. Thats pretty basic stuff for someone who grew up on a farm but probably not for someone who didnít.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

My dad's passion was a garden and he would dig down into the soil about 4"-6" and test the soil as shown in this video:
Good luck and enjoy your tiller.
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

Thanks for the information! Yes, no experience with soil, just started with the tractor in July... I will wait for the soil to dry.

What is on the top surface now is all the grass and weeds I cut with a rotary cutter. My intent was to just till the surface a bit as a first pass. Maybe uncover any large rocks I can't see before I go deeper.

I thought I'd get a head start on keeping some of the weeds and grass down if I just dug them down when they're sprouting.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 01:54 PM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

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Originally Posted by glenk View Post
Thanks for the information! Yes, no experience with soil, just started with the tractor in July... I will wait for the soil to dry.

What is on the top surface now is all the grass and weeds I cut with a rotary cutter. My intent was to just till the surface a bit as a first pass. Maybe uncover any large rocks I can't see before I go deeper.

I thought I'd get a head start on keeping some of the weeds and grass down if I just dug them down when they're sprouting.
Where are you located anyway? Most of the continental US doesn't have much sprouting going on at this time of year. Up here that won't happen for about 5 or 6 months yet. Generally how we always checked if the soil was fit for tilling in the spring was to compress some in your hand and then if that broke apart easily it was good to go. If it stuck together it would dry into mudballs after working it. For fall tillage, mudballs are no concern as the freeze/thaw cycles will mellow them up, but if you do that to your soil in the spring, you won't grow much in there for quite a while. Lots of rain may help the situation, but it still would'nt be an ideal seedbed. Also, driving anything on saturated soil, which you must have to be so wet 3 days after a rain, will compact the soil which again is very bad for growing things. Get with a gardening group somehow and they should help you learn the right times and methods for your area. Best of luck!
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 05:12 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenk View Post
Thanks for the information! Yes, no experience with soil, just started with the tractor in July... I will wait for the soil to dry.

What is on the top surface now is all the grass and weeds I cut with a rotary cutter. My intent was to just till the surface a bit as a first pass. Maybe uncover any large rocks I can't see before I go deeper.

I thought I'd get a head start on keeping some of the weeds and grass down if I just dug them down when they're sprouting.

Glenk - I do that every fall even if the soil is as wet as you've described. Just till about 3 " (double pass) and get off of it. The following post by "Junky" is absolutely correct. 4or 5 months of any sort of winter weather will correct clumping and all will be fine. Then do your depth tillage in the spring when soil conditions permit. Use your depth control and frequency of tilling to fit your crop. Spinich, lettuce & beets ect. don't need more than 3". Other crops need 6 to 8". Study up and you'll be fine. You can immediately rinse the dirt off you tractor tires with a garden hose, tiller tines also. Just do it the grass. Ain't gonna hurt nothin.

Rob
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 07:27 PM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junky View Post
You would ruin your soil for quite a while if you rototill it when its too wet. Best to learn how and when to work your soil type before just going at it with your new toy. Thats pretty basic stuff for someone who grew up on a farm but probably not for someone who didnít.
He will have hard pan that will need a chisel plow or explosives to break up
Trouble is he doesn't have enough tractor to pull a chisel plow
Mud will dry and fall off

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post #9 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

I live in Northern California. Even today, the temperature is in the 50's and things continue to grow.

The picture is of my lot when grading was done for the foundation in November last year and what the growth looks like today. Funny that the big grader isn't sinking in or have mud on its tires?

Only two acres. I bought a Land Pride foward rotation tiller with the Kubota package deal that's been in the garage since July.

Tnx again,
gk
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 10:11 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

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Originally Posted by glenk View Post
I live in Northern California. Even today, the temperature is in the 50's and things continue to grow.

The picture is of my lot when grading was done for the foundation in November last year and what the growth looks like today. Funny that the big grader isn't sinking in or have mud on its tires?

Only two acres. I bought a Land Pride foward rotation tiller with the Kubota package deal that's been in the garage since July.

Tnx again,
gk


Based on those pixx I'd do as I said, perhaps even more so depending on soil conditions. Based on my limited time in Cal. I'd just move east. Way east! In other words I'd stay with the devils I know and can manage.

Rob
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-05-2018, 11:12 PM
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

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Originally Posted by glenk View Post
The picture is of my lot when grading was done for the foundation in November last year and what the growth looks like today. Funny that the big grader isn't sinking in or have mud on its tires?
gk
Mud on tires and sinking in isnt a function of which month it is as much as it is going in the dirt after it rains. Is the area you are tilling actually some sort of basin with no drainage? If so get some drain tile in there and head it out the sidehill.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-31-2018, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie Question - Tractoring In Muddy Conditions

Well, after several dry days, I set out with the rototiller. The soil was still a bit wet and clumped but I did about an acre before the sun set. Still mud on the tires and worse yet, caked on the rototiller. I spent 2-3 hours cleaning that mess off the tractor but still satisfied that I got some tilling done.

I had a question regarding the depth adjustment on the tiller. You can set the depth by lowering the skids. I can see how that would work on the first pass on firm ground but during a second pass, the skids would seem to just sink in. Do they actually still work?

I used the three point hitch height adjustment to set the tilling depth. Would have loved to have a position scale for the three point hitch in this case.
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