Tractor Pulling


Pulling trees with a chain and the 856. Actually it’s four chains hooked to the bale stabber on the three point hitch on the back of the 856. Once the engine warms up the oil quits gushing out of the leaking o ring on a bypass pipe. The parts swell up with heat and a trickle slows down to a drip. It may take a half pint to get it warmed up enough. I tried to replace the silicone I had fixed it with last time but I think I may have made it worse.

I’m using four chains because the trees are small enough to pull four at a time. Only once have I had the front wheels off the ground while pulling. But I had seven trees hooked up that time. I’ve learned how to loop it around one and get the excess chain to loop around a second and even a third if the trees are close enough together. All in all it’s going better than I thought. A vast majority of the trees are too small to pull with my fat chains. On them I’ll use a lopper.

What amazes me is how fast these trees grew. They are all Chinese elm that were self seeded by air from the nearby building site’s original Chinese elm windbreak. Growing alongside my headlands and turn areas a couple years ago they became too large to drive through with the equipment. Had it been mowed for brome hay every year the trees wouldn’t have stood a chance. I had been grazing it over winter with the stalks though and the cows don’t eat barren trees, only trees with leaves. As it is they are already making a nice windbreak.

They are prolific growers but they are a dirty tree in that they die as fast as they grow. A lot of times on the same trunk. There will be four or five dead branches for every four or five live ones. Always breaking off and coming down from the wind. It is good for the wood peckers but not very attractive to look at. The tree is best when planted thick and harvested early. They could quite plausibly be a good alternative crop for fuel or fiber here in southwest Iowa on some of our poorer soils. Cc