Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Me and My Kubota RTV

Macree wasn't the only one who gave me a present for my birthday.  Herb completely overwhelmed me by announcing that since I couldn't think of anything I wanted, he was taking me shopping for my present . . . at Buddy Boykin's Kubota dealership in Rainsville, Alabama to get me . . . an RTV!

An RTV is Kubota's version of a UTV (think John Deere Gator or Kawasaki Mule) but better!  Don't ask me why Kubota thought up a hard-to-remember name like "RTV"--unless they were thinking it stood for "Really Terrific Vehicle!  Since I have a hard time remembering "RTV," I call it my "Doodad."  I haven't heard it complain.

My particular Doodad happens to be a Kubota RTV900 Worksite model.  Just to show that girls can talk "tractor," too, it has a 3-cylinder diesel engine with 898 cc displacement (enough to haul our loaded ABI manure spreader) and 21.6 HP.  It has a 7.4 gal. fuel capacity, a VHT Plus (Variable Hydrostatic Transmission--no shifting), has 4WD and 3 gears plus reverse, and a hydraulic dump cargo bed with a capacity of over 1100 lbs.  Its top speed is 25 miles per hour, but that actually feels like flying on our gravel roads!  This is a WORK HORSE, not a "play pretty" as our Alabama neighbor called his bright yellow ATV that tops out at 67 mph.

Herb was in class all day on the 9th when Boykin had the optional top ready, so I hauled the trailer all the way to Rainsville to pick up my Doodad and bring it home.  Herb did hitch the trailer to the truck for me, and Bronson Lee backed it for me at the dealership.  We gals gotta make sure the guys still feel useful!  :)

Driving my Doodad on its first sortie, I had to laugh at the guinea fowl scattering in front of it and the turkeys running alongside in the pasture.  This is what's been running through my head:

"Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry,
When I take you out in my surrey,
When I take you out in my surrey with no fringe on top.
Watch those birds and see how they flutter
When I drive my high-rollin' strutter;
All those horses make it more than putter--
Yeah, your eyes will pop!
The wheels are rugged, the upholstery's smooth,
It feels like genuine leather.
It doesn't have a windshield but I don't care,
The top will keep out the weather!
Two bright headlights winkin' and blinkin';
Ain't no finer rig I'm a thinkin';
You can keep yer rig if yer thinking that I'd keer to swap
Fer my shiny little surrey with no fringe on the top!

Our first errand was to go check on Sara and Tundra.

I told Herb we could have used my Doodad instead of the Toyota Tundra for our whole secret op to get Tundra and Sara to a safer pasture.  On second thought, I'm glad we didn't have it yet because I don't think either "RTV" or "Doodad" would be a very nice name for a calf!

Later that day Herb and I used the Doodad to take a new water tank out to the Back Pasture and fill it up for Cash and family.  Feed bowls full of feed, a new heavy-duty hose, plumbers' tape, a pliers, and the large water tank all fit comfortably in back of the Doodad and made the job easy.

This morning Herb told me he hadn't seen Cash, Siobhan or Macree out in the Back Pasture and would I mind checking on them.  Doodad and I were up for the job!  I found out that the cattle had gotten through the electric fence (which someone forgot to turn on!) into the back part of the pasture, but they came running when they heard the Doodad coming.  It's taken about two days for them to figure out that nice rumbling Kubota means FOOD!

I took the opportunity to tie everyone one up and get some photos, as well as get in some time working with Macree. While everyone was tied up, I grabbed some fly spray out of my Doodad Kit (more on that below) and gave everyone a good dose of fly prevention.
When I first suggested the idea of getting a UTV to Herb several years ago, I said it would be useful around the farm.  It can do a lot of jobs that we usually use the larger tractor or truck for, and it would cause less damage to the pastures, besides being more convenient.

Lately Herb has seen that sometimes it's difficult for me to get around with my bad leg, and that's why he decided to get me the RTV.  But I still wanted him to know that it's USEFUL, not just a toy, and that's how I thought of my Doodad Kit.  That's it above, held in with Kubota-orange bungie cords.

The Doodad Kit is a Steri-lite box that I bought at WalMart for about $20.  It has a latching lid that will keep water out, although I don't plan to leave the Doodad out in the weather.

Inside the Doodad Kit are all the things I could think of that might be useful when we're out and about.  You know, those "Darn! if I only had such-and-such with me I could do this-or-that" moments.

I tried to think of as many scenarios as I could and proceeded to outfit my kit:

  • Plastic container of horse treats
  • Cow fly spray
  • Horse fly spray
  • Wasp spray
  • Weed killer spray (NOT Round-up!)
  • Extra spray bottle in case one of the others quits working
  • Orange hay twine rolled up in a baggie
  • Two sizes of calf halters
  • A red lead rope (so I remember it belongs in the Doodad)
  • A red first aid kit with iodine, tape, sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Vinyl-palmed gloves in a baggie
  • Ladies' work gloves in a baggie
  • 12 pairs of disposable plastic gloves in a baggie
  • A DNA test kit in a stackable plastic box with alcohol, pliers for pulling tail hairs, plastic baggies, a Sharpie for putting cows' name on baggie, and a roll of tape for adhering pulled hairs to.
  • A tattoo kit for ears in a stackable plastic box with the tattoo clamp, letters, numbers, and ink.  Note to self:  Add some disposable gloves!
  • A tool kit in a stackable plastic box with pliers, 4-way screwdriver, wire cutter, a pocket knife and a few handy hooks and O-rings.  A fencing pliers that is too big for the box has a spot nearby.
A Kubota baseball cap in the front seat, a grocery bag bungied to the Doodad's frame to hold garbage, and a walking stick/snake stick in the back complete my Doodad Kit.

There might be some eventuality my Doodad and I aren't ready for, but I'd be surprised!  Herb and I were out in the pasture the other day when we noticed that Sara had taken Tundra into the (open) round pen in their pasture.  "Hey," I said, "let's take advantage of Sara being in there and get her in the head gate."

It took a lot of patience along with several whacks from a rotten branch on Sara's nose when she charged Herb, plus a lot of sweat waiting in the hot sun for Sara to relax and take the food bait . . . but once Herb hid out of sight and I backed away far enough, she stuck her head out for the food, and I nabbed her.  We wiggled Tundra along Sara's side and out the back of the chute, got a halter out of the Doodad to help hold her, pulled out the DNA kit and got tail hairs from both girls, pulled out the tattoo kit and tattooed Tundra, then loaded everything back in the Doodad along with the empty food bowl. Who knows when we would have gotten this job done if we hadn't happened to have everything we needed right in the Doodad?

I don't think I needed to worry too much, though, about convincing Herb that my Doodad really is useful.  A few minutes ago he came and asked me if he could use it to go get a load of his books from storage in Kara's house.  Of course he could!  There's enough Doodad for all of us to enjoy!


  1. Nice Susan, I wish I had one of those, that would match my Kubota tractor.

  2. Oh, yes, Gordon, you definitely need a matched pair! ;) Start asking for one now and get your wife going on the idea that an RTV makes a much better retirement gift than a watch does! :D

  3. Hey, Susan, this is a great post--so fun to read! And the song you wrote, er, I mean "borrowed" had me singing along! Love it!!

  4. Hey Herb and Susan......Great choice Herb! You were right ......she would want the orange and not the camo. Hope you both enjoy it.....Bruce


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