Smaller equipment

It is probably fair to assume that on a very large proportion of Gauteng’s smallholdings any powered item one may find trimming edges, cutting wood, blowing leaves or pumping water is not the ideal item for the job. This is because one of the greatest mistakes made by any smallholder is to buy with an eye on the depth of his pocket, rather than with an eye on the job at hand. It takes time, and a few heartaches with broken, worn out equipment, before one realises the truth of the Afrikaans adage “goedkoop is duurkoop.”
So, precisely what powered equipment does one need on a plot?
Lawn Tractor
Although they are surprisingly scarce, lawn tractors must be the first choice for grass maintenance on any smallholding, particularly if the model you choose can double up as a mini-tractor to tow a trailer about.
They may be expensive at first glance, but the width of their cut, and the versatility in the way they handle the cuttings, their relatively powerful engines, not to mention the comfort they afford the rider, make lawn tractors the top choice for lawn care.
Brushcutters
For clearing weeds and veld grass you need a brushcutter. For the average plot, an intermediate unit is probably ideal because unlike the machines used by the gangs one sees swinging away at the grass on the sides of highways, your brushcutter is not going to be working seven days a week throughout the season.
Chainsaws
Most smallholdings will have a few fruit trees to prune, and even a couple to fell, and if you are environmentally conscious you will be seeking to heat your home with wood fires (the ultimate renewable heating source) in the winter, for which you will require firewood.
Thus, a chainsaw will become necessary.
Shredders
Coupled to the purchase of a chainsaw, ironically, should be a shredder, particularly if you are keen on making compost and mulch.
Cultivators
If your plot is too small to warrant a tractor, plough, disc and rotavator, yet you want to do more than just a small vegetable or flower patch, a motorised cultivator should be on your list of purchases.
To read about small equipment for your smallholding buy a copy of the Smallholder’s Companion. Email gautengsmallholder@gmail.com to place your order – R180.00 includes VAT and postage.

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