View Full Version : farm machines

07-16-2011, 05:34 AM
I am hoping to get a bit of advice here . I have inherited a 300acre smallholding 700km away from me in a place called broederstroom. Its got nothing growing on it. But its near the lion park so every now and then you kak yourself cause they roar real loud. However they are caged but its amazing how far the sound travels. Anyway I get to see giraaffes and buck and zebra etc but its through a fence. Got some of my own buck but jackals are a problem.
Anyway its a bit of a financial burden because of distance and being non productive.Any suggestions as what I could grow.
Please no wize cracks like dube for medicinal purposes that my mates would like me to grow

My main problem is the tractor and brushcutters. Does anyone know if there is a online manual for a massey fergusson 135 tractor.
Or does anyone own one. I would like to ask a question on how to use it.
Second is we have to cut fire breaks and we use sthil fs 280 brushcutters. Does any one have any knowledge on how to repair these. I would like to know how to change the bearings. Does the crank need to be split. I was not raised to grow up with bikes or else I am sure I would have a better knowledge of two strokes.
Also I cant believe a piston can cost R750 00 ($110)
Are there cheaper generic pistons?
Or could a piston be made or am I now really showing how ignorant I am .

07-16-2011, 06:14 AM
Go to this (http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=custuid&custid=s8251094) site (password is "Discovery") and click on the small engine repair link. You will find .pdf manuals for both the tractor and the brush cutter. The cutter head and engine are in different areas however.
Hope that helps...

07-16-2011, 07:06 AM
Good Morning...

I think you may find the follwoing site helpful. Best of Luck...


Great resource for all tractor makes and models along with implements...


Ian B
07-16-2011, 07:56 AM
300 acres; that sounds like an awfully big plot to be tackling with an MF135 - I have 6 acres, mowing it with a similar sized tractor takes about an hour. If you're looking at working that kind of area, I'd think that a *much* bigger tractor would be in order - maybe also 4wd if it's hilly.

Manuals are available on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Massey-Ferguson-MF135-MF165-Tractor-Workshop-Manual-/280708668513?pt=UK_BOI_FarmingEquipment_RL&hash=item415b8a5c61 for instance.

For cutting the firebreak, would you be better off hitching a mower behind your tractor, rather than using a brushcutter? The MF135 can handle about a 2m wide mower, and it would be a lot less work than using brushcutters. Good luck with maintaining the fence!


07-16-2011, 08:27 AM
How much of that 300 is arable?
You see here in the US we use our corn crop to fuel our cars so you might want to consider corn.
If it can't grow crops you might want o consider live stock.

Stock it with retired zoo residents and call it a ,"shooting preserve".

07-16-2011, 08:53 AM
Not sure what your rainfall is like but you might want to consider managing it for forage hay (I assume it's not bare dirt and has grass/weeds on it already). You may have a ready market next door selling feed for the herbivores to the park's management. Forage grass does need some management and investment but is relatively low maintenance and can be hardy if you use local grasses. Your tractor is a bit small for that purpose but you can often contract with other farmers to cut, rake and bale for minimal investment.

Ian B
07-16-2011, 09:06 AM
Is this the area? http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Broederstroom&country=ZA

Maybe forget what I said about mowing with the tractor - a herd of mountain goats might be more appropriate!


07-16-2011, 09:14 AM
Its not arable. Its very rocky but fairly flat. There is thorn bush and velt.Lots of cactus but they are alien spieces. The forestry department poisoned all the cactuses cause they drink to much water. Water is only from bore hole. There is a road that my father built right around the farm by making a fire on the blue stone and then quenching and then hitting with a 14 pound hammer. The tractor has a mower and does most of the road but some areas are still to rocky and that is where the brush cutters come in.The tractor has some goodies that I dont know what they are for. I gave it a service by changing the oil filter and the two diesil filters but wasnt sure how to bleed it but it started so it was a relief. The wiring loom burnt out while the one worker was on it and even burnt his gumboot. Lucky the tractor never caught alight. Does a tractor have glow plugs like a diesel pickup and the brakes feel bad. Would it be a hard job to replace or repair the brakes. Both pedals feel as if a spring is broken as they hang half way between on and off. Also can a tractor jack itself up as I dont have a jack for this tractor. Most of the tools were stolen from the farm while my dad was sick.Rusty bolt thats called caged lion hunting. It was close to my farm and caused a world uproar.

07-16-2011, 09:38 AM
very interesting thread. . .

07-16-2011, 10:04 AM
The massey 135 comes from a linage including 165 and 185 maybe 205. from the looks of it the 135 holds up relatively well, probably well worth repairing. I'm aware of 3 locally still going strong , and none rusting in weed patches.

Rocky ground. I'd go with hay as the easier option. If there is no market then there are several great you-tubes of farmers using "rock pickers" in Canada. Is there a market for gravel in the area? Might offset the cost of picking.

I suspect the price of wheat to continue to rise. Dry land wheat crops here are an every other year crop, letting the soil regain moisture in the fallow year. I remember a tow behind machine called a land imprinter that was supposed to help the soil gain moisture, don't know a damn thing about it, if it worked or not, probably on the net somewhere.

Hope that helps.

07-16-2011, 10:12 AM
I have that same weed eater. My BIGGEST advice - never use a plastic jug to store your fuel in, even a so called plastic gas can. For daily amounts I use a chevron 1 gallon oil jug for ease of handling and pouring , but I mix in 5 gallon bathes and only in metal cans. I have witnessed it too many times to doubt that those red "gas" jugs cause problems with the gas/oil mix; fouled plugs, poor starting, rough running, etc.

07-16-2011, 11:03 AM
We have similar terrain here in Texas and our version of jackals (they are called coyotes). Most people can run sheep or goats with great success as they will graze on a wide variety of plants and not require much water. You can fence your land with game fence, which will help with predators and keep the animals inside. Put a few burros or donkeys in with them and they will guard the flock. With a couple of water troughs, you could likely run at least 600 sheep or goats on 300 acres, depending on forage.

Texas A&M University has a lot of information online that is helpful to small landowners and might be a benefit to you - even with the distance separating us. Here is the primary website.


07-16-2011, 12:45 PM
I am going to second the goat suggestion. They are tough, will eat anything, and sprinkling of buros or mules will keep most predators away, unless some of your neighbors get out. I've seen a mule kill a mountain lion, so they are tough!

BBQ'ed goat is great! The milk is in high demand as well, for cheese, but thats a full time job. With your part time status, I'd graze some goats and see how it goes.

Ian B
07-16-2011, 01:09 PM

You asked if the tractor can jack itself up. I guess you mean with the 3 point linkage arms at the back. The answer's no. It's hydraulics to lift the arms, gravity to get them back down. That's why fixing a tow ball to the arms isn't generally a good idea - they can rise up when you least want it.

Some of the tractors from Belarus had the ability to hydraulically push the arms down, but I don't know of any others. Seems like a lousy design to me, but that's just how they are.


07-16-2011, 05:32 PM
oilseed rape, or rapeseed oil, self minding!

07-16-2011, 05:52 PM
Highpower good site thank you. I never thought about a jackal and coyote being the same spieces . They do look similar.The lions are caged but I have been told there might be leopards. Biggest problem in my country is stock theft.The rock on the farm is called valindaba and is real cool looking . Makes a wonderfull rockery However you are not allowed to mine it. Part of my view is the pelindaba nuclear research station. Hard to believe a small african country could be so advanced that we had nuclear technology in the 70s We had a nuclear bomb before iran and pakistan. Off course now we have gone backwards. Hmmmm. If I have sheep or grow vegetables they may glow in the dark. Hope the water table is not polluted

Errol Groff
07-16-2011, 06:16 PM
If your land is near Beaufort West I can put you in touch with friends who keep about a zillion sheep on their land. PM me if this might be of help.

Errol Groff

07-18-2011, 10:17 AM
IIRC, the MF 135 looks more like a mini Ag tractor than a lawn tractor. I think it is related to the 255 I inherited, and the Indian made Tafe D35. I might be able to give some hints... What exact issues do you have?

3 pt hitch arms float ie lift only because that was the cheapest, simplest system and harkens back to some of the first tractors WWII era.

As far as land use, are there neighbors? Some ambitious neighbor(s) might be interested in renting for small fees or possibly even in exchange for upkeep issues. The rental thing seems to happen a lot here. The largest farm local to me (Hutterite colony) owns approximately 60% of the land they farm, the rest is rented/leased by private treaty. In my area, it seems like +/- 40% of the land is rented/leased out for various and assorted reasons including your exact situation - absentee owner by inheritance.

07-18-2011, 01:30 PM
Our land here is very similar. Rocky is an understatement and it requires several acres per head of cattle. The best thing to grow on it is dryland alfalfa. It can take searing heat with no water for months. It also gradually enriches the soil as it is a nitrogen fixing plant. Make sure if you buy some to get inoculated seed.

I stumbled on this sign recently. I know it's the wrong country... :D


07-18-2011, 01:40 PM
Plunger: The brakes on the MF 135 are mechanical. Easy to repair; after you get the tire and wheel off. Check for leakage around the rear axle seals when you do the brake job. You will probably need help getting the tires and wheels off and back on. Other than that it is, as Frederick Terman said, "Obvious to the most casual observer."
Good luck.
PS I can pdf a few pages to you on the brakes if you have no luck on-line.

07-18-2011, 05:02 PM
The tractor does look like a genuine tractor Just like the d35 classic. So you reckon when I have the wheel off it should become pretty self explanitery.It completely slipped my mind that this tractor has a hydraulic system that should also be serviced. Is this something that is not to difficult.
Evan that is classic. Mozambique is a beautiful country but is very backward. It is amazing when you stop at the border post.On the s african side you go into fancy air conditioned rooms and the floors are nicely paved and on the mozambique side it is a sand floor and the room is a steel container.
I go every year in February with my mates to fish and relax.I find it amazing that once you are over the border the portugeese influence is very obvious. All the condiments and preserved fruit juices etc are portugeese and yet the s african border is only 5 km away.Alot of the old houses still have bullet holes in them.But the locals are friendly and I feel much safer there than in my own country.Alot of people feel s africa has to burn first and then raise itself out of the dust.http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad254/eugeneeman/EugenesFish001.jpgMy last trip there was a cyclone much higher up the coast so the swell was big This is a photo to give you an idea of where we stay. The hotel room is litorily 5meters away from where I am standing..This is the only day we could get out Its high tide in the photo but earlier on the waves were much bigger . I got wiped out twice before I managed to get out .The local guys here will work for as little as 3 dollars a day as there is just no work.At the moment in s africa everything has ground to a halt as there is a petrolium strike and you battle to get gas at the moment. If you dont join the strike you could get murdered.African democracy.Anyway I caught two of these small sailfish and a barracuda and also went upside down coming in. Unfortunately this fish died so I gave it to the locals who are very helpful and happy to have us in their country I am curious to know if you guys in the states also fish of skis because it is very popular here in s africa

07-20-2011, 04:02 PM
I think I should rule out any livestock on the farm as my friend sentme these photos as a suttle reminder that I could invite a bit of trouble regards stock theft. These are the police photos of a stolen toyota tass in the eastern cape.It crashed . this could probably only happen in s africa.
no problem. If you steal a car you might as well steal three cows while you are at it. At least this story has a happy ending. The cows were fine.http://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad254/eugeneeman/image002.jpghttp://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad254/eugeneeman/image001.jpghttp://i941.photobucket.com/albums/ad254/eugeneeman/image003.jpg

07-20-2011, 05:19 PM
Rustling is the same no matter what continent it occurs on. The people who stole the truck and the cattle should be hanged from the nearest tree and the jackals allowed to dine on their flesh...:eek:

07-20-2011, 05:28 PM
hwooldridge That aint no truck Its a tiny little car. I read in the paper quite often that they use vw golfs or fiat unos because they are so small that they would draw less attention.A uno was bust the other day with a cow and three sheep. But you are right about hanging them.

07-20-2011, 07:25 PM
Sheep thieving in some parts of the world would be so much easier if the thief just took one at a time...that way it would only look like he was out on a date...