Last Updated: 08-JAN-2017

Equipment Around the farm

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NOV 2016 - Kohler - 20RESD 20KW Generator

I replaced my 11 year old 20KW Generac water cooled generator in NOV but first a bit of history.

Back in 2006 I was tired of dealing with power outages. I had a 12KW gasoline generator with a manual transfer switch. I did not power the entire house and you had to hook it all up. The old transfer switch is on the left of the breaker box. The new automatic transfer switch for the Generac was on the right of the main breaker panel.

The new Generac on the pad with the propane hook up. Looks great. (That would change)

One of the many things I did not like about the Generac was the power output. It was not a clean sin-wave and my Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) did not like the power. In fact they would fight with the supplied power and eventually just shut off. Not good when you have 11 UPS's in your house to power various things. The Kohler has only run for 20 min or so and the UPS's units did not seem to have any issue with its output.

Met-Ed power on the LEFT and Generac on the RIGHT.

Another concern was heat. You can see that its melted the snow appx 8 feet out from the unit so something you need to be mindful with an installation.

I would change the oil / filter every year or so and replace the battery every three years. Generac does not want to you do this so it was always an adventure in finding parts. They sell a kit for $50 that had an oil filter, four spark plugs (that with propane you never needed) and an air filter (again not generally needed). If you just wanted the oil filter it was $30. This was a major rip-off as it was nothing special.

I never liked the design on the cooling system as it would evaporate out of the overflow bottle from day one so I had to check it often.

So, fast forward to fall 0f 2016. I spent appx $300 and a few hours researching what parts I needed for a full maintenance of the unit. I called about a year ago to see what a generator place would charge to do this and it was well over $1000 so I figured I would do it. I changed the oil / filter, hoses, belts and when I went to replace & refill the antifreeze I discovered the radiator was split across the top and probably has been split for a long time due to the amount of scale that had built up.

So, I researched replacing of the radiator and it was $800 for the part and a $180 shipping charge as it was considered hazardous ?? What is it radioactive ? Idiots ! Also, looking at the way that this unit was built it was probably going to take a day to replace it. Sure, I could have taken it out and went to a radiator repair place and they could have brazed it back but how long would that last ? Also, considering the other issues of this generator like the STEEL CASE rusting out, the power output sucked and that I was starting to not trust it was time to get replaced.

So that was it ! Generac lost my business ! Time for Kohler

I knew what I needed and the only debate was air cooled vs. water cooled. Met-Ed trimmed the trees around here in 2015 and its really made a difference. We went from power being out almost every week to it going off once every few months. Also, I wanted to reduce complexity and going air-cooled would satisfy this. And another factor was how long are we staying here and how long do I expect the new unit to last.

Here is the spec sheet for the new unit. AIR COOLED - 2 Cyl engine, Aluminum case (so no more rust)

  • Kohler - 20RESD Spec Sheet

    New Generator sitting on a pallet at the dealer. We went with a Powerhouse Generator over in New Freedom so went local. They were prompt and did what they said they would do. Also, they gave me $1000 for the old generator. I would have been happy for them to just take it so this was a win-win from my perspective.

    Had to modify the wiring in the main panel to separate the grounds from the neutrals. And removing the old Generac transfer switch.

    Install progress. If we stay here, I may get the gas company out and move the regulator so I see less gas line. Then again I could plant some shrubs along here. The Generac required access on three sides and the Kohler only requires one side.

    The new transfer switch. Just barely fits with the garage door rail right up against it.

    Again, propane is the only way to go. It does not go bad, it's cheap, what runs it stays clean and easy to hook up. Also, no complicated lift pumps (diesel) and no expensive injectors and pumps (again diesel) Total cost was appx $7500 installed. If I went with a water cooled it would have been twice the cost. Let's see more $$$ for same output and increased complexity. Got a aluminum case so no corrosion issues. And it comes with a five year warranty so I probably won't even be here (Living in Arizona) when I could have an issue with it.

    JAN 2016 - Kubota RTV-X1100CW-H Been wanting one of these for years and decided that it was time. We have 3 years more of CREP payments coming and it had been awhile since I made a tractor / utility purchase and it helped that Kubota was offering 0% for four years on it.

    I had some difficulty locating one that was Kubota orange as they charge $625 for the real tree cammo and since we could possible move to SW Utah in a few years I figured Orange would look better in the desert. I ordered this with just about every option I could get. Its street legal (Where they allow them) so if we do move to an area that allows them, it will be ready to go.

    For now I am just getting used to it as it's a bit wider than I realized so I have to modify a number of my trails. The heated cab is really nice and even with the temps in the 20's it will still run you out.

    Had the 4,000 lb. Kubota winch installed.

    I got it from Messick's in Abbottstown, PA and for the most part the buying process was ok. I wanted 4-5K off of list and I got it in that range. You never really know how good of a deal you really get so I just figured this was a goal. I was not impressed with the sales guy as he was not very technical and would not get back to me quickly. Also, when it was delivered I never got a call back from Messick's to see if everything was ok. Not a good way to run a business in my opinion when you are talking about a over 20K purchase. Mary and I discovered the winch cap was cracked and a decal on the back has a tear in it. I went to the service dept. to order replacements on these and they were not too excited on ordering them. Will see if they deliver. Will update.

    Another thing that I am mad about and it is probably my fault for not telling them is the damn dealer stickers (decals). They put THREE of them on the dump bed. They were all incorrectly put on with tears / kinks in them. It's not that I care about how they were put on, as I remove this crap from all my vehicles but the outer part of the bed is plastic and they put them near real decals. So, I have to be very careful on how I remove them. It took me well over an hour to get ONE off. Not a good use of my time ! Idiots !

    Got the factor spray in bed liner.

    Takes more space up in the garage than the ATV's did.

    Orange out for a ride. He was afraid at first as its a diesel and does make some noise but he is getting use to it.

    ONE YEAR UPDATE No problems. This is a heavy piece of equipment so, I have to watch out driving over the same places as it tears up the ground. It's great when it's cold with the heated cab. I put appx. 220 miles and 50 hours on it over the past year and changed the engine oil / filter and the two hydraulic filters.

    NOV 2015 - Synology DiskStation DS2415 Network Attached Storage (NAS)

    Will add when I have the time

    FEB 2015 - Pedego E-Bikes

    Will add when I have the time

    OCT 2014 - Cub Cadet 2X528 SWE Snow Blower This replaced a Yard Machines 4.5HP 21 in 2 cycle paddle blower. Because we expanded the patio I needed a unit that would throw the snow further and this blower does that very well.

    Mary helping with the unloading process

    It's a bit bigger that the old one.

    SEP 2014 - Stihl FS560C Brush cutter They call this a forest clearing saw and it really is. This unit was not cheap but its an amazing cutter as I can literraly cut down trees that are 6 inches in diameter in seconds. In fact I can cut so fast that an hour with this saw will create a couple of hours of cleanup. The only issues is that its too dangerous to use when its warm as you quickly overheat wearing the safety equipment required not to be killed by flying & falling material. You run a high risk of being stung to death as you piss off every hornet that you get within 100 feet of their nest. So, I only use this when its cold.

    2014 APR - Toyota RAV-4 Limited With the death of the 1998 Durango we decided that we needed another SUV type vehicle. No way would we buy a US made one and with how reliable the Prius has been Toyota was another wise choice. We with the limited package and got every option except for the parking and lane assist. As of JAN 2016 we are just a bit over 16,000 miles with no problems at all with it.

    Mary picked the color as she is the primary driver of the RAV.

    Getting washed with the 1999 Dodge 2500 4x4 Diesel which only has 175,000 miles on it.

    Leather interior is the only way to go. With NO kids and we keep the vehicle for 15+ years it will stay new looking

    Motorized lift gate

    4 Cyl which is more than enough. It gets in the upper mid 20's which is twice what the Durango got. Also, same oil and tools as the Prius so easy to maintain

    2010 Toyota Prius

    FEB 2011 - The 1988 Volvo that I had was starting to have some issues so I started looking for a new car. I wanted a diesel Jetta but they would not deal and it would have made me buy diesel in Maryland which I try to avoid buying fuel in. So, we ended up getting a 2010 Toyota Prius. Amazing deal as they wanted the 2010's gone. Almost 5K off and 0% for 5 years. This was a few weeks before the Japan earthquake so no supply issues yet.

    Update as of JAN 2016 I have put 98K miles on it with NO problems at all. Many who know me, are very surprised that I bought such a "green car". But, I am not green and generally don't care about the greenhouse / environmental crap. I bought this car TO SAVE MONEY by paying less in TAXES ! In fact comparing it to my 1998 Durango that got 14mpg I actually saved close to the car payment each month. Its fun to drive and has no issues at all in acceleration. I can generally get around 50-52 mpg (summer) and (46-48 winter) and this is driving at 75+ on my 120 mile round trip commute each day. If I take it easy and drive it the way it was designed I can get into the 60mpg range with no issue.

    Now that gas is cheap I can drive the entire week to/from work (4 days) for around $17 in gas. Not bad.

    The version is Prius IV with leather and the navigation system which I don't generally use.

    Note - flag is low due to high winds

    Got the solar vent system which is very nice with a black car. (Update 2016 - I now park in a parking garage so this is not used much anymore)

    Leather which is what I wanted. But, its lighter than I normally get. After almost five years it has stayed cleaner than I expected

    Kubota BX2230 Compact Tractor

    JAN 2006 - I fixed the error of trading my BX1800 in 2003 and got a BX2230 in the summer of 2005. No more taking backhoes off and putting mower decks on. Yes, it was an investment but it's worth it in the ease of use.

    I added a Curtis cab and the Kubota snow thrower in JAN 2006

    Update JAN 2016 - Been trouble free in the 11 years I have had it and now have a bit over 600 hours on it. I expect it to last as long as we live here.

    FEB 2006 - On Feb 12th we had our first big snow of 2006. This was 15+ inches of the heavy wet stuff. The blower did very well considering that the tractor still has less than 50 hrs. on it and due to break-in I was not able to run the blower up at full speed.

    Also, the heater is the cab was amazing !! Definitely will run you out !!

    Very good job at cutting through the snow

    Kubota BX-2750B Snow Blower

    FEB 2014 Around a foot. No problems at all.

    FEB 2010 TWENTY FOUR inches in blizzard #2 of winter 2009-2010. Was close to the capacity of the blower. Had to go really slow. but had no problems.

    Went from blower to plow in 4 minutes. Very easy. Going back to the blower take a bit more time as you have to align the blower shaft.

    All pushed back and ready for winter blizzard #3 coming on FEB 10th

    One thing you can't forget on the Kubota BX-2750B Snow Blower is to oil this chain every season.

    Kubota BX2763A Blade

    JAN 2009 - Picked up a Kubota BX2763A Hydraulic angle adjustment front blade, which I will use for snow removal and light landscaping work. Very well made, and weighing in at over 200 pounds, it also came with adjustable skid shoes and reversible and replaceable high carbon cutting edge.

    I was tired of trying to deal with under 2 inch snow-falls with the blower. It was not good for the blower as it would pick up many rocks operating at such a low setting.

    Update JAN-2016 -- I continue not to use this very much. Have used it a few times to move dirt. Seems that all the snow we get are in the 6+ inch range. Still, good to have !

    JAN 2006 - Generac Gardian Elite 20Kw Generator

    Kubota B2410 The new tractor that we picked up in MAY 2003

    It's a Kubota B2410 with a Kubota LA352 Front End loader and a 4672A Backhoe. I have the mid mount mower deck but have not used it since 2005 as I use the BX2230. As of JAN 2016 I am a bit over 700 hours. The tractor itself has been relatively trouble free but have had some issues with rear wheel mounting and just took the front end loader to Messicks to have all the bushings replaced due to ware. This tractor's life has been mostly loader work with moving dirt, brush and firewood.

    OCT 2015 - Mary using the loader to move salt and walnuts during collection time

    JUN 2003 - Dad digging a hole with the new tractor looking for groundhogs.

    JUL 2003 - Polaris Sportsman 400 to help us get around the place. As of Jan 2016 - up to over 700 hours and 3,500 miles. Not bad considering its spent most of its life on 20 acres and the adjoining property. It's been very reliable and generally have not had any issues beyond a set of tires and normal wear and tear. I did have to replace a rear boot but that was because of brush and not a defect. I figure I will not use it as much now that I have the RTV especially in winter.

    APR 2004 - Polaris Trailboss 330 Picked up another ATV so Mary had something to ride too. As of JAN 2016 it too has not had any issues over the past 15+ years but its always been hard to start in the winter and the breaks have never worked right (You have to pump them). I plan on selling this in the spring as I don't have the room for it anymore. It's fun to ride and very light so you have to watch out when riding it.

    JUN 2003 - Made a posthole holder to make it much easier to move the PHD around. Also, PHD on the bigger tractor.

    JUL 2002 The first tractor Kubota BX1800 with the Post Hole Digger attachment on it. I later traded this tractor in on the B2410.

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