Just the other day, I remarked to Mr. Big Food that my vocabulary had increased significantly in recent years. Why, just a few years ago, I didn’t know what a bush hog was and here we are now deciding that we’d prefer a pin rather than a pull bush hog. (Pin is considerably less expensive.)
In the coming weeks, I’ll be putting my new vocabulary to use here on the blog so I thought I might take this opportunity to define some words and phrases you city mice may not know. I know you think you know pretty much everything there is to know, at least about the important stuff. But you don’t. So get over yourselves, sit back, grab one of your fancy coffee drinks, or if the hour is late, one of your favorite up-to-the-minute cocktails, and learn ya some new words.
Since I mentioned bush hog, let’s start with bush hog. Bush hog is a term similar to coke or kleenex. Just as there is Coca Cola coke and Kleenex kleenex, there is a Bush Hog bush hog.
Bush hog [bush ∙ hog] (n): a rotary cutter attached to the back of a tractor.
(I’ll define tractor below.)
A bush hog is used to clear land where the land can be any thing from a severely overgrown fields to your front lawn. “Cutter” is a synonym for bush hog. If you are interested in cutting your front lawn, you would need a finishing cutter. If you need to clear heavy crops or an overgrown lake levy, you would need a 20′ bat wing bush hog. (Those are pricey.)
Bush hog (v) to cut using a bush hog
Come to think of it, if you’be ever rented a Tata Nano and ventured out of the city for some R&R and a little fresh air, you may have seen some fellows bush hogging with a bush hog along side the interstate highway. Boy! Just think how impressed your friends will be when you point to a bush hog and matter of factly say, “That guy’s doing some bush hogging with a bush hog.” (Be sure you don’t say “Bush Hog” unless you’re sure it’s a Bush Hog bush hog. Think how silly you’d sound in front of your friends.)
Tractor [trac ∙ tor] (n): that which draws; an automobile used for drawing or hauling; an airplane having the propeller forward of the main supporting planes.
Laugh out loud! That’s a good one, isn’t it? That’s what happens when I try to get modern definitions from
crappy old books such as this: Webster’s New School and Office Dictionary, The World Publishing Company, Cleveland & New York, 1960. Maybe I can define it better myself.
A tractor is a piece of farm equipment used to push and pull things around a farm or other large swath of land. It has a remarkably simple engine in the front, a seat, steering wheel and lots and lots of levers and stuff– but no cup holder– in the middle, and a whole lot of chains and pins, and hydraulic mechanisms & such in the back.
Utility tractors– a subspecies of tractor– have four wheels and come in models with either two small wheels and two big wheels, or four big wheels. The ones with four big wheels are called “4-wheel drive,” but you have the option to drive them as if they had two small wheels and two big wheels. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can change from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive as you can in your truck. Oh wait. Sorry. I forgot you city mice don’t know much about trucks. Too much information might confuse you. Let me just finish my thought and say that on a truck you can push a button to make that change. On a tractor you have to mess with some of those levers I mentioned.
|Tractors come in all colors; you can tell the brand by the color.|
PTO [P ∙ T ∙ O] (n): Power Take Off
Wikipedia has a nice little definition:
I’m assuming you city mice have a passing acquaintance with the term “horse power” (hp). The engine in that Tata Nano– world’s smallest, cheapest car– that you rent has about 37 hp. (Our truck has over 400!) What we are interested in when thinking about tractors and implements is how much hp from the tractor can be diverted to an implement such as a bush hog. So we may ask, “What’s the PTO hp?”because we want to be sure the tractor has enough PTO hp to power our implements at the optimal rpm
Front end loader [front ∙ end ∙ load ∙ r] (n): a big shovel-like thing attached to the front of a tractor.
All the guys say there’s no point in having a tractor if you don’t have a front end loader.
Disc [disc] (n): See Disc harrow
Disc harrow [disc ∙ har] (n): a type of harrow
Harrow [har] (n): an agricultural instrument for breaking up clods and casting earth upon sown land
Sounds downright Biblical, don’t it? [from the dictionary cited above]
But here’s where things get a bit confusing. It would seem as if a “harrow” (pronounced har or sometimes hara) is the inclusive word, specifically modified by, e.g., “disc” or sometimes “disk.” But that’s not quite right.
Let’s say you need a tractor and some implements. You know you need a front end loader– who doesn’t?– and a cutter and a disc. But if you’re going to create a beautiful food plot, you’ll also need a harrow.
Food plot [food ∙ plot] (n): a man-made garden of Eden for deer, turkey, doves and other tasty wildlife
There’s just one more concept we need to cover before the lesson is finished.
gph [g ∙ p ∙ h] (n): gallons per hour
Gallons per hour is how one measures the fuel efficiency– such as it is– of a tractor. Of course, as with mpg, many factors affect gph. I will be learning more about them in the future and will report back to you.