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Springtime and the Compact Tractor

Case has recently unveiled this beauty as a concept for the future, the future being really not that far away, 5 – 10 years? It is easy to see how this will revolutionize and create efficiencies for farming operations. It can run 24 hours a day with no labour costs.

There doesn’t even seem to be anywhere to sit? It would certainly make springtime clean up tasks easier if I could sit on the porch and program the tractor to do its own thing.

Spring officially arrived March 20. I have to admit, despite the need in December to blow out the laneway multiple times; the remainder of the winter didn’t require much use of the tractor.

With arrival of spring, the first outdoor task is to grade the driveway. $400 spent on gravel last fall didn’t stretch into the spring, winter having a way of creating multiple potholes along the laneway.

So off comes the blower, and on goes the grader, for a day’s fun up and down the lane smoothing everything out.

Of course once that is done, I can also kill a few hours digging a hole and then filling it back in.

Then the winter deadfall needs to be cleaned up.

Being a fair weather sort, I like to wait until spring when it’s really muddy in the bush to haul in the wood for next winter.

It is also a good time to get the mower deck ready, and maybe even the blade sharpened. These things never seem to fail while sitting idle, case in point; I blew the drive chain on the snow blower on the second use this past winter, it was perfectly fine all summer while it sat in the shop.

Of course, cutting the grass requires beverages and I am grateful for the cup holder on the tractor. I doubt the Case driverless tractor comes equipped with a cup holder.

Later this spring we have the idea that we will float the tractor up to the cottage to move some rocks as we dislike where nature has put them.

All of these tasks are of course a “labour of love”. Not sure I would like a driverless tractor digging a hole and filling it back in without me.

Last blog I spoke about the possible gap in insurance coverage under a homeowner’s insurance policy when it comes to compact tractors.

So if you are getting your unit ready for spring tasks, or are contemplating buying such a unit, make sure that all your equipment and attachments have the insurance coverage needed to protect you and them. Contact your insurance broker or advisor to find out if your tractor has the proper coverage, and if there are any limitations within your current policy. The time to learn about gaps in coverage is before an unexpected event not after.

If you cannot get coverage, or find it is not affordable, check out Tractor Protect. Offered throughout Ontario by Duliban Insurance Brokers of the Niagara Region and underwritten by Trillium Mutual Insurance of Listowel, this solution provides a comprehensive all risk policy designed for tractors, their equipment and accessories. There are no horsepower limitations or restrictions, and you can get coverage up to $80,000 on a replacement cost basis if your unit is 5 years or newer. You are also provided the peace of mind of $2 million in personal liability coverage for the use and operation of your tractor.

Mike Virley

VP Member Services

Trillium Mutual Insurance


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