Preppers: Farm Equipment The Bush Hog

Preppers: Farm Equipment The Bush Hog

Preppers, let’s put together a series of articles talking about turning a piece of land into a working farm.  This could be after a world changing event, such as nuclear war, or viral plague.  Or, maybe you bought a piece of land and would like to know where to start?

The most efficient way to work land is with a tractor.  But, where do you start?

If the fields are overgrown, a bush hog, sometimes called a brush hog, can be used to clear them.  However, what are some of the safety issues with a bush hog, and exactly how does a bush hog work?


Decades ago, tractors used gasoline rather than diesel.  For time-to-time gas tractors still show up for sale.  Today, tractors use diesel.

For the most part, tractors are just like any other manual transmission vehicle.  They will have:

  • Clutch.
  • Gear shift.
  • Gas pedal.
  • Brakes.
  • Fuel tank.
  • Oil.

Then there are things not found on a vehicle:

  • Three point hitch.  This is where equipment attaches to the tractor.
  • Lever to raise / lower the three point hitch.
  • Hydraulic fluid.
  • Power Take Off (PTO).
  • PTO engage / disengage lever.
  • High and low gear.

There is a common misconception that tractors can pull anything. While they are designed to pull heavy equipment, when attached to an immovable object, the front of the tractor will rise up, and the tractor will flip over.  Every year people die from attempting to pull a tree stump with a tractor.

Tractors do not do well on slopes, such as hills.  Get a tractor on the side of a hill with a steep grade, it may turn over.  It is no different than using a lawnmower in a ditch, just on a larger scale.

Bush Hog

This is basically a large, tractor mounted lawn mower.

The bush hog attaches to the tractor via the three point hitch.  Power is supplied to the bush hog through a drive shaft that slides over the PTO.

The drive shaft of the bush hog is a danger zone.  Any hand or arm caught in it will be ripped off.

Bush hogs have ratings to what size trees they can run over.  Run over too large of a tree and you may break something.  The good news, there are parts in the bush hog that are designed to break.  These are weak links designed to break before important gears in the bush hog or tractor break.

To engage the PTO, there should be a lever next to the drivers seat.  Push in the clutch when engaging the PTO.

When bush hogging, put the tractor in low gear, select second or third gear of the transmission, and idle the tractor so it is moving about as fast as a fast walk.

Before killing the engine, disengage the PTO.

Final Thoughts

Sounds simple enough, right?

The honest truth is, farm equipment has to be respected.  Just a split second of not paying attention could cost someone their hands, arms, or even their lives.

NEVER let a child ride on the tractor while bush hogging.

On a personal note, my jr. high school coach, one arm had been severed at the elbow.  As a child he was riding on a tractor, fell off, and the bush hog ran over his arm.  Doctors were able to save his life, but he lost his arm at the elbow.

I am sure a lot of has been missed.  Surely the readers are willing to offer up some suggestions?

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October 10, 2017 at 10:50AM


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