There are some machines for smallholders without which our lives would be considerably more difficult.
The first, today, is a generator capable of, at least, keeping the household’s lights on. That’s because a combination of Eskom’s load shedding, lightning strikes, poor maintenance and cable faults have come to make the supply of mains electricity, and thus one’s ability to maintain a normal home life, a bit hit-and-miss.
Once the generator is procured and, hopefully installed so that operating it can be easy and convenient the range of other stuff one needs is vast, but will probably include a compressor, a high-pressure washer, a chainsaw and a brushcutter. That is, apart from a lawnmower of some description.
A small compressor is useful in three obvious ways. Firstly, flat tyres on bicycles, quadbikes, cars, bakkies, tractors and ride-ons can be effectively dealt with.
Secondly, if one does any of one’s own maintenance on any kind of machine, parts, air filters and general machine cleaning can be easily and efficiently undertaken. A strong jet of compressed air, even from a small compressor is by far the quickest and most convenient way to remove dust and grime.
A blast of compressed air will also prove useful for easy Heath-Robinson starting of flooded two-stroke machines such as chainsaws, brushcutters and mowers.
And a compressor is useful in keeping one’s workshop surfaces clear of dust, sawdust, metal filings etc.
A high-pressure washer is useful for cleaning machinery, vehicles, paving, stables, chicken houses etc. And, for deep and hygienic cleans most can be hooked up to containers of detergent or disinfectant.
If you have trees on your plot ~ even only fruit trees ~ a small chainsaw is a boon. It makes cutting up firewood easy and painless, and can help immensely with pruning of larger limbs of older trees.
In the workshop a small electric chainsaw, or one of the new battery-powered models, is very useful for quick and rough cutting of timber and board when performing basic woodworking.
For controlling any expanse of grass or vegetation ~ and what smallholding doesn’t have this? ~ a brushcutter is a must. While a petrol-powered model is best for easy mobility, and there is a wide range of sizes and power levels available, the new battery-powered models will often prove sufficient if the task is not too onerous.