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6 gifts for the farmer

Ron Settler farms and runs a salvage and used parts yard at Lucky Lake, Sask.

Don’t know what to get the farmer in your life for Christmas? Here are a few things that might help out on the farm and make their life easier and safer.

1. A short ladder

Want to help the farmer get up in the world without the needless problem of falling down? A stepping stool or short ladder is really handy in the shop. Lots of shops, ours included, have shelves that are over seven or eight feet high. Not many people can reach over eight feet without standing on something. What’s in the shop to stand on? Well, lots of things. I’ve used oil pails, engine blocks, oil pails full of parts, wooden blocks, piles of old junk. The better question is, what’s in the shop to SAFELY stand on?

2. Tools

Nice new tools are always a joy for any farmer to receive. My favourite is the six-inch Crescent wrench that’s lives in my right front pocket. I use it at least once a day and many days I use it too many times to count. Another favourite we have are tool sets also made by Crescent. They have sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and many other lovely items. The best part is they fold up into a nice case that fits behind the seat on the half-ton. The sets we bought were around $130 regular price, but we paid $100 or so on sale.

Here are a few general hints on what tools to buy and how to buy them:

Keep your ears open for mumblings about what’s been lost, broken or just used a lot.

Buy good tools but don’t pay too much. Watch the sales.

Get tools that have a lifetime warranty but make sure you don’t have to travel personally to the factory in some far-away foreign country to exchange a broken item. The good tools can be exchanged right at the dealer.

3. Disposable coveralls

A friend of ours showed me the many uses for disposable coveralls. We’d used them for years for painting, but she carries a set in the back of her van for changing tires and other times when she doesn’t want to get dirty. They’re cheap, reusable, tough and only cost about $10.

4. A rechargeable troublelight

The best troublelight I’ve seen so far is the rechargeable one with LED lights. No cord to trip over. No electricity to start fires if they short out. Just plug them in, charge them, and use them. They come in many different sizes.

5. A bent-handle shovel

My bent-handle snow shovel looks like a long handled shovel that’s been run over by the tractor. The upward bend means you can keep both hands at close to the same level, so you don’t have to bend over as far when working. I don’t think I’ve ever used this for snow, but it’s the best grain shovel I’ve ever had.

I find I can shovel as fast or faster than with the traditional grain shovel and not end up with a sore back. There are numerous types of these shovels, so pick a sturdy one.

6. A better cell phone

“Hello…..Hello….Are you there?….Shoot! I lost him.” Have you ever had this conversation? Needing a phone with a little better range, I went into the phone store and asked the nice young lady whether there was anything better than what I had. She looked at my phone and said. “Everything has more range than that.”

So for $100 plus the fees, I’ve got a phone that has a lot better range. Not only that, it’s tough. It’s a Sanyo (it says Qualcomm 3GCDMA on the back, if that helps) from SaskTel, and it’s built to military specs.

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