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Tractor Bob

In June 2009, Bob Robbins had a tractor problem. He and his wife Jeanne sold all but two of their llammas; and, without the llammas, there was little need for the tractor. “The economy at the time wasn’t there to sell it,” Bob Robbins said. “I don’t know how many months I had it listed, but it just hit me – if you can’t sell it, put it to work.”That inspiration was the beginning of the tractor and mowing business Robbins named Tractor Bob’s.Robbins said he had occasionally mowed his neighbors’ lawns but never marketed himself. “We started out putting signs along the sides of the road and advertising on Craigslist and in the paper,” Robbins said. “It’s word of mouth, too.” After just one year, Robbins said business is good and his schedule is booked several weeks out.The name “Tractor Bob’s” came from Robbins’ grandchildren. “It was catchy and it described what I do,” Robbins said. The name stuck, and soon he was busy doing field mowing, post holes, driveway grating, dirt work and moving manure and hay bales.”I do a wide variety of things – do whatever I can to make the tractor pay for itself,” he said.Robbins said his wife handles the appointments and marketing. “I constantly go out to a job and hear how nice the lady on the phone is,” he said.”I’m Mrs. Tractor Bob,” Jeanne Robbins said.Bob Robbins said people hire him for field mowing for the aesthetics. He recommends keeping a field mowed to 6 inches. “People like the way it looks,” he said. He’s even had customers hire him to mow their neighbor’s land.Safety is another motivating factor, Robbins said. A mowed field keeps the coyotes and wildlife from bedding down, and a mowed field creates fire breaks. “When they had the fire at Garrett Road, we started getting calls like crazy. Putting fire breaks in helps everybody and protects everybody,” he said.Robbins said he enjoys the work and enjoys helping people. “It’s a stress relief,” he said. “It changed my attitude a lot. It takes the tension out of me – going out and just doing the work and being in the outdoors. Jeanne tells me all the time I get off the tractor a totally different person.”MORE ABOUT BOB ROBBINS:What do you enjoy about living in Falcon?The people are friendlier. We know all our neighbors here. We could be living elbow to elbow with people in Denver and didn’t know their names.How has Falcon changed since you moved here?We bought this place in 1996 and brought this house from Henderson in 1997. It’s growing here. I remember when Meridian Road wound through some old cottonwood trees and a farmhouse stood where Safeway is now. Now we have a Wal-Mart, and all we need is a Lowe’s or a Home Depot – and we’d never have to go into town.What did you do with the llamas?We showed for a few years. We raised them for pack animals. But we had more fun showing them and selling (their) offspring. One of our males ended up being third in 2000 at the national (Alpaca Llama Show Association) show. Then, the market dropped off and it stopped supporting itself.What are your hobbies?Many, many years ago I used to race stock cars at Colorado Speedway. Part of my background is mechanics.Every Saturday and Sunday, it’s NASCAR for me. If you just look at it on television, it’s boring and you’ll never understand it. What you have to do – you have to go to one of the races. Half those cars are going sideways going around the track and you know that the guy has his hands full going 190 miles per hour down the track.Who is your favorite driver?My favorite driver is basically retired — Kenny Schrader. He drove the Little Debbie’s car for years and years. I liked Darrell Waltrip real well. If I had to pick a driver today that I like the best, I’d have to say it’s Tony Stewart.You mentioned grandchildren, do you see them often?We get them once a month. They come down for the weekend. The first thing one does when he comes down, he says ‘I want to drive the tractor.’Tractor Bob’s is a side business. What else do you do and how do you balance the two?I’m director of facilities maintenance and transportation for Peyton School District. I don’t do a whole lot of snow removal because of the job at the school district. That has to take priority. People are generally wanting to be dug out so they can go to work. I go to work so early on bad weather days it’s not even funny. I’m the person out driving the roads to make sure the busses and staff can get to work.I do most of my tractor work in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday.

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