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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6, Page #22
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4-WD Articulated "Cub Cadet" Tractor

Many visitors at the recent Farm Progress Show near Cantrall, Ill., did a double take when they saw this Cub Cadet tractor a 4-WD articulating model equipped with dual wheels all around.
  The yellow-and-white rig was built almost entirely from Cub Cadet 1250 and 1450 tractor parts by Kelly Birkey of Paxton, Ill.
  The tractor is powered by a 14 hp Kohler gas engine and equipped with a pair of hydrostatic drive transmissions. The front seat tilts forward for access to a toolbox, and a passenger seat can be bolted on between the back set of wheels. There's even a pair of hydraulic outlets on back, allowing Birkey to operate a 56-in. box scraper.
  "When some people first see it they think it's factory made," says Birkey. "I built it because I used to be an International Harvester implement dealer and got to know Cub Cadet tractors well. Building it was a fun challenge."
  Birkey mounted the rear axle and hydrostatic transmission from a 1450 on the frame of a 1250. The rear axle and hydrostatic transmission off another 1250 mounts behind. The front transmission drives the rear one via a telescoping shaft equipped with a pair of universal joints that allow the tractor to pivot. A cable also connects the two transmissions. The tractor has two pivot points, each consisting of a swiveling ball joint. The same hydraulic cylinder originally used to raise the deck on the 1450 is now used to pivot the tractor.
  Birkey fitted the tractor with 6.00 by 12 lugged dual tires all the way around. He needed narrower wheel rims, which he got from other old garden tractors. He also equipped the tractor with a new hydraulic-driven power steering assembly off a late-model Cub Cadet.
  "I mounted the 1450 up front because it had a hydrostatic transmission equipped with an auxiliary outlet that was used to raise the mower deck. I use that outlet to operate the tractor's power steering system," says Birkey. "The most difficult part of the job was getting the two hydrostatic transmissions to turn at the same speed. That's because the moment you move the front hydro just a fraction of an inch, the back one has to move, too. It takes a good, heavy cable to connect the two transmissions."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kelly Birkey, 15 Allison Dr., Paxton, Ill. 60957 (ph 217 379-3909).
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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6