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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #5, Page #18
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Pickup Makes Nifty Driveway Grader

After Steve Prins, Holland, Michigan, took on a couple of driveway maintenance jobs in his spare time to supplement his full-time job, he decided he could be more efficient if he could haul small amounts of gravel and blade it down with the same machine.
  He already had a 1986 Ford F-350 4-WD pickup with a rusted-out box on it.
  He took off the old box and had a local fabricator put together a 2-yard dump bed to put in its place. It's made of 8-gauge sheet metal over a steel tube frame, and lined with a pickup bed liner. He used a hydraulic scissors hoist from an old farm wagon to dump the box.
  Then he searched around for a small belly-mount grader blade he could hang under the F-350. When he couldn't find anything that small, he went looking for parts to make one. He found an old horse drawn grader in a fence row. "Except for the center circle the blade hung from and pivoted on, it was completely worn out," he says. Still, that center circle was just the right size to fit under the pickup.
  He made a compact blade to hang on it out of the cutting edge of a wing-style snowplow.
  He mounted the blade between the two small lift cylinders to pick it up when not in use. Two other cylinders are used to adjust the angle and pitch of the blade.
  To get hydraulics to lift the blade and dump the box, he added a hydraulic pump driven off the pickup's engine. "That took a lot of horsepower to run, and it had to be running all the time, so it used up a lot of gas," he says.
  To solve the problem, he switched to a pump driven by an electric motor. "With the electric powered pump, I only turn it on when I need the hydraulics," he says.
  All the controls are electric-over-hydraulic, so Prins only had to run electric wires to his cab and install switches.
  Prins says the 2-yard box wasn't always big enough, so he eventually put together a small dump trailer he can pull behind the pickup. It, too, uses hydraulics from the pickup.
  Prins designed the blade mounts intentionally to be easy to remove. He disconnects four hydraulic hoses, pulls three pins, and it's off. Because it's small, he can pull it from under the pickup and out of the way without help.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Prins, 4542 44th St., Holland, Mich. 49423 (ph 269 751-8619; email: steveprins@ iserve.net).
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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #5