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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #1, Page #34
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Loader Backhoe Built On Riding Mower

"It's a narrow, low profile machine that can go just about anywhere," says Matthew Strauch, Washburn, Ill., who used parts from several machines to come up with a one-of-a-kind tractor with a loader and backhoe. It's only 4 ft. wide and painted Caterpillar yellow.
  He started with a 1970's Jacobson riding mower which he got free from someone where he works. The original 16 hp gas engine was worn out so he replaced it with a Kubota 25 hp diesel engine. He lengthened the frame by 1 ft. to make room for the bigger engine. To support the weight of the front-end loader he replaced the tractor's original spindles with heavier duty spindles off a Deere 318 riding mower. He bored out bigger (1-in. dia.) holes in the tractor's front axle to mount the Deere spindles.
  He used 2-in. sq. tubing to build the loader and welded it onto the tractor frame. The loader is equipped with a 42-in. wide bucket and uses four 2-in. dia. cylinders to raise and lower the arms and tilt the bucket. The cylinders are operated by a hydraulic pump that controls the loader and backhoe operations. The control valve that was originally used to raise or lower the riding mower's deck is now used to steer the rig.
  "My dad and I built it together. I use it to do jobs on the side such as tearing out bushes, putting in water and sewer lines, backfilling ditches, and so forth. The Ingersoll backhoe is mounted solid to the back of the tractor and can dig almost 6 ft. deep," says Strauch. "The machine is so narrow that I can fit between houses that are close together and where a conventional machine can't go.
  "I spent only about $3,000 to build it whereas even a used commercial machine like mine sells for $15,000 or more. The hydraulic cylinders are from a Deere skid loader and the hydraulic pump is off an old street sweeper.
  "People often ask me, where's the steering wheel?'. I tell them there wasn't room for one because that's where the hydraulic pump and a homemade oil reservoir and fuel tank are located. To steer all I do is move a lever back and forth. I used 1/8-in. thick steel to make the loader bucket and backhoe bucket and made two different buckets for the backhoe, one 1 ft. wide and the other 18 in. wide."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matthew Strauch, P.O. Box 414, 223 East Parkside Drive, Washburn, Ill. 61570 (ph 309 248-7475).
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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #1