1990 - Volume #14, Issue #2, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Utility Tractor Built From Airplane Mover
Thompson paid $700 for the 1950's-era Coleman and installed a 90 hp 4-cylinder Izuzu diesel engine as well as a 4-speed Chevrolet transmission and the transfer case from an M 37 Army 3/4-ton pickup. To harvest loose hay, Thompson mounted a 12-ft. wide home-built haysweep in front. It's equipped with 8-ft. long teeth which allows him to "sweep", or push, windrows into large piles. He then uses a Caterpillar equipped with a home-built forklift to dump the piles into a steel cage on wheels.
"It works fast and with 4-WD and 4-wheel steering it can get around much better than a conventional tractor equipped with a commercial push-off haysweep," says Thompson, who made the "Fuzzmobile" with the help of his friend "Fuzzy" Weare. "It goes up to 50 mph on the road and the diesel engine is fuel efficient. Many ranchers in our area mount haysweeps in front of old trucks or M37 army pickups and reverse the transmission rear axles for 4-WD, but their rigs don't have as much power or weight as mine and they don't have 4-wheel steering. The 4-WD and the large 11.00 by 20 tires work great on our soft sand and in our meadows. The haysweep pushes piles of hay up to the cage. A hydraulic cylinder controls up and down movement of the sweep. It takes about 12 piles to fill a cage which we use to form stacks. When we've filled the cage up with hay we open up the back side and pull the cage away from the stack. In the fall we use a 7-ton stack mover to move the stack to the yard for feeding."
In the winter Thompson installs a cab and replaces the haysweep with a 9-ft. wide snowplow made by Diamond Mfg., Lewiston, Maine. The hinged, two-section snowplow can be set to plow in a V-shape pointing forward or backward, in a straight angle, or diagonally toeitherside. All adjustments are made hydraulically right from the cab. "The snowplow really comes in handy for feeding cattle," says Thompson. "I use it toclearapath through snow as I pull a pellet cake feeder and ear corn dump wagon. Both the cake feeder and dump wagon are also operated hydraulically from the cab, allowing me to feed pellet cakes and ear corn on the ground on-the-go."
Grover and his brother Harold modified a Caterpillar 920 wheel loader, equip-ping it with a home-built forklift to lift piles of loose hay and dump them into the 17 ft. sq., 11-ft. high cage. They installed dual tires and turbocharged the engine, then used 3 by 6-in. steel tubing to extend the loader arms 6 ft. They built a 12-ft. wide "push-off' haysweep equipped with 9-ft. long teeth and mounted it onto the extension arms. A hydraulic cylinder pushes the rear end of the haysweep for-ward to push hay off the teeth. "The Caterpillar can lift four times as much hay as a tractor equipped with a commercial push-off haysweep and it can lift it much higher, up to 18 ft. By pulling four pins we can remove the haysweep and replace it with a bucket."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grover Thompson, HC33, Box 22, Alliance, Neb. 69301 (ph 308 762-1356).
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