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Farmer-Designed Ranch Hand

Bryce Wiehl, who farms near Smith Center, Kan., designed and built the "Ranch Hand" tractor and exhibited it to the public for the first time at the recent 3-I Show near Garden City, Kansas.
The 136-in. wheelbase rig has a one-seat, full-vision cab with front and rear wind-shield wipers and is powered by a 165 hp 5.9-liter Cummins turbocharged diesel engine connected to an 8-speed transmission. The truck-tractor can be equipped with front and rear 3-pt. hitch, front and rear 540 and 1,000 rpm pto, front and rear remote hydraulic outlets, front loader mounting brackets, a rear drawbar hitch, and a rear dump 8-ft. sq. flatbed. It comes with leaf spring sus-pension, front and rear stabilizer bars, and a 17,000-lb. Rockwell rear axle and a 12,000-lb. front axle. It rides on 48 by 25.5 by 20 high flotation tires.
Tucked under the flatbed is a 30-gal. hydraulic oil reservoir, an air compressor with a 12 1/2-gal. tank and 50 ft. of hose, two 16 cu. ft. toolboxes with internal lights, and a 25,000-watt generator. The generator has one 220-volt outlet and two 110-volt outlets, allowing you to operate a grinder, lights, welder, and other tools. The rig's gross vehicle weight rating is 22,000 lbs. The cab has eight work lights - four front and four rear - and a catwalk that leads from the cab to the bed. The cab also has a tilt hood with gas shock assist.
"We see it as a utility vehicle or as a medium duty truck that can do many jobs normally performed by a tractor," says Wiehl. "Once we tell farmers what it can do, they're amazed. The vehicle itself weighs 14,000 lbs. and can carry an 8,000-lb. load. You can mount a sprayer, fertilizer equipment, post hole digger, or other equipment on the flatbed. You can use the rig to spray fields in the morning and fix fences in the afternoon. It'll go from 4 mph to 48 mph and comes with a hand throttle with override foot control.
"It also works great with haying equipment. We use it to pull a hydra-swing swather, round baler, and bale processor. This past spring we used it to pull a 30-ft. drill. The model we're putting on the market can pull anything a 140 hp tractor can pull, such as a 22 to 24-ft. field cultivator or 20-ft. disk.
"There's a pressurized 12-gal. water system under the flatbed with a 50-ft. long hose for rinsing out tanks or washing up. There are four hydraulic remotes on back and four on a joystick control in the cab that allow you to do two different operations with one lever, such as raising and tilting a bucket at the same time. The drawbar comes with a cushion-style 16-in. extension."
Sells for $115,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Crystal Plains Mfg., Inc., 1500 North Park Road, Phillipsburg, Kan. 67661 (ph 913 543-2600).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3