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Articulated 4-Wheeler Twists To Always Keep Wheels On Ground
"It has a lot of power and traction for a 12 1/2 hp rig which allows it to work great in rough terrain," says Pat Marchwick, Owatonna, Minn., about the hydrostatic drive, articulated 4-WD 4-wheeler that he built from scratch.
Marchwick used 2-in. sq. steel tubing to build a two-part frame and mounted a 12 1/2 hp Briggs & Stratton gas engine on the back part along with a hydraulic reservoir and gas tank. The seat and steering wheel mount on the front part. The rig measures 46 in. wide and 92 in. long. It rides on 11 in. wide, 22-in. high flotation tires that are chain-driven by separate hydraulic motors. A hydraulic valve on the steering column controls a pair of cylinders that push and pull on the articulation point at center.
"It has a very comfortable ride and can go just about anywhere," says Marchwick. "It doesn't have axles so it can go through tall grass or brush. A skid plate/belly pan on the underside prevents damage to the hydraulic components. The hydraulic system is sealed so there's no way for water to get inside it, allowing the rig to go right through water and mud with no problems.
"It's designed to keep all four wheels on the ground at all times by means of an oscillating joint which allows the front and rear halves to twist independently of each other. Keeping all four wheels on the ground at all times gives it great climbing and pulling power. The hydrostatic drive provides a tremendous amount of torque at low speeds. I can edge the front wheels up against an 8-in. dia. log and climb right over the log with ease. Top speed is about 15 mph.
"It has only two controls and they're both hand-operated - one for forward and reverse and a throttle lever that controls engine rpm's. The hand-operated controls en-sure safer control in rough terrain than foot controls which are hard to keep steady when going over bumps, making for a jerky ride."
Marchwick says he's looking for a manufacturer and adds that several attachments could be developed for the rig, including a mower deck, snowblower, and hydraulic dump box.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pat Marchwick, 9074 Rose St., Owatonna, Minn. 55060 (ph 507 528-2618).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3