1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Articulated 4WD Mini scraper
His "mini scraper" measures only 42 in. wide at the wheels, 48 in. wide at the tractor blade and 72 in. long. Athorp built the rig by narrowing up two Buick car axles, and connecting them with a homebuilt driveshaft made of 1 in. sq. tubing. The car's four 7.50 x 13 tires still are mounted on the axles.
To power the "mini scraper," Athorp borrowed a hay baler's 2 cylinder, 18 hp Wisconsin engine. A hydrostatic transmission provides infinite speeds.
To seat yourself, you simply step over the bucket and sit down low, with no obstructions in front of you. The bucket measures 12 in. high, 4 ft. wide and 18 in. long. Athorp uses it as a blade to scrape alleys twice a day in his free stall barn and holding area, and to push manure into "pumps" - floor holes above a manure pit. To raise or lower the blade, Athorp uses a footrest. Pushing down on one side of the footrest drops the blade; pushing down on the other side raises it.
According to Athorp, the "mini scraper" offers more traction and convenience than a skid steer loader. "We tried using both a skid steer loader and a garden tractor with front mounted blade, but neither rig had enough traction. The problem is that when you turn a corner with a skid steer loader, both front wheels usually leave the floor. As a result, you're pivoting on the rear wheels, and the loader's front end is way ahead of you. The `mini scraper', however, pivots in the middle so you zip right around corners without breaking stride. You don't have to skid around all the time and wear out tires."
The"mini scraper" also features a unique steering system. The steering lever is located to the left and front of the seat. To turn left, you move the lever forward; to turn right, you move it backward. "As you're maneuvering the lever off center, you always have the feel of how short you're turning, so you don't always have to look back to see where the rear wheels are going," says Athorp.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gerald Athorp, Box 346, Cleveland, Wis. 53015 (ph 414 565-3274).
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