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Riding Mower Built From Self-Propelled Floor Sweeper

John Krueger, Blanchard, Okla., built a 72-in., rear-wheel drive riding mower using parts from an old self-propelled floor sweeper machine.
"I spent the better part of a winter building it. Not counting labor my total cost was less than $2,000," says Krueger. "Comparable size commercial mowers sell for $10,000 to $16,000."
He bought a Tennant 280 floor sweeper at a junkyard for $50. It's powered by a 4-cyl., 30 hp Continental water-cooled engine that direct-drives a Sundstrand hydraulic pump, which operates a hydraulic motor that drives the rear wheels. He used 2 by 4-in. box steel tubing to make a new frame and mounted the engine behind the seat onto supports that he made from 6-in. channel iron. He also used 6-in. channel iron to make a new rear axle and fitted hydraulic motors to it to drive the wheels. On the original sweeper, only one of the rear wheels was powered. He added a second hydraulic motor to power the other wheel.
The unit rides on 18.00 by 15 rear wheels off an old garden tractor and 18.00 by 8 front caster wheels. The caster wheels are attached to the frame by a pair of automotive wheel hubs and spindles. Krueger welded the spindles on top of homemade caster forks (made from 1/2 by 4-in. strap iron) and bolted the hubs to the cut-off ends of the car's front axle.
"I had been using a 14 hp Deere 48-in. mower to cut my 7-acre lawn and a 30-in. mower to do the trimming. My 72-in. mower reduces mowing time by about one third. I use two levers in front of me to steer. By reversing one wheel and making the other one go forward I can turn the mower in its own tracks.
"The sweeper was equipped with a 2 1/ 2-in. dia. hydraulic cylinder originally used to raise or lower the sweeper's broom. I use that cylinder to raise or lower the deck. I built my own linkage that attaches the cylinder to lift brackets on the deck."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Krueger, Rt. 1, Box 539, Blanchard, Okla. 73010 (ph 405 392-4796).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3