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Self-Propelled Sweet Corn Sleigh
My daughter and son-in-law raise about 14 acres of sweet corn each year which they pick by hand and sell at a roadside stand. My home-built, self-propelled sweet corn "sleigh" makes the job easier.
The 3-wheeled rig straddles two 40-in. rows and can hold up to 8 sacks of corn. The sacks sit on a steel tray that runs down the center of the machine. The driver fills the sacks as he goes along and lifts them onto the tray. Once the sacks are full he drives to the end of the row, releases nails that hold the sacks up, and removes the sacks.
The rig is powered by an 8 hp gas engine and is driven by a single front wheel off an old motorcycle. The engine belt-drives a hydraulic pump that chain-drives the wheel. The rear wheels are off an old Deere grain drill. All controls are at the back where the picker can stand on the tray as he drives. A hand-operated winch with cable is used to steer the wheel. Separate control levers are used to adjust speed and to shift from forward to reverse. The machine's frame is made from 4-in. sq. steel tubing which also serves as a hydraulic reservoir for the pump. The 8-ft. high rig will clear 10-ft. high corn stalks with no problem.
To sell the corn we built a 14 by 8-ft. hip roof barn with a window on each side, allowing us to direct vehicles to either window. One person can service both windows and the customer never has to get out of his car. (R.E. Mitchel, 7725 Chiliwack River Rd., RR 1, Chiliwack, B.C., Canada V2R 4L8 ph 604 795-7556).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6