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Farmer-Built "Telehandler"
Telehandlers are loader tractors with center-mounted telescoping booms. They're widely used on large farms in Europe. Not satisfied with existing machines, farmer Ken Heard decided to design and build his own 4-wheel steer model that lets him tow loads at up to 25 mph on the highway.
"I built it because I wanted a combination of good visibility, towing ability, 4-wheel steering, and 4-WD," says Heard, who runs a custom baling service.
His "Teletrak" is equipped with a 3-pt. hitch and drawbar on back and a 3-section, center-mounted boom on front. The boom has a maximum lift capacity of 3 tons, a lift height of 22 ft., and the ability to lift 1 ton at a maxi-mum forward reach of 14 ft. Power is provided by a 106 hp turbocharged 4-cyl. Perkins 1004 engine mounted under the cab. The tractor is equipped with a mechanical transmission instead of the conventional torque converter transmission. Electronically engaged four and crab-wheel steer modes make the machine very maneuverable.
"It works as good for towing as for loading," says Heard. "Conventional telehandlers have good visibility and lift capability. But with their torque converter transmissions, lack of engine braking, and rear wheel steering, they can't be used to tow big trailers at high speeds on the road.
"I've put 1,700 hours on it during the last two years hauling and handling 40,000 big square bales. I've also used it to pull grain carts and to load wagons with a 2-ton capacity grain bucket."
He's looking for a manufacturer.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Heard, Thistle House, Three Gates, Leicestershire, England.

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5