1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2, Page #35[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Home-Built "Bean Buggy"
Powered by an 18 hp Vanguard engine coupled to a 3-speed differential out of an old Ford riding mower, it has a top speed of 6 1/2 to 7 mph.
The drive components are mounted in a 6 1/2-ft. long frame I built out of scrap channel iron, 1/8-in. thick. It has a wheelbase of 60 in. so I can straddle two rows when I use it in my 30-in. beans.
I used front and rear spoked wheels off two old dirt bikes, fitted with 24 and 20-in. tires, respectively. The rear wheels are fixed while the front tires have springs to cushion the ride. I made a bracket equipped with tie rods and steering mechanisms off the dirt bikes to steer the machine, using the steering column and wheel off the riding mower.
The buggy is equipped with two commercial 14-gal. spray tanks, one on each side, with 12-volt pumps built into the top of each. Each is fitted with a spray gun and 250-ft. of hose. The operator's seat is an old swivel boat seat I had around and the sun shade is something I purchased from a farm supply store.
The buggy is a big improvement over walking beans with a corn knife or a back pack sprayer. However, if I had it do over, I'd make the frame another foot longer for increased operator comfort and carrying capacity. I'd also make it hydrostatic drive so there isn't all the clutching to stop and start whenever you run into a weedy spot.
Out-of-pocket expense was under $1,500, including $800 for the engine which I bought new. (Dennis Andrew, 35390 W. 151st. St., Gardner, Kan. 66030-9632; ph 913 856-4031)
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