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Modified Deere Gator "Great For Picking Rocks"
"It's the best machine we've ever had for picking rocks," says Robert Rottinghaus, Jesup, Iowa, about the Deere Gator he modified.
  The problem with picking rocks with a Gator is that the cargo box on back is not heavy enough to stand up to rocks. It'll get dented and beat up if you use it very long.
  Another problem is that the front end is built light so if you get a load on back, you might have problems keeping it on the ground.
  Rottinghaus solved both problems by building a rock box that fits inside the existing box. Made out of heavy 1/8-in. steel plate, it fastens in place with four bolts so you can take it out quickly when it's not needed.
  He also mounted a small rock box on the front end. The 18 by 30-in. box holds 250 to 300 lbs. of rocks to balance out the weight on back and improve steering.
  Another idea Rottinghaus came up with for the Gator is a rock fork for digging out and loading large rocks up to 300 lbs. It consists of a metal frame that sets over the rock to be loaded. You drive two heavy metal teeth into the ground under the rock, and then crank it up using a winch that mounts on the front of the rock box on the Gator. If you tip the cargo box up as you pull on the rock with the winch, you can load the rock right into the box.
  Rottinghaus built the Gator rock boxes for his own use. "As far as I know, there's nothing on the market like what we've got," he told FARM SHOW.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert Rottinghaus, 4121 South Canfield Rd., Jesup, Iowa 50648 (319-827-1311).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4