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Home-Built Backhoe Looks Factory-Made
When Brian Brown's daughter asked him to remove a 60-ft. row of old lilac hedge he had to get creative to get the job done.
  "We couldn't get in with a big machine, so we priced a commercial backhoe attachment. At $8,500 for a new unit, we decided to build our own," he says. "The material cost worked out to about $1,000 and it took between 80 and 100 hours to build it."
  Brown's 3-pt. hitch backhoe attachment fits his Case-IH 235 18 hp diesel tractor. He purchased a six-spool hydraulic valve, which was the most expensive part, and the three hydraulic cylinders, from Princess Auto. A neighbor donated two cylinders, and he built the two swing cylinders (for swinging the boom from side to side) in his shop because they worked out to be an uncommon size. All of the cylinders are either 1.5 or 2 in. in diameter, with one 10 in. long, and the rest 8 in. in length.
  He positions and parks the tractor, flips the tractor seat ahead, flips the backhoe seat down, then sits in it (facing the rear of the tractor) while operating the backhoe's hydraulic levers. Stabilizer feet on either side of the hoe help to brace the unit. A blade on front of the tractor helps anchor it.
  "The backhoe worked great for removing the lilac hedge, and we've also used it to trench water lines, underground electrical lines and underground water hydrants for irrigating potatoes. It digs an 8-in. wide trench up to 4.5 ft. deep. It's a handy little thing that will go into places where the bigger ones just won't," he says.
  Brown says the unit is now a popular commodity with wives around the neighborhood who have shrubs that need moving from one place to another.
  He adds that the attachment takes only two or three minutes to put on or take off. Other attachments he has built for the tractor include a three-row field cultivator, a brush cutter and a weed sprayer with a 25-gallon tank.
  "I don't know if some of the things I do are always cost effective - I just like doing them. I've found that you'll try almost anything when you don't know what your limitations are," says Brown.
  He plans to build a front-end loader this winter to stabilize the tractor better when digging with the hoe.
  "The challenge won't be quite the same though, as we built a loader for a friend a few years ago," he remarks.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Brown, Box 552, Carberry, Manitoba, Canada R0K 0H0 (ph 204 834-2079).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #1