2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2, Page #12[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Steel-Wheeled Tractor Makes Field Drainage Easy
His homemade wheels measure 5 ft. high on back and 3 ft. high on front. Each wheel is 12 in. wide at the center but tapers out to only a 2 1/2-in. width at the rim. The wheels make V-shaped, 4 to 6-in. deep ditches that disturb very little soil, allowing Easley to use the tractor right after seeding without doing significant damage to crops.
"The beauty of this system is that all I have to do is drive my tractor. There's no implement to pull and nothing to repair," says Easley. "It works better than pto-driven ditchers because the ground doesn't have to be dry. My soil is mostly heavy clay but I can drive across it no matter how wet it is with no problems."
He used 3/8-in. thick reinforced steel plate to make the wheels, which are hollow with spokes welded on between the rim and hub in order to keep the rim from bending. A 10-in. dia. steel pipe serves as the hub. A local machine shop roll 2-in. wide strips of 1/2-in. thick steel for the rims. He then welded short pieces of 1/2-in. steel rod to the wheel every 5 in. apart for traction.
"It works so well my neighbors want to borrow it all the time. It's amazing what the wheels can go through," says Easley. "I can go into a field right after a heavy rain and drive through ponded water with no problem. It's neat watching the water follow my wheel ruts out of the field. The big wheels give the tractor a lot of clearance so even if I bottom out the front wheels I can usually still keep on going. However, I have got stuck a couple of times. Because of the narrow footprint I can even make ditches after the crops are up without damaging a lot of crop. My total cost was less than $500.
"I don't drive the tractor on roads but instead haul it on a trailer."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Easley, Box 87, Garland City, Ark. 71839 (ph 870 683-2247).
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