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"Built From Scratch" Articulated Utility Tractor
For about $1,400, Canadian farmer Marshall Pfannmuller put together an articulated 4-WD utility tractor that he uses for all kinds of chores around the farm.
    "I built it entirely from the ground up. It's only 32 in. wide and 69 in. long but it's big enough to do all kinds of jobs. It is steered by the articulation joint at the center and also oscillates back and forth at the articulation joint to keep all four wheels in contact with the ground at all times.
    "The tractor is primarily driven by the front wheels and has 4-WD "on demand". Setting it up this way avoids the "scuffing" of the lawn that can occur with other 4-WD vehicles. Yet you can kick in to 4-WD when needed to move snow or dirt.
    "The tractor spins around in its tracks. It has a hydrostatic transmission controlled by a single pedal foot control for speed and direction. It's much more maneuverable than conventional lawn tractors and ATV's.
    "The sub-frames are made of 1 1/4-in. sq. tubing. I was given two small 4:1 differentials from GM cars made in Britain. I narrowed them up and modified them to accept standard Spicer universal joints.
    "The engine is a 16 hp. Tecumseh. It drives a Model 11 Eaton hydrostatic transmission which I purchased at a receivership sale. The transmission's charge pump provides the hydraulic pressure via a Gresen control valve to a small double acting ram mounted in the steering column housing, which in turn operates the lift arm for attachments.
    "The telescoping steering wheel drives a small drum wound with 1/4-in. aircraft style cable which controls the articulating steering via nylon pulleys. The steering ratio is 4:1 lock-to-lock and provides light control with the 13-in. wheel.
    "Instead of direct coupling the engine to the transmission, I chose a belt drive arrangement via a jackshaft. The jackshaft is extended via another dual U-joint assembly to the front to provide an 800 rpm pto for a front-mounted snowblower, mower, leaf blower, and rotary broom. The engine runs at a constant 3,000 rpm's when working regardless of traveling speed.
    "Attachments slide into a lift arm which I fabricated from the same size square tubing as a receiver hitch on a standard pickup truck. A single pin holds each attachment in place.
    "Tires mount on 12-in. rims which came off the same British car as the differentials.
     "The tractor works great. The only problem I have is a slight rattle from the U-joint on sharp turns. I might replace it with a constant-velocity joint.
    "Top speed is about 12 mph. It has four speed ranges.
    "Most of my out-of-pocket cost was for the hydrostatic transmission, hoses, fittings and a control valve. I don't know how many hours I spent building it but I do know that about 60 percent of that time was spent in deep thought."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marshall G. Pfannmuller, 4533 44th Ave., Drayton Valley, Alberta T7A 1G8 Canada (ph 780 542-3137).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4