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Handy "Loader Tractor" Built From Two Deere Combines
"We use it for everything from hauling round bales to doing blading work and hauling creep feeders between pastures," says Gene Snellings, Montreal, Mo., who converted a pair of old Deere 55 combines into a loader tractor.
  Snellings got the combines free - one from a neighbor and the other from his cousin. He stripped one of the machines down to the frame, removing everything but the running gear. He used 6-in. channel iron to build a frame and then remounted all the components. The cab is now back 2 ft. and 18 in. lower than its original location, and the 6-cyl. gas engine is about 3 ft. lower than before. The rig still has the original variable speed transmission. Snellings had someone else build a new radiator and guard. To offset the weight of the loader up front, he added a big steel box on back that's full of concrete and strap iron.
  He modified a tractor loader to fit the combine's framework. The loader has a universal mounting bracket that's welded to the combine frame and is raised or lowered by two 3 by 34-in. hydraulic cylinders. A pair of 3 by 28-in. cylinders are used to tilt the bucket.
  The machine uses both hydraulic pumps from the combines. One pump powers the loader and the other powers the steering and variable speed transmission.
  "It frees up a tractor and I spent only about $3,000," says Snelling. "I got some help from my children and grand children, and my daughter is the primary operator. I had been using a loader with my International 886 tractor, but it kept me from using the tractor for other jobs and I couldn't justify the cost of a new tractor. The $3,000 I spent was mostly for hydraulic hoses and engine parts including the distributor, carburetor, starter, alternator, and belts.
  "I use several attachments with the loader, including pallet forks, hay forks, an 8-ft. wide blade, and a 7-ft. wide bucket. I use the pallet forks to move creep feeders between pastures. Instead of folding up the wings on the feeders and pulling them behind a tractor, I just use the loader to pick up an entire feeder and take off with it. The loader can reach 10 ft. high so it works great for stacking round bales. Last year was very dry here and a lot of local livestock producers had hay shipped in. I used my loader to unload several trailer loads of hay for neighbors.
  "I'm disabled so I modified the combine accordingly. I mounted ladders on both sides and on back, and I moved the shifting lever forward to make a straight line shift pattern. All the linkages had to be remade."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gene Snellings, 222 Cowboy Road, Montreal, Mo. 65591 (ph 573 346-4733).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5