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Converted Big Wheel Pulled By Tractor
"You can do just as much work with one of our converted $3,500 rigs as you can with a $100,000 'Big Wheel'," says Lee Williams, of Princeton, Ill., who specializes in converting used truck-mounted fertilizer spreaders into low-cost, tractor-towed trailers.
Williams, who makes a business of the conversions in his machine shop, sells converted truck spreaders for $3,500 to $3,800, depending on condition of the truck being converted, a saving over new cost of about $9,300, he figures. "The conversions are catching on fast," says Williams who estimates he's sold "right at 400 in about 8 different states."
He buys most any kind of used truck spreader so long as there's enough metal left to sandblast paint. He buys both truck and chassis with a "junk" title, then junks out the rest of the truck after salvaging what he can use. "We like to find used truck spreaders with cast spoke wheels. This makes it possible to put on flotation tires," he notes. "A couple of changes are necessary when converting from truck to farm tractor power. For one, a truck pto has a rotation just opposite that of a tractor. I correct that by adding a left hand worm and pinion."
Truck pto's normally turn at 1,000 rpm. Williams adapts his conversions to run at normal tractor pto speed of 1,000 or 540. He also designs his conversions so there's no more than a ton of loaded weight on the tractor drawbar. "With our conversions, you can vary application rates simply by changing tractor gears," he points out. "The apron is run with the pto, and the spinners are turned with an orbit motor."
Williams says most conversions he makes carry an 8 to 10 ton load, but he can go as high as 22 tons, depending on the original truck spreader.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lee Williams, McHenry Machine Co., Rt. 4, Princeton, Ill. 61356 (ph 815 875-1953).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #1