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Front End Loaders Made From Old Implement, Auto Parts
"We're in the commercial trucking business and we needed an efficient, cost-effective way to load large round bales," says Fred Burdett, Lundar, Manitoba. "Instead of paying $40,000 for a new tractor and loader, we did a few creative things with old combine, tractor, truck and car parts to build heavy-duty loaders for less than $6,000 - including the two commercial loaders we bought for them.
They're extremely efficient because the weight of the loader is on the drive axle," he explains. "Even lifting up to 3,600 tbs., they're more stable than a lot of commercial front end loaders."
The first loader Burdett and his son, Rick, built is based on a 1952 Farmall H tractor powered by a 250 cu. in. straight 6-cyl. engine out of an old Ford car.
They cut the tractor apart crossways just ahead of the transmission housing and turned the differential over to reverse direction of travel. Turning the differential required cutting 10-in. pieces off the rear finger shifters and welding three 10-in long by 3/4-in. wide by 3/8-in thick pieces of high grade steel on the front shifters so the tractor would shift properly. "We had to take the belt pulley off the transmission and put an 8-in. by 20-in steel plate on where the pulley had been, then build a shifting turret out of 2 1/2-in. dia. pipe welded into a hole in the plate to do that," Burdett notes.
After changing direction of travel, the Burdetts bolted a section of White Freightliner truck frame to the tractor's frame, from just in front of the transmission to where the loader attaches, extending the machine's frame by 8 ft.
The Ford car engine, together with a 3-speed automatic transmission, was then mounted in the engine compartment. A steering axle off an old Case 1010 combine was mounted out ahead of the engine.
Key to success of the loader is that the car engine's transmission is coupled with the tractor's 5-speed, giving it 15 gears, including a 1/4 mph "creeper" gear and road gear of up to 26 mph.
An EZ-On loader mounts over the drive axle, which has the original 12.0 by 36-in. tractor tires. With the loader mounted higher than it'd be on many front loaders, the machine can lift bales up to 12-ft. high, Burdett says.
"We've moved at least 20,000 1,000 to 2,400-lb. bales since we built this rig five years ago and it still runs like a charm," he says.
The other loader the men built uses the drives, transmission, hydrostatic motor and pump off a 1978 815 International combine.
The combine drive axle was narrowed up 7 in. to make it more maneuverable and so it could be loaded on an 8-ft., 6-in. wide trailer.
They shortened the combine's frame up to 12 ft. and reinforced it with steel off the White Freightliner's truck frame.
They then mounted a 120 Continental 6-cyl. engine out of an asphalt packer in the rear. The engine direct couples to the combine's hydrostatic pump to drive the machine. The engine is covered by the hood and grille off an International WD9 tractor.
Forward and reverse gears, on the loader are foot-controlled and it has a heated cab off an old tractor. It moves at speeds from a slow crawl up to about 15 mph.
It's fitted with a Du-All loader that can lift bales almost 12-ft. high.
Both loaders have mountings for inter-changeable bale forks and grapple hooks.
"We've got orders to build five or six of them. We've even had people beg us to name our price for these. We hope do start building the others as soon as time permits," says Burdett.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Burdett, Box 133, Lundar, Manitoba, Canada ROC 1YO (ph 204 762-5789 or 5625).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #2