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Do-It-Yourself Cab Kits
Torn seats, ripped ceiling panels, and insulation that no longer insulates are a fact of life with any well-used tractor cab. But there are do-it-yourself kits on the market that will bring an old cab back to like-new condition.
"Farmers are fixing up old stuff, rather than buying new," says Kim Mulder, co-owner of K&M Manufacturing. The Renville, Minn., company has been in the business of restoring cab interiors since 1990. During their busy spring season, they send out 40 to 50 cab kits per day.
Hy-Capacity Engineering and Manufacturing, Dayton, Iowa, also reports fast-growing demand for cab kits. They entered the cab kit business in 1998. The company ships out around 100 kits per day during peak season. Plant manager Cindy Danielson says sales have nearly doubled in the past year.
"Dealers have told us a refurbished cab can increase resale value from $500 to $1,500 and can be the thing that pushes the sale," says Danielson.
Safety also plays a role for many farmers. As cabs age and wear, sound insulation quality deteriorates. Danielson says their kits are all produced to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications, including OEM sound levels. "A new cab interior can bring sound levels down to OSHA's 85 decibel standard."
While both companies have patterns for many popular tractor cabs, unusual orders can be filled, too. You may have to send in the worn out pieces or provide exact specifications so a pattern can be made. If neither is possible, the companies may find a local version of the cab and create a pattern from it. Bulk material can also be ordered for those who want to create their own. Kits can be ordered in the original OEM color and thickness or customized as the buyer wishes.
Preparation for the new kits is simple. Just remove the old pieces once the new ones have arrived. Make mental notes or jot down how the old elements were positioned as they are removed. Directions and adhesives are included in the kits.
The two companies offer other accessories, including steps, tool boxes and other items. Hy-Capacity offers a Side Kick passenger seat that fits all Deere 8000 and 9000 Series tractors with the deluxe cab and under-seat tool box. However, Danielson reports that her 14-year-old son easily modified it to fit another tractor model as well.
"It is very easy to install and bolts to existing holes in the cab," says Danielson. "The Side Kick has a capacity of 350 pounds and comes complete with a safety belt."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hy-Capacity Eng. & Mfg. Inc., Box 156, Highway 169 South, Humbolt, Iowa 50548 (ph 515 333-2125; fax 515 332-1512; Website: www.hy-capacity.com).
Or, K&M Manufacturing, Box 409, 308 NW 2nd Street, Renville, Minn. 56284 (ph 800 328-1752; fax 320 329-3301; E-mail: sales@tractorseats.com; Website: www.tractorseats.com).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3