2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Garden Tractor Converted Into Cheap Utility Vehicle
Buscho bought the tractor new in the early 1970's and used it for years to mow his lawn. When he got a new mower he decided to make something out of the old one.
He lengthened the frame about 24 in., moved the rear wheels and transaxle back 2 ft., and mounted a homemade wood cargo box on an angle iron frame that fastens onto the tractor frame just above the rear wheels. He replaced the original belt that ran from the engine to the transaxle with a longer one, and he also lengthened the transmission shift lever by 18 in. so he could still reach it from the driver's seat.
The initial conversion made the rig useful for hauling hay to his horse pens and for working around his yard. Then last fall his son Kevin read a story in FARM SHOW about a person who had added hydraulics to a garden tractor using an automotive power steering pump.
Armed with that knowledge, Lennie designed a new, longer box for the tractor which included a hydraulic lift. The box, which measures 4 ft. long and 3 1/2 ft. wide, is raised and lowered by a 4-in. stroke hydraulic cylinder that's operated by a power steering pump off a Chevrolet Celebrity car. The pump is belt-driven off the tractor's engine using the same pulley that was originally used to drive the mower deck. The valve that controls the power steering pump came off an old Minneapolis Moline tractor and is mounted on the tractor frame next to the driver's seat. The box raises to almost a 45 degree angle.
The tractor still has its original 10 hp gas engine.
"We use the rig to haul hay and grain, firewood, and also to do yard work," says Buscho. "We also use it with a 15-gal. electric-operated sprayer to control weeds along fence lines. The box is equipped with an endgate that pivots either from the top or bottom. Stake pockets make it easy to remove the sides. The only limitation is that it's a little dangerous for hauling big loads because it doesn't have real good brakes."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lennie Buscho, 11020 245th West, Morristown, Minn. 55052 ph 507 685-2155).
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