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Swather Snowblower
Old swathers can be easily converted into snowblowers, according to Ontario farmer Hudson Wilson who built a 9 la-ft. wide swather snowblower from a 1976 Versa-tile 400 self-propelled swather and added a cab from an International 715 combine.
Wilson says his home-built snowblower offers great maneuverability and visibility. "It's much easier to use than a pickup-mounted blower because the snowblower is always in full view," says Wilson, who uses the rig for custom work. "When I used my pickup-mounted snowblower all I could see over the hood was the blower pipe and spout. I had to mark the outside edges of the auger with flags to keep from running into something. It also works better than a 3-pt. mounted tractor blower because I never have to look over my shoulder."
The swather is powered by the original 45 hp 6-cylinder Ford gas engine while the snowblower is powered by a separate 110 hp 318 cu. in. Chrysler gas engine removed from a 1-ton Dodge pickup. Each engine has its own separate ignition switch, charging system, and 20-gal. fuel tank.
The Chrysler engine is mounted in re-verse position under the cab. "There's only 20 in. of driveshaft between the Chrysler engine's automatic transmission and the snowblower so there's little loss of power," says Wilson. "It's handy be-cause I can put the automatic transmission in reverse to eject anything that gets caught in the auger."
A push-pull cable runs from the Chrysler engine's transmission to a shift lever in the cab which Wilson uses to put the snowblower in gear. The snowblower is 2-pt. mounted with a chain lift. Hydraulic cylinders lift the blower, turn the spout or tilt it up. Wilson, who walks with the aid of a leg brace and cane, uses a home-built automatic lift to hoist himself into the cab. It's powered by an electric-overhydraulic pump removed from the pickup. A battery-operated toggle switch on a hand railing controls the lift platform.
There was no place in the combine cab for an instrument panel for the Chrysler engine so Wilson made his own using a 20-in. long toolbox which he bolted to the cab roof. "The box contains every switch and fuse in the rig, including the ignition switch for the Chrysler engine, switches for headlights, safety lights, backup lights, and a cab-mounted blue strobe light," notes Wilson. "To flip a switch or change a fuse, I simply reach up and open the toolbox lid."
An FM 2-way radio and cellular phone are encased in a 12 by 10-in. plastic cooler that Wilson also bolted to the cab roof. The cab is heated by a heater also removed from the junked pickup. It blows air into a length of 3-in. dia. plastic conduit with a line of holes drilled in it. It's mounted at the base of the windshield.
The snowblower is a Lucknow custom-built model equipped with a single 12-in. dia. auger. The company widened out a 7 1/2-ft. model by welding 1 ft. of auger onto each end.
Wilson spent $10,000 to build the swather-snowblower.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hudson Wilson, RR 2, Bolton, Ontario, Canada L7E 5R8 (ph 416 857-2875).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #6