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8-WD Amphibious Machine
While looking for new products at a recent farm show, I came across a machine that at first glance did not look like an ag machine. It looked more like a toy rich hunters and other city slickers might bring to the country.
    But after stopping to talk with inventor and manufacturer Patrick Miller from Townsend, Mont., I realized that this was a serious machine that's capable of doing a lot of work.
    Miller, a mechanical engineer, built his first amphibious "Land Tamer" seven years ago because he wanted what he calls a "real ATV" that could handle hilly mountainous terrain as well as swampy, boggy land. His target market for the machine was the logging and mining industry so it had to be built to stand up to the toughest abuse.
    After success selling it not only to industry but also to utilities, government agencies, surveyors, and sportsmen, he started getting requests for machines from farmers and ranchers. So he put together a machine with a pto and 3-pt. hitch.
    The Land Tamer has four times more horsepower and torque than a typical 4-wheeler, with a liquid-cooled 4-cyl. Nissan gas engine (80 hp and 85 ft. lbs. torque) or an optional VW turbo diesel (79 hp and 114 ft. lbs. of torque). It's available either as a 6-WD or 8-WD with a cargo capacity of 1,100 lbs. and 2,000 lbs., respectively.
    "It's built much heavier than any other similar machine on the market. What's more, we use off-the-shelf industry standard parts throughout. It's designed for easy maintenance," says Miller.
    The Land Tamer can cross any body of water. If you need more speed on the water, it can be fitted with an optional jet propulsion system like you find on jet skis.
    Steering and speed are controlled by a single hydraulic lever on the all-hydraulic machine. It has a zero-turn radius. Padded seats give it a comfortable ride. Optional snow tracks and a heated cab are available. The machine's low center of gravity makes it extremely stable on hillsides, notes Miller. Top land speed is 35 mph. Water speed is 1 to 2 mph with tires and 6 to 7 mph with the optional water jet. The 6-WD model is 9 ft. long. The 8-WD is 11 1/2 ft. long. Both machines are about 6 1/2 ft. wide and weigh 1,600 to 1,900 lbs. in the basic configurations.
    Price ranges from $16,000 to $33,000, depending on options. "We're willing to custom-build just about anything our customers want," says Miller.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Patrick F. Miller, PFM Manufacturing, Inc., 310 6th St., Townsend, Mont. 59644 (ph 406 266-5148; email: pfm_mt@msn.com

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5