1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
4-Horse Deere Hitch Big Hit At Parade"We got the idea from a story in FARM SHOW," says Ken Wise, Rockyford, Alberta, who "hitched" four Deere 400 garden tractors together to pull a covered wagon in a local parade.
Wise improved upon an idea first conceived by an Allis Chalmers dealer several years ago (Vol. 6, No. 5). That "team" of garden tractors required three drivers, each handling a separate set of controls.
"I wanted to be able to control it myself so I fooled around until I figured it out. It works so well I can turn the entire rig around in a 50-ft. circle," says Wise, who controls the tractors with a set of reins and a pair of foot pedals that work like airplane rudders.
One of the secrets of the hitch is that only the front two tractors do the pulling. The others just tag along for effect. The reins control the hydrostatic levers while the foot pedals control the steering.
"I spring-loaded the hydrostatic levers and ran the reins through pulleys ahead of the levers, and blocked off reverse. To go forward, I pull on the reins which pulls the levers forward. To stop, I just ease off on the reins and the springs on the levers pull them back," explains Wise.
To control steering, he decided all he had to do was control one of the front tractors and turn the other into a "slave". He first disconnected the steering arms from the hydraulic valves (Deere 400 tractors are equipped with power steering). Then he attached a control lever to the valve and tied it to a set of ropes that run through pulleys to the steering pedals in the wagon. He tied the slave tractor to the steering tractor with a tie rod.
To round up four tractors to use in the hitch - and the three that trail freely behind the wagon as outriders - Wise contacted friends, and customers of a local Deere dealership who had bought Deere 400's. He already owned two of the tractors himself. To rig up the hitch, only a few holes were drilled so they were easy to convert back to normal operation.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Wise, Box 219, Rockyford, Alberta T0J 2R0 (ph 306 533-2254).
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