2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4, Page #16[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Multi-Purpose Tractor Forks Can Do Most Anything
"These bucket forks have paid for themselves many times over, because they have allowed me to clean my own corrals and pick rocks without needing any other machine," he says.
The bigger fork is 9 ft. wide by 5 ft. deep, and has 18, 5-ft. long, sharp teeth that are tapered and spaced about 6 in. apart. These teeth are 1 in. wide and 5 in. deep at the base. They're made for spearing bales but also work beautifully to pick up rock. The fork cost Findlay $5,200 (Can.) to build.
His smaller fork is 5 1/2 ft. wide by 5 ft. deep, and has 17 tapered teeth spaced 2 in. apart. These teeth are 1 in. at the tip and 6 in. at the base. The fork cost about $3,000 (Can.) to build and Findlay loves it, too, because it's so fast at separating stones from dirt. Because of the narrow tooth spacing, it can pick up fist-sized stones, he says.
The teeth on each fork are interchangeable, and bolt into receptacles at the back of each fork.
"I've used these forks for six years. Their frames are made from 3-in. heavy steel tubing and the teeth are heavy, too, so you need a good loader to use them," he explains. "They do a beautiful job of dragging the driveway and landscaping, too."
Findlay says he can carry three round straw bales at a time on the bigger fork, and two on the smaller one. To maximize performance, he removes or adds teeth according to whichever job he is tackling.
These units have turned rock picking from a chore into a pleasure, according to Findlay. In fact, he sold his conventional rock picker because it was slow compared to using the forks.
"If all I had to do was pick stones, I'd be happy," he says. "You can do it in almost any kind of weather and just stay in the comfort of the cab."
He uses the forks to dig stones out of the ground, clear brush, and pick roots. They allow him to pick up downer or dead cows and move them or bury them. He clears snow in winter, and loves how the open back provides excellent visibility. To unload, all you do is back up, according to Findlay.
"With a bi-directional tractor, you can really see what you're doing," he exclaims. "You could thread a needle with those teeth if they were small enough!"
Using either one of his forks, Findlay can also pick and load logs, load silage, string fence wire, push posts in the ground, use it as a frame for scaffolding, or for raising rafters (by putting on a section of 12-ft. by 6-in. sewer pipe as an extension/crane with a 30-ft. reach), separate silage plastic from dirt, and many others uses.
Findlay says he'd like to find a welding shop or manufacturer that would be interested in producing the forks commercially.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alvin Findlay, Box 114, Snowflake, Manitoba, Canada R0G 2K0 (ph 204 876-4716).
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