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"Brake Keeps Baler From Skidding On Hillsides

Baling hay on a hillside can be a treacherous job, especially since modern tractors have been gaining horsepower while at the same time losing weight, which makes it difficult to control the baler's weight. On steep grades the baler can pull or push the tractor downhill. It can make for an exciting ride.
  After experiencing a couple of hair raising rides with his International 435 baler, Ken Rakoz of Centralia, Wash., decided to solve the problem by mounting a brake on the baler. He uses a handheld control lever in the tractor cab to operate it.
  He removed one of the wheels from the baler and mounted a brake drum from a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am on the wheel hub. The baler's wheel hub was much deeper and also bigger in diameter than the car's wheel hub so the brake drum wouldn't fit over it. To solve the problem, he used a lathe to turn a mounting ring and simply welded it, along with the brake drum, to the hub. He then unbolted the baler's stub axle and mounted the brake drum's backing plate and shoe assembly on it.
  The hydraulic brake line for the brake was then routed along the outside of the bale chamber, through the tongue, and joined to a 6-ft. length of flexible brake line. The master cylinder off a 1200 cc motorcycle serves as a hand-operated control. The cylinder is mounted on an angle iron bracket that's clamped to the tractor cab's rollbar for quick and easy hookup and removal.
  "When going down a steep grade I just use my free hand to operate the brake. The brake drum could use a little more power but it's enough to hold me back on a hill," says Rakoz. "The motorcycle's master cylinder doesn't have a lot of volume, but it doesn't need a lot of volume because there's only one brake drum. I got all the parts I needed, except the hydraulic lines and fluid, from a couple of junk yards. My total cost was less than $50."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Rakoz, 4007 Cooks Hill Rd., Centralia, Wash. 98531 (ph 360 736-1226; email: kenrakoz@hotmail.com).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4