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Kit Turns Tractor Into 3-Wheeled Floatation Sprayer
You can turn any mid-size tractor into a 3-wheeled floatation sprayer with this new front wheel kit from Agriweld, Inc., Monmouth, Oregon.
  The idea is to greatly reduce soil compaction, especially on wet ground, without spending the money for a self-propelled sprayer.
  The tractor's rear wheels are replaced by 66-in. high, 44-in. wide floatation wheels. The front axle is replaced by a front fork assembly and a single floatation wheel of the same size. The front axle is attached to a steel subframe that bolts onto the tractor's main frame. A 3-pt. mounted 60-ft. boom mounts on back of the tractor.
  "It offers better floatation than any commercial sprayer," says Craig Pope. "A Deere 6410 tractor equipped with 500-gal. saddle tanks weighs about 19,000 lbs. loaded, which comes out to only about 6 psi of ground pressure. You can get down to 4 lbs. per square inch of ground pressure by mounting 50-in. wide Firestone tires on back.
  "We came up with the idea because there aren't many small, high flotation sprayers on the market any more. Most manufacturers have gone to large 20,000 lb. net weight sprayers and beyond. Rather than build a new sprayer with a complete drive train, we decided to focus on attachment components that are priced for the average grower. He can choose the tractor model he wants.
  "We designed it for use in the grass seed industry here in Oregon, but it will work on any crop that requires low tire compaction including rice and other crops."
  Farmers can save a lot of money, he says. "Equipped with 500-gal. saddle tanks, our kit sells for about $20,000. A new comparable capacity self-propelled sprayer starts at about $150,000. Even if you buy a new mid-size tractor and install our kit you'll likely spend less than $100,000."
  The package includes a suspension style swing arm fork with twin air springs, one on either side of the front wheel, that can handle up to 8,000 lbs. The air springs are adjustable for different loads and offer smooth riding in rough field conditions, says the company. An open front allows easy access for changes to different applications or repairs.
  A hydraulic rotary actuator provides all the support for the load as well as hydraulic power steering. Some minor modifications to the tractor steering circuit are required to accommodate the increased hydraulic flow to the actuator.
  According to Pope, kit frames can be designed to fit several different brands of tractors. "But it works best on Deere tractors because of their cab and chassis design, and because they have a heavy duty main frame that does a better job of supporting the load. Also, their transmission is appropriate for sprayers."
  A variety of different tank sizes are available, and some can be 3-pt. mounted. Either 50 or 60 ft. suspension booms are available from the company, and all are "quick hitch" adaptable. The boom sections are controlled by electric solenoid valves (supplied). A hydraulic-driven, 1,500 to 3,000-lb. capacity 3-point mounted dry fertilizer spreader with dual spinners and conveyor feed system is also available.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Agriweld, Inc., 13000 S. Pacific Hwy. W., Monmouth, Oregon 97361 (ph 503 838-3960; fax 503 838-0959; info @agriweld. com; www.agriweld.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #1