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"Grain Auger" Crane
Old worn-out grain augers can be easily converted into low-cost cranes that work great for trimming trees and for lifting rafters onto buildings, according to Richard Ackerman of Columbia, S. Dak.
  He found a 40-ft. long, 8-in. dia. auger at a local dump complete with engine and gearbox. The only thing wrong with it was a worn-out wheel bearing which he easily repaired.
  He welded a ball hitch receiver onto the lower end of the auger so he could pull it to various locations with his pickup, and so that he could hitch the auger to his skid loader bucket via a hitch ball mounted at the center of the bucket.
  On the upper end of the auger he installed a swinging "man carry" - a 4-ft. long, 2-ft. wide metal platform equipped with a safety belt - that's secured to the auger by pins. He fastened a shaft to the man carry and a tube to the auger to form a brace, with adjustment holes for a pin. Once the auger is raised to the proper height for tree trimming, painting, or repairing, the operator pins the brace to keep the man carry steady while he works.
  The auger is balanced so that the upper end can be pulled down to the ground by a length of rope permanently attached to that end.
  "It works great - we don't use it all the time, but it's nice to know it's there when we need it," says Ackerman. "It really comes in handy for trimming tree branches that hang over buildings and saves the expense of hiring someone to do the job.
  "One time we used the auger as a crane to install the rafters on a building project. We installed a 12-volt, 8,000-lb. winch on the bracket that was originally used to hold the auger gearbox. We put a cable pulley on the upper end and ran the cable over it with a hook on the end. We were able to easily install the rafters and position them exactly in place. In fact, we were able to lift four rafters at a time.
  "There are a lot of smaller augers like ours lying around going unused or in dumps, because so many farmers have switched to high capacity augers," he notes.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Ackerman, Fish Mfg., 16 Broadway, Columbia, S. Dak. 57433 (ph 605 396-2405).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #1