2007 - Volume #31, Issue #4, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Big Teeter-Totter Tests Tractor Driver Skills
Retired mechanical engineer Bruce Babcock and members of the Fairfield County (Ohio) Antique Tractor Club built a teeter-totter that allows drivers of all skills to drive their tractors on a platform set on a center beam that runs from side to side. They attempt to balance the tractor as quickly as possible. For some with worn-out clutches and limited experience, finding that balance can be almost impossible.
Babcock's teeter-totter has an adjustable pivot that can be changed to suit the skill of the competitors. "When the adjustable pivot is close to the fixed support it's more difficult to balance. When we move it out, it's a lot easier," he says.
The Fairfield teeter-totter also has air shocks at each end to prevent hard landings when either end hits the ground. The shocks connect to valves that bleed air slowly to set the teeter-totter down gently. A check valve opens to reinflate the shocks quickly.
"It's important that we don't subject equipment to stress greater than what it was designed for," Babcock says. "We want to treat these antiques as gently as we can."
The unit is easily transported by slipping pneumatic tires mounted on stub axles into sleeves on the steel frame. A hitch is attached the same way.
Babcock will share plans with others interested in making a similar teeter-totter.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bruce Babcock, 11155 Stout Road, Amanda, Ohio 43102 (ph 740 969-2096; email@example.com).
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