2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Big Snowblower Fitted to Home-Built Tractor
The blower is belt-driven by a separate diesel engine that has its own battery, starter and controls. There's a 1,000-lb. steel counterweight on back of the tractor to counteract the weight of the 5-ft. wide snowblower that rides on metal skids, with a length of grader blade welded on in front.
It can handle snow up to 32 in. deep and throw it out up to 40 ft. "Practically everything on this tractor is built extra heavy. The loader can lift about 1,600 lbs. so it can easily handle the weight of the snowblower," notes Lang.
The tractor was originally built by Lang's father, Gilbert, and was powered by a Continental engine out of a 1970 combine. In 1990 the tractor was retrofitted with a 1987 Datsun B210 engine equipped with a 4-speed transmission.
The tractor's hood and front grill are off a Farmall A or B tractor. Sections of canvas on both sides of the tractor keep snow off the engine and also helps direct the engine's heat back into the cab.
The tractor's heavy duty rear axle is off an electric forklift and was chosen because it has a low gear ratio. The front axle was home-built, while the wheels and spindles are off a 1987 Volkswagen Golf. The rear tires are off a Ford car and were retrofitted to the forklift axle.
The snowblower was originally powered by a 12 hp, 1-cyl. Wisconsin engine which was underpowered, so it was replaced with a 32 hp, 4-cyl. Wisconsin which also turned out to be slightly underpowered. Then in 1992 the snowblower was made new with a 1986 Volkswagen Golf 65 hp diesel engine equipped with a 5-speed transmission.
The chute is fitted with a hydraulic motor and hydraulic power comes from the tractor and can be rotated on-the-go. The augers on front of the snowblower and the blower itself were shop-built.
According to Lang, the tractor could be used to power a hydraulic pump to operate the snowblower. "However, that would require the tractor engine to run at very high rpm's which would increase the ground speed way too much.
"You wouldn't have that problem with a hydrostatic transmission. As it is, the tractor's engine runs at idle most of the time, keeping the ground speed real slow and the snowblower engine running faster. This allows the snowblower to run at peak performance in heavy snow. The auger flighting is a unique design and breaks up and pulls in huge amounts of snow."
Lang says his dad made several front-end loaders over the years, and he even made his own hydraulic lift cylinders using seamless pipe to withstand higher pressures.
"The piston was made out of old beer cans. The cans were melted down into a cylinder shape and machined to the appropriate size to fit the cylinder and to accept the oil seals. The cylinder wall is a piece of steamless steel pipe," notes Lang.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Lang (ph 757 873-1662; jhunsch@g mail.com).
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