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"Show Stopper" Articulated Cub Cadet
John Lusk of Holley, N.Y., would love to build a full-size articulated tractor, but he doesn't have enough shop space. So he built a small one using a couple of the old Cub Cadet garden tractors he had collected.
    Apparently he did a good job because when he took it to an area tractor show a man asked him, "When did International make those?"
    The retired machinist says articulated vehicles have always fascinated him, and when he dug into the project he thought it would take a month. It ended up taking about 2 1/2 months, with much of the time spent looking for parts he needed.
    Lusk started with 1969 and 1980 Cub Cadets that he'd purchased for about $200 total. He cut off the front end of one to make a new rear end.
    "All the cross members of the tractor had to be cut out and moved," Lusk says. "The front wheels were set ahead 15 in., so the front end didn't look like it was hanging too far over."
    It was trial and error to figure out how far he could make it swivel without the wheels touching and how to get the power to the rear end. Lusk made wooden prototypes of knuckles and hinges before making what he needed out of metal.
    "The hardest part to figure out was how to keep the rear fenders low to the tires yet still have side-to-side swivel," Lusk says. He solved the problem by making the back fenders and hood raise with the tires, when the tires go over a hump.
    Lusk's final result is a 12 hp articulating Cub Cadet with two 3-speed transmissions and two creeper gears, which help him win "slow" competitions at shows. It also has electric-over-hydraulic steering (electric motor driving a hydraulic pump). With the gears, big tires, other new parts and the $200 for the old Cadets, Lusk spent $1,400 on his creation.
    It can be driven in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
    Lusk is willing to advise Farm Show readers interested in making their own articulated vehicles.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John W. Lusk, 4535 Co. Line Rd., Holley, N.Y. 14470 (ph 585 638-6586).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6