2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
8-Ft. Articulated MowerBuilt Out Of Bean Buggy
Dixon operates a custom mowing business, using the big mower on large farmyards and 8 to 10-acre hobby farm fields. He'd just celebrated his 85th birthday the day FARM SHOW called him.
The machine rides on four 15-in. car tires and is equipped with a home-built, pto-driven deck that has five 22-in. lawn mower blades. The deck can be hydraulically raised up to 2 ft. off the ground. A home-built canopy keeps the driver in the shade.
"I built it because I couldn't find a mower on the market that was big enough for what I wanted. I've used it to cut everything from tumbleweeds and kochia weeds to small volunteer tree saplings up to one inch in diameter. When I cut weeds that big, the blades make a heck of a racket, but it works."
He started with a 30-year-old Schweiss articulated, 3-seater bean buggy equipped with a Kohler 16 hp engine and hydrostatic transmission. He removed the two "passenger" seats and cut the machine's frame down to lower its height by about 2 ft. He wanted more power so he replaced the original engine with a Chevy 4-cyl. engine with about 30 hp, positioning the engine backward so the drive shaft would rotate in the right direction.
He used 16-ga. sheet metal to build a deck and made mounting brackets that attach the deck to the frame near the front wheels. A pair of hydraulic cylinders are used to raise or lower the deck.
A pto shaft that runs under the machine operates the deck. The back end of the shaft connects to a double V-belt pulley that Dixon added onto the engine. The front end hooks up to an 8-in. double-grooved pulley mounted at the center of the mower deck, which is used to belt-drive the blades.
"Most of the yards and fields I mow are either in town or on the edge of town quite a few miles away, so I built my own tilt bed trailer to haul it there. Grass feeds through the deck pretty good, but not bushy-type weeds that are more than 18 in. tall because they want to push up in front of the deck. In that case I raise the deck 2 ft., then let the deck back down and make another pass to cut down to the ground." Dixon says he's willing to build "bean buggy mowers" if there's interest.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daryl Dixon, 1835 Hwy. 194, Plainview, Texas 79072 (ph cell 806 729-3917).
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