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Built-From-Scratch Articulated Payloader
Stephen Foster of West Plains, Mo., enjoys using the home-built loader he built from scratch. It's painted Caterpillar yellow and black and looks like it just rolled off the factory floor.
††††"It makes quick work of jobs around the farm and yard," he says. "I built it for only about $5,000."
††††He patterned the loader after a Caterpillar 950, but built it with an 8-ft. wide bucket instead of 7 ft. A Z-bar connects the dump cylinder to the bucket linkage. It was fabricated from 3/4-in. thick steel plate and wrapped in 1/2-in. by 4-in. flat bar. The loader arms were fabricated by sandwiching two pieces of 3/4-in. steel plate, with 1/2-in. spacers in between. The edges were wrapped with 1/2 by 2-in. flat bar.
††††The loader's wheels and axles came from a White twin screw semi truck. The 460 cu. in. engine and automatic transmission were taken from a Ford Mercury car. The frame, cab, and loader were built from scratch with both new and scrap metal. The loader rides on 50-in. tall tires.
††††"I started work on it in 1996 and worked on it for 2 years. Then when my father died I lost interest in it. Three years ago I decided to finish it," says Foster.
††††"I built it just to see if I could do it, but it has become a valuable asset that has paid for itself several times over. I've used it to do everything from bulldozing dirt to digging out ponds. I painted model number 974 on it, which stands for the month and year of my wedding anniversary."
††††The rig's frame is built from 1/2-in. and 3/4-in. thick steel plate, and the cab and hood and fenders from 1/8-in. plate. A home-built 5:1 gearbox transfers power to the driveshaft. A hydraulic pump mounts to the front of the engine with a universal joint and is used to operate the loader's 5 cylinders Ż 2 to lift the loader arms, 1 to dump the bucket, and 2 to operate the articulated steering. The engine cooling fan was raised 6 in. to clear the hydraulic pump. The machine's 40-gal. fuel tank and hydraulic reservoir were fabricated from 1/8-in. steel plate.
††††All controls, including the levers that work the loader arms and bucket, and the brake and throttle pedals, are handmade. The machine also features a home-built automatic bucket leveler made from electrical switches, an electric solenoid, and a steel ball inside a piece of steel tubing.
††††The cab is built with a door on one side, and big windows all the way around. The steering wheel and seat were bought new.
††††The muffler was made from a piece of 4 1/2-in. dia. steel well casing.
††††Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Stephen Foster, 7960 C.R. 1100, West Plains, Mo. 65775 (ph 417 256-3032; thefosters@centurylink.net).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3