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Potato Digger Updated With Hydrostatic Drive
An old, ground-drive potato digger found new life when Willard Kanning added a hydrostatic drive. Kanning used the drive from a 149 Cub Cadet Hydro, a gearbox from a Cub rototiller, and the pto from his Deere 4115 garden tractor.
"The digger was headed for the scrap pile when I bought it for $100," says Kanning. "Ground-drive units have problems with dirt buildup on wet ground. With hydrostatic drive, I have complete control of depth and speed."
Kanning had help from master welder Earl Keough. The tiller's 2:1 gearbox allowed them to double the tractor's 540 pto speed to meet the drive's required 1,000 rpm's.
The Cub rear end straddled the digger, allowing axle stubs to be turned into belt drives.
"I had already stripped off the gears and chains from the ground drive and replaced the conveyer drive sprockets with big bull pulleys," explains Kanning. "The direction of the hydrostatic drive needed to be reversed to drive the conveyer chain. I could have run it in reverse, but I twisted the belts instead."
Kanning and Keough replaced the old steel wheels with rubber wheels from a grain auger. The original hitch was welded solid and cross-braced to the digger frame. For field work, Kanning connects it with a clevis hitch to a bar on his 3-pt. hitch. To adjust depth, he simply raises or lowers the 3-pt.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Willard Kanning, 210 Jackson, Plentywood, Mont. 59254 (ph 406 765-2534; 2wnkan@nemontel.net).  

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3