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"Solar Charged" Lay-Down Cart
"It makes field work quieter and saves my back. I built it entirely out of scrap metal and other parts that I already had," says Chris Juel, Scobey, Mont., about his battery-powered crop-picking cart.
  A planetary gear motor keeps the cart moving. A 12-volt, deep cycle battery with a solar-powered charger provides power. The solar panel is located just above the battery and mounts on a pair of hinged metal arms.
  A pair of foot paddles control the drive system which consists of bicycle sprockets and chains. A 4-in. long pipe that's connected to a pair of metal tie rods is used to steer the front wheels.
  "I use it to pick strawberries, transplant seedlings, and for weeding," says Juel. "The solar panel lets me go all day long and never run out of power. I also added a 12-volt-to-110-volt converter, so I can play a radio or tape player," says Juel.
  The 4-wheeled cart was built with wheels and other parts from several different bicycles. The frame is made from 1-in. sq. tubing.
  A shaft across the back is fitted with small sprockets at either end that chain-drive a set of sprockets above the rear wheels.
  The picking platform is equipped with vinyl-covered foam pads. A storage tray mounts underneath the operator for setting out plants or picking produce. The lightweight cart can easily be pulled into position by hand.
  Juel also built a wider cart for cucumbers that grow out up to 6 ft. from the row. "I can pick 5 pails of cucumbers in just a few minutes and set them in a tub underneath the cart that slides in or out."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris Juel, P. O.Box 162, Scobey, Mont. 59263 (ph 406 487-5014).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #4