2010 - Volume #34, Issue #6, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"How I Made My Tractor Better"
Rollbar-Mounted Stereo System
For about $250, Kennedy set up a stereo system with components that mount on a removable, vinyl-covered "box" that's U-bolted to the tractor's rollbar. The box supports a JVC CD/radio equipped with a remote control and Pioneer 6 by 9-in. speakers, all purchased at Best Buy. A simple rubber radio antenna from a local parts store rounds out the package.
The box is made from 3/4-in. thick mdf board, with the joints glued with Liquid Nails and held together with 1 5/8-in. sheetrock screws. The box is covered with black vinyl and held in place by U-bolts ū1 on each side and 1 on top.
"I drilled three 4-in. dia. holes on back of the box and used pvc drain grates to hold the speakers in place," says Kennedy. "The holes allow heat to escape and provide the speakers with ębreathing room'.
"I keep this tractor parked in a shed the chances are I won't have to worry about rain. However, I did install a marine shield over the radio. Also, I plan to keep a piece of vinyl on hand to snap over the speakers if I ever get caught in bad weather."
"Any time I'm bush hogging there's a chance I'll come across rodents or reptiles that need to be eliminated for one reason or another," says Kennedy. "So I bought an H&R .410 gauge youth single shot shotgun at a pawn shop for $50 and refurbished it. Then I attached a plastic gun rack to the rollbar so I can keep the gun with me on the tractor."
Quick-Tach Grapple Bucket
"New 6-ft. grapple buckets cost $1,500 or more, but I built mine for only about $700," says Kennedy. "I bought a used 6-ft. Bobcat bucket with the bottom severely bent. I cut out the bottom of the bucket and cut the sides back at a lower angle. Then I bought several feet of 2-in. sq. tubing, 1/4-in. thick, and cut and welded it into place. I built my own bucket teeth by cutting 45 degree angles in the tubing and closing up the ends with welding material."
The grapple arm is a 36-in. long commercial unit called the "Thumb" that he bought from Greens Machine of Centralia, Ill. (ph 618 532-4631; www.greens-machine.com). It came complete with mounting bracket, grapple arm, and hydraulic cylinder. The grapple arm can either be welded or bolted in place.
"After assembly I sprayed the entire unit with Rustoleum semi gloss black paint and installed hydraulic hoses that I had made up at a local shop," says Kennedy.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bryan Kennedy, 20283 Hwy. 216, Vance, Ala. 35490 (ph 205 477-4906 or 205 368-7503; Bckennedy1@comcast.net).
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