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Windrow Merger Reversed For Front-Mount Operation
Tired of turning around to check his trailing hay windrow merger, Virgil Poock and his son Travis reversed the mounting brackets and drive system so they can "push" it through the field.
"We bought a Versatile 276 bi-directional tractor with the idea of front-mounting the pull-type hay merger," says Poock. "However, we wanted to modify it in such a way that would let us return it to trail mode for resale or trade."
An old stack mover made the job easy. The 3-pt. hitch simply needed to be reinforced and have excess length cut off the pick-up tines. Gussets were welded on each side of the stack mover to bolt to the backside of the merger frame. Angle iron was welded to the tines and holes drilled to match up to holes in the merger's mainframe.
The final stack mover modification was to weld 4 by 4-in. steel tubing to the tines so the merger would be level.
Merger preparation consisted of removing the front hitch, the wheels and remounting the rear dolly wheel.
"In its original position, the dolly wheel would dig into the ground on turns," explains Poock. "We decided to remount it to the merger frame and add a second one to the other side."
Mounting the merger to the stack mover was a matter of bolting it to the new framework on the stack mover. Original hoses for the hydraulic drive were sufficiently long. However, even remounted, the dolly wheels caused trouble.
The dolly tires were slightly too large for the available space. On turns they would rub the old axle, which was welded to the frame. Poock replaced the dolly tires with doughnut tires used as spare tires in cars. The smaller size eliminated the problem.
"We took the spare tire wheels to a machine shop," says Poock. "They cut out the car wheel centers and welded in solid centers with holes drilled to match the dolly hubs."
The only other change was to add a screen over the front panel. Poock notes that hay was getting kicked over the panel and onto the tractor. A piece of screening bolted in place took care of the problem without affecting visibility.
"The front mount is easy to operate and easy to train new operators to run," says Poock. "It was a low cost conversion. The additional dolly wheel cost $500, and the stack mover was about $125. When we are ready to sell, we can unbolt it and return the merger to its original pull-type style."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Virgil Poock, 1044 Whitetail Ave., Sumner, Iowa 50674 (ph 563 578-8283; poockcustomchopping@yahoo.com).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4