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Deere Garden Tractor Gets "Loader Make-Over"
Mike Kanthak needed a small loader tractor for his mower repair shop. So he converted a 1974 Deere 140 garden tractor, adding a Kwik Way self-leveling loader and forklift pallet forks. He also added a self-contained hydraulic system so he could have power steering.
    “I use it to load and unload equipment from the back of pickups, such as walk-behind lawn mowers, rototillers, welders, small crates, hydraulic pumps, 55-gal. gas barrels, and so forth. It’ll handle loads up to 500 lbs.,” says Kanthak. “I also use the loader to hold a portable work table, which consists of a big metal sheet with two tubes welded under it that the forks slide into.”
    He got the tractor from a customer as a trade-in. The engine was worn out so he replaced it with a Kohler 14 hp model.
    “The engine belt-drives a gear pump that I mounted under the front end of the tractor,” says Kanthak. “I also mounted a large hydraulic reservoir under the tractor and added a pair of control valves next to the steering wheel to operate the loader. And I mounted new tires all the way around, along with 125-lb. weights on each rear wheel.”
    He got the Kwik-Way loader from a friend. The loader was designed for a Deere 112 garden tractor, so he had to make new support braces for the loader uprights to fit the tractor frame. He also installed new valves and hydraulic hoses.
    To provide power steering he took a power steering unit and cylinder off a Simplicity Sun Star garden tractor. The input shaft on the steering unit was too short so he lengthened it. He replaced the tractor’s original front spindles with ones off a Deere 317 garden tractor. The replacement spindles have an attachment point above the axle that the original spindles don’t have. However, the attachment point on the 317’s left hand spindle is weak so to make it stronger he installed a 3/4-in. dia. metal rod with a ball joint on each end to tie the 2 spindles together.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kanthak’s Small Engines, P.O. Box 141, Marietta, Minn. 56257 (ph 320 668-2555).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #6