2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #103[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
Remote-Controlled F-250 Helps Rancher Feed CattleKen Myers and David Anderson took the engine out of a Ford F-250 pickup and converted it to electric power. Then they went one step farther to create the only remote-controlled pickup we’ve ever seen. It makes one-man cattle feeding fun, they say.
Anderson is an all-natural beef rancher. Besides saving energy, the all-electric truck eliminates the diesel engine noise and smoke, and the remote controls save him the cost of a hired hand.
The $15,000 he spent on the conversion wasn’t just for fun. He also uses the truck for fencing and laying out irrigation pipe, among other things.
The remote controls attach to a lanyard Anderson wears around his neck. As he unloads hay into feed bunks, he hits a button on the remote to move the truck ahead. With several relays and four buttons on the remote, he can steer, brake and even blow the horn to warn cattle in front of the truck. The remote works up to 500 ft. from the truck.
“When I go through a gate I only have to get out once,” Anderson says, noting the remote saves him a lot of time just getting in and out of the pickup doing chores around the ranch.
Myers made the conversion with a 42 hp electric motor out of a delivery truck. Other than adding an adapter to connect it to the manual transmission, changing to electric wasn’t that difficult.
“A lot of the time involved figuring out all the relays for the remote. But we did it,” Anderson says. Friend Ken Myers, a former high school shop instructor and auto repair shop owner, has experience with electric conversions. He has driven more than 100,000 miles on a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle he converted to electric in 1992.
Twenty 6-volt, deep-cycle, lead-acid batteries stored under the pickup bed power Anderson’s truck. The charge plug is on the back of the passenger side of the cab. A plug outlet attaches to a headache rack. Anderson uses the electricity for grinders or drills and even an electric frying pan to cook a meal while out working.
Anderson’s F-250 charges up in 3 hrs. or less and when driven at 40 to 50 mph it lasts up to 50 miles - for “less than the cost of a cup of coffee”. With 5,000 to 6,000 rpm’s the truck has out-pulled an F-250 diesel truck. Batteries start losing recharging power after 5 to 7 years. As lithium batteries evolve, Myers believes they will be more affordable and efficient. He adds that some states offer tax credits for electric vehicles.
He and Myers sell DVD’s ($19.99 each), and they plan to put together a packet detailing how to build your own remote-controlled electric pickup.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Anderson, 15027 S. Rock Creek Lane, Haines, Ore. 97833 (ph 541 519-3030; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ken Myers (ph 541 403-0725).
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