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Scratch-Built Loader Looks Factory-Built
Daniel Perkins’ Massey Ferguson garden tractor front-end loader looks like it came from the factory, but he actually built it out of scrap steel. The loader looked good enough that it was recently featured as tractor of the month on www.gardentractortalk.com and in Lawn and Garden Tractor magazine (www.lagtmag.com).
  “I built it from scratch to go on my Massey 1650 garden tractor,” says Perkins. “I didn’t have any plans or do it to scale. I just started cutting, and if it looked right, I put it together.”
  He says a local steel yard had seconds and cutoffs at the time for just 15˘ a pound. He bought about 300 lbs. for only $45. Fittings and two tilt cylinders were purchased new, and the hoses were obtained on eBay.
  The loader wasn’t built for show, although Perkins has taken it to a few. He built it for cleaning out 48-in. wide baby calf stalls. The 41-in. wide bucket and manure forks leave play to either side in the stalls. The bucket takes a good bite with its 17-in. height and 20-in. depth. The fork set he built for it is 23 in. long.
  “The 2 1/4-in. dia. lift cylinders are off a New Idea hay roller,” says Perkins. “I cut the body and the ram down to size. I started with a single bucket tilt cylinder, but changed to two for more tilt power.”
  The bucket was built from 3/16-in. plate, while the loader mount and frame are 1/4-in., 2 by 4-in. steel tubing.
  “Holes connect the bottom and sides of the frame so they can act as oil reservoirs for the hydraulic pump,” explains Perkins. “The pump is off a Case 446 garden tractor and runs off the front of the Massey engine. The hydraulic lever set is the original equipment off the MF 1650.”
  A hydraulic filter mounts on the right side of the loader on the return oil line. Air bleeders are mounted at the top of the mount uprights.
  Since first building the loader in 2005, Perkins has switched it to a MF 1655 that he repowered with an 18 hp B48G Onan engine. All he had to do for the repower was change the pulley to the pto crankshaft. Perkins describes the 1655 as “a perfect dedicated loader tractor”.
  Perkins also added quick-tach connectors to the loader, bucket and manure forks. “It’s a very quick job of maybe 20 to 30 sec. to swap them out,” he says.
  The tractor loader gets plenty of work around Perkins’ farm aside from cleaning calf stalls. He has used it to move dirt, remove broken concrete and even create a diversion ditch for installing drain tile.
  “The loader can easily lift 600 lbs.,” says Perkins. “It’s a real workhorse around the farm, and it only cost $605 to build.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daniel Perkins, 2198 Ball Hollow Rd., Hodgenville, Ky. 42748 (ph 270 325-3951; dandt@scrtc.com).


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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4