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Truck Axle Helps Carry Big Bales
The front ends of Tom Sr., Tom Jr. and Steve Carey’s smaller Farmalls couldn’t handle the weight of big bales, so they tried adding truck axle front ends. Tom Jr. did it first to his dad’s Super M. Two years ago, his son Steve did it to the family’s M.
  “We’ve had these Farmalls around the farm since they were new,” says Steve. “This modification keeps them productive today.”
  Steve admits some of the welding wasn’t too fancy. Winter was coming on, and the M was needed to move big round bales.
  “As my grandpa says, it makes more sense to start a $1,000 tractor to move 10 bales in minus 40 degree weather than it does to start a new diesel,” says Steve.
  The only problem with those $1,000 tractors is the spindles weren’t built for lifting and turning with 1,500-lb. bales on the loader. After a few broken spindles, Tom Sr. came up with the truck axle idea.
  “When I did the M, we used an axle off a ton and a half ‘79 Ford,” says Steve. “We took the M front-end cross member, capped the ends and covered over the bolt holes. Then we flipped the truck axle upside down and welded it to the cross member with a few spacers in between to mate them up.”
  The biggest challenge was bridging from the M tie rods to the truck axle. Steve welded successive tabs of scrap steel over each other to connect the truck steering knuckles to the M tie rods.
  “It looks rough, but we needed the tractor that week to start loading hay into a feed truck,” recalls Steve. “It still works, so we never changed it.”
  Another advantage to the truck front axle add-on is tires. Steve points out that the larger truck tires outlast tractor tires, and when they do wear out, they’re easy to replace.
  “We always have plenty of the same size and just throw one on as needed,” he says. “The only drawback is they’re harder to turn. We have aftermarket power steering on the Super M, but the M has ‘arm-strong’ steering. It’s hard to turn anytime and harder under load if you aren’t moving.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Carey, 2122 Hwy. 69, Boulder, Mont. 59632 (ph 406 498-2922; scranch@gmx.us).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6