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Garden Tractor Converted Into A Mini Spray Rig
Jim Rotter, Walford, Iowa, converted his Deere X540 garden tractor into a self-propelled mini spray rig, complete with a 5-ft. boom, a hand nozzle with 20 ft. of hose on back, and an auxiliary tank on front. The hose is stored on a metal bracket between the boom and tank. A 12-volt pump that runs off the tractor battery operates the system.
    “I use the boom to spray for dandelions and crabgrass which can be a real problem in our area,” says Rotter. “The boom is equipped with flood jet nozzles and rides only about 12 in. off the ground, which minimizes drift. Both tanks hold 17 gal. so I can do a lot of spraying before having to refill.”
    The front-mounted auxiliary tank rests on a pair of wooden blocks bolted to an angle iron frame that quick-taches to another frame mounted on front of the tractor. He screwed a 1 1/2-in. dia. pvc elbow onto one end of the tank that serves as the fill hole. He also installed a valve under the fill hole that’s used to gravity feed water through a hose to the tank on back.
    The rear-mounted tank, along with the boom and hand wand, mounts on an angle iron frame that hooks up to a modified Wheel Horse attachment-mounting bracket on back of the tractor. “The modified Wheel Horse attachment allows the sprayer to float, so I can go up or down ditches without needing extra weights on front of the tractor,” says Rotter. “The auxiliary tank serves as a weight to hold the tractor’s front end down when going up hill. To remove the auxiliary tank I take out two small bolts, pull the frame off, then remove the mounting bracket from the tractor.”
    He used 3/4-in. dia. galvanized pipe to build the boom. The pump plugs into a cigarette plug that Rotter mounted on back of the tractor and is wired to a toggle switch mounted on the dash. Both the pump and spray wand are mounted on a stainless steel plate.
    “I use it on my own 1-acre yard, my 2 kids with 3 acres each, and on a rental property. The hand wand works well to get into hard-to-reach areas. The back end floats so it can spray in ditches without gouging the ground. I painted both tanks green and yellow and bought Deere decals on the internet.
    “The tractor had only one hydraulic valve on it so I installed another hydraulic circuit on the tractor. I also added a quick-connect hydraulic outlet behind the left front wheel that mounts on a machined aluminum block. I use the outlet to operate a hydraulic cylinder that I installed on front of the tractor. I use the cylinder to operate other attachments such as a snow blade,” he notes.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Rotter, P.O. Box 16, Walford, Iowa 52351 (ph 319 846-2988).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #3