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Right Combine Choice Crucial When "Tractorizing" Combine
When Herb Hallman decided to turn a combine into a utility tractor, he knew that the most important part of the project was selecting the right combine. Having read FARM SHOW for years, Hallman had a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Being in the salvage business with more than 100 different makes and models of combines on hand, he had plenty to choose from.
  “Nothing comes close to the adaptability of IHC 815 and 915 combines,” says Hallman. “The engine, radiator, hydraulic pump, and hydrostatic pump are all mounted on a skid that comes off as a complete unit. They even have an over-the-center thresher drive clutch that we used to power a pto.”
  Hallman appreciates that everything on the machine is either electric or hydraulic. With no pulleys, belts or shafts to line up, the engine skid can be mounted wherever needed. He also wanted to avoid working with a gas engine or a standard transmission with hard shifting, weak clutches and limited speed ranges per gear.
  “We started with an 815 diesel with hydrostatic drive,” says Hallman. “Most builders strip the threshing components off the combine and start building on the existing frame.”
  Hallman thought the combine frame was too weak, so he decided to start from scratch.
  “We stripped off every part we thought we might need and got rid of the old frame,” says Hallman. “We blocked up the front axle and built our own frame out of new 8-in. channel iron. When the frame was finished, we plopped our power plant skid with engine and attachments in place. We rolled the rear axle under the frame and welded it in place.”
  Hallman positioned the engine as far back on the frame as possible to act as counterbalance against front-mounted implements. He mounted a bumper to protect the rotary screen at the rear, but also to act as a weight bar if suitcase weights were needed.
  Wheels were swapped left to right to reduce the outside measurement to 9 ft. to match the 9-ft. width of the snowblower Hallman planned to mount. Wheelbase front to back ended up at about 10 ft.
  Hallman mounted the cab in front of the engine, shortened up wires and hoses and hooked everything up. A roll bar was added at the back to compensate for the flimsy cab. The roll bar also serves as a mount for auxiliary lighting. The original hydraulic reservoir was mounted to the frame on the right hand side.
  “When we fired it up, everything worked beautifully, except it steered backward,” recalls Hallman. “We had crossed the steering hoses...a minor detail!”
  As he planned to use it as a tool carrier, Hallman built a 3-pt. hitch from scratch using the old header lift cylinders. He salvaged a pto off an 1155 Massey Ferguson tractor.
  “The pto on the 1155 is compact, turns at engine speed, has no clutch, turns the right way and has both 540 and 1000 rpm speeds,” says Hallman. “We built a box around it to contain the oil and mounted it to the frame. A machinist friend helped adapt an old truck driveshaft to drive the pto from the thresher drive clutch. A small hydraulic cylinder mounted to the clutch arm is activated with the old unload auger swing valve in the cab.”
  Hallman adapted a hood from an old IHC 4100 tractor. While it fit nicely over the radiator end of the engine, the other end needed to be trimmed. Exhaust and air intake holes had to be filled in with new holes cut to match the engine. A turbo precleaner was salvaged from a Massey 1135, and an IHC 966 tractor (same engine as used in the combine) muffler was purchased new.
  Hallman calls the tractor a “Hydratrac-100” for its 100 hp. A friend with a vinyl cutter made decals for it, and Hallman painted it blue.
  Originally he planned to use the front-mounted 3-pt. and pto with a lot of different tools. However, aside from occasional use to power an auger, it has become a dedicated snowblower.
  “No snowbank can stop it with the hydrostatic drive,” he says. “We get a lot of satisfaction using a machine we built ourselves, especially when it works so well and does everything it was designed to do.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Herbert A. Hallman, Box 4, Fosston, Sask. Canada S0E 0V0 (ph 306 322-4567; c.hallman@sasktel.net).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #3