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Garden Tractor-Sized Wood Handling Rigs
When Jerry Johnston goes to the woods to cut firewood, almost all the equipment he brings is home-built and designed to work with his Yanmar 4-WD, 16 hp tractor. The equipment includes a 3-pt. mounted, pto-driven buzz saw or log splitter and a wood hauling trailer that pulls behind both machines. A hydraulic-operated snow blade mounts on front of the tractor, where it clears trails through the woods.
    “The 3-pt. mounted buzz saw makes quick work of a pile of wood,” says Johnston. To build it he used an old 30-in. 1940’s buzz saw blade. He drives it with a tractor pto through a right angle gearbox that belt-drives the blade. He used 2-in. channel iron to build a frame and stand that supports the blade, and sheet metal to make blade guards.
    The 3-pt. mounted log splitter is operated by a pto-driven hydraulic pump and mounts on a 3 by 6-in. tube frame that serves as the oil tank. The splitter’s 24-in. long, 3 1/2-in. dia. hydraulic cylinder “nests” down inside the wedge, which keeps the height down. The wedge is made from abrasion-resistant, semi-hard material.
    “I wanted the splitter to be lightweight, compact and simple so I could use it on back of my small tractor,” says Johnston. “It was much cheaper and easier to put together than building separate components. It’s as short as I could make it, about 6 ft. high when raised, to clear tree limbs in the woods. By lowering the 3-pt. I can set the table down on the ground for large blocks, or raise it to a more comfortable working height for smaller blocks.”    
    He built the trailer using the axle off an old golf cart and 16-in. high airplane tires. It measures 5 ft. long, 2 ft. wide, and 2 1/2 ft. high. The sides are made from 2 by 6’s that are held in by metal stakes. The front and back are open. A side-mounted toolbox holds gas, oil, and chainsaw chains for cutting wood.
    The trailer holds about 2/3 of a face cord of wood. If he wants, Johnston can install 3 homemade wooden seats that snap on between the trailer’s sides. “I sometimes take people for rides on trails that go through our woods. They have a lot of fun,” says Johnston.
    The snow blade is made from 1/8-in. thick sheet metal and measures 4 1/2 ft. wide and 24 in. high. The bottom is protected by heavy angle iron. The blade is controlled by 2 cylinders – one raises and lowers the blade and the other angles it from side to side. The blade is supported by a heavy steel bar that goes back to the tractor’s drawbar.
    “It’s made like the big snow blades designed for use on big 4-WD tractors,” says Johnston. “I built it when I bought the tractor new in 1987, and it hasn’t broken yet. I use it for moving snow, dirt, backfilling, leveling, and in the woods to clear trails.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Johnston, 5821 Crystal Rd., Vestaburg, Mich. 48891 (ph 989 268-5650).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5