2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5, Page #43[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Made It Myself" Cab Built For Comfort
“My plan was to get as much visibility as possible and have heat, defrost and ventilation,” he explains.
He first checked out homemade cabs in past issues of FARM SHOW and then researched on the internet. He picked up a couple of good ideas such as installing a roomy entry door with a right-hand hinge and left-hand knob, and using loose pin hinges to have the option to remove the door in the summer.
“The hardest part was the design, fit and mounting to the tractor,” March says. “Lucky for me my hired man has a fertile brain and skinny hands. We used a piece of aluminum quarter-round rod to bend the form around the fenders, then using it to scribe a cut line on plywood for a good fit.”
To maximize visibility and make the most of a $325 4-by 8-ft. sheet of polycarbonate, he first made cardboard templates.
“Leave the protective backing on while cutting and fitting,” he advises. “The poly cuts well with a sharp fine-tooth skill saw or saber saw.”
He also suggests drilling oversize holes in the poly, using a bead of silicone and rubber washer, and not over tightening the screws.
He sealed the gap between tractor and cab with foam tape and enlarged existing holes on the loader frame, fenders and factory crossbar behind the seat to bolt the cab down.
“I was careful not to drill, weld or bolt to the ROPS structure so as not to compromise its integrity in any way,” March says.
Total cost for the cab was less than $900, plus parts he had on hand, but March didn’t skip on quality where it was needed. He purchased 3/4-in. one-side sanded exterior plywood ($50/sheet) and protected it with good silicone adhesive and two coats of quality oil primer topped with three coats of high-visibility orange oil paint. He installed a tiny $225 2-speed hot water heater. Though it was small, it was still a tight spot to install it under the loader’s hydraulic valve.
“I installed all switches with fuses as well as a 40-amp inline fuse at the battery for safety,” March says. “The factory flashing lights are visible and I put on a slow moving vehicle sign as well as 2-year-old strobe lights that I had off a fire truck for safety.”
The only place he skimped a bit was installing a $29 hand-powered windshield wiper instead of a $135 electric wiper.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe March, 146 Oceanward Dr., Friendship, Maine 04547 (email@example.com).
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