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Manlift Tracks Get New Life As John Deere Crawler
When Bob Gauntt had the opportunity to buy an old Chinese-built manlift with a bad motor, he couldn’t pass up the deal. It was cheap, and he wasn’t concerned about the motor; he wanted its tracks. As a long-time collector of John Deere tractors, he has wanted to build a Deere tracked tractor for a long time.
    But the tracks were just half the battle. He needed a riding mower with individual rear brakes in order to properly steer the tracks.
    A John Deere 140 fit the requirement.
    He detached the blade and wheels and made a sprocket prototype to slip on the back axle to turn the tracks. Once he got it right, he had a local machine company make the sprockets.
    “I shortened up the fenders so they didn’t hit the tracks,” Gauntt says. “And I cut the track mounting setup with a plasma cutter to narrow it to fit.”
    He added brake and steering levers, painted everything Deere green and yellow and mounted it so that it comes off easily and the wheels can be put back on.
    It’s likely he won’t do that, as the JD crawler is popular at shows.
    “It’s pretty smooth and steers pretty good on dirt and gravel and grass,” he says.
    Gauntt is pleased with how well it turned out, and notes he just got lucky finding the inexpensive manlift that worked for the project.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Gauntt, 20921 NE 58th St., Vancouver, Wash. 98682 (ph 360 892-3733; unstyledl@yahoo.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3