2018 - Volume #42, Issue #2, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Boost Cylinder Lifting RangeIndiana handyman Gordon Brown built a simple device to double the lifting range of a hydraulic cylinder with a 3-ft. reach.
Brown says he fastened the base of a 3-ft. cylinder to the frame of his dump wagon and extended a cable through a pulley connected to the bottom of the trailer box. As the cylinder extends and tightens the cable, the box frame will lift twice the distance compared to using just the cylinder alone.
“With this mechanism on my trailer, I’m getting 6 ft. of lift height with a 3-ft. cylinder,” says Brown.
He made the device to dump the box on the 2-wheel trailer he uses to haul dirt in his grave-digging business. “When I tell people what I made this for they’re kind of amazed, first at how it works and second what I use it for,” Brown says. “After I explain it a little more they seem to understand on both counts.”
Brown says he needed the extra lifting height because his trailer is about 8 ft. long and slightly less than 5 ft. wide. “It’s narrower and longer than a conventional dump trailer, because we have to drive between rows of headstones and there isn’t a lot of room for a wide trailer. The 3-ft. reach cylinder didn’t raise my box high enough to dump the dirt, so I needed to improvise.”
Brown says his simple invention, which uses battery power from his truck to run a power pack for raising and lowering the cylinder, works great.
“When we dig a grave we haul away about 60 percent of the dirt, so this trailer and its high lift really simplify unloading.” He pulls the trailer behind a 3/4-ton pickup with a heavy-duty power cable connecting the truck battery to the power pack on the trailer.
Brown says during his 40-plus years in the profession, he’s probably dug more than 6,000 graves, almost a third of them by hand. “Two men could dig a grave in about 4 hrs., and a lot of times I’d dig them by myself,” Brown says. I got about $30 a grave when I first started and now my son is getting from $500 to $1,500 depending on where they’re located, how difficult the site is to access, and where the excess dirt needs to be hauled. He uses two different excavators and has contracts with about 30 cemeteries, so there’s plenty of work.”
Brown says his son’s name is in the Guinness Book of World Records for burying 108 people in one week. “It isn’t exactly what you might think,” Brown says with a laugh, “because he actually moved the remains from people buried in a 200-year-old cemetery that was being excavated for an airport runway.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gordon R. Brown, 1908 W. St. Hwy. 46, Spencer, Ind. 47460 (ph 812 829-0156).
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