2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Electric-Powered Skid-Steer LoaderAfter working in the ag electronics business and doing a little farming himself, Kevin Martin was sure there would be lots of times when having an electric-powered skid loader would be useful. So he decided to convert a diesel-driven model to electric.
“I made the conversion on my Case SR 200,” says Martin. “The skid loader had burned up in a fire, and only the axles, frame and boom were salvageable. I gutted out everything in the cab except for the hydraulic spool valve that controls the boom.”
Martin works as a sales rep installing, programming and servicing electronic equipment, much of it on farms where he installs variable frequency drive (VFD) electric drive systems on everything from vacuum pumps to barn ventilation fans, TMR mixers, and grain dryers. “I thought a VFD drive system would work great on a skid loader,” he told FARM SHOW.
He bought a new surplus diesel engine and installed it behind the cab. The engine belt-drives a 50 kilowatt onboard generator, which powers a VFD electric motor and controller mounted under the cab. The controller is hooked up to a gearbox that drives an electric motor on each wheel.
He mounted electronic sensors on the skid loader’s drive levers and uses switches on a homemade electronic control box to control speed and forward and reverse direction.
The electric skid loader has plenty of torque compared to other conventional machines of the same size, says Martin, and the generator has a lot of potential uses. “Power tools can be hooked up to the generator for making repairs in the field. I plan to make a quick-tach bracket that will let me use the skid loader to carry a welder to the field, where I’ll be able to plug it into a 240-volt outlet on the generator.”
Martin sells VFD drives and welcomes inquiries from readers.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kevin Martin, KM Electric Co., 1347 Cheyenne Ave., Charles City, Iowa 50616 (ph 641 364-2103; email@example.com).
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