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Motorized, Walk-Behind “Sweet Corn Cart”
William Davis, Masontown, W. Va., recently sent FARM SHOW photos of a walk-behind motorized “sweet corn cart” he made using parts from a pair of riding mowers. The one-row, self-propelled machine is designed to hold 7 bu. of sweet corn. And Davis points out his cart could also be used to bring other kinds of produce in from the field.
The cart measures 4 ft. long by 30 in. wide, allowing it to fit between 30-in. rows. Power is provided by a 3 1/2 hp. gas engine and 3-speed transmission off a Dynamark riding mower. The operator pulls back on a “tilt back” steering wheel, which engages the transmission’s clutch to propel the cart forward. Speed can vary from a creep to a slow walk.
The box is made from 1/2-in. thick plywood and attached to an angle iron subframe. It can be tilted forward for access to the engine, and also comes with a fold-down tailgate on front.
“I built it several years ago to harvest 2 or 3 acres of sweet corn, and it works great. I spent only about $100 to build it,” says Davis, who sells the corn to local stores and at farmer’s markets, as well as at roadside stands. “We pick the corn by hand and throw it into the cart, and also unload it by hand into bags for storage. It’s a lot easier to use than a wheelbarrow, and has much more capacity. Even with the transmission in high gear, the engine has more than enough power to transport a full load anywhere.”
The cart rides on the Dynamark front and rear axles. However, the Dynamark wheels were too wide to fit 30-in. rows so Davis replaced them with the narrower wheels off a Snapper riding mower. He also narrowed up the front axle by removing the spindles and using 2-in. channel iron to build a new axle, and then reattaching the spindles. The rear wheels are attached to the Dynamark transaxle.
The steering wheel is alsooff the Dynamark mower. It’s attached to a bearing at the top of a pipe that mounts on a univeral joint. “Tilting the steering wheel back tightens a belt that runs from the engine to the Dynamark transaxle,” says Davis.
The machine’s hand throttle and gearshift lever are off an old push mower, with the gearshift lever attached to the Dynamark’s transaxle.  
The cart’s box measures 30 in. high. To raise the sides and increase capacity, Davis inserts a 3-sided, 1/8-in. thick plywood box inside the cart. A 2 by 2 “lip” rests on the cart sides. “Once the box is partially loaded, I lift the plywood box a few inches. After that, the weight of the corn keeps the box in place,” says Davis.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, William Davis, 1250 Long Hollow Road, Masontown, W. Va. 26542 (ph 304 435-9622; carolynbuchman@gmail.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1