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Sleeve-Type Lift Hitch
Brent Crabtree used scrap steel to make a sleeve hitch for his 1993 model 1641 Cub Cadet. Then he built a box blade and modified a walk-behind tiller to fit the hitch.
“When I bought the Cub Cadet, they didn’t make a sleeve hitch for my model. I looked online for aftermarket hitches, but prices were ridiculous. I decided to make my own,” says Crabtree.
He did some more online research to see how the OEM lift hitches worked. “With the help of a friend, Dallas Foster, I cut triangular pieces of flat steel, drilled them out to accept the lever lift and welded them to the rear plate,” says Crabtree. “We also cut a slot for the lift bar and bolted on the lower hitch link.”
He fabricated the angled lift bar by welding two pieces of flat steel together. He drilled a hole in one end and attached it to the lift bar attaching plate on the hydraulic pump. This allowed him to try the lift and measure how far the lift bar moved in and out of the slot.
When he had the correct length for attaching it to the rocker arm on the sleeve hitch, he trimmed it off, drilled a hole, and pinned it in place.
Once he had the sleeve hitch, he could put it to use. One of his first projects was to build a 49-in. box blade for driveway maintenance. “I used 1/8-in. steel for the sides and back and 3/16-in. angle iron for framing them and for the cutting edge,” says Crabtree.
He also decided to modify a 24-in. Craftsman walk-behind rototiller to make the job of preparing his garden easier.
“I realized I could strip it down to the engine and the tilling unit and weld a few pieces of angle iron to the frame of the tiller for lower links,” says Crabtree. “I used the floating lift straps and the sleeve hitch assembly from the box blade and pinned them to a pivot point I welded to the lower links.
“The sleeve hitch and both attachments have worked really well,” says Crabtree, who credits his granddad Jim Evans as providing his inspiration.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brent Crabtree, 20070 Coleman Brake Rd., Milford Center, Ohio 43045 (ph 937 594-9291; brentcrabtree26@gmail.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2