2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Picks Berries With A Cherry Picker
When a local sawmill was replacing their bucket truck, he bought the old one for just $650. Rather than fixing up the truck, he chose to remove the boom and mount it on a trailer.
“I didn’t want to deal with insuring and licensing the truck and dealing with all of its maintenance,” says Wright. “By making a trailer for it, I eliminated all that. Plus, I put a long hitch on it, so I can back the trailer into ditches and places I might not want to take a truck.”
Compared to the many commercial sawmills and other projects that Wright, an electrical engineer, helped design and build over his 50-year career, his cherry picker was simple.
The key feature is a 2 1/2-ft. tall trapezoid with about a 5 by 5-ft. base. It narrows to 32 by 32-in. at the top. He fabricated it from 3/16-in. steel plate and welded the base to 3/16-in., 3 by 6-in. steel tubing crossmembers that frame out the trailer.
“The trapezoidal shape is super strong,” says Wright. “I welded a 6-in. wide, 1/2-in. thick steel plate rim around the top and bolted the bucket boom base to it.”
The front end of the frame extends out another 2 ft., and then narrows for 6 ft. to a ball hitch. A platform ahead of the trapezoid holds an 8 1/2 hp. Briggs and Stratton engine with a 2-stage hydraulic pump. He bought them secondhand, although they were brand new. They had been purchased originally for use with a log splitter.
“I can control the boom with the valves in the bucket, or if there is a problem, someone on the ground can control it from below,” says Wright.
At each corner of the trapezoid base, Wright devised a swivel system with 5-ft. long outrigger legs that rotate 90 degrees. He fabricated the legs out of 3 by 4-in., 1/4-in. steel tubing. Feet made of 12 by 12-in., 3/8-in. steel plate pivot at the end of the heavy legs.
“The weight of the legs adds to stability,” says Wright. “Originally, I planned to fill the inside of the trapezoid with concrete, but I found the trailer was heavy enough without it.”
Whether used for tree trimming or picking berries, Wright encourages others to put old bucket booms to work. “I had wanted to build a bucket boom trailer like this for a long time,” he says. “Used booms are pretty cheap. I thank God for the ideas he gives us.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Malcolm Wright, 7067 Cavendish Hwy., Lenore, Idaho 83541 (ph 208 476-0183).
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