2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Shop-Made “G” Gets The Job Done
“I asked around, but I couldn’t find one for a reasonable price,” recalls Hudnall. “ I decided to build my own.”
Hudnall used the G design with its rear-mount engine and forward-mounted attachments for his template. Salvaged parts played a big role in the G-tractor project, although he did buy a used Wheel Horse 2-speed transmission and a 13-hp. Predator engine from Harbor Freight.
“The Predator has plenty of power, and I haven’t had any problems with it,” says Hudnall. “One of my customers has a lawn care service, and he told me the Predator is a Honda clone, and if you know which model, you can use Honda parts on it.”
The high/low transmission gives him 6 speeds forward and 2 reverse for lots of speed options in the garden, not to mention pulling power.
Setting the transmission on top, combined with the wheeled legs, gives him 38-in. clearance. He fabricated chain drives in oil baths inside the steel tubing legs to transfer power to the rear wheels.
“I used 15-in. tires on the rear wheels,” says Hudnall. “One thing I would do different is to go with bigger tires on the back. I added water to these, but they will spin out when pulling up a bed. I get by making 2 passes.”
Front wheels, hubs and bearings are from a boat trailer. Power steering is provided by a hydraulic cylinder salvaged from a hay baler.
“I took the clevis off and threaded the rod for a tie rod,” says Hudnall.
The tractor’s independent brakes are from a car a friend was taking to the salvage yard. Brake and clutch pedals are from a Kubota tractor that had rolled over and been totaled out. Hudnall added a hydraulic pump he rebuilt to power lift cylinders on front and rear toolbars. It also powers a Kubota tractor steering motor he rebuilt.
“I do some work with a local Kubota dealer, and they give me worn out pumps and such they can no longer get parts for,” says Hudnall. “I take them home and rebuild them.”
Adding the hydraulics presented a problem for Hudnall. He was unsure where to put a reservoir until he thought about the steel tubing frame.
“I thought it might hold 2 to 3 gal., but when I did the calculations, it held 5,” says Hudnall. “Fluid goes in at one end and a spin-on filter at the return keeps the oil clean.”
Lift cylinders on the front tool carrier and the rear rocker arms were rebuilt along with salvaged tie-rod cylinders. One front cylinder was off of a burned-up machine.
“I replaced the rod, bored out some rust in the cylinder and resealed it,” says Hudnall. “It and the other front cylinder are 2-in. cylinders, while the rear is a 2 1/2-in. cylinder. All 3 have about a 10-in. stroke.”
Hudnall has fabricated or modified attachments for the tractor. The front and rear tool carriers provide practically unlimited options for cultivator shovels and bedding disks. Mounted ahead of him, his old Covington 1-row planter is easy to monitor for seed drop and refilling.
Some tools are simpler than others, but no less effective. Hudnall side dresses his sweet corn ahead of tassel with the aid of a 5-gal. bucket. The bucket lid has a hole drilled in it with a 1-in., clear plastic tube in the hole.
“I have it mounted by my feet,” he says. “When I drive down the row, I tip the bucket over to let the fertilizer gravity feed out. When I get to the end of the row, I tip it back to stop the flow.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Thomas Hudnall, 689 Progress Rd., Poplarville, Miss. 39470 (ph 601 795-3623; email@example.com).
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