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Front Lift Powered By Rear 3-Pt. Hitch
Mike Wingler lifts his front-mount implements with his rear mount 3-pt. hitch. He does it with a combination of a subframe, scissors lift, and boom arms. The mechanical lift works with a dirt blade, forklift forks and a trailer hitch.
“Initially, I had a small hydraulic pump on a jack on front to lift and lower the blade,” explains Wingler. “The jack burned up, and I thought there had to be a way to do it with the 3-pt.” Wingler is a retired electrician and mechanic who spent his career in West Virginia mines. “I was mostly a fabricator,” he says. “If something didn’t work or had been damaged, I had to modify it to work.” Wingler put his fabrication experience to work designing and installing a 3 by 3-in. steel tubing subframe. It begins at the rear axle fender mount and travels forward. C-channel iron crossbars bolted to existing holes in the engine block and gear casing are welded to the tubing.
A 3-in. wide, 3/8-in. flat bar connected to the drawbar on the 3-pt. hitch travels forward to the engine subframe crossbar, where it connects to two 3-in. wide pieces of channel iron that run forward to the scissors lift at the front of the tractor. Along the way from front to back, the flat bar passes through 4 by 5-in. chain link retainers. They are welded to short lengths of 4-in. pipe that are welded to the open channel iron.
“The flat bar only moves 4 to 5 in. back and forth as the 3-pt. raises and lowers,” says Wingler. “It moves back (up) under power and forward (down) under gravity.” The scissors lift is connected to the boom arms. The arms pivot at the front end of the subframe in a clevis hitch bolted to square tubing, which is bolted in turn to the crossbar under the engine. When the channel irons move forward against the scissors lift, it forces the boom arms up. The 3 by 3-in. boom arms have pinned 2 by 2-in. telescoping tubes at their front end. These make it easy for Wingler to change the angle of the blade.
The 3-in. wide channel irons that trigger the scissors lift have an added use. Because they are supported by the subframe, they can be used to support the boom when it is not being used or when Wingler wants to use the 3-pt. hitch on other implements.
“I raise the blade boom arms up and slide a 1-in. steel rod into brackets on a crosspiece on the channel iron and under the boom arms,” says Wingler. “Once I lower the arms onto the rod, I can unhook the flat bar from the drawbar.”
Wingler made a few other alterations to the tractor utilizing the subframe. These included uprights ahead of and behind the operator’s area. These allowed him to mount a golf cart canopy over the seat. In the winter, he puts a zippered cover over it to box in the area.
“I also expanded the footstand area by adding 12-in. wide catwalk material,” says Wingler. He recognizes there might have been quicker ways to provide front end lift. Doing it mechanically was largely for the challenge. “I set the tractor up just to play with it,” says Wingler. “The lift is built solid. I’ve dug solid ground with it.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike Wingler, P.O. Box 385, Accoville, W. Va. 25606 (ph 304 583-2720).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3