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4WD Ridge tractor built from N6 gleaner combine
Indiana farmer Al Buening, of Glenwood, turned an Allis-Chalmers N6 Gleaner combine into one of the slickest 4-WD "ridge tractors" we've ever seen.
The 25-ft. long tractor features a front-mounted "bridge hitch" equipped with a 3-pt. hitch which carries a 12-row planter or cultivator. Buening, who ridge tills all his land, built the tractor because he wanted better visibility and more control to keep his planter and cultivator on the ridges.
"I planted and cultivated 1,300 acres with the tractor this year and it worked beautifully," says Buening, who built the tractor 1 1/2 years ago.
Buening completely disassembled the combine, which had been used as a cutaway display model by Allis-Chalmers at farm shows. He built a new frame to support the cab and the 440 cu. in. engine which he moved to the rear of the machine and covered with black metal shielding. An L-shaped stainless-steel tank, divided into two 475-gal. compartments, is mounted beneath and behind the cab and in front of the engine.
Buening used 12 by 12-in. tubing with 1/ 2-in. thick sidewall to build the bridge hitch and built his own 3-pt. hitch for it. He uses the combine header's two hydraulic cylinders to control the 3-pt. hitch. He used the combine's front axle as the tractor's rear axle. The original front tires wouldn't have fit between the 30-in. rows so Buening installed narrower 18.4 by 38 tires, welding different rims to the wheels. He used the rear axle from a different model Allis-Chalmers combine as the tractor's front axle. Its 14.9 by 26 tires are equipped with front wheel drive assist. He widened both axles to straddle four 30-in. rows.
The planter units are hydraulically driven. Buening uses a population monitor on the planter which compensates for speed changes to keep a constant seeding rate. The monitor also allows him to change the seeding rate on-the-go from the cab according to soil types. A sprayer controller automatically compensates for speed changes in the field. Buening applies starter fertilizer while planting and band sprays herbicides while cultivating. One part of the stainless steel tank carries liquid fertilizer and the other carries herbicides. The top of the portion of the tank, behind the cab, lifts like a car hood for filling.
The outside three rows on both sides of the planter and cultivator fold up above the remaining six center rows. The kit's parallel linkage raises the outside three seed boxes on each side of the planter and slides them inward over the top of the six center seed boxes. It keeps the planter's seed boxes in a vertical position to keep seed from spilling out. Buening uses a "sled" to slide implements underneath the bridge hitch for mounting. "To remove the planter and then mount the cultivator, we drive the bridge hitch over the sled, drop the planter on the sled, and pull the sled out with another tractor. We then place the cultivator on the sled. We then use another tractor to pull the sled under the hitch."
Buening says he plans to install an automatic guidance system which will sense the row and tie into the tractor steering system to automatically steer the tractor back and forth and keep equipment on the row. "It will relieve me of the need to manually keep equipment on the row, reducing stress and doing a faster, better job with less damage to crops," says Buening.
He says he spent about $12,000 to build the tractor.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Al Buening, Rt. 1, Box 29, Glenwood, Ind. 46133 (ph 317 679-5142).


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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5