1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Loader Tractor Built On Versatile Tractor Frame
"I have only about $9,700 invested in it. It handles just like a pickup, offering faster response than any loader tractor I ever operated."
The New Effington, S. Dak., machinist built his loader tractor five years ago starting with a junked Versatile 145 4-WD tractor frame. He reversed direction of travel by installing an 1800 Eaton axle and differential out of a Ford 700 truck, mounting it upside down in the tractor's rear end. He powers the machine with a 352 cu. in. V-8 Ford pickup engine equipped with C6 automatic transmission.
Using the compact truck rear end and pickup engine allowed Magnuson to shorten the tractor's wheelbase 3 ft. so it has a tighter turning radius than the original. It also fits inside his garage better.
He used hubs with 8-hole centers off an F-8 Ford truck. He fitted rims with four big 18.4 by 26-in. tires off Gleaner C2 combines and mounted a cab off a Deere 7700 combine over the driver's seat and steering controls, which he redesigned to fit "back-wards" on the machine.
"To get 4-WD, I mounted a 2 1/2-ton army truck transfer case on brackets in the tractor frame behind the pickup engine," Magnuson says. "The army truck transfer case has both high and low range and 2 and 4-WD. I can shift one axle out of gear for road travel, then put it back into gear for moving snow or dirt."
Magnuson uses a dual hydraulic system - 20 gpm's per pump - to control the machine's orbital steering system and to operate the self-leveling loader.
Loader arms mount on 10-ft. uprights made out of 6 by 6, 3/4-in. thick angle iron. Arms can be extended 13 ft.
Magnuson built a 9 ft. wide bucket for the machine out of 3/16-in. thick sections of 6 by 10-ft. sheet steel. He made a 1-ft. high extension for the bucket out of rebar and 1 1/4-in. dia. pipe to improve its suit-ability for snow removal.
"I can move as much snow or dirt as fast or faster than a factory-built payloader of comparable size," he says. "I used brass bushings on all the pivot points and on the self-leveling mechanism, so they'll wear at least twice as long as conventional steel bushings."
Along with the bucket, Magnuson built a bale fork for the tractor. It's 7 ft. wide, has four 2-ft. long tines on top and five 5-ft. forks on bottom.
He designed a shorter hood that slopes downward for better rear visibility and re-painted the tractor traditional Ford blue.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Magnuson, Box 135, New Effington, S. Dak. 57255 (ph 605 637-5344).
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