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Motorcycle Bean Walker
Iowa farmer Robert Hancock says he enjoyed "bean walking" for the first time last summer, thanks to the mini-spray rig he built to walk through standing corn and soybean crops up to 3 ft. tall.
"I started with the chassis and engine of a 200 Honda 3-wheeler and added motorcycle parts so it would work through row crops," says Hancock, who farms near Ottuma. "The front fork came off a Yamaha 250 Enduro and the rear wheels are the rear halves of two 250 Enduros. This allows for independent suspension of all three wheels which makes for a very smooth ride.
"The rear brakes operate independently so I can make extremely short turns by braking one wheel or the other. That also helps get out of mud holes. I mounted a chain-driven lawn mower differential under the tank between the rear wheels.
"The machine is equipped with a 30-gal. tank, a 12-volt electric pump, and a boom that covers four 38-in. rows. It can be used either to broadcast or to spray individually on top of each row using four separate nozzles. The boom is controlled by a push button switch on the handle bar wired through a 12-volt solenoid. I replaced the Honda battery with a larger car battery that'll run the spray pump for 10 hrs. with no problem. I put the battery on a charger each night.
"I can drive 10 mph and spot spray at random with just the push of a button. I also carry a hand weed wiper filled with Roundup to wipe volunteer corn in beans. I also have problems with artichokes and cockleburrs so I spot sprayed 120 acres of beans twice with Classic, and about 50 acres of corn with Banvel. The cost of the application was about $2.00 per acre compared with $14 per acre for custom application.
"I haven't seen anything else on the market with the maneuverability of this machine. I installed a foot throttle to make it easier to control. Because of the narrow tires and light weight, I can turn around in the middle of the field with no damage. I used it hard all last season without a single breakdown. With a tractor umbrella installed over it, I can run on the hottest days and be fairly comfortable. Instead of making a couple rounds through the field by foot in the cool of the morning, I now cover about 30 acres working all day."
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Robert Hancock, Rt. 6, Ottumwa, Iowa 52501.

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1