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Forkbine Built out of IH 403 Combine
As the owner and operator of a welding shop located on his farm, South Dakota farmer Kevin Sundquist wanted a farmyard "chore machine" that would be more versa-tile and maneuverable than a tractor and front-end loader. He got what he wanted by converting an IH 403 combine into what he - and many of his customers - jokingly call his "forkbine".
"I got the idea after seeing all the cornbine conversions in FARM SHOW. Old combines are plentiful, cheap, and there are a lot of things they can be used for," notes Sundquist.
"I started by removing the cab, motor and operator's platform and setting them aside, and then stripped the rest of the combine down to the frame. I boxed and plated the original frame to give it the needed strength for heavy lifting, then reinstalled the operator's platform, reworking the original linkages so all controls could be used in their factory positions. The original header lift control is used to raise and lower the mast - which came off an old Hyster forklift - and I added an extra spool valve to control the tilt.
"An auxilliary hydraulic valve was added to run other machinery, such as an angle dozer blade which can be installed in minutes by dropping off the teeth and hooking up four pins. The combine's original 3-speed transmission and variable speed drive has plenty of power and speed to operate the dozer blade. Blading gravel or pushing snow is simple and easy with the blade mounted on the forkbine. Great visibility and variable speed make it easy to operate.
"My forkbine's been trouble free since I built it five years ago. It took four months to build in my spare time and about $500 for materials, not including the mast and teeth. I've since added a foot throttle and moved the steering axle ahead 12 in. for more maneuverability."
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Kevin E. Sundquist, P.O. Box 212, Dallas, S. Dak. 57529 (ph 605 835-9327).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #5