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Powerful Tractor Built From Two Earth Movers
"You can't believe how much power it's got," says Glen Lindberg, Cut Bank, Mont., about his "monster tractor" built from two earth movers.
Lindberg started building the tractor 5 years ago when he bought two LeTourneau-Westinghouse scrapers from a contractor. The engines in the machines were no good, and some of the other components were worn out, but they were just what Lindberg wanted. The LeTourneau machines are unusual in that they don't have hydraulics. Everything is run by 400-volt, 3-phase power, heavy-duty, electric winches.
"The fellow who originally designed these machines, named LeTourneau, is the only guy who ever successfully figured out how to use electric winches under difficult working conditions. The advantage is that you have less problems than with hydraulics, there's no oil to leak out or to replace, and electricity works just as well or better," says Lindberg. Power is supplied to winches throughout his monster tractor by a big 2,000-lb. generator.
Lindberg bought the two scrapers for $3,000 (he got a third one thrown in to cut up for extra parts). Both rigs were fitted with 6-cyl. 225 cu. in. diesel engines and 5-speed Allison transmissions (they were the only new parts used on the tractor). He then took the front ends off both machines and joined them together at the center, reversing the direction of one of the units. A vertically-mounted gear head with an electric motor steers the king-size, articulated tractor through turns sharper than 180?. Atop the rear half of the machine, Lindberg mounted a cab from a '57 Chevrolet pickup for the operator. The machine is fitted with 6-ft. tall, 30-in. wide 32-ply tires.
"Building this tractor went so well it's almost like these machines were designed for this conversion," Lindberg told FARM SHOW.
He uses the tractor as a one-pass tillage and seeding machine. It carries a 55-ft. wide cultivator Lindberg built from scratch for less than $1,000, using drill pipe for the frame. The cultivator mounts on the scraper draft arms so it's positioned out to either side of the tractor. This lets the operator watch the wings without turning around. A big home-built air seeder mounts just behind the tractor. A grain tank holds 4 tons of seed, and a fertilizer tank holds 4 tons. The cultivator is also rigged to apply herbicides, and is equipped with rod weeders and harrows. In one pass, Lindberg tills, plants, fertilizes, weeds, harrows and applies herbicides. If everything goes right, he can cover up to 40 acres per hour.
Governors on both engines are synchronized to generate the same amount of pull and Lindberg also installed heat indicators on the exhaust to keep tabs on work being done by each engine. Steering is controlled by a vertical stick the size of a pencil. A pair of 40-hp. electric winches quickly raise and lower the cultivator wings. The machine carries 660 gal. of fuel in two 330-gal. tanks.
"It's surprisingly economical to operate. On a good day we burn about gal. per acre but it can go as high as 7/l0 of a gal.," says Lindberg. In all, he spent about $25,000 to build the monster tractor.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Glen Lindberg, St. Rt. 70, Cut Bank, Mont. 59427 (ph 406 336-3107).


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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #4