Pull-Type Cart For New Idea Uni-System

If you can't justify the cost of replacing the power unit in your self-propelled New Idea Uni-System, you may want to convert it to a pull-type model, says Roger Montag, Rodman, Iowa, who builds a new "pull-type" conversion cart for just that purpose.

Montag's cart is designed to carry all Uni-System components except for the power unit. Four bolts mount the 20-ft. long, "L''-shaped cart to the Uni-System's body, which can be equipped with either a corn picker or shelter. Any 2-WD tractor over 100 hp can operate the unit. The tractor hydraulically raises and lowers the head, which can be up to six rows wide, and uses its pto to power a corn picker or sheller. A pto driveline extends the length of the cart's tongue, leading to the gearbox. A wagon hitches to the cart.

"Many farmers own 700 series Uni-Systems built in the 1960's or early 1970's," says Montag. "The husking beds or shellers are in good shape because they've been repaired or replaced every five to ten years. But they've never replaced the power units which now are worn out. Many farmers can't justify spending the money on a new power unit, or  a completely new self-propelled Uni-System. This cart lets them extend the life of their Uni-System for less."

According to Montag, Uni-System power units break down more often than the sheller or picker units. "If the power unit breaks down, the whole machine is out of commission. If a tractor breaks down, it can be quickly replaced."

The cart was also designed for farmers who worked their Uni-Systems beyond recommended capacity, says Montag. "For example, older Uni-Systems originally were designed to run 2 or 3-row heads and 8 to 12-roller husking beds. Some farmers now operate 6 or 8-row heads and 12 to 16-roller husking beds. And 20 years ago farmers farmers pulled 150-bu. wagons. Now they're pulling 500 bu. wagons, in tough field conditions. The older power units often don't have the capacity needed."

A pull-type Uni-System can easily handle 6-row heads, including brands other than New Idea's, notes Montag. He adds that without the engine, there's less fire hazard and the entire rig is easier to service.

The cart is built from 8 by 8 by 1/4 in. steel beams. It's equipped with 16.9 by 26 or 18.4 by 26 tires. Two 20 by 3 in. hydraulic cylinders raise and lower the head.

To mount the rig, Montag backs the cart into the Uni-System's frame, which sets on stands, then uses four bolts to attach the cart. To remove the Uni-System, he simply takes a chain and belt off the gearbox, drops the head onto a stand, removes the bolts, and backs the cart away. Either job takes about 1 1/2 hours.