Rhonda Hartje says her dad Roger Holcomb is a genius when it comes to building things. “Over his entire life, he’s built things that are sometimes way better than anything he could buy.” Those ideas include a horse-drawn buggy, a holding chute for livestock and a bucket-mounted post gripper that have all been featured in past issues of FARM SHOW. Holcomb’s latest project was rebuilding an old self-propelled swather into a handy forklift.
Holcomb says he made the mechanical lift because he wanted to take the hand labor out of moving slab wood to his outdoor fire stove. “I bought an old Versatile 12-ft. wide swather from a neighbor and removed the reel and header. I built a sturdy frame out of tube steel that attached to the lift cylinders, then mounted two forks to the frame.”
The swather engine was junk, so he replaced it with an electric-start 12 hp. gas engine that he mated to the hydraulic drive system. Holcomb says, “When I activate the header lift the cylinders raise the frame and forks. That way I’m able to lift some of the slab wood off the ground and carry it closer to the burner. The operator platform sits up high so I can see what I’m loading and easily maneuver where I’m going. It’s a handy machine that I can also use to move pallets, brush and other things that are too heavy to move by hand.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Holcomb, R & N Enterprises, 30990 140th Ave. S.E., Mentor, Minn. 58736 (ph 218-637-8283).