Author Topic: Small garden power implements...  (Read 3726 times)

Offline TimSuggs

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Small garden power implements...
« on: November 15, 2008, 10:39:08 PM »
Hi all!  I have been slowly acquiring a few "power tools" that I intend to take to the retreat with me to help with the pulling food out of the ground thing.  I have a lot of experience with Bobcat's and that would be one of my first choices, but just a little on the large side for the small garden I have in mind.  And something like an old Ford 8N tractor would be way too big for my garden.  So, I have acquired several older riding lawn mowers and have been working the bugs out of them for a while now. 

Some of the problems using a converted riding lawn mower to plow and till are:

No PTO, so any power attachments have to be self powered
No 3 point hitch/lift
Limited weight for traction and steering
Not designed for added weight of implement

I picked up a Swisher 44" Tow-Behind Trailcutter/bush-hog" (1.5" diameter chop chop capacity) from Northern Tools that is self powered with a 16hp B&S that is just awesome.  This monster will reduce a concrete block to dust (don't ask me how I know) and will chop up just about anything you can drag it over.  That's the problem, it weighs almost 600 pounds so it's kinda hard to drag it period, much less drag it over a mimosa tree with a 200 pound lawn tractor.  The result is a very abrupt and sudden cessation of forward motion.  Usually winds up standing the tractor straight up in the air before I can react making for some interesting stories.

My two modified lawn tractors are a Weed Eater Brand 44" 10.5hp rider and a 20hp Craftsman.  The Craftsman is still undergoing repair and I have been using and modifying the Weed Eater for about two years now.  I have modified my little Weed Eater garden tractor as best as I can to suit it's new tasks.  Liberated it from grass cutting duties and removed the mower deck completely (I got a Toro commercial ZTR for that).  Swapped out the rear tires for some huge (and I mean huge) ATV knobby tires from WalMart for added traction (even had to take my plasma torch to the fender area for clearance).  If you spin these puppies you just dig straight down to China, just hope you don't regain traction unless your ready for it.  About the only time I spin them is if I am really off camber or if the bush-hog hits something unyielding.  The huge tires in the rear made it sit about 12 inches higher rear to front, and the added weight bias made steering a lot more difficult.  It looked like a Big Daddy Ed Roth RatFink creation.



So I had to replace the front tires with the larger front tires from the Craftsman tractor, that helped, made the steering a little easier, but I still had a lot of front end "float" when pulling the 600 pound bush-hog.  The tractor is just too small and lightweight even with my 250 pounds on it.  The Craftsman tractor is twice the size and weight of the Weed Eater, so I can't wait to get it repaired to try it out.

I also picked up a ABS plastic utility cart with a 1000 pound capacity that is just great for all your hauling, dirt, compost, woodchips, etc.  Even hauls the GrandMonkeys with style too.  I got a 3 blade plow/ripper and had fun finding the roots with it, but man will it tear up some ground.  And I added a self powered, pull behind roto-tiller to finish off what I break and plow.

I'm going to my oldest son's place tomorrow where all of the above is stored and I'll snap a few pictures of the gear.  Is anyone else using "small" tractors or ATV's for their gardening needs?

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!



Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Small garden power implements...
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 10:02:16 AM »
OK, a few pictures of the Green Monster...

Rear tire replacement:




Hood off (courtesy of a Mimosa):


Big Red 44" Trailmower:








trailer collection to haul it all and my Toro commercial ZTR:


The breaker/plow is on the back trailer, upside down if you can see it.  didn't get pictures of the tiller or the cart, but they're pretty self explanitory anyway. 

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!


Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Small garden power implements...
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 01:48:01 PM »
That's awesome Tim.  +1 for twisting the world to suit your needs. ;D

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Small garden power implements...
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 05:04:25 PM »
That's awesome Tim.  +1 for twisting the world to suit your needs. ;D

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!