Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Workshop Wednesday-John Deere 5100 part 2

 Last week I showed you a mount I made for a John Deere tractor. This week I'll show you the plow controller.
 A lot of the controllers you see lately are handheld units. The operator is expected to run the vehicle with one hand and run the plow with the other. To me this is just ridiculous. If you set the controller down then you have to hunt for it when you need it. To me a controller should always be in the same spot every time you reach for it. The problem with that logic is you need that "spot" to be ergonomically correct if you want to be comfortable for an 8+ hour shift.
 The controller that came with this plow is a big one. It's designed to strap to the front edge of a center seat in a pickup truck. Our tractor has no such mounting spot and all the good spots are already taken up by shift levers, pto controls and a bucket joystick. I spent a lot of time trying to decide on a location and got a lot of feedback from the other guys in the shop. All the ideas I got were a compromise. Put it here but it blocks the shifter. Put it there but it will make getting in the tractor difficult. How about that spot? Nope, blocks operator visibility. What I needed was a lucky leprechaun to crawl out of someones ass and show me the way.
 Then I noticed two tapped holes in the front window pillar. I could make some kind of bracket that would locate the controller right over the bucket control lever. The problem was we might want to drop the snowplow and mount the bucket for snow stacking operations. The plow controller would be in the way unless I could make it movable.
 There's probably a dozen different ways I could have done this. I thought about what I wanted then wandered around the shop for a few minutes. Hanging above my toolbox was a lever from a snowblower that I was saving. What was I saving it for? I dunno, seemed too good to toss in the scarp dumpster. This lever has detents on it and I figured I could use those to adjust the locating height of my plow controller.
 This is the adjustable lever assembly welded to a plate of steel. The plate will bolt to the window pillar and two bolts will remove the entire assembly from the cab for the summer months.
 And here is that same lever with an extension welded to it and a bracket to hold the actual plow controller.
 This is what it looks like from the drivers seat. The controller is resting right on top of and in front of the bucket lever. I feel this is the most natural reach for this joystick. I've told the other guys in the shop they are welcome to change it if they like. Last time I looked it was still the same.
 In this position the controller is locked up out of the way to allow access to operate the bucket control. The wires have since been tied up and properly routed. I don't see us running this way a lot but at least we have the option of using the bucket without messing around relocating the plow controller.
 Overall I'm happy with the way it turned out. Sure there is one blind spot where the controller kinda blocks your view when it's up, but I haven't seen any leprechauns crawling out of hiding and snapping their fingers to change it.

No comments:

Post a Comment