Wednesday, November 4, 2020

New Sidewalk Tractor Update

  Last week I showed you a video about our new John Deere 2025R that we are tooling up for a sidewalk snow and ice rig. If you remember, the blade mount was complete but the blade didn't sit level. Here you see the blade attached to the tractor in a fresh set of mount holes.

 It was as easy as moving the bottom hole on the mount to the top hole on the tractor and then adding a new set of lower holes on the mount.

 I say drilling six holes in 3/8 steel was easy because it really was effortless. If you look closer you'll notice that there is a mag drill inside the pocket of that mount.

 If you're not familiar then I'll explain. This drill is like a mini drill press. The base is an electro-magnet. Line up the bit with your marked hole, flip the switch and the magnet is activated. Its a strong magnet and it takes a bit of stupidity to run into a problem. The bit is not a typical drill bit but rather an annular cutter. These things eat steel quicker than an unsupervised fat kid can tear through a bag of halloween candy. I look for excuses to use this tool just because I like how well it works.

 When building a rig for a specific task there are usually certain dimensions that it has to meet. We drove it out to the city sidewalk to see how it fit. The look on my bosses face was the same one I've seen in the mirror after getting off the scale during the holidays. Too big and needs to downsize. Our V-blade didn't meet the needs of our sidewalk tractor because sidewalks are 48" wide and this thing was well over 50" even in the V position. This meant it would either peel sod back or ride up on frozen turf. Neither situation is acceptable so we set out to narrow the size of the blade. Besides the width on a sidewalk we needed to consider that this rig will be used at a factory where a building borders one sidewalk edge in many places. The issue there might be less obvious but without going into great detail it has to do with scraping a new tractor with glass doors along a brick building. If the blade is too narrow the tractor gets too close to the building. Once we came up with a compromised size the next step was to start disassembling and cutting. I'm not sure what Dan was grinding here but it seemed like a good spot for an action shot.

 In this shot you can see how much we narrowed the blades. 

 To just say we narrowed the blade is an understatement. We reused everything on that cut off piece and welded it back on to create a factory look. Double the amount of cussing you think it took because there were two blades that got narrowed. Also, this is a trip-edge blade meaning the lowest piece you see in the pic (with the holes in it) is hinged and controlled by that spring. Bottom was a lot of dickin around to get it all back together.

 I make it sound worse than it really was. Four of us did different tasks whenever we had some extra time to kill. Its not the way I normally like to do these things but its a great way to give guys experience in projects like this so they might do it on their own some day.


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