Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Raising Sodium Levels

  Not long ago I showed you a John Deere tractor that was getting a v-blade put on the front of it. That same tractor now has a drop spreader on the back. The problem in the past has always been that there isn't enough capacity for salt in the hopper and the operators are carrying extra bags in the cab, on the fenders and even strapped to the hood. Theres no doubt they are gonna haul the extra weight so we decided to just try to get that needed capacity in the hopper itself. This is a plan that will surely back fire as we've taken the rated capacity of the three point hitch and added 10% assuming John Deere must certainly have a fudge factor built into their numbers to please the lawyers. I have a vision of the hopper being filled up AND the extra bags being loaded on the tractor which would most likely end up resulting in broken parts. The mentality seems to be we should crank on it till it strips and then back off a quarter turn. Once we know the limits we can work within them. In an effort to minimize damage to the machine I'm trying to arrange staging pallets of bagged salt near the work site but what I'd really like to do is stage bulk salt. Anyway, this isn't about stashing salt around town where it won't grow legs and disappear. Its about a lift kit on a salt spreader. Here is what we are starting with:

 That white piece of plastic is the stuff used to line dump truck beds so crap slides out better. Its 1/2" thick and quite rigid.

 We used a torch to heat the plastic enough to bend it. Some bends were heated in place and others on the bench. Once heated enough to bend, the plastic retained its heat and flexibility for a long time. Once cooled it was permanently set in that shape.

 We needed ten feet but only had eight. This meant an extra seam.

 Those seams were made of steel and we used them to tie a cross brace front to rear. Strength won't be an issue. Here is the finished project.

 As a joke I drew a "fill line" inside the hopper only about an inch above the stock fill height.

 I guess the joke is on me. When I saw the operator looking in the hopper I thought he was just discovering my attempt at humor. Actually, he had his own sharpie and was making some adjustments.


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