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nibs 07-04-15 09:48 PM

Ugly electric tractor.
4 Attachment(s)
Some flikr shots of the worlds ugliest electric tractor.

You can see the blade, fixed by a chain to the forks, being operated by the forklift winch. (a HF 2500# winch, note the remote failed within about 6 weeks use so I put in a golf cart reversing switch which was laying around in my parts bin)
We do quite a bit of cement work, so I rigged the wheel barrow..... oops the wheel is gone so its just a barrow. The picks show it placing dirt, for cement I raised the mixer so that it could dump into the barrow, then off to the formwork.
winch the barrow up & put a bar under the handles. lower the barrow until it is close to dumping, then it is easy to lift the barrow by hand to dump the mud.
Moved the batteries into a box mounted behind the rear wheels, traction gallore.
Originally had the 4pcs 6V golf cart batts where the engine had been.
Took two 24 V push mower motors and blades, installed them into a deck, which mounts Under the forks and uses the fork winch for height control, the mower works ok but does not do as even a job as a belly mower.

Still using a solenoid resistor set up for speed control, just do not have the resources to get a whizz bang controller.

Latest uses for the tractor, placing concrete into ICF forms did about a 4 bag pour, tough going for this ole geezer, and a few days ago lifted 4 18ft beams, 6"X8" off the ground and onto the flat roof area where they will be used as part of the roof.

If anyone wants to bring the photos in properly feel free, this ole geezer is just not computer literate any more.

gasstingy 07-06-15 07:39 AM

Agreed, it is an ugly tractor and I like it a lot. Quite a bit of ingenuity went into making something useful from stuff I imagine was just lying around.

pinballlooking 07-06-15 10:04 AM

Very cool and useful. Good job.
What motor does it have

Daox 07-06-15 10:17 AM

That is a pretty sweet ugly tractor! :)

nibs 07-07-15 08:58 PM

The motor is a series wound 3 hp @ 24V beast, it just hauls, will run all day moving gravel or cement. Am guessing about a 5 mile range running light.
Pity the remote on the HF fork lift winch failed, the plan was to put a scaffold platform on the forks & with the remote, no need to have a ladder.

nibs 08-01-15 03:45 PM

The steering has quit on the tractor so am in the process of replacing the craftsman junk steering with an electric actuator and joystick. will let you know how it works.

nibs 08-01-15 11:20 PM

Well the steering wheel is disconnected and an actuator is bolted in, seems to work ok but I do not have a dpdt switch to work as a joy stick, should be able to get one by Tuesday.
May leave the steering wheel in place for the grand kids to play with when they visit.

Daox 08-03-15 08:13 AM

Interesting... I wanna see pics when this is done. :)

MetroMPG 08-12-15 10:14 AM

Love it!


Still using a solenoid resistor set up for speed control, just do not have the resources to get a whizz bang controller.
Simple works. Is this a stepped setup, or variable? If stepped, how many speeds? Is jerky it to operate?

I used a 400A 48v golf cart controller for years in my converted Geo Metro ev runabout.

jeff5may 08-12-15 10:53 AM

In forum pics:

Gotta love the price! Stuff like this is how America was (and still is) built.

gasstingy 08-12-15 12:18 PM

Pretty cool to have your own "forklift" tractor.

Looks like the steering wheel won the toss over the joystick.

I'm still liking it a lot. :thumbup:

nibs 08-12-15 09:43 PM

Nope we put in an actuator tried it at 12V & it worked but slowly so switched to 24V and due to a design error (mine) broke the clevis at the motor end of the actuator. Have. a new actuator on order.
The steering wheel is toast, it would be a major to fix.
Can any one tell me this.
I have a 4 golf cart batt set up for moving the tractor, and a separate 12 v batt for the forklift winch, what harm if I link the two sets of batts just for the actuator so we have 36V at the actuator. The batts get charged separately and the actuator uses very little power.

rvCharlie 08-13-15 08:16 AM

What voltage is the actuator designed for? Slight overvoltage with intermittent duty cycle might not kill it (as quickly), but feeding it 50% higher than design voltage sounds a bit iffy. :-)


nibs 08-14-15 02:13 PM

The actuator is a 24V Linak off a hospital bed, the only electrics are a PM motor & the overload switch which is mechanicaly triggered. Not worried so much about the actuator going over voltage. concerned more about using a 12V marine batt in series with a bank of 4 t105's for the small load of the actuator, while continuing to use the GC batts for moving the tractor, and the 12V batt for the forklift winch. The only circuit at 36V will be the actuator which is momentary. Just wonderiing what the experts think of a bit of haywire electrics???

rvCharlie 08-15-15 01:23 PM

Danger is that each system is grounded. As long as you're just 'tapping' off various voltages with common grounds all to the negative end of the battery string you shoul be ok. Draw the schematic and send before applying power.

nibs 08-19-15 09:07 PM

Piked up the new actuator yesterday, swapped out the broken part as the new actuator has a shorter neck on it.
Bolted it in and took it for a quick shakedown an hour ago, so far so good, running it at 24V so there is no need for the other battery. Which was never grounded to frame, so if we do decide to tap into it we can, the other way I can speed up the action if needed is to move the actuator closer to the spindle which will increase the load, but reduce the travel.
It is a bit weird, and will take some getting used to I still turn the wheel and nothing happens.
Tomorrow will finish the electrics and we should be back in business.

nibs 08-21-15 07:44 PM

Tractor is back in service, on light duty until we are sure the bugs are fixed.
Removed the steering wheel and let SWMBO try er out, she thinks it is a bit weird, but got the tractor to the place she wanted to go.Would like to put on a game joystick maybe & replace the solenoid/resistor speed control, as funds allow, then it will be on to my next project a ford 100 that would lend itself to battery power.

Daox 08-24-15 07:50 AM

Glad to hear its back in action nibs.

The F100 project sounds very interesting too!

nibs 09-05-15 09:26 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Same photos as before, but the last two show the actuator and steering switch.
AKA joy stick.
Sorry I cannot bring the pics over, but perhaps some one would like to, no need for the old ones, just the steering.

MetroMPG 09-10-15 09:28 AM

If you do the F100 project, please consider posting it on EcoModder. Lots of DIY EV conversions of road vehicles there.

Daox 09-10-15 09:44 AM

Definitely post on EcoModder. They'd love to see that.

nibs 02-17-16 07:33 PM

Bit the bullet today, ordered a modern speed control for the tractor, it will be there when we get home, gonna finally get rid ot the resistor type speed control, which wastes too much power. getting a 24V 400 amp curtis and a pot box to connect to the go pedal. Ripped out all the resistors and solenoids as well as the slider switch. quite a pile of stuff, may re-use it for our side by side tandem.

Daox 02-18-16 09:37 AM

Nice upgrade!

nibs 04-23-16 08:58 PM

It rained yesterday so decided to have at the speed control.
Ripped out all the resistors and solenoids as well as the slider switch. quite a pile of stuff, may re-use it for our side by side tandem.
Connected all the leads last night and wow it seemed to work, the Pot Box needed adjusting as the spring on the lever pushed the lever to wide open. Had to rig a different spring. So finished up the install, had to build a few bits to link the go pedal with the pot box. Hopped on and put the tractor in reverse, ooooops motor ran , tractor went fwd, hah. put it in first and backed out of the shop, took it round the yard a couple of times in reverse going fwd. Back into the shop swapped the wires to the field terminals, and tried er again. Eureka, worked as advertized. Noted that it seems a little more powerful, much smoother, and very easy to control the speed, easy to inch forward, before it was hard to move less than 6" at a crack. Looking forward to increased range, tomorrow have to make the electronics weatherproof then get on with the stuff am sposed to be doin.

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