Helpful Machinery Inventions | Living the Country Life
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Helpful Machinery Inventions

Readers of our sister publication, Successful Farming, share some of their brightest ideas when it comes to improving your machinery.
  • Adapt to Multiple Hitches

    Jere and Larry Hill of Armada, Michigan mounted an adapter/carrier for their chain saws to the quick-attach hitch on the rear of their tractor, and could still back up to a fifth-wheel trailer and hook up since it will accommodate multiple hitch configurations at two levels. Removable legs allow removal of the adapter without pulling a pin. They just back up, lower the adapter, and it disconnects.

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Stay Standing

    Dan Meehan of Mulberry Grove, Illinois, relocated the grease zerk for the trap door on his trailer's hopper bottom to a working height of 33 inches. The two-hour job took about $50 in materials. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Fuel and Service Trailer

    This fuel and service trailer was built with materials that were mostly on hand. Matt Nedved knew that high-end fuel models can cost $40,000, and he wanted to put that money into fuel instead. "For years, we went to the field with a 200-gallon portable tank, and that worked all right, but the tools would all be in the back of the pickup, and we'd have to go digging for what we needed," says Nedved. 

    The Nedveds decided to put different resources to use: a 500-gallon fuel barrel out of use because of a broken pump; a 14-foot-long tandem-axle trailer that sat around most of the time; a nd a brand-new toolbox that Nedved's dad, Richard, had won at a field day.

    Nedved pressure-washed, sandblasted, and painted the trailer and fuel barrel. He welded new fenders onto the trailer and repaired its brakes and lights. He constructed a 2x4-foot frame and made shelving and cabinetry from plywood. Diamond plate was added to three sides of the toolbox cabinet for good looks. Nedved also mounted a gasoline-powered air compressor and a 100-foot reel in the opposite side of the cabinet. 

    Nedved estimates the new items he purchased for the invention cost about $1,600. His home-made, multi-functional repurposed trailer now holds a 500-gallon fuel tank, air compressor, hose reel, toolbox, tools, a ladder, and shelving for maintenance items like fluids, grease, and a jack. And the best part? It cost about 90% less than a similar new retail model. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Apply Technology, Apply Manure

    This 25-yard-capacity spreader adjusts pushing speed with a raven 450 spray controller and features an automatic antibeater jamming system. Tom Smith, of Storm Lake, Iowa, dedicated a 200-hp. engine to power a four-section hydraulic pump that drives four verticle beaters.

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Three Times the Rock Picker

    The cab of a used combine makes a good vantage point for spotting field rocks. Jim Blake of Stacyville, Iowa, says three individually perating front-mounted rock pickers make them easy to scoop up. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Shop-Built Sidedresser

    Matt Hubers, of Platte, South Dakota, knew that two functions are better than one. He was already pulling a fertilizer trailer behind his planter, but if he could sidedress with the trailer, then he could do split applications. Before this creation, all the fertilizer went down in the spring at planting. "I bought a used three-point sprayer at an auction. I took everything off and mounted coulters on it. Now I can hook that trailer behind it and sidedress fertilizer in the early summer," Hubers explained. 

    Hubers also moved the pump from the planter to the trailer along with the rate controller and the section-control valves, so the side-dresser is as capable as the planter of doing variable-rate prescriptions. Shared connections in the sidedresser and planter hook up the same to ferilizer trailer, and a three-section, 15-row 30-inch controller will shut off five rows at a time to prevent overlap. Hubers estimates that his total investment was $7,000 for the bar, blumbing, and brand-new coulters and 60 to 70 labor hours. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018
  • Protect CV Joints

    Benjamin Wurtz, of Artesian, South Dakota, noticed that his SUV's boot guards were breaking, so he built shields for them. First, he drilled holes in some pieces of metal to fit the original boot guard mounts. After bending these pieces to just under 90°, he fastened segments of old grain elevator belt to them. Used truck mud flaps would work, as well, but they can be a little oversized. These new guards don't get in the way of the A-arms in rough terrain or rub against the disc brakes when turning. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2018
    Date Updated: August 14, 2018

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