Now I viewed only the first of the Mad Max collection don’t remember anything like this being in it but maybe one of the later ones. I do have to admit though it is raised higher and you are facing head on it does have a somewhat sinister appearance.
Mad Max were the first thought for two of my boys when they first saw it. But now I have a three in one tool just by doing about $150.00 in modifications myself.
I had looked for a commercially made rake for the front end loader attachment on my tractor and could not find one. No one in this area was familiar with or had ever even heard of one even for larger equipment apparently. To have one made probably would not have cost several thousand dollars but that was money I do not really have to spend and could not justify the expense even if I did. This comes under the heading of wants not needs. http://hobbyfarmlife.com/farm-equipment-tool-needs/ I need it now but once finished with the cleaning and clearing it is something that I will still use often but hopefully not a lot at any one time. So why spend money I don’t have. I modified! I took an implement I already had and modified it to do more than just one job.
Normal mount and usage
If you are familiar with tractor implements you may recognize that my new tool was and still is a Box Blade that is normally mounted on the rear and used to drag not push. Dirt or gravel predominately. I had two problems at least with that. One being that I can control my brush and down tree moving better if I can see it and don’t have to turn around in the seat to do so. The second was that in order to get whatever I needed to move in front of the blade and teeth I had to first either drive over or back over it. Both options increase the frustration level of moving brush or small trees as I am now doing with it and the potential for damage to the tractor or punctures to the tires. It can cost 80 to $100.00 if a rear tire is punctured or several hundred if I had to replace it. Not to mention the lost time. So there lies part of my motivation.
So how did I do it? Quite simple actually. The only modifications required to the original box blade was the addition of four mounting brackets to attach the hydraulic pistons for the bucket already on the front of the tractor. The hardest part, seriously, was finding the material to do it with. Where we used to live in Florida if I needed something I knew where or who to go to for it. But I had lived there all my life. Here, I am still finding those people.
The needs? A five foot piece of 3×5 angle iron 1/4″ thick and someone to drill me eight 1″ holes. I needed 8 3″ clips cut from the angle. The company that I found to purchase the steel from apologized but were too busy to cut the clips and drill the holes for me. Understandable. It was just a small job for them. Not so for me. Since I am not a patient person and did not want to wait I decided to do it myself. Two metal cutting blades for a saws-all and about 2 hours later I have the eight clips and 2 12″ pieces that will be used as mounts as needed. Now all that remains are the 8 one inch holes in the clips. All I have is a 3/8 drill. A one inch bit will cost $30.00 and it will take forever and a day to do it if I get it accomplished at all. Believe me that is a lot of drilling. And it needs to be done with some precision and relative exactness. I finally found a machine shop not too far off that would punch the holes for me. Had I found them earlier they would no doubt have made the cuts for me as well. A very nice older couple, like myself, that have had that business for about 50 years. And the cost was not bad either. Less than the bit alone would have cost me.
BACK OR LOWER MOUNTS One on each side of course. Not the clips are welded to the 12″ pcs to add extra strength to the back of the box blade. This is probably the weakest area.
OK! I have all the parts I need and all the necessary modifications have been made and it is now time for me to start welding it on. For me here is where it gets dangerous. I have a tendency toward impulsive. A big one actually. Let’s get it on get it done and move on to the next thing is my normal. In this case using it. I had to back off, slow me down and try to look at all angles of the mounting before I started. Once it is welded there is a lot or work in getting it off and correcting what was weakened. I think I did it!
TOP OR FRONT CLIPS They are mounted to a flat piece of steel which is then welded from the back of the box blade to the front 4×4 brace for added strength.
See the pipe looking piece just right of center. It is a piece of pipe put there to hold the hay spear that I have. The teeth hold and stabilize the hay role while being moved. We now have one implement serving three purposes.
So far it works great and I have used it for about 3 days so far. I can definitely move a lot more brush and tree limbs or even whole trees, small ones of course, than I could by hand or dragging with the tractor or four wheeler. And lot less getting up and down to. I still have to on occasions hook to the larger trees and pull it up the hill to more level ground. The thought of rolling down the hill on the tractor does not appeal to me so I do what I can to avoid that. It does have one major limitation that I have found. Because of the end or side pieces on a box blade it is difficult to pick up and carry anything longer than the box blade. You can however get the teeth under it to lift it enough that you don’t push a lot of dirt with it.
Now from a simple box blade I have the use of a front mounted root or brush rake to help with clean ups around the hobby farm plus a very good working hay spear all in one. I like that.
There are often times things or ways we can work around an issue that we have a tendency to just go out and spend money to resolve. I bet you have quite a few modifications round around your place as well. Look around and see those you have already solved and those you can still do to make your life better for yourself. I for one enjoy using what I have to the fullest potential to avoid spending what I can’t afford and often times on things I will only use once or twice or maybe never again. This I will use over and over for different jobs for as long as it or I last.