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Old 01-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Default Totally unrelated fab project

I built this little articulating 4WD loader a few years ago. It usually wears a 48" bucket for general dirt moving, cleaning out the horse barn, etc.

I cut a lot of firewood. We have a wood stove in the basement and I heat my shop with wood. (It was close to 0* last night with a 45 mph wind, but the shop was 74*

Anyway, I got tired of lugging wood to the truck when cutting firewood, so I built this grapple for my loader. Now I can cut 8' lengths, pick them up and load them into the trailer. When the front half of the trailer is full, I drive the loader back on and go home. Use the loader to unload the wood at the splitter and cut into firewood chunks right at the splitter.

It has handled as big of a piece as I have cut so far. Lifting capacity is supposed to be 500 lbs, but that is with a 200 lb bucket on it, so it will handle a pretty good chunk of wood.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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whoa- and thought frame rail stiffeners were cool. More details on the driveline!
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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More details on the driveline!
It is similar to a skidsteer loader. Four independent hydraulic wheel drive motors run in series on each side to provide a LSD. All driven by a single hydraulic pump with a rotary flow divider to split the flow. Steering is by a hydraulic cylinder that bends the machine at the articulating joint in the center. It can be seen in the "turning" configuration in the second pic. I didn't design it. I built it from plans so I can't take credit for the design or drive mechanism.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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Very nice!

I never thought about having one that small and inexpensive. Hydrostatic drive is the way to go on machines that size.

You could probably build them and make money on them if it's not to big a pain to do.
Mom and pop landscape shops and people with a couple of acres could probably see the value in one.

I sell these for a living - Kawasaki Construction Machinery Corp. of America — ZV-2 Wheel Loaders
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:36 PM   #5
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Very nice!

I never thought about having one that small and inexpensive. Hydrostatic drive is the way to go on machines that size.
Inexpensive was not what came to mind when i noticed the hydraulic drive units on each corner.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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Inexpensive was not what came to mind when i noticed the hydraulic drive units on each corner.
Yeah, those were about $300 each then, now $400 each. I have right at $7K in it with all new parts including the 18 hp briggs, pump, valves, steel. Depends on what you call inexpensive. When I see acreage owners spending $9K on ZTR mowers and $20-30K acreage tractors, it probably is inexpensive.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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Very nice!

I never thought about having one that small and inexpensive. Hydrostatic drive is the way to go on machines that size.

You could probably build them and make money on them if it's not to big a pain to do.
Mom and pop landscape shops and people with a couple of acres could probably see the value in one.

I sell these for a living - Kawasaki Construction Machinery Corp. of America — ZV-2 Wheel Loaders
Landscape guys or arborists for sure. I can sit in the yard and do donughts without damaging the lawn a bit. And, yes, inexpensive when compared to yours. One wheel and tire of yours costs what my whole unit did.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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Wow Stein Im very impressed, thats cool. Thought at first you ment you made the claws, which was cool, then I reread it. Love to have the materials to build stuff like that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
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kick *** man.
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