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Upgrades to my MF "estate" tractor

Clock work

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I initially purchased a 10 year old MF TLB to clean up a bunch of microburst and snow-destruction to a wooded area on the back of my property. I'd been using a Sears 1000 for snow removal for at least 15 years and had come to loathe the change-over to/from snow mode on that. Quite possibly the most ill-conceived designed thing in my life to date. In pursuit of a better snow experience, I did the following:
  1. Added the user-hostile factory snow blower
  2. Made the user-hostile factory blower more friendly
  3. Added significant fore/aft/side lighting
  4. Added a backup cam
  5. Added a scheme to float the blower above the large tracts of trap rock I have connecting the shed/tractor "barn"/front/back.
About the user-hostile blower... maybe it's the fact I design stuff for a living but you do NOT pull $3400 out of a supposedly cherished customer and force that antique human (20-somethings don't seem t buy these things) to A. rotate the crank 18.5 revolutions to move from lock to lock and B. dismount to alter the chute angle. NOT DONE. With the bucket off and the joystick bumping the blower unit up/down, the left/right circuit is available. Used that to drive a hydraulic motor (properly sized for the right sweep rate). This drive passed thru a torque-overload clutch to prevent the hydraulics from twisting the chute up into scrap at the limits of travel and the spiral end of the pointless crank handle that came with the blower was cut off and used to engage the drive ring around the chute (thru a differential). Chute deflection was handled thru a linear actuator operated thru a momentary SPDT mounted to the joystick. The design conservation there is picking your two mounting points and matching the deflection and rate to what you want. Got lucky.. Rev-0 worked great. Pix: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147353812@N04/sets/72157676579965664/

The lighting was added shortly thereafter since the machine was actually useful now:) Two forward and two reverse 1800 lumen LED heads were added up high and provide great lighting in the snow but also when using the backhoe at the end of the day into full darkness. More than enough. The two incandescent lights that came with it weren't wasted and light your 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. I'll probably replace those with two more LED heads at some point. The part of this add that made it work though was the mount. For the design height I wanted, it would not fit into the tractor barn which went up after the lights were added. The solution was to add a heavy duty hinge just below the desired height on the angle-iron support and use a cam-over locking lever to secure it in place. You need to pay attention to the mating of the two halves (maximize contact area) so they don't vibrate loose. Used a light bar controller for emergency vehicles to control the front/rear/side lighting. Worked great.. pix here though it appears I never took any of the articulating part: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147353812@N04/sets/72157680203590645/

Busted my neck twice and my back twice enjoying life and don't turn great anymore. Added a cheapo backup cam which I do believe saved a family member's butt who thought it brilliant to approach a working tractor from it's blind side: https://flic.kr/p/QQsuYk
Finally, as I did not want to go broke buying shear bolts, I added a scheme to elevate/terrain-follow the blower above the trap rock that constitutes a large area (shed.. tractor barn.. two trailers.. path). I spent a full summer thinking out options and after becoming unfixated on an approach based on skis, I settled on wheels. Initially pneumatic (SUCKS trying to get it back on the rim in 0-deg air and inflate it) and then solid... Harbor Freight. The wheels move up and down in a mount that allows for 1/2" resolution (two holes 0.5" apart on the other bar and 1" on the inner). Provides good buoyancy on unfrozen track rock and perfect on frozen (duh:). I will eventually sister up a second wheel on each side to double the contact area but it's not urgent. Pix: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147353812@N04/sets/72157676659483614/
 

middle.road

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Viewing picture _161655, I remember with clarity one of the things I don't miss about the northern latitudes.
All I ever had was a blade on a 'lawn tractor'. Having to dismount to change the blade angle and the right knee saying 'FOOL - you can't do that.' -hehe
I'm digging the lighting mods.
 

Clock work

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Viewing picture _161655, I remember with clarity one of the things I don't miss about the northern latitudes.
All I ever had was a blade on a 'lawn tractor'. Having to dismount to change the blade angle and the right knee saying 'FOOL - you can't do that.' -hehe
I'm digging the lighting mods.
Thanks... the guns and the ammo are buried under the now-frozen back yard until spring, so even if I knew were there were a tower I could get in to, it wouldn't do me any good. I've pretty much had it with here myself:)

CW
 

Clock work

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Messages
175
Viewing picture _161655, I remember with clarity one of the things I don't miss about the northern latitudes.
All I ever had was a blade on a 'lawn tractor'. Having to dismount to change the blade angle and the right knee saying 'FOOL - you can't do that.' -hehe
I'm digging the lighting mods.
Oh... that picture:) It illustrates some design flaw I am as yet to conquer.... that of every fricking flake to immediately return to my face the moment it exits the chute. It's as though I have modified the tractor seat to keep my face in front of the chute no matter how I manipulate the joy stick. There is no approach angle or chute angle that defeats this flaw.

CW
Where are you located,
Probably a few miles... I mean km... west of the exact center of Nuuk. I was horrid at geography:)

CW
 

brino

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Hey CW,

I like those "float" mods.....I may re-use that idea someday.
That MF tractor looks like a great size for many things.

-brino
 

Clock work

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Hey CW,

I like those "float" mods.....I may re-use that idea someday.
That MF tractor looks like a great size for many things.

-brino
One of the things that mod allowed me to do was to go beyond the trap rock and extend up on the grassed areas. For example, I ring the house any time there's more than about 8" of snow so fire fighters could have quick access to everything. Low probability risk, but high consequence. 5 min and it's handled. I also started pulling snow away from the parts of the house that used to show a little water intrusion in the old days... I painted all the basement walls white a couple years ago and so far zero staining, though truth be told, I did also attack the grading in close. It's amazing how dialed into what path every molecule of water on your property moves when you have one of these things. e.g.... https://flic.kr/s/aHskNKuuL3 and https://flic.kr/s/aHskNTfC3M. Nearly every drop of water that lands in the front of the house, the driveway or the side yard ends up flowing under that trap rock path and the backhoe was used to wipe out one obstruction on the way out.

It's been quite useful to me (and my neighbors). A good thing to know is that cadaver-sniffing dogs are good down to about 3' but that backhoe will dig you a 7' hole. So... I got that going for me.

If you do a similar float mod, I would improve the ability to get back repeatedly to the setting you like. My method (number of knuckles in the slider for wheels down) is unsatisfying.

CW
 

Clock work

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Registered
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Nov 25, 2016
Messages
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One of the things that mod allowed me to do was to go beyond the trap rock and extend up on the grassed areas. For example, I ring the house any time there's more than about 8" of snow so fire fighters could have quick access to everything. Low probability risk, but high consequence. 5 min and it's handled. I also started pulling snow away from the parts of the house that used to show a little water intrusion in the old days... I painted all the basement walls white a couple years ago and so far zero staining, though truth be told, I did also attack the grading in close. It's amazing how dialed into what path every molecule of water on your property moves when you have one of these things. e.g.... https://flic.kr/s/aHskNKuuL3 and https://flic.kr/s/aHskNTfC3M. Nearly every drop of water that lands in the front of the house, the driveway or the side yard ends up flowing under that trap rock path and the backhoe was used to wipe out one obstruction on the way out.

It's been quite useful to me (and my neighbors). A good thing to know is that cadaver-sniffing dogs are good down to about 3' but that backhoe will dig you a 7' hole. So... I got that going for me.

If you do a similar float mod, I would improve the ability to get back repeatedly to the setting you like. My method (number of knuckles in the slider for wheels down) is unsatisfying.

CW
Oh... why that allowed extending up on to the turf... If you remove all the snow from turf in a really cold winter what you have come spring is burned grass... the rest of the lawn greens up... that part stays yellow forever. Leaving just a couple inches which you can dial in and then float the blower results in no burning.

CW
 
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