As anyone who has used a tractor knows or will soon find out, you need to be able to take "stuff" with you to complete various projects.
I looked long and hard at the Big Rack Carry All unit as it looks to fit the bill for being the ideal carry all. I just can't bring myself to spending nearly $3,000 for the "fully equipped version" of the Original rack and I can't see the newest rack at the lower price point meeting my needs for carrying my winter snow equipment when plowing snow. Bottom line, the Big Rack Carry All unit is certainly a fine piece of equipment and appears to be very well contructed and engineered, the problem is I am just too cheap to spend that much for a carry all. Who knows, maybe I will change my mind. But right now, I am going into this season with the one below.
I looked at the King Cut brand 3 point Carry All and also the other manufacturer which several on GTT has selected. I like the 3 point mounts on the unit I selected as I want them to be "ahead" of the carry all unit itself so they are not an issue with the mounted surface or require cutting notches for the 3 point arms to attach, as I have seen done on some of the other brands. So, the mount method and the fact that a store nearby had the King Cut Carry All in stock for a retail price of $149 was my deciding factor for the "base" frame purchase.
I was able to get the unit for $129 with a sale the store had ongoing.
Mrs. Bear had to help me get this out of the rear of my SUV and once she saw it, she said "I sure hope you are painting that to match your tractor". Yep, honey already have the paint and planning on it being green.
Here I am taping off the labels from the original manufacturer. No need to get right to the edge of the label at this point.
Trimming the label edge with a razor blade provides a very nice finished edge on the paint and it looks like it was always green when I finished.
I mounted the I Match Bushings and taped them off. Here is the frame in the paint coating process. I put a total of 5 coats of paint on it since it's going to see heavy use. I actually painted the unit upside down first to make sure the bottom was well coated. Then I flipped it over and applied 5 coats of paint to the "topside".
Since I am still getting used to having a FEL and the 3 point hitch on my new tractor, I was actually thinking about how I was going to support the carry all while I was building it. Then it occurred to me to just put it on the 3 point hitch.......
I decided to go with 5/4 deck boards as I wanted something which was treated and would not have to paint and I also wanted to be able to space the boards out just enough to permit water to run off and allow the carrier to dry off easily when it's put in the garage covered in snow after being used. I used carriage bolts and flat washers and Nylock nuts for securing the wood. I cut each board at 36" of length as I specifically did not want the carry all any wider than the tractor tire tracks and also low enough that I could see the platform myself from the seat.
I plan to mount a 3,500 lb winch on the tractor side of the carry all and the brackets are being fabricated at this time. The winch and the dedicated battery to run the winch are going to be on the "front side" of the carry all in enclosed battery boxes so that they are not in the weather while mounted on the carry all. While I show the wood parted in the center in this photo, I was measuring things for the winch mount and brackets at the time and the actual final assembly was not done with the gap in the boards shown. Instead, I am going to cut a hole in the front board for the winch cable to pass through.
The last board to be mounted in the rear of the carry all frame required that the frame be drilled for the carriage bolts to secure the final piece of wood. The frame is pre-drilled in such a fashion that when using the 5/4 deck boards which are 6" wide, the actual hole location in each board is in a different place and not necessarily the center of the board. So, each board has to be marked and drilled separately or they won't fit properly. Note the Raspberry Pop Tart box on the ground to catch the drill shavings so they don't end up in the driveway.
I used a large 1/2" flat washer to space the boards when installing them on the base as well as the front of the carry all frame to provide the consistent gap. The ends of the boards were all squared off before mounted so they lined up nicely with one another.
To avoid a sharp corner which I would surely run into when not looking when the platform is elevated when mounted to the tractor, I cut the corner off just to make it a little less painful when I ultimately run into it, which has already happened.........
The way the very top of the frame is built, it can not be drilled to mount the top piece because there is no access to the back of the frame for securing the nut on the back side of the bolt. The angle iron prevents any access to the back of the area where the hole would be drilled. That's OK because i want to be able to see the actual platform from the seat for backing purposes in tight quarters.
Up Next, the actual mounting of items to the carry all........