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Discussion Starter #1
I recently added a pine needle rake from Everything Attachments to my implements. I will be using it for dethatching my natural grass areas and to clean up twigs and tumbleweeds. I like the rake, but it does pose a storage challenge. While I had the rake spread all over the garage during assembly, my wife commented that it didn't look like the garage was going to be big enough to eventually add a backhoe. Bad Karma. Must make rake disappear.

Previously, I had built a dolly for my front blade which is similar in length to the rake. I build dollies for all of my implements and ballast. I don't have a place to store each piece. When there's a change-out on the tractor, whatever comes off it must fit into the space of whatever went onto it. This usually requires shuffling things around like a giant puzzle. And this is easy if they are all on wheels. I also like to design the dollies for smooth, direct loading and unloading on the tractor. This way the change-out process is fast and doesn't require a lot of lifting, wrestling, and dragging.

So I set out to modify my existing dolly for my front blade to include an upper bunk for the rake. The challenge in this task was in the height of the new dolly. It must be tall enough to make room for moving the blade in and out of the lower bunk, yet short enough for the 3-point arms to connect to the rake when removing or placing it on the top bunk. My initial calculations showed that the 3-pt lower arms were a few inches short at their maximum lift height. I considered 3 options: (1) Reverse the ends of the lower 3-pt arms to increase the lift height. (2) Use a jack to lift the rear end of the tractor 3 inches. (3) Drive the rear of the tractor onto ramps to lift the back end. I was not sure #1 would provide enough increased height, and changing these arms out each time is tedious. I was leery of #2 because it might be unstable during an implement change. So I opted for #3. I had some 2" ramps that I tried, but the lower arm lift came up about 1/4" short to allow the dolly to move underneath the rake. I priced wide ramps (for trucks) at about $40 per pair, and ended up making my own out of 2 X 12 pieces for about $10. These new ramps are 3" high, and the dolly easily fits under the rake with at least 1 inch to spare. I also added slots on the final dolly so that the ramps could be stored on it with the blade and the rake.

The original dolly had 2" steel wheels. Above about a hundred pounds on a dolly, these wheels get stuck in expansion joints on the driveway and garage floor. I had another dolly where I added weight and went to change from 2 inch wheels to 3 inches. I installed the 3 inch wheels before removing the 2 inch wheels and tested it. I learned that the height difference of these 2" and 3" wheels is exactly the depth of a 2 X 4. So all wheels are touching when both 2" and 3" are installed on a corner. I also noticed that these wheel pairs went over expansion joints very smoothly. This is because one wheel supports the load while the other one traverses the joint. I was concerned about this new dolly being top heavy with the rake up so high (especially when the blade was not in the lower bunk.) So having smooth movement across the joints in the concrete was important and worth the extra set of wheels on each corner. I also added stabilizer wheels for use during transport to minimize the chance of tipping sideways. My testing indicates that they are nice to have but maybe not a requirement. The rake sits firmly on the top bunk and I didn't sense any tipping tendency with or without the stabilizer.

So, with the new dolly I have 2 implements stored in about the same footprint as one was stored in before. One new rake, no net increase in space required. Good Karma for the backhoe.
 

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:good2::thumbup1gif::good2::thumbup1gif::good2::thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1.5 X lift at 3-point

For anyone interested, the attached diagram shows how lifting the rear axle gives you 1.5X in increased lift height at the 3-point lift arms.

Keane
 

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Well thought out dolly.

I recently added a pine needle rake from Everything Attachments to my implements. I will be using it for dethatching my natural grass areas and to clean up twigs and tumbleweeds. I like the rake, but it does pose a storage challenge. While I had the rake spread all over the garage during assembly, my wife commented that it didn't look like the garage was going to be big enough to eventually add a backhoe. Bad Karma. Must make rake disappear.

Previously, I had built a dolly for my front blade which is similar in length to the rake. I build dollies for all of my implements and ballast. I don't have a place to store each piece. When there's a change-out on the tractor, whatever comes off it must fit into the space of whatever went onto it. This usually requires shuffling things around like a giant puzzle. And this is easy if they are all on wheels. I also like to design the dollies for smooth, direct loading and unloading on the tractor. This way the change-out process is fast and doesn't require a lot of lifting, wrestling, and dragging.

So I set out to modify my existing dolly for my front blade to include an upper bunk for the rake. The challenge in this task was in the height of the new dolly. It must be tall enough to make room for moving the blade in and out of the lower bunk, yet short enough for the 3-point arms to connect to the rake when removing or placing it on the top bunk. My initial calculations showed that the 3-pt lower arms were a few inches short at their maximum lift height. I considered 3 options: (1) Reverse the ends of the lower 3-pt arms to increase the lift height. (2) Use a jack to lift the rear end of the tractor 3 inches. (3) Drive the rear of the tractor onto ramps to lift the back end. I was not sure #1 would provide enough increased height, and changing these arms out each time is tedious. I was leery of #2 because it might be unstable during an implement change. So I opted for #3. I had some 2" ramps that I tried, but the lower arm lift came up about 1/4" short to allow the dolly to move underneath the rake. I priced wide ramps (for trucks) at about $40 per pair, and ended up making my own out of 2 X 12 pieces for about $10. These new ramps are 3" high, and the dolly easily fits under the rake with at least 1 inch to spare. I also added slots on the final dolly so that the ramps could be stored on it with the blade and the rake.

The original dolly had 2" steel wheels. Above about a hundred pounds on a dolly, these wheels get stuck in expansion joints on the driveway and garage floor. I had another dolly where I added weight and went to change from 2 inch wheels to 3 inches. I installed the 3 inch wheels before removing the 2 inch wheels and tested it. I learned that the height difference of these 2" and 3" wheels is exactly the depth of a 2 X 4. So all wheels are touching when both 2" and 3" are installed on a corner. I also noticed that these wheel pairs went over expansion joints very smoothly. This is because one wheel supports the load while the other one traverses the joint. I was concerned about this new dolly being top heavy with the rake up so high (especially when the blade was not in the lower bunk.) So having smooth movement across the joints in the concrete was important and worth the extra set of wheels on each corner. I also added stabilizer wheels for use during transport to minimize the chance of tipping sideways. My testing indicates that they are nice to have but maybe not a requirement. The rake sits firmly on the top bunk and I didn't sense any tipping tendency with or without the stabilizer.

So, with the new dolly I have 2 implements stored in about the same footprint as one was stored in before. One new rake, no net increase in space required. Good Karma for the backhoe.
nicely done. Good balance is key to implement dollies.
 

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I thought I was doing well when I got some pallets to set my implements on to keep them out of the dirt. You have taken it to a whole new level!:bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bunk Dolly II

At this point, adding implements requires that I figure out where I’m going to put them before I buy them. On GTT I had seen a FEL dolly that also stored the forks with the bucket. As I looked into this, I became wary of adding that much weight to the FEL dolly. With everything on there, it would be in excess of 800 lbs. So I started looking for other options and I decided to bunk my forks with my snow blower.

With the 6, 3-inch wheels, this dolly moves easily at about 400 lbs. The first time I loaded the forks on the dolly, it took a few minutes. But I marked the level bucket indicator so that I can easily get the forks level at the right elevation. This will make it much faster.

The tine holders attached to the bottom of the dolly are barn door hardware. I found them at 3 different local farm and ranch supply stores. At one store they were half the price of the others.

Stability is a big issue on this dolly. I did not want the forks to tip over when the snow blower was removed. The front middle wheel is positioned outside the center of gravity of the forks to prevent this from happening.

BD1.jpg

BD2.jpg

BD3.jpg

BD4.jpg

BD5.jpg

BD6.jpg

BD7.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Storing the bunk dollies together

The size and shape of the two bunk dollies permits them to be stored very tightly together, consuming less than 22 square feet of floor storage space. A small modification to the snow blower is required.

sh1.jpg

sh2.jpg

sh3.jpg

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sh5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bunk Dolly 3 -- Storage for Fertilizer Spreader

I've been trying to decide on a fertilizer spreader for over a year now. I've spent a lot of time looking at 3-point spreaders. Riding seemed like more fun than pushing a manual spreader. But I only have a little more than 1/2 acre that will be fertilized. The grass areas surround the house and the borders are irregular. I was having a tough time with the 30 foot spread width. I know you can lower the PTO speed and get a narrower spread, but it would all be trial and error. I couldn't find any specifics on this. And once you lower the throttle to change the PTO speed, you've changed the speed of the tractor which also affects the amount of material spread for a given area. By the time I figured all of this out, I think I could just walk the area with a manual spreader about 3 times. And by the next time I needed to fertilize, I'd have forgotten a lot of the tactical details. I also believed that it was impossible to create a spreading pattern that would not required the tractor to pass through areas that had already been fertilized. So then I'd have to thoroughly wash the tractor at the end of the job. Fertilizer is very corrosive. The manual spreader just kept looking better and better.

The new spreader has bigger wheels and two handles. This is important for the rough ground where it must operate. The large hopper also will reduce the number of "reload" stops. The spread width is about 12 feet, which is twice that of the smaller spreader. Considering all the improved features, I'm expecting to cut the job time at least in half.

New and old spreaders are shown below:

bd3-1.jpg


I also had to consider where to store it. My garage is getting tighter and tighter, so I can't add anything without a creative approach to storing it. I decided that my aerator dolly could be a candidate for a new bunk dolly. I was trying to figure out how to add structure to it to support the spreader up high. I concluded that the aerator itself was an adequate structure. It just needed a minor modification to properly secure the spreader sufficiently when the dolly is stationary and also when it is moving over joints in the concrete floor.


bd3-2.jpg

bd3-3.jpg

bd3-4.jpg

bd3-5.jpg

bd3-6.jpg

The spreader is not really heavy, so one person can get it up there and get it down. I taped a split piece of rubber hose (1" ID) to the point of the spreader's parking stand so that there is no paint-to-paint contact during storage or loading/unloading. With fertilizer around, keeping the paint in place is important.
 

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I've been trying to decide on a fertilizer spreader for over a year now. I've spent a lot of time looking at 3-point spreaders. Riding seemed like more fun than pushing a manual spreader. But I only have a little more than 1/2 acre that will be fertilized. The grass areas surround the house and the borders are irregular. I was having a tough time with the 30 foot spread width. I know you can lower the PTO speed and get a narrower spread, but it would all be trial and error. I couldn't find any specifics on this. And once you lower the throttle to change the PTO speed, you've changed the speed of the tractor which also affects the amount of material spread for a given area. By the time I figured all of this out, I think I could just walk the area with a manual spreader about 3 times. And by the next time I needed to fertilize, I'd have forgotten a lot of the tactical details. I also believed that it was impossible to create a spreading pattern that would not required the tractor to pass through areas that had already been fertilized. So then I'd have to thoroughly wash the tractor at the end of the job. Fertilizer is very corrosive. The manual spreader just kept looking better and better.

The new spreader has bigger wheels and two handles. This is important for the rough ground where it must operate. The large hopper also will reduce the number of "reload" stops. The spread width is about 12 feet, which is twice that of the smaller spreader. Considering all the improved features, I'm expecting to cut the job time at least in half.

New and old spreaders are shown below:

View attachment 655958


I also had to consider where to store it. My garage is getting tighter and tighter, so I can't add anything without a creative approach to storing it. I decided that my aerator dolly could be a candidate for a new bunk dolly. I was trying to figure out how to add structure to it to support the spreader up high. I concluded that the aerator itself was an adequate structure. It just needed a minor modification to properly secure the spreader sufficiently when the dolly is stationary and also when it is moving over joints in the concrete floor.


View attachment 655968

View attachment 655972

View attachment 655974

View attachment 655976

View attachment 655978

The spreader is not really heavy, so one person can get it up there and get it down. I taped a split piece of rubber hose (1" ID) to the point of the spreader's parking stand so that there is no paint-to-paint contact during storage or loading/unloading. With fertilizer around, keeping the paint in place is important.
Keane, do you ever get time to use your tractor? With all the building of dollys. Just kidding. You have by far some of the best designs and best looking dollies I've seen. :thumbup1gif: I'd bet your next favorite hobby is woodworking. Just out of curiosity, do you store any of your equipment on heavy duty shelving?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keane, do you ever get time to use your tractor? With all the building of dollys. Just kidding. You have by far some of the best designs and best looking dollies I've seen. :thumbup1gif: I'd bet your next favorite hobby is woodworking. Just out of curiosity, do you store any of your equipment on heavy duty shelving?
I've never been accused of being a woodworker before. My wood projects are all garage related. I could only think of one thing in the house that I've done in wood, and that was to put up an oak hand railing for the stairway from the garage to the basement. I have some heavy duty shelving in the basement, but nothing as big as you are thinking. My garage does not really have space for it. I have the forks for my tractor. Someday I'm hoping for a separate tractor shed at the back of the property. If I do that, I like the idea of shelving. The shed would be primarily used for implements and maintenance. My wife doesn't like the smell of paint, so it would be a good place to spray paint. I think I'd still keep the tractor in the garage and do any winter maintenance in there. My garage is insulated and has a bedroom over it, so it rarely goes below 50 degrees even on the coldest of days. The shed wouldn't be insulated or have a heat source.

I use my tractor a lot. I would love to have more than one so that I wasn't always re-configuring it for the next job. The dollies are my way of making changes quickly, efficiently, and without a lot of effort. It is frustrating if the changeover takes more time than the tractor project itself. Tempered with keeping it safe, I challenge myself to see how quickly I can make a change when it's needed.

Thanks for the kind words.
 

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I've never been accused of being a woodworker before. My wood projects are all garage related. I could only think of one thing in the house that I've done in wood, and that was to put up an oak hand railing for the stairway from the garage to the basement. I have some heavy duty shelving in the basement, but nothing as big as you are thinking. My garage does not really have space for it. I have the forks for my tractor. Someday I'm hoping for a separate tractor shed at the back of the property. If I do that, I like the idea of shelving. The shed would be primarily used for implements and maintenance. My wife doesn't like the smell of paint, so it would be a good place to spray paint. I think I'd still keep the tractor in the garage and do any winter maintenance in there. My garage is insulated and has a bedroom over it, so it rarely goes below 50 degrees even on the coldest of days. The shed wouldn't be insulated or have a heat source.

I use my tractor a lot. I would love to have more than one so that I wasn't always re-configuring it for the next job. The dollies are my way of making changes quickly, efficiently, and without a lot of effort. It is frustrating if the changeover takes more time than the tractor project itself. Tempered with keeping it safe, I challenge myself to see how quickly I can make a change when it's needed.

Thanks for the kind words.
Your Welcome!

[My garage does not really have space for it.]
I totally understand your statement. I on the other hand, had to go the shelving route, plus I probably don't have as much equipment as you, but I'm working on that. :gizmo:

I started with carts, but they ended up using too much valuable floor space, so after watching many TTWT videos, I went with shelving. I still have and use my carts making it easy to shuffle between implements that I'm currently using, before putting them back on the shelves. My garage is only 21' x 25' so my shelves are on wheels, giving me easier access to stored equipment. I roll the shelf in front of the overhead door, lock the casters, and directly load the implement to my tractor, accept for the box blade. My fork lift pallet, when not in use, sits on a cart that I slide underneath one of the units. Because of the configuration of my garage, this storage solution works well for me. From the picture, it's hard to see my landscape rake hidden on the shelf behind the tractor.

This forum has been for me a great source for advice, opinions and ideas. :read

Thanks for sharing yours! :thumbup1gif:
 

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I like your heavy duty shelving holding up the equipment! I need some of those in my Green Building so I can do the same.
JD4044M

I bought mine from Menards, but there is probably a new and or used material handling company in you area. Check out the extra heavy duty units that my son and I installed for his equipment. He had less than $300 in a 9' unit, including heavy duty wire racks.

What did you do with your SCUT Deere today? - Page 1071
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bunk Dolly 4 -- Extra storage space above MMM deck

In the past, I installed my mowing deck in mid-Spring and then left it on for several months of the primary mowing season. For the past couple of years, I've been putting it on the tractor just before mowing and then taking it off immediately after it's done. This lets me use the tractor between mowing for other projects. I estimate that the mowing deck is on the tractor less than 24 hours each year. That means it is parked in the garage for all but the equivalent of about 1 day. It seemed to me that the space it was consuming could be used more efficiently.

So I built a shelf that is custom to the the 54D mowing deck. The deck is built to support the weight of the tractor, so it's quite capable of supporting this shelf and anything that goes on it. I can stand on it comfortably. By getting more little stuff off the floor, I get more pathways to access the tractor for maintenance. And if I do need to move stuff out of the way for more access, it's faster if a lot of it all moves together on one dolly. Everything is directly or indirectly on wheels.

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A slot runs the length of the right support so that this leg fits securely over the guide bar. This helps prevent any lateral movement of the shelf.


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The left support conforms to the structure of the deck on that side.


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The middle of the shelf sits just barely above the gear box. With a lot of weight on top, the gear box will help provide support in the middle.


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Metal brackets were added to help strengthen the supports.


IMG_2600.JPG
 
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