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Discussion Starter #1
Last year I fabbed up a hydraulic dump cylinder on my MC519 cart for my x758 tractor. My dad saw it in action and would like to put something similar on his MC519 cart. However, he has a 345 tractor which doesn't have hydraulic ports available. I'd like to find a way to use an electric linear actuator instead for his setup.

Has anyone done this before? What actuator did you choose? I know the physical dimensions required (6" stroke, about 13" collapsed and 19" extended). However, with electric actuators there seem to be a very wide range of force capacity (from under 20 to 300+ pounds) and speeds (from 0.25 inch/sec up to more than 1 inch/sec). Guessing at it, I think a speed of around 1 inch/sec seems like a good value. I should hook up mine and time it but my tractor is all set up for snowblowing right now. I also have no idea how much weight the actuator would have to push up at an angle when full of leaves.

So if anyone has done this successfully please let me know.

Thanks,
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Mods:

Though I appreciate you trying to put this thread into the 'right' forum section I think the Deere Lawn & Garden section was the right place for it. This is specific to Deere garden tractors' MC519 cart and that's where the most people familiar with them happen to be. Could you please move it back?
 

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I've installed several of these on Gator boxes so some of this should relate. Looking at your garden cart, 300# of thrust should easily handle a load of leaves or brush, rocks might be another story. Keep in mind, a 300# actuator won't lift 300# of load unless it's perpendicular to the load, which is rarely the case. The geometry of the attachment will have a lot to do with the actuator's lifting capacity. The closer your actuator is parallel to the load the lower the effective thrust.
The easiest way to wire these things is to buy a cross-polarity three-way switch. The alternative is a couple relays, which is way too much work in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where do you get them from? What travel speed did you choose?

Thanks,
Rob
 

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Do a search on ebay or Amazon for linear actuators and there'll be a ton of them come up in all sizes, load ranges and speeds. You'll probably be a bit disappointed in the speeds offered, most of them around 1/4"/second, so a 6" stroke would take around 24 seconds. You can get more speed, but it'll be at the expense of load capacity due to internal gearing. On a side note, Ironton (Northern Tool) seems to be the gold standard in actuators, but they're over twice the price of "cheap" no-name actuators. I've installed two Ironton actuators and then tried a no-name actuator. I couldn't tell the difference. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips. I was hoping someone with a similar experience would be able to say "this one has the speed and capacity that you need for that use". Or at least have suggestions on what speed and what capacity is needed, beyond my gut feel.

Rob
 

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Any that have enough power will be very slow. Depending on what you want to dump, you may need more power than you might think. I use one rated at 1000 lbs to lift an 8x10 trex deck That weighs about 500 lbs. It does it fine, but is very slow (about 1 min/ft). Also, where you position it on the trailer will affect performance. Placing where the stroke is short will shorten time to lift, but you need more power the closer you are to the pivot point, a lot more power. I also modified a trailer for hydraulic dump. and have looked at this a good bit. I came to the conclusion that linear actuators were not the way to go if you plan to dump heavy material. No free lunch. Best to look at a self-contained 12V hydraulic dump system. Expensive and rather large. Or get a tractor with hydraulics :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Any that have enough power will be very slow. Depending on what you want to dump, you may need more power than you might think. I use one rated at 1000 lbs to lift an 8x10 trex deck That weighs about 500 lbs. It does it fine, but is very slow (about 1 min/ft). Also, where you position it on the trailer will affect performance. Placing where the stroke is short will shorten time to lift, but you need more power the closer you are to the pivot point, a lot more power. I also modified a trailer for hydraulic dump. and have looked at this a good bit. I came to the conclusion that linear actuators were not the way to go if you plan to dump heavy material. No free lunch. Best to look at a self-contained 12V hydraulic dump system. Expensive and rather large. Or get a tractor with hydraulics :)
That's really what I need to figure out at this point... How much weight will it have to handle? I see that the specs of the MC519 cart say it can carry up to 500# of material but I'm very certain a load of leaves (which is all my dad's tractor will be used for - hardly any grass) has got to be much less than that. If I had to guess, I'd say a full load of leaves (dry and partially chopped up, as you'd typically bag them) would be less than 200#. Couple that with the fact that only about 2/3 of the weight would be pushing down on the front of the cart since part of the load counterbalances that while hanging behind the pivot point. So I need to get some formulas and do some math as to the moment forces involved and see what I come up with. I'm hoping a linear actuator of about 200# capacity will end up being enough, because I found a good one with that capacity and a decent speed.

Rob
 

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That's really what I need to figure out at this point... How much weight will it have to handle? I see that the specs of the MC519 cart say it can carry up to 500# of material but I'm very certain a load of leaves (which is all my dad's tractor will be used for - hardly any grass) has got to be much less than that. If I had to guess, I'd say a full load of leaves (dry and partially chopped up, as you'd typically bag them) would be less than 200#.

Couple that with the fact that only about 2/3 of the weight would be pushing down on the front of the cart since part of the load counterbalances that while hanging behind the pivot point.

So I need to get some formulas and do some math as to the moment forces involved and see what I come up with. I'm hoping a linear actuator of about 200# capacity will end up being enough, because I found a good one with that capacity and a decent speed.

Rob
Although it may initially plan to be used for just leafs (hopefully dry ones), as the handiness of the auto dump feature becomes more appreciated, the use of the cart will probably increase and so could it's loads. I have used an MC519 cart for 20 plus years and I have had the weight of the cart vary significantly. With the weather we have had this year, while the goal may have been to get only dry leaves, the reality is that the leaves were always damp or wet. Normally, I can dump the Mc519 cart from the seat of the tractor, but this fall, the loads were so heavy that I had to get off the tractor and stand in front of the MC cart to dump it. I would bet all of those loads this fall were near the stated 500 pound limit.

Also, as you know, the more debris in the cart, the more it impacts the top canvas cover, which has to hinge in the clam shell for the cart to tip. The debris being full restricts the clam shell opening of the cover, even if you pull the lever to first hinge the cover because of the weight of the material pushing on the very back of the cover, which serves as the "tailgate" of the cart.

When the material is damp or wet, its density against the rear flap changes dramatically. This adds a lot of resistance to the initial movement of the cart being tipped until it reaches the point where the base and the cover fully separate and are moving in opposite directions.

The cart fills against the rear of the cover first as the material is blown in and then fills forward, as I am sure you have experienced when you were dumping the cart "in the old days before the hydraulic assist" system you have added. When the material is damp or wet, it packs against the rear of the cover and builds the pile in the rear of the cart. When the leaves or material are dry, they often swirl about in the cart and tend to settle more evenly and aren't as packed against the rear of the cover, which is the "tailgate" of the cart when using it.

Often, by time the cart "feels full" it's packed tightly against the rear of the cover which acts as the tail gate of the MC cart. This changes the dumping effort required dramatically.


Bottom line, I think it would be very wise to use an actuator which is more towards the load limit of 500 pounds than towards the light end. With the hydraulic actuator, if the load exceeds the capacity, the system go into somewhat of a "bypass" mode, not damaging anything. But the electric actuator could possibly be overloaded if the capacity isn't high enough for the load and damage the actuator or harness.

If you have posted a thread about the hydraulic actuator, I would sure like to see how you mounted the pieces, routed the lines, etc. as this is a very handy feature to have on the cart. Did you write a thread or post pictures on the hydraulic assist feature you added to your cart? I would like to see those as well as any for the electric actuator on this project.

No doubt the assisted lift, ideally hydraulic or even electrical would make using the cart even more handy than it already is. Looking forward to see how you have done the hydraulic system and how the electrical one works out. It's a Very good idea.............:good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I found an electric actuator of the proper size that had a better load limit (500+ pounds) and also had a decent speed I'd opt for it. Well, assuming it wasn't $200. But it seems that any actuators with around 1 in/sec speed have ratings closer to 200#. I don't think anyone could tolerate a power dump system that only moved at 0.25 in/sec over the 6 inch stroke and back. That's almost a minute to dump. Plus, when dumping you need a little wiggle/jerk at the end to make sure leaves come out completely and something that slow wouldn't be able to provide that 'shock'.

All the other what-ifs about how the weight might be too much due to wet leaves or grass or if the cart is used for another task are not applicable here. My dad picks up only leaves in the fall and only when they are mostly dry. No other use occurs. So this setup doesn't need to account for other situations. But thanks for pointing them out.

I thought I made a post about the hydraulic cylinder addition to my MC519 but I can't seem to find it now. I don't really have time to do a proper write-up right now, but here are some pics. As for hose routing, I run them through one of the larger holes in the rear structure at the back of the tractor (maybe where the click-n-go brackets attach?) and then along the right side of the tractor up to the x758's SCV. I made my own cable guide loop out of stiff wire rod to hold the hoses up off the deck and close to the frame. No pics of that stuff.









Don't judge my welds... they aren't pretty but they hold. I haven't gotten the hang of good interior 90* corner welding with my stick welder yet and that's what the brackets mostly consist of.

Rob
 

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The actuator I'm using on my deck is about 12" per minute with 1000 lbs of lift; IP65 rated. Here is my hydraulic dump trailer, 3x6 country manufacturing trailer modified. It struggles with a trailer load of dirt(>>1000). But as long as I load heaviest on rear, it works just fine. Or I help it a bit to get started sometimes. Light material like cuttings, leaves, vegetation debris: no problem at all.



dump trailer.jpg
 

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BIG Blue Here is a actuator http://ph.parker.com/us/en/compact-electro-hydraulic-actuator that would be perfect for you MC519 for Your Father Because you get the best of both worlds You get Hydraulic lift But You get the Plug and Play of a electric actuator. It is Just to Bad they don't Make 1 set of Ports for the X500 series.. I am Just Glad I have a X700 series Because That Hydraulic lift Kit I bought for My MC519 has Made leave removal so Fast These Last 4 years:bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
BIG Blue Here is a actuator http://ph.parker.com/us/en/compact-electro-hydraulic-actuator that would be perfect for you MC519 for Your Father Because you get the best of both worlds You get Hydraulic lift But You get the Plug and Play of a electric actuator. It is Just to Bad they don't Make 1 set of Ports for the X500 series.. I am Just Glad I have a X700 series Because That Hydraulic lift Kit I bought for My MC519 has Made leave removal so Fast These Last 4 years:bigthumb:
Thanks for the pointer. However, I can't seem to find any indication of price. I filled out their form but it seemed like it was just going to point me to a dealer. I'd at least like to know a ballpark price before getting into communication with a dealer. I have to believe this setup is very expensive. I'm looking to stay under $150 or so. Have you ever seen the price for something like this?

ETA: Looking at some of these on eBay they are all $500+.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The actuator I'm using on my deck is about 12" per minute with 1000 lbs of lift; IP65 rated. Here is my hydraulic dump trailer, 3x6 country manufacturing trailer modified. It struggles with a trailer load of dirt(>>1000). But as long as I load heaviest on rear, it works just fine. Or I help it a bit to get started sometimes. Light material like cuttings, leaves, vegetation debris: no problem at all.
How much did that actuator cost? Where did you buy?

Thanks,
Rob
 

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How much did that actuator cost? Where did you buy?

Thanks,
Rob
It's a big actuator with about 2' of travel. I think it was around $350. You are not likely to find any workable solution for under $200. And yes, most electric over hydraulic systems are at least $300. I do like the one referenced by Sargeant. That's about as compact as I have ever seen. an Electric/Hydraulic solution is way better option if you can find room for it: faster, stronger, and more reliable. Afterall that is what is on most commercially sold dump trailers, usually mounted on the tongue.
 

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It's a big actuator with about 2' of travel. I think it was around $350. You are not likely to find any workable solution for under $200. And yes, most electric over hydraulic systems are at least $300. I do like the one referenced by Sargeant. That's about as compact as I have ever seen. an Electric/Hydraulic solution is way better option if you can find room for it: faster, stronger, and more reliable. Afterall that is what is on most commercially sold dump trailers, usually mounted on the tongue.
Last time I check I think it was about $650 for the Electric over Hydraulic actuator I have a Parker dealer about 30miles from me. My Plan at one time was to use the Electric over Hydraulic actuator on My 1970 Cub Cadet 106 to replace the existing OEM duff-Norton actuator But I ended Up Buying a electric actuator from Linear Actuator Plus Hardware and it is a lot quick than that old Duff-Norton Actuator. Just had to have a few Parts Fabricated By a friend to use it on the 106 Toro use to use the Electric over Hydraulic actuator on there 240 series and 400XT series and New Holland Clone Yard Tractors. The do perform a lot better than the standard electric actuator as far as speed of the actuator Movement:bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No doubt that would be a Cadillac solution. But far too much for what I want to do here.

I guess it comes down to me having to do the math to calculate the loading with the angle of the actuator and see what I can get as far as decent speed with enough power to do the job.

Thanks,
Rob
 

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Last time I check I think it was about $650 for the Electric over Hydraulic actuator I have a Parker dealer about 30miles from me. My Plan at one time was to use the Electric over Hydraulic actuator on My 1970 Cub Cadet 106 to replace the existing OEM duff-Norton actuator But I ended Up Buying a electric actuator from Linear Actuator Plus Hardware and it is a lot quick than that old Duff-Norton Actuator. Just had to have a few Parts Fabricated By a friend to use it on the 106 Toro use to use the Electric over Hydraulic actuator on there 240 series and 400XT series and New Holland Clone Yard Tractors. The do perform a lot better than the standard electric actuator as far as speed of the actuator Movement:bigthumb:
I'm quoting the price for just an electric actuator, as that is what I use on my pond pump house deck: 1000 lbs, 2' travel, slow as molasses. But there are lower cost chinese electric over hydraulic systems that are under $300 (or used to be before the latest tariffs). like this:
Amazon.com: Fisters Durable High Quality Electric Metal Reservoir 12V Hydraulic Pump Power Supply Unit Pack Single Acting Remotely Controlled Dump Trailer Fit for Lift Unloading: Home Improvement


Add your own cylinder. No matter, I'm am very skeptical that it can be done for around $200. More like $400 for anything with any speed/lift/travel of use.
 

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No doubt that would be a Cadillac solution. But far too much for what I want to do here.

I guess it comes down to me having to do the math to calculate the loading with the angle of the actuator and see what I can get as far as decent speed with enough power to do the job.

Thanks,
Rob
The Thompson actuators Johnny Products uses would Probably stand Up to the riggers of dumping a Fully Loaded MC519 But I think the Longest he has Thompson Make for him is a 6inch stroke which I don't Know if that would be enough for Dumping the MC519 or Not But $270 Not a Bad Price for a Thompson actuator But they are not standard off the shelve actuators either Thompson does Built them to John specification so rebuild Kits are Kind of Hard to get.

But You Can order Thompson actuators directly from them Now Max Jac Linear Actuator | Thomson | Find a Product :bigthumb:
 

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