MOTHER's Farm Equipment: Homemade Tractor Accessories (part 3)

The third installment of MOTHER's mini-tractor series features homemade tractor accessories including three-point hitch, a hydraulic lift and a power takeoff system.

| November/December 1982

Here's the third (and final installment) in our series on farm equipment featuring build-it-yourself homemade tractor accessories. (See the detailed tractor accessory diagrams in the image gallery.)

Back in MOTHER EARTH NEWS issue 76 we published the first of a trio of articles detailing the construction of a rugged garden tractor that will stand up to the factory-made jobs, yet can be built for about half the purchase price of such vehicles. That installment, plus the second feature (in NO. 77), provided all of the basic information required for anyone familiar with metal fabrication to bring the project to completion.

We knew, however, that some folks might want more than a simple workhorse with which to tackle the assorted tasks that invariably crop up around the house or farmstead. So we went ahead and added three "big tractor" goodies to our pint-sized pony . . . homemade tractor accessories that let it do more tricks than a monkey on a 20-foot pole!

This set of mechanical aids (a Category 0 three-point hitch, its hydraulic lift, and a power takeoff system) make the mini-tractor compatible with any number of attachments currently available for small machines . . . and give the backyard tinkerer some real incentive to come up with a few useful pieces of equipment specifically designed to tackle the jobs he or she needs to do.

With these additions, of course, the tractor is more versatile . . . and although the materials necessary to build the extras raise the cost of the project by over $500, we're sure that folks will find these options well worth the increased expense.

A Three-Point Hitch and Hydraulics

The basic tractor, as detailed in MOTHER EARTH NEWS issue 77, uses a simple bar hitch for towing, but we've since replaced that with an inexpensive (it set us back less than $100) three-point assembly sized to fit Category 0 implements. Aside from two 1-1/8 inch flange bearings and four 5/8 inch linkends, which had to be purchased, the remaining materials (an assortment of flat bars, a piece of angle iron, cold-rolled and threaded rod, and some hardware) were scrounged from scrap.

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