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Build the hydraulic skid?

  • Yes, so we can see how much you regret it during seeding

    Votes: 2 12.5%
  • Yes - it is a good idea

    Votes: 6 37.5%
  • No - buy the newer tractor you cheap *******

    Votes: 8 50.0%
  • No - buy a ready made one from Foster Hydraulics for $29,000 US

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
I consider myself to be pretty frugal. Sometimes to my detriment. I have a STX 375 quadtrac that has been chipped to 485 hp for the last 8 years. It has the standard 40 GPM hydraulic pump on it as well as a PTO (so nowhere to mount a second pump - other than onto the PTO). Also, it is short on power for pulling our seeding implement in our hills at the depth I pull it. We have a JD 1870 Conservapak with a 430 bu. tow between cart. With this combo, it gets the job done - albeit slowly (4 to 4.5 MPH). We seed between 3500 and 4500 acres a year. The tractor has 7600 hours on it, but just went through a CaseIH inspection last year. It also has new front tracks, an aftermarket cab suspension, aftermarket LED lights, and has never left me shut down for over 12 hours. No emissions BS. It weighs 55,000 pounds and is a little light in the front end for our hills. It also always runs at 180 F, unless I am using most of the hydraulic capacity - then there are serious issues over 26 C. If it is just pulling heavy harrows or a protill on a HOT day, I've never seen it over 185.

Which finally brings me to my question. I am tired of this tractor limiting my seeding speed with this outfit due to lack of HP and also limiting my ability to upgrade to a newer parallel linkage seeding system. We ran a Seedhawk for 10 years prior to this Conservapak and I miss certain things about it. Would I be stupid to build a self contained diesel hydraulic pump/system to run fans on an airdrill rather than buying a new-to-me $250,000 tractor with 110 GPM flow, tracks, PTO? I think I could sell this tractor/blade for $100,000, but it is my main snow moving machine when we have a big dump of snow. So, by the time I throw a blade on a newer one (don't want a piece of junk someone else has trashed with a blade in the patch) would cost $300,000. Which is a $200,000 difference. I think I can build a unit based off of the back of a CaseIH 8820 swather (3.9L cummins w/ fan, radiator, oil cooler, etc.) for less than $15,000 that I would mount on the blade brackets and give myself more traction on the tractor at the same time. Should be able to run 50 GPM pump putting out around 3000 psi. Engine would be out in front and therefore out of the dust. Would reverse the fan so it didn't push hot air in front of the tractor radiator. This is a 80 HP engine and in my mind should be nearly the equivalent of having an extra 60 or 70 HP (if it is flowing 40 to 50 GPM). Essentially giving me a 485 hp tractor PLUS 60 hp that will never get hot or really be short of hydraulic capacity. $15,000 VS. $200,000

Pleas talk me out of it. Or tell me what I am forgetting. Thank you.
 

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Trust me...I think a lot like you. So I know what is going through your mind. But it sounds like it's not only the hyd causing you concern, but you might be better off with more power/tractor going forward. If your current tractor still has some value, maybe it's time to bite the bullet and upgrade. I would argue that you could find something under 250,000 but maybe I'm wrong??
 

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If you use a diesel motor for the fans I would just direct drive the fans with a belt drive rather than suffer the poor efficiency and heat involved driving it hydraulically. Year ago a lot of concords in our area had Lambraginie or however you spell it diesel motors on the back driving the fans.
 

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I would just direct drive the fan too if you're going to add another engine anyway and the tractor hydraulics can handle the rest.
 

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Trust me...I think a lot like you. So I know what is going through your mind. But it sounds like it's not only the hyd causing you concern, but you might be better off with more power/tractor going forward. If your current tractor still has some value, maybe it's time to bite the bullet and upgrade. I would argue that you could find something under 250,000 but maybe I'm wrong??
Yes. You are correct. I could find a tractor to replace it for probably $190,000. Just might not be the same level of upgrade that I am looking to make if I do buy one. We need tracks, 500 hp, minimum 78GPM flow (110 would be better after suffering with inadequate flow for a decade), and I would like under 2500 hours. So, as you say, it would be cheaper than I originally claimed.
 

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I don’t think your plan can solve two problems at the same time. By taking 15 % of the load off the tractor engine it may eliminate your heating problem, but, if you intend to average a 15% faster ground speed you will be back to the same heating issues. Is splitting the difference worth it? Go a half MPH faster for half of the heating problems? It’s a physics conundrum.
 

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If you use a diesel motor for the fans I would just direct drive the fans with a belt drive rather than suffer the poor efficiency and heat involved driving it hydraulically. Year ago a lot of concords in our area had Lambraginie or however you spell it diesel motors on the back driving the fans.
Yes. That is a good point.

Unfortunately, from what I’ve heard they were not extremely dependable working out in the dust all day. You don’t have a ton of options if looking for a dependable, air cooled diesel engine.

But, the main problem is that I am looking for a long term solution for whatever air cart we happen to own. We wouldn’t want to make an adapter every 8-10 years when we trade airdrills.
 

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I don’t think your plan can solve two problems at the same time. By taking 15 % of the load off the tractor engine it may eliminate your heating problem, but, if you intend to average a 15% faster ground speed you will be back to the same heating issues. Is splitting the difference worth it? Go a half MPH faster for half of the heating problems? It’s a physics conundrum.
Yes. But, we only have heating issues when the hydraulics are being pushed crazy hard. I can run pulling a ProTill all day at 105 percent of rated HP (according to the monitor) on a 32 C degree day and not get over 185F.
 

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That is what my brother wants to do too. But, we couldn’t find anyone to size the electric motor or anyone who had done such a thing. I suppose I didn’t want to be the first person to see if an electric motor can handle the dust, vibration, conditions out there. Maybe you have heard of someone doing it?
 

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If you trade let’s say for 300k you will get 15% Capital cost allowance. So 45000$ then on year two you will have 30% cca.
So 76500$ So yes your saving on the price tag up front by MacGyvering something to your liking
but your going to pay the tax man. On the long run you would be better off trading.
Mathematics it’s the future use it Wisely. Lol.
 

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Yes. But, we only have heating issues when the hydraulics are being pushed crazy hard. I can run pulling a ProTill all day at 105 percent of rated HP (according to the monitor) on a 32 C degree day and not get over 185F.

With the above facts being true, perhaps all you need is auxiliary hydraulic fluid coolers, they may as well be on the air cart fan intakes to eliminate parasitic loss to power the air supply.
 

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Trade tractor. It’s crossed my mind a few times to have a motor on the air cart to drive the fan and wheels.
 

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I have often thought of a hydraulic power unit to run the fans. A simple system using air cooled diesel, simple gear pump and a simple spool valve. adjust fan speed by changing the motor RPM no over priced heat causing flow controls.
 

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If heating is an issue find an old prasco airseeder in the bush some where. Take the oil cooling rad off of the fan and install it on your return line hanging it a few inchs from your fan intake. If you are having power issues the only option is make more power. Different tractor, chip, or engine you decide. Not familiar with Case engines and what they even have but at 7500 hrs if engine hasn't had much done to it maybe it's time for something different.
 

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I have one of those Concords but it has a Isuzu diesel 3lb1 I think vs the Lambordini. Runs the fan off a belt. It's only 32 ft but I only have to run the thing at 1800 rpm. I think you could build something a heck of a lot cheaper than 15k even. Maybe to prove your theory use a cheaper engine, like a Predator v twin ($800). If that gives you the capacity you hope back in the tractor then look for a diesel motor.
 

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The old Flexi Coil AF1 or AF2 had a diesel engine option, I rented one from a neighbour. It seemed to work fine, the engine was diesel.
 
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