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6 years ago I had a construction friend dig a diversion ditch above our house to take excess runoff rain water a different direction. That worked well until the last 3 years when our spring rains come anywhere from 2.5-5 inches at a time. There is a rock layer not far below the surface so water also percolates out as well as runs off the hill. I had failed to maintain the ditch so it had pretty well filled in at the breaking point so water just pooled and overflowed appearing like a pond dam overflow during rains this spring. I hauled out the long handled shovel, tiling spade, Allis Bumblebee 10 plus Agri-Fab cart, Simplicity 3012 and Agri-Fab Utility 10 carry-all. Had my own little parade. I haven't taken the carry-all off the Simplicity 3012 this spring; it is so handy and about the correct size to allow more frequent water and shade breaks. Also, the 3012 hydro lift has no problem lifting and holding a full load of dirt (even for long periods it doesn't leak down).
I started digging on the downhill grade side of the ditch clearing the channel so the water that pools on the upper side can have route of escape. I really don't work in a very systematic manner though as you'll see that I still need to dig on the downhill side in the next picture in order to make the grade work for me. Silt from the wooded hill above mixed with red clay dug pretty well after recent rains. I moved the soil from the ditch to areas of need in our backyard.
The Agri-fab cart is an older unit, solid metal floor & built pretty darn tough. I filled it full several times and found right away the break-over-center point was not engineered correct for manual lift/dump by a short guy over 60. I needed some real umph to lift the loaded bed unless the rear of the cart was on a downhill slope. Probably loaded it a little too heavy (I'd bet 500+ lbs) bc I noticed the spot welds on the under gird popped in a few places after this use. Wasn't built to haul and dump full dirt loads. The Agri-fab 10 carry-all tailgate is very light constructed and bends too easily. I am going to structurally strengthen it later with angle some light angle iron. That'll give me a chance to use my Hobart 125EZ wire welder I got at TSC on clearance last year. Wire welding is different for me. I learned to weld on Forney and Lincoln 240 stick welders using mostly 6011 and 6013 rods. I must say, this little 110 wire feed welder is so much easier to start and hold a bead; and so darn versatile.
Another shot of my parade. I really like and have found so many uses for the carry-all. I do need to lengthen the 2 arms that pin to the lower hitch to give it more travel, but it works really well as it is. And thriller: fill it with dirt as below, drive up a small grade and you start wishin you had individual brakes to steer. The front tires just float or ride a couple of inches off the ground and steering with them is by chance. All in all I am just mystified by how these small garden tractors were engineered utility, strength, and reliability.
And finally, our street is an older small community that has organized activities on holidays including Independence Day. At 10am kids games are held in various yards and, at noon there is a pot luck lunch. Immediately after lunch we hold a pet and wheels parade. This year I opened festivities driving an American flag bearing Allis B210 to the beginning of the street and back to our drive at the end. Then, as families began leaving the gathering, I drove the flag tractor up the street and back to close. I know, I need a new flag!
Happy 4th of July SimpletrACtors.
I've been wanting a way to move dirt with my tractors since I got them. Building a loader isn't in the cards...yet. Simplicity however made a grader blade for their tractors that by all accounts works pretty well. I've been meaning to build something for a while anyway and since grader blades are pretty spendy for what they are (300 bucks or so), I decided to build my own!
I had an old plow blade laying around the garage that I decided to cut in half for the grader blade.
I also wanted to add some ripping capability with this thing, so I bought a swisher scarifier from Wal-mart for about 80 bucks.
Here is the frame I built...
And the plow mount...
There are three positions the grader blade can be in, centered, Right and left.
Here it is with the teeth on one side.
And finally, all together, and ready to mount to a tractor.
I used it on a test run over memorial day weekend. I had a nasty patch of my backyard left over from my barn construction project that was starting to be taken over by weeds. I tilled it in, then used the grader blade to level the ground back out. It worked BEAUTIFULLY...
I will get it painted some day...
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I've enjoyed taking some time off and working on the honey-do list and springtime chores, though both are never-ending. But, I thought it time to provide an update, since it is rainy, and I'm procrastinating going to the garage to work. In addition to updating the software with new releases, and monitoring my email for "I can't log in" types of things, I have added a few more things to the site:
1. In addition to the Leaderboard that came with a recent release of the core software, I've implemented a Top Contributors function. It shows the people who've posted the most content in specific areas, by week, month, year, etc. There's been discussions in the Executive Committee about possibly setting up a competition (similar to Tractor of the Month) to reward the top contributors. I also have a programmer looking at taking this module even farther in what it tracks and counts, should we decide to implement a competition.
2. Due to feedback on the member list that I was using, I had a custom one developed and implemented. There's still some issues with missing data, but the function seems to be working well, and the plug-in that catches missing mandatory info seems to be working;
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56722-new-member-list/
Here's a direct link to it, underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/mlist/
Note that the amount of information displayed depends upon your access level. Dues-paying members can see more information.
3. Also based upon requests, I implemented a Member Map that allows you to place a pin on a map identifying the city and state where you live. (Smart phones will give you the option of using your Location from the phone.) This could really be helpful in finding people locally who share a similar interest in these old machines. Like most things here, its usefulness depends on the amount of use by others -- and use is optional, since some people are reluctant to share too much information on the web.
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56732-member-map-added/
Here's a direct link to it, also underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/membermap/
Note that if there are multiple members in close proximity, it displays them in a round "cluster" with the number of pins within it shown. For example, the pic above shows 3 members located near Indianpolis IN. If you click on that round icon, it will zoom in and show the three individual pins on the map.
Then, if you click on any one of the pins, it will show the info on that member. Here's mine, for example:
Hopefully you can see the value of this, in trying to connect with others in the local area. Now, if only we can encourage more people to add themselves to the map.
4 Continuing on that same subject of connecting with other enthusiasts locally, I want to give a sneak preview of a core capability coming in the next major release of the software, due out sometime mid-late 2017. The new core IPS software will have the capability to create sub-groups and corresponding functions for "Clubs". Since this entire site is already dedicated to a specific club, this new capability will allow us to then create and support "chapters" within the club, and support those chapters with their own functions unique to them. Implementing chapters is totally up to us -- should we choose to do so -- but the core capability will be there. Since this club has always been about encouraging face-to-face meetings with others, there has been discussion of creating chapters since the club was initially formed. This next release of the software will fully support that -- should we choose to do so....
Here's a look at their default view of clubs (i.e. chapters) from their development/testing server:
As shown, each "chapter" could have its own banner for that area. It would also show a list of the subset of members that are in that chapter, and each chapter would have "leaders" that can act as moderators for this subgroup. (Anyone identified as admin or moderator for the entire site would still have their same access levels/capabilities within these subgroups.):
We can set this up to control access to these sub-areas or chapters. See the settings at the top of the list below. We can also set it up so these chapters can have their own content areas/capabilities from the list at the bottom -- each could have its own forum, gallery, downloads, blogs and calendars to handle their local activities. If these are set up as either open or public, all club members can see them.
Here's a glimpse of what those chapter sub-areas could look like:
I'm showing all this to prompt your thinking about the possible creation of club chapters, and to hear your thoughts...
5. Continuing with the sneak previews, the next major release of the software will also include many more small enhancements -- I'm not sure what all yet, since they are slowly providing previews. For example, instead of just the Like button, there will be other Reactions that can be provided for a piece of content, such as a topic or reply
Meanwhile, I need to get back to working on cleaning up the rest of the old Simple trACtors content and republishing it. I just wanted to provide an update on some of the recent changes and a preview of what's coming.
Let me know what you think of creating club chapters, please!
Gidday, this is me testing (myself) to see if I can create a blog!
My tractor came from a massive but neglected collection covering about 20 acres, of all sorts of farm equipment. The Simplicity looked very sorry but seems pretty well complete, except for parts of the engine - a Briggs 23D-FB. I will return to the property now I know what I am missing. I will be looking for a complete air cleaner, the starter motor and voltage regulator and the wiring. I need to find out exactly where the battery fits, and to buy the correct size battery.
I am in the process of dismantling everything, to clean up and to get sandblasted, in readiness for painting. Still to dismantle are: - steering wheel from steering column, grub screw proving difficult to loosen, may need to heat carefully without damaging the hand grips, - lift lever and shaft, will need heat to get apart, - transmission group, not anxious to touch yet, - differential, not anxious to touch yet, - bevel gear assembly, not anxious to touch yet. These latter parts will be considered after seeing how easily they turn etc, without too much slop.
Hood needs piece welded in where previous owner cut a hole for fuel tank lid. Need to find grill and grill side bars. Need to find decals/ornaments. Need cover for front PTO shaft.
Need a complete seat cushion.
Need to replace front wheel bearings etc.
Hello All, just a little announcement here for those of you who don't know that I have a YouTube channel covering Simplicity Garden Tractors be sure to check it out at:
Thanks for all the support! Have a great Day!
Even "close" as mine is, the variable is handy near obstacles so you don't have to slow engine down. Is not exact, but I imagine if it did not have a lot of the wear that these old units do, it was a step in the right direction before hydro's were produced in larger numbers.
Sounds like you need to put your front counterweight on the 3012......1 person likes this
5 hours ago, maxwood said:
Hello, I guess you 're not afraid of a long handle shovel!!!!
You're doing a great job, and as parade director .
Thanks Ken in MI
Long handle shovel will make you break a sweat! Didn't show my lawn chair under the tree where I took water breaks😓2 people like this
Ken, I saw a squirrel try to grab onto the pvc pipe yesterday. He slid off, slid down the galvanized pipe, and left. Grease is doing the job!
Hello, I guess you 're not afraid of a long handle shovel!!!!
You're doing a great job, and as parade director .
Thanks Ken in MI1 person likes this