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Electric Steering?

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There have been some discussions on power steering for compact tractors and usually centered around hydraulic power. Just wondering if anyone has tried electric actuator assist and what some of the issues might be.

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Did a Google on the subject and came up with this. [url][/url]http://www.atvscene.com/machines/yamaha/grizzly-07.html There is a video at the bottom of the page explaining how the Yamaha ATV steering works. For a small tractor a 12VDC linear actuator is what I had in mind but not sure how responsive it would be.

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Hi, This is kind of non related to your post, but the old Le Touneau earth moving scrapers (called Tournapulls) were all electric. They had a large Buda diesel (I believe the same engine as used in the Allis Chalmers HD21 crawlers later) driving a big generator. All of the wheels drove with electric motors as did all of the scraper functions and steering, which on modern scrapers are done with hydraulics. These units could be scary to run. A friend of mine used to operate one. According to him, these units killed a couple of operators when the king pin (pivot post on the tractor unit) broke and the torque on the wheels would pull the engine up and over backwards crushing the operator against the dashboard. Anyway the real part of this that I thought of was about the steering. The steering was controlled with a toggle switch. The operator just "bumped" the switch left of right to turn the unit. The steering motor steered the unit by a gear train on the pivot post or king pin. My friend said that once when he was running down a haul road at about 20 mph with the scraper bowl full of dirt he bumped the switch to correct the steering and the switch stuck and the power unit turned full 90 degrees to the right and right down over the bank of the haul road. He was lucky it wasn't on a high fill and the unit didn't roll over. He said these switch failures were not all that uncommon and when it happened it very quickly turned the tractor full right or full left as fast as it could be turned and this had injured and killed several people. I messed with one of these units about 35 years ago, and it was old then. I believe they were built in the 40s and 50s. The size of the wiring and the brushes and windings in the motors was unbelievable. They were the latest in technology when they were designed. But could be very scary. So much for this trivia. This and a buck can get you a cup of coffee. Al Eden

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I remember the Tournapulls and the electric steering now that you mention it. My brother worked for a contractor that had a couple of them. I recall being amazed that a little toggle switch could (on a good day) control these monsters. I wonder if some type of sensor could be attached to the existing steering on a tractor to operate an electric assist actuator?

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