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Share your unpublished ideas and join our $100 Ideas Club. The Double Your Money winner receives $200. Other farmers featured receive $100 each. All 2013 $100 Ideas winners are entered to win a free trip to the 2014 Miller Welding University and secondary prizes.
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Jeff and his father, Jerry, worked together to create their combine lift to make getting into the combine easier. It took seven to 10 days to develop the concept and build the steel lift. Total cost was about $800. The Meckstroths raise corn, soybeans and wheat and enjoy tackling all kinds of projects in their farm shop.
Out With the Ladder, In With a Lift
It is difficult for my father to climb the combine ladder, but he still loves to ride in and drive the combine. So we fabricated a steel lift and attached it in place of the ladder using six bolts. A 5,000-lb. winch, which can support two people, is wired into the electrical system of the combine and operated by an on/off switch similar to a remote control. The lift pivots in the same place as the ladder, so if you need to work on the tire, you can swing the lift out of the way.
Battery Gang Charger
To clean up the clutter on my work bench, I built a rolling cart that accommodates an automatic four-battery gang charger. The cart is 2' deep by 3' wide and is made from ¾" OSB and 2x4s. I used four heavy-duty casters that I salvaged from a rolling toolbox for the rollers. Thanks to the portable cart, I can keep the batteries beside the
machine to charge or test a battery without completely removing it. When not in use, the battery cables clamp onto the non-conductive OSB.
I got tired of getting in and out of my tractor to adjust the depth on our "buster" cultivator toolbar. So I replaced the hand cranks with hydraulic cylinders and installed hydraulic stop blocks in the hydraulic lines to keep the cylinders from creeping.
I also installed restrictors in the hydraulic lines to prevent overadjustments. Now I can adjust the depth while on the go.
To submit your unpublished idea, which must include a description, photo or sketch, address and phone number, write to $100 Ideas, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421; e-mail $100-Ideas@farmjournal.com; or fill out the entry form at www.farmjournal.com/enter_100_ideas. Winners receive a hat and a check. All published material becomes Farm Journal Media property.