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Brian Stahl built his firefighting system in three to four days at a cost of $100. He estimates that the pump can spray water 25' to 35'. Along with a team of farmers from a Hutterite Colony, Brian grows wheat, chickpeas, sunflowers, safflower and barley.
Firefighting Grain Cart
Last year my cousin had a fire in his combine. To prepare for the worst, I built a firefighting setup on my grain cart. I mounted a 165-gal. water tank on two 8" C channel platforms, which are bolted to the cart and secured with two safety chains. I steadied the tank on the platform with ratchet tie-downs. I added a pump from an old Flexicoil sprayer and a 75' hose with a standard fire hose nozzle. The pump is powered by two hydraulic hoses attached to the tractor—one hose goes to the pump on the grain cart, and the other hose goes from the pump back to the tractor.
Weld a collar onto a hay spear so you can pull out unwanted bushes after setting out hay bales in the winter time. I used old ¾"x2½" chisel shanks to go all the way through the 4" square tubing. The side plates are made from 3⁄8" plating and are attached to the shanks for additional strength and to help grab the crown of a bush. I have found the rake cleans itself, so I never have to get off my tractor to do that.
Recycled Baler Belts for Cattle Pens
Most ranchers know that keeping cattle moving in a loading chute is necessary to get the job done in a timely manner. I used some old baler belts as blinders to help keep my cattle from getting spooked in my new corral and load-out chute. Weave your old belts and bolt to posts where necessary.
To submit your unpublished idea, which must include a description, photo or sketch, address and phone number, write to $100 Ideas, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421,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.
- December 2013