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Old 04-03-2012, 09:58 AM
drweaser drweaser is offline
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Default Building Cultipacker for ATV - Lots of questions

I have read through various posts here and elsewhere about DIY cultipackers to pull behind an ATV. I have acquired most of the parts and have a friend at our hunt club that is willing to build the frame and put everything together, but I need to draw up some plans for him. I am a Ph.D. Analytical Chemist, but might as well be a kindergartener when it comes to mechanical stuff - I just need some people to make sure I am thinking through this correctly.

It looks like most people are using 2" square tube for the frame is that correct? I am trying to calculate how large the inside of the frame should be - here are my assumptions:

I purchased 22 of the 9" packer wheels which are 2.25" wide so about 49.5" of wheel width. How much space/gap should I leave between so they don't bind, etc.? I was think about 1/16" on average - so another 1 5/16". What about on the ends - maybe another 1/4" each so 1/2" ?

That would give me a total of 51 5/16" inside the frame. Maybe make it 51.5" or 52" to keep it simple.

I have 2 pillow block bearings (made in USA, bought off eBay Fafnir is the brand if I remember correctly). These are 1 3/4" diameter and come with some locking collars.

How deep do the "arms" of the frame need to be? Looking at pics online, it looks like they may be about 16" long with the center of the axle maybe 6" from the the back. Should the travel wheels be further back or in front of the packer wheels? Should I get solid rubber wheels or air filled - does it matter? Should they be fixed or swivel?

How long does the shaft/axle need to be? I assume you start with the inside frame dimension, add 2" for each piece of frame plus some additional for the little lock collars to have plenty to bite on, so maybe 57 - 58", maybe just go ahead and make it 5' so it will be easier - a little extra sticking out the end should not matter I would think?

How long does the tongue piece need to be to avoid hitting the tires etc.? I think I am just going to hook to the ATV with a simple pin, so I just a couple of pieces of flat iron with a hole though for the pin.

In some pics I see some angle piece from the tongue and in the corners - it some it looks like angle iron, some just looks like flat bar. I guess the angle would be stronger?

Anything else I need to think about as I draw up these plans?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I will try to draw these up and post them back for others to use as well.

Matt
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:04 PM
wango tango wango tango is offline
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before you get too carried away, take a look at the 'packermaxx'. its very affordable, heavier than iron and readily available at farm stores.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:33 PM
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brutejman brutejman is offline
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As long as he's already purchased some of the materials, might as well keep going. I will be a good learning experience.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:37 PM
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http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthrea...ht=cultipacker

Heres another one to get some ideas from that I have.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:44 PM
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grundsow grundsow is offline
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Although I havenít read up on what others are doing for DIY cultipackers, Iím a mechanical designer by day and an ATV cultipacker is on my home to-do list.

One thing I see right away is a 1/16Ē gap next to each packer wheel sounds reasonable at first, but in a scenario where you have 22 packer wheels packed tight against one another, that leaves 1.32Ē of play (1/16Ēx22) at the end of the stack. Iím no farmer, but that sounds like excessive play to me. Since you donít really know the high/low tolerance on the packer wheel width, Iíd physically measure the entire stack altogether then add maybe 1/2Ē at most for total clearance.

Better yet, stay with the 1.32Ē of clearance but design-in some method to adjust it, that way you canít go wrong. Plus, if over time side wear or replaced/repaired wheels cause unforeseen problems, then you can always adjust to take up the slack. Some concepts that come to mind: If you canít get washers in a large enough diameter to fit the packer axle, you could instead bolt a stack of plates to the frame, or somehow make a plate thatís moveable with jack screws. Or simply mount the bearings on a bracket that can be moved in or out to take up the slack.

I would place the travel wheels (non-swivel) directly over or behind the packer wheels so the tongue is not constantly lifting up on the hitch. For an implement used once a year, non-pneumatic tires would avoid the need to air-up and/or make repairs right at the same time youíre eager to plant. A short tongue will make the implement easier to store, but more difficult to direct when backing-up in reverse. And finally, on the end of the tongue I would make a mouth to capture the hitch, not just a flat, so when the tongue is jarred up, the ATV hitch takes the abuse, not the pin. Oh, and build the mouth probably 2-3 times as strong as you think it needs to be, preferable without welds that may break.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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Agrantina Agrantina is offline
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your spacing between the wheels sounds about right- remember the wheels will spin on the shaft and the shaft will also spin.

Width on mine was about 16- but I can say for sure as I didnt write it all down. I mounted my travel wheels on top so I could flip it over and pull it. Now this does come into play when you try and flip this over with the cultpacker wheels on top- lots of weight there and once you rotate the tug over and get the rubber wheels hitting the ground it takes some strength to flip the packer wheels up! so the taller it is the harder it is to flip over. (make sense??) I attached to pics of mine- I have since sold it and made a 3pt hitch one. I used rubber wheels rated at 500lbs each (northern tool wheels) not solid ones. After this pic I did add two side braces to the tongue (in red) I did use a small peice of tubing for a spacer between the packer wheel and bearing to keep the wheels from banging against the bearings. Dont know if it helped but I put it in anyway.. Hope this helps..

AndyG
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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forgot the other pic..

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:41 PM
drweaser drweaser is offline
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Thanks for the help and additional pics of your setups. I have drawn up some plans and will talk with my metal worker during the lunch break hunting turkeys this weekend. Between all the pics I have gotten here and my drawings hopefully he can figure it all out!

Matt
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:53 PM
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I have one suggestion. Instead of a pin type hitch I'd go with a ball coupler. The biggest advantage of a ball coupler is it is tight. A pin type will rattle and wear. Everything I pull behind my ATV has been switched from a pin to ball coupler. But this is just my opinion. Post a pick when it done.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:45 PM
drweaser drweaser is offline
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Got the cultipacker finished. Several of the guys in my hunt club work at metal fab shops, so this was not much of a challenge for them.......apparently my crude attempt at a drawing for them to work from provided much amusement at the shop. Pics from this site helped a lot.

Pulls easily behind by 375 Arctic Cat ATV. Hope to put it to work next week on summer plots once turkey season ends.

Here are some pics, I will upload some final measurements once I get a chance to measure and draw everything out.

Thanks to everyone who provided comments!


http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/63250...acker?h=326c4f
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