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Submitted Article
When Push Comes to Shove
by Dave Patterson

When I was a “kid” (still am to a degree) about two I guess, my parents couldn’t find me one day. They were horrified (we lived by the railroad), my mother thought the worst: "He’s been run over by a train, he’s gone forever!" Where did they find me? Perched up on the seat of the tractor. I’d probably plowed about 3000 acres (in my head anyway) by the time they found me. This is where my love for tractors started and has only gotten worse in my tender 50 yrs on this “green planet”. I’m partial to the “orange”AC ones cuz that’s what we had and I restore to-day, but honestly love all colours. If it pushes/pulls/bellows black smoke or spins the wheels it’s cool in my books.

When I see one that excites me I say to myself…hey! Let me on that seat I’ll show you what she’ll do, .hook it on to something BIG and make that work! So hopefully you can see where I’m com’in from... I love tractors!

To the story:

One of my toys is a 1586 International FWA (believe it’s an ’81) and I use it in my security business for subsoiling cable (to bury various types of alarm and closed circuit television cables) . I fabricated the subsoiler from a ripper tooth from a backhoe and converted it to three point. (another story) Pull up the pictures I’ve sent in with the article and you’ll see what I think is one of the nicest 1586’s around. It looks “tough” and pulls like a train, has a few more than it’s advertised 161 horses! I also use the tractor in the winter for snow removal, not a lot, but, do it for a company that I do alarm work for if their equipment is busy. To do that I had purchased a 9’ dozer blade (J.D. overstock) from a farm dealer some years ago and refabricated it to fit on the front of my 7000 Allis. Did it work good? Too good! When you mount something like that on the front of a tractor with 110 horse, there are forces exerted that can play havoc with your machine if it isn’t engineered right. (You’ll read about the havoc further on) Man! that thing would push for what it was, and it was only a two wheeler…

I had the tractor for about 6-7 yrs and used it to subsoil and as a loader tractor, but up here in Ontario Canada we have a heavy clay that requires not just horsepower, the 7000 had lots thanks to my good friend John Wilkerson of St Clair Wilkerson Agco dealer in Woodstock…but with the subsoiler it was difficult to get it to the ground…it had 20.8 x 38’s loaded with calcium and 1000# rear wheel weights to boot (it weighed in @15, 000lbs), but still not enough grab! So one day as I was driving through Jarvis, I noticed the 1586 FWA, the rest is history. When I mounted the blade on the front of the 7000, I made the mistake of building the frame from the center of the tractor only. I didn’t tie it in to the rear axles.

Lesson1 - DON’T DO THIS!

I felt we had ample strength in our frame to support the blade and the “push”exerted by the tractor. Welllll, the tractor would push so hard that it would cause the engine side frame rails to to twist and torque to the point of destroying the gasket between the block and timing covers and the tractor would start to leak oil. I went to the trouble of changing them once, thinking that it couldn’t be from pushing (just couldn’t be) that frame was well built it just couldn’t twist that much, could it?????? WRONG! It could be and it was! So with this mistake in mind, things were gonna change if I ever did that again.

A little blade history here:

After trading in the 7000 for the 1586, I decided to convert the blade (which we had put a 4”x 16” cylinder on for angling purposes) to a three point rear mount. This we did for the 98-99 winter season. The winter here was relatively kind, however;we had piles of snow for the month of January. I don’t have to tell the people that know, that using a rear blade to move snow will take the neck out of you in short order. Again; when I was a teenager, I used to go to town in the 60’s on my D14 and “Snap Coupler” 6’ blade and clean driveways all day and come home with $150.00 in my pocket thinking I was billionaire Bill Gates. I was young and my neck could take it, but to-day it’s a whole ‘nother story!

With the blade on the back of the 1586 it pushed scary amounts of whatever, ”Rick” the mechanic at O’Neil’s farm equipment in Binbrook where it is serviced was impressed with what it would move. On the front they push even more! I will make this statement : “A rubber tired tractor with a front blade or loader on hard ground will push more than a tracked machine of like size/weight on a hardpacked surface, however; on wet ground the reciprocal is true! Boils down to lbs/sq.in.

Spring of ’99 came, then summer, now Fall. Time flies... how does the saying go? ”When you’re a kid, the days go by like years, when you’re old the years go by like days”. Man it seems like that. Oh well! I mulled things over in my mind…what the heck..I’ll just leave the blade as a rear mount I thought, and thought, but the winter of 98-99 changed that. My neck would never be the same! I’ll never look backwards again, less I run over someth’in... haha!

With the memories of “neck spasms” fresh in my mind, I made a call. Hello!…..“Doctor John ? It’s time", I said. ”Push has come to Shove”

Whaddya wanna do now, John said. We’ve done many many projects together and I’ve heard that line many times before. "Let’s mount that dozer blade on front of the 1586. Think we can ??" I said. (I’ve never heard the man say No). " Sure… when do you expect it back." he said. "When it’s don,e Johnny.", I said. (He does his best work when he’s not rushed and can sit there and dream about it). His shop isn’t the biggest but he is swamped with work because of his excellent work and very reasonable price. So, in the next few paragraphs and with a few pictures I will share with you what transpired over a period of about a month.

Note*** I am not saying this is the only way to do it…this is simply the way we did it. If we can help you by seeing what we did then that’s great, like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. There’s always a better way so to speak, we realize that but it’s fun sharing the experience with you.

I am an IBEW Local 804 electrician by trade who started and own a company called Big Dog Security Systems Inc. I was brought up on the farm and when I started in construction in late 60’s I ended up travelling all over Canada looking after jobs for various contractors in the pipeline industry. I started Big Dog in May/93 and never looked back. John and his father owned a large Sod Co. and John used to fabricate and repair equipment for their Co. These are our credentials... No Engineering degrees or PHD’s here! Only degrees we have are from the School of Hard Knocks!

OK, the start. Set your blade up so it is level and the proper distance from the tractor…do it by means of blocks…stand back and visualize what you are going to mount on the tractor that the blade will attach to….in this case we used a piece of ½” plate, cut out in the appropriate areas to use the existing bolts. Remember it must be removable! Your blade must be level when pushing! The pins you use must take the strain. Now, we must strengthen the plate by means of flatbar as seen and drill holes for the mounting pins….I know you’re thinking..Why did he make the flatbar so far apart at the pins… reason….. easier to attach… there are spacers to keep plow from shifting back and forth. This allows us to center the blade perfectly when done, by means of the spacers on pins.
Next step, build a bracket for the plate to butt up against so when you push..you won, t bend the plate cuz a tractor of this size/weight will bend ½” plate like a pop can. Pick up the strength from your frame rails and fab a gusset as seen to extend down to bottom of your mounting plate. You could make this bracket (front mount and brace as one piece, but you would need a loader tractor to pick it up) so we opted to make pieces you could manage to lift by yourself. Note** The 2” x 6” rectangular tube coming from rear axle. I learned my lesson on the 7000. Here’s a look at the right side. Note the angle welded to the 2” x 6” tube, but bolted to the side frame rail. Removable remember?
Here’s left side early on. Pick up all existing bolts for strength if possible. Note the little catwalk and yes, the 2 x 6 curls around the battery box and butts against the rear axle. Right side before any bracing.
This is what it looked like when we stood back. (Right Side) Note the bracket for the lift cylinders started. Heres a shot of rear axle brace plate. You could use U-bolts instead of two plates if you so choose. We had trouble getting them made up for such a wide spread so went this route instead. The bolt holes are spaced exactly the right distance apart to prevent them from shifting under the strain.
Heres a shot of the little extras you can do if you want. Somewhere to stand when you wipe down the cab glass. When you’re old and fat, it makes things easier... lol! OK, now we have to strengthen that front mounting bracket for the lift cylinders. As you can see, we chose to use a 21/2” x 21/2” sq. tube. We didn’t want to restrict alternator adjustment, hence; the stagger in this right side brace.
Pic shows right side brace and cross brace. Now all that’s left is the vertical brace from front push plate to lift bracket. We didn’t have to stagger this side brace. Pic shows gussets made for yoke on blade. I used 3” x 16” cylinders for up/down on blade. I used a 4” x 16” for angling purposes. Both provide ample hydraulic power. When you position cylinders for lifting…..remember to allow enough cylinder travel to give you movement down for stripping soil or for exerting down pressure. I left about 41/2” travel. We made up this yoke approx. 6-7 yrs ago.Blade of course pivots in center
Different view of angling ram. One time I got 7000 stuck but had the blade against something solid, I hit the remote to angle the blade and it shoved the whole unit sideways and I was able to work myself out, the power of hydraulics is amazing. What it looked like from the front minus a couple brackets and paint. Blade is 36” high. Weighs about 1200 lbs. Time for plumbing, hoses will be fed from rear remotes. The tractor has three.
Friend ‘Kev’ splashing on the IH 2150 Red We ended up painting the whole rig, there’s no way to match old paint to new! Pic shows the lift bracket completed, oh what a little paint can do! With all the red paint it’s hard to see that we tied the upper part of the lift bracket to the main frame.
Our nifty little catwalk. They’re hard to see, but, the expanded metal (mesh) is bolted to tubing to allow removal of batteries from under the steps. Both sides are the same. Pic shows the front mounting plate finished. Every piece that we fabricated is removable by unbolting from the tractor.
Left side done. Right Side done.
Picture of the rear meats, 30.5 x 32’s, They work well! Came stock on this tractor from factory. Tractor with blade attached will tip scales at approx. 21, 000lbs. Front tires not loaded. Here he is “Doctor John” who performs the impossible on a regular basis. This pic taken a few minutes before “Miller time”

Well, there you have it. I don’t know if it helped anyone and hope I haven’t bored you. We had fun scratching our heads and coming up with ideas. Now all I have to do is take it out and see if it works... I know it will! If anybody’s interested I’ll take some pics when I’m working it and post them on this site if they’ll let me. Again I hope I haven’t bored you and if you enjoyed the article, let me know cuz I have another project I’m doing: restoration of a ’54 WD-45 Allis. I have been taking pics along the way and done some neat things to it. If anyone is interested, I’ll do an article on it.

Thanks for your time!

Sincerely---Dave Patterson---
bigdog@worldchat.com
Big Dog Security Systems Inc.

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