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Poor Boy Mods: Brush Fork, Hitch and Ballast

1996 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  slkpk
Lacking funds, but having that dangerous mix of creative and ignorant, I've come up with a few attachments that I call Poor Boy mods.

I feel like the Harbor-Freight version of the iMatch hitch is essential to these, and apart from getting that you'll want to realize that the following is both dangerous and likely stupid.

1. Trailer hitch
Get a drawbar with holes and use the biggest grade 8 bolts and washers you can to attach it to a bolt on Class-III hitch. Flip the ball in the hitch post and use a chain to loop around the top hook and the ball post.

Tends to get stuck when trying to drop it out of the trailer, and not recommended for situations where the tongue would tend to go forward (braking) or up (loaded) as the hitch ball will spin up. Using the right size ball and locking the trailer will help, but I still wouldn't do this if I were you.

[Note I put the chain closer to the ball for use- it's slipped down in this photo: see below]

I originally had the bolt on hitch on the bottom of the drawbar but I had to flip it to make room for:

2. Ballast Box
I envy you fancy boys that can afford cement. This is made from the same drawbar, more chain and an offroad skidplate for a downsized Jeep Cherokee (XJ). I used some more grade 8 bolts, making sure they are long enough to allow the drawbar ends to clear the iMatch-type adapter and then added chains to support the outside edge. The hook ends would be better replaced or secured as they pop off, but it's generally not an issue unless you put the box on the ground (I was ripping out* juniper stumps with the FEL and the rig stayed together).

*That should be attempting to rip out. I gave up after one and cut them.

I can still move my trailer with this setup, but I took out the ballast:

3. Ballast
As many of these big and small river rocks as I can. I'd say I got about half the pile in there last time. I don't know what your fancy dancy math says about the weight, but it shore was more than nothin.

I've been looking on the craigslist for free weight machines to salvage the plate weights from them, but more often than not that particular items gets me dentist spam from Jamaica, so the search continues for some more "high brow" ballast.

4. Brush Forks
I had some T-shaped steel and 4x4 pieces of wood, the T-bar used to hang a garage door opener and was cut in half and the 4x4s were left by the previous owner of the property. So I basically cut a slot in the 4x4 and cut them to interference fit, er, I mean cut 'em tight.

Tip them in and pounded them back until the notch at the top hit, and the forks don't go nowhere 'cept sideways. Well that's a problem easily fixed if I ever get something to keep them from spinning (a longer 4x4 or another piece of steel and a few bolts- depends on what I come across).

For now they worked, and cleared a decent pile of brush from the danged juniper bushes:

I also used them to move my mower deck, but they proved to be less useful than direct chains from the FEL, namely because there isn't much on the ends to attach to, plus it's hard to see the tips past the FEL.

5. Pallet Jack
Basically the same thing I did for removing my top with the loaner, a couple of long boards put under the FEL with chain looping under them, sos the weight levers the board ends up into the bottom of the FEL. Same issue with laterial movement, and if you don't put some tension down they tend to bounce and shift back and forth when empty.

I bought some boards specifically for this and have moved a ~500lb pallet of stuff. Having grab hooks welded to the top would sure help, but for now hooking the chain in back works. No photos, but the idea is the same as this which I did with a loaner:

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Well, jage, welcome to the "git 'er done" club!
As long as you know your limitations you'll be fine. slkpk
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