I had salvaged the rear end off of a ride on mower. Its wide wheels appeared perfect to upgrade the mobility of our Bearcat wood chipper shredder (model #70085). Lessons learned along the way.
I had given the task to a local welder who is well skilled in welding and fabrication. He did everything I told him to do and even more. Problem is I might have not put enough thought into what I told him to do.
It starts with the small stand as shown above. While it is well balanced as the chipper now sits, if the blower attachment is mounted to the rear of the chipper, it makes the entire unit back heavy. Resulting in the tow bar rising up into the air. So either a longer tow bar is needed, or move the axle further to the rear of the chipper. The latter will probably occur when it comes time to build version 2.
Below is the rear of the chipper with the blower not attached.
Another issue was the additional of another ball hitch to the rear, shown above and below where its been cut off. With it in place I could not mount the blower unit.
With the pictures above and below you get an idea of what the welder came up with for the axle. a 3/4 inch diameter steel bar passing through a 1 inch square tubing. The thing about the wheels which I quickly learned after it was all done, is that the rear tires of the ride on mower turn with the axle. Not independent of the axle. For this type of trailer, the wheels should turn independently, so that means a tire/rim with a bearing. The wires and axle were welded together as one solid axle. It might of worked except for some reason the axle after 4-5 rotations would squeak and then seize up. I’m guessing the axle is not quite straight. So this has to be re-done. I’ve ordered turf tires from Princess Auto that have a 5/8″ bore, rated about 350 lb, combined it should easily carry the weight of this chipper.
Or, use the current setup with some sort of setup with pillow block bearings (or something similar). Global Industries has a selection of bearings but I’m not sure which ones will do the job. I was thinking of 2 of these bearings bolted to the underside of the chipper housing. and pass the axle through the bearings.
Its a work in progress.