Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

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Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:36 pm

So, I'm tired of pushing 100 lbs of loaded spreader up my front hill. I've been using an Agri-Fab "walk behind" which has been a wonderful machine with nice big pneumatic tires, but its just too much work with steep hills (and this was an excuse for another project :D ). The Agri-Fab was shipped off to my parents where the yard is relatively flat and will be an upgrade from the plastic-fantastic Scotts spreader that is there. A win-win...

Looked at the Agri-Fab and other competitors tow behind units, but even bigger to store when not in use, and all the negatives of a trailer when spreading. Then got to looking at the various electric spreaders... Most of them were similar, intended to be mounted on an ATV, but seemed to be Chinesey and of questionable quality. Along with the other uncertain quality units, I happened upon a "Fimco" brand electric spreader, which looked to be USA made. They make various models including a Cat 1 hitch model, but the ATV model they had was the right size. The Cat 1 model was just too big, with a big price tag to go with it.

The Fimco ATV model was around $300 with shipping at various interweb sites, but got it to my door for $280 through Jet.com with a coupon they had. Picture, as out of the box...

Fimco, as-built.JPG

So, the critical part, mounting the unit. As built, it was designed to be bolted to an ATV cargo rack. The supplied brackets are very sturdy 1/4" steel which is mostly flat with a small turned up vertical leg for added strength against bending. The take-away here is that there wasn't anyplace to mount the lower Cat 0 hitch pins.

Fimco, back with mounting rails.JPG
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1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:18 am

A secondary issue was that the unit didn't have any support legs and rested right on it's own motor when not mounted to anything. So, now two goals; needed proper Cat 0 mounting, and a proper way to be stored...

Starting with the lower mounts... I took some risk ordering this without any dimensions for the supplied mounts. Nothing would have been impossible, but I got very lucky; the supplied mounts were the perfect width apart and provided a good spreader mounting height. Simply needed a way to mount the lower hitch pins.

I took the supplied brackets and cut them to length, then welded a piece of 1/4" x 2" angle overlapping the supplied horizontal mounting area. Pic of completed bracket with the added angle drilled for the lower Cat 0 pins:

Lower mounts, welded and drilled.JPG

And here they are as installed:

Lower hitch mounts, test fitting.JPG
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2135, (at parent's)
1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:37 am

For the top link, all I had to connect to was the tubing support for the spreader tub. I found these very nice and thick tubing brackets from McMaster-Carr (1/8" thick):

Tubing brackets.JPG

I used a piece of 3/16" x 2" angle to span the two tubes and welded some vertical plates in for the top link. I had to clearance the one side for the gate control rod, which I also left long to mount the speed controller for the motor. This pic is after paint and installed:

Top link mount.JPG
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2135, (at parent's)
1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:05 am

With the Cat 0 mount complete, I made some simple legs drilled for caster wheels. While my Cat 0 mount is very substantial, the support legs are on the light side. I wanted to keep the weight down so it wasn't too terrible to pick up if needed. The support legs are only intended for when it is empty in storage. Since I am so short on storage space, wheels are always a good thing, better than lifting it when scooting out of the way in the shed. The legs are made from old bed frame angle, which are only 0.100" x 1.25". My only pic of the legs during the build is this one that shows all the parts I made:

All parts, Cat 0 and legs.JPG

Here it is upside down with all the parts, including the legs/support carriage painted and installed:

Flipped, hitch side.JPG

And finished pics:

Upright, hitch side.JPG

Upright, spreading side.JPG

The spinner guard was a pale "JD yellow" out of the box, so that got corrected to Cub yellow while I was painting everything else. I might get to try it Easter Day, will have to see.

Happy Easter Everyone!
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2135, (at parent's)
1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby 9803412 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:33 am

Nice conversion! Let us know how it works. I may copy your design, I have the same issues with my property. :beer:
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby dag1450 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:16 pm

Looks great. On the top link bracket....Why did u extend the one side out past the shut off lever? I see u cut a nice notch but not sure why it keeps going...
Anyway should b fun to use....And will make all the pounds of lime very easy!!
:beer:
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby BigMike » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:43 am

Tom, wouldn't it have been easier to just has Dag ride around on the 3 pt......I hear he is pretty good at spreading fertilizer :lol:

Nice set up on the spreader!
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby ReicheP » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:00 am

Nice job!
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:22 pm

Thanks, guys. Ok, gotta start with the "housekeeping" first...
dag1450 wrote:I'm sure you explain this with your words, but I'm dag and mostly just like pictures and shiny objects. So anyway, why did u extend the one side out past the shut off lever? I see u cut a nice notch but not sure why it keeps going...

Tom Scott wrote:I know dag will ask about this later, so here is the expanation for the below pic, then you will read it again when dag asks: I used a piece of 3/16" x 2" angle to span the two tubes and welded some vertical plates in for the top link. I had to clearance the one side for the gate control rod, which I also left long to mount the speed controller for the motor.

I haven't yet showed it with the speed controller. More coming.

Mike, as you know the "fertilizer" dag spreads tends to be of low quality and sometimes stinks pretty bad. I'm better off without... :lol:

And finally, Sam: Get your wallet out! I used it tonight and it is really very nice. I plan on updating this properly soon (and yes dag, there will be pics!). :lol:
2135, (at parent's)
1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby dag1450 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:54 pm

Oops....My bad. :shock:
I knew there was a reason :oops:
B.M. ...I know u r but what am I.... :cry:
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby dag1450 » Mon May 01, 2017 3:27 pm

Mike..I think "mother hen" dont want this egg anymore cause u touched it! See.....i told u he's kinda finicky about his threads...... :roll:
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby Tom Scott » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:27 pm

Man, until I saw dag taunting me on another thread, I forgot that I never followed up with "as installed" pics. Like I said, it worked great, I am really glad I did this. So much easier than pushing the walk behind spreader up a steep hill. Pics are from May, I just forgot to post them...

First, as installed on the hitch, after using for first time:

Spreader on 2182-1 Cat 0 hitch.JPG

Speed controller is very easy to reach while operating. The dial for the speed controls the swath width. The toggle is your on/off switch. The "L" handle above the speed controller operates the gate. While using you only really operate the gate at the end of each row. There is no reason to turn the motor on and off while turning around for the next pass.

View of speed controller from seat.JPG

50 lbs of fertilizer in the hopper with probably enough room for another bag. Motor was strong and spun with no problem, and spread an incredibly wide path, it really can do the advertised 45' swath.

50 lbs of fertilizer in hopper.JPG

After spreading, very little is left behind. Gate is stainless steel. Initially I was disappointed that there wasn't an agitator on the motor shaft, but it truly didn't need it. The shaft has a hole to install a piece of wire or clip as an agitator, but now I see there is no reason to put that drag on the motor. The hopper is smooth without any ledges for fertilizer or seed to get hung up on.

Hopper after spreading.JPG

And, just for dag, the speed controller has an LED light! dag is a sucker for lights!

Speed controller, LED light!.JPG

So, if you're on the fence about getting an electric spreader, I say go for it. Very pleased with the end result!
:beer:
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2135, (at parent's)
1872, 46", 50C decks, Haban dozer blade, 450 snow blower
2182-1, Kwik-Way Loader, 3-pt & rear pto, 442 tiller
2182-2, 54" deck, 551 snow blower
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Tom Scott
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby dag1450 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:55 pm

Looks very nice. The single light is ok....(lame). should have more though. Like a green when the Hopper door is open...and red when closed. Bring it up here....I can help u complete the build. :lol:
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Re: Cat 0 Electric Spreader build

Postby JMotuzick » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:17 am

Nice finished product, just remember to clean out the rear end of that tractor very well after each use. I bought a wide frame once it was used on a golf course to spread fertilizer. The cast-iron rear end was rotted through… needless to say I parted it out
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