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4WD Cadtrac


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#1 projectnut OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 07:52 AM

The Cadtrac is a 4wd articulating end loader about the size of a skid steer. It's a home built machine that can be customized by the builder to fit a specific need or be built with parts on hand. Basic plans can be purchased from www.cadplans.com. You can either source your own components or buy a kit. Since I intended to make my own version of the machine I sourced my own steel and components. It took almost 6 months to source all the pieces and parts necessary. This time was in addition to the original basic build time.

I bought a set of plans in 2002 and after reviewing them thoroughly I decided I liked the concept but thought I could make something more substantial that would fit my personal needs better. The original build took about 3 years working in building sessions between travel for work, responsibilities around the house, and family time. Once the initilal build was complete I decided to make some accessories. Over the last few years I've made a set of forks, a plow (modified from a Woods 60" rear scraper blade), and a log splitter. Ive also added a winch for pulling logs or getting out of the mud

The machine I built is powered by a 22hp Kawasaki 2 cylnder water cooled engine. The engine runs a 25 gpm hydraulic pump which in turn powers a hydraulic motor at each wheel. It has hydraulic steering and all the lift and tilt functions of a commercial loader. It travels at a max speed of about 6 mph, and can carry a load of around 800 lbs in the 7 cu ft bucket.

Attached are a few pictures of the machine and some of it's accessories. If anyone is interested in building one I'll be happy to answer any questions I can.

Attached Thumbnails

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#2 Chuck_050382 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 08:45 AM

Thats a cool machine, Thanks for sharing with us.

#3 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 09:25 AM

Very cool machine

#4 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 09:40 AM

Wow, That is Really Cool!

#5 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for posting that PN. I know all the guys here would love to have one of those.....myself included!

#6 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 03:29 PM

Thanks for posting the pics! That's looks like a very useful unit! Do you have a rough $ figure that you'd say you have in it?

#7 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 03, 2011 - 04:08 PM

Nice piece of equipment. Seems very versatile. Thanks for the info and pics.

#8 projectnut OFFLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2011 - 09:09 AM

Thanks for posting the pics! That's looks like a very useful unit! Do you have a rough $ figure that you'd say you have in it?


I don't remember the exact amount it cost to build, but if memory serves correctly it was in the $5,000.00 to $6,000.00 range for the machine and all the accessories. A complete kit from Metkit (owned by Cad plans) currently sells for $11,782. Mine was built with all new steel and components (valves, pump, engine, hydraulic motors, etc, etc). If you're patient you can probably source some used parts and save a considerable amount of money.

Along with the parts there's probably about 2,000 hours in design and fabrication. Cad Plans estimates you can assemble it from kit form in around 40 hrs. If you look at the Cadtrac 1500 on the Cad plans site you'll see there is a considerable difference between the machines.

I wanted a dedicated machine that could actually lift some weight. That took some design and material changes. The original machine weighed in at 1,300 lbs. Mine tips the scales at a little over 4,000 lbs. They've upped the weight of the newer ones to 1,600 lbs but they're still pretty light.

#9 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2011 - 09:12 AM

Yes PN, as I remember, 5 to 6 grand was what you said it cost you to build back when you first finished it. How bout posting some of that video you have of it in action?

#10 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2011 - 06:58 PM

Nice piece of equipment! :dancingbanana:

Thanks for sharing the pics

#11 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2011 - 12:14 AM

That is one heck of a neat machine, thanks for sharing your experience.

#12 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2011 - 04:30 AM

Wow,really cool machine.

#13 mjay OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2011 - 03:14 PM

Hi PN,

this is a blast from the past, I remember wathcing you build this way back over on machine builders.

Have you painted it yet?

Mith

#14 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2011 - 07:21 AM

Nice build !! How does it do over dips and gullies ? Al

#15 projectnut OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2011 - 05:22 PM

mjay, did you really have to bring up the paint thing? Let's say I'm still working on it. Somehow every time I think "I'll just take a few things off and shoot a coat of paint" I find something that I just have to use it for. Mind you I'm not a procrastinator, I'll get to it some day --- maybe.

Alc, I find the machine is plenty stable on all sorts of terrain if you don't get carried away. It goes up and down hills fine you just have to be careful when going over the crest. Too much speed with a full bucket and the back end gets a bit light. The first time I used it I didn't have any rear weights. I went over a little rise and the back end went in the air. After I changed my shorts I decided to take smaller bucket loads and travel at slower speeds. I now have the capability of adding up to 500 lbs of weight on the rack and rear wheels.

The first real workout it got was on a volunteer day for work. We went to the local Girl Scout camp and spread about 30 yards of crushed limestone on a trail that went from the main campground to the lake. The trail was just a little wider than the machine and probably a quarter mile long. I would guess the rise to be 100 feet or so with plenty of twists and turns. I spent from 7:30 am to around 4:00 pm (with 1/2 an hour off for lunch) going up and down the trail bucket full after bucket full. Finally the last hour or so one of the guys came along with a dump trailer behind a small tractor. It was a whole lot easier to fill the trailer with 3 or 4 scoops than to take each individual scoop up the trail.

The machine hasn't had much of a workout since the snow melted. I used to use it to haul and spread mulch, gather brush, and all sorts of other yard work. A little over a year ago we put in a new lawn. It's still so soft I can't use the tractor or the Cadtrac on it yet. This year I spread 24 yards of mulch with a wheelbarrow and mow the lawn every 4 days with a walk behind mower. About the only run time its gotten this year is once a month around the block (about a mile) just to keep everything working. The neighbors think I'm either nuts or bored to death. Come to think of it, could be both.
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