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1950's Hedlund pickle picker


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#1 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted April 27, 2010 - 09:20 PM

I'm not quite sure which forum to post this in but if it's wrong let me know. This is the current project that I am working on restoring. It is a factory built, 2 person pickle or cucumber picker. They were built in Boyceville Wisconsin starting in 1953 by the Hedlund manufacturing company. Hedlund made other farm equipment like barn cleaners. It is self propelled, moving at a very slow pace. The front wheel drove the unit along, the rear wheels were on the outside of 2 rows of pickles. The people laid down on the two boards and were over the rows. The pickers would then pick and throw the cucumbers/pickles into the little hopper at the bottom of the elevator. The elevator was driven by the right rear tire and would lift the cucumbers up the elevator into a gunney sack held in place by hooks on the steel ring behind the elevator.
The part that looks like a wagon handle attached to the front wheel self steered the unit. Most of the cucmbers were hilled up some and after running the picker through the field several times the front wheel would help make the trench deeper so it steered even better by itself. When they came to the end of a row one person would jump up, grab the handle and turn the unit around to start it down another two rows of pickles. Pickles were worth the most when they were small so the pickle patches were gone over often. Lots of small farms had a pickle patch in the 1950's and 1960's to earn a little extra money and give the kids something to do.
So far I have found an engine and mounted it to the rig. I have taken the whole unit apart for rebuilding and repainting. I have the main frame repainted, and the 2 small tires replaced. I have to rebuild and repaint the elevator yet, reinstall it and refinish the plywood boards.
I thought you guys might like seeing this some what different piece of farm equipment.

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#2 grand OFFLINE  

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Posted April 28, 2010 - 03:44 AM

That is quite an unusual piece of equipment! I'm glad to see that somebody is saving another piece from the past.

#3 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 28, 2010 - 04:36 AM

That is quite an unusual piece of equipment! I'm glad to see that somebody is saving another piece from the past.

:ditto:

#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted April 28, 2010 - 05:06 AM

That is an unusual piece of equipment and it is nice to hear the story behind them as well. My neck hurts just thinking about laying on one of those boards on my belly and having to hold my head up LOL

#5 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 28, 2010 - 05:27 AM

:ditto:


Double Ditto! :ditto: :ditto:

Nice peice of equipment!

#6 Bill56 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 28, 2010 - 06:48 AM

That is an unusual piece of equipment and it is nice to hear the story behind them as well. My neck hurts just thinking about laying on one of those boards on my belly and having to hold my head up LOL


:ditto: Thanks for sharing the pictures and story!

#7 kwj427 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2010 - 05:38 PM

hi all,
do you think that was pulled by a big tractor, or garden tractor?
thanks kenny

#8 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2010 - 06:20 PM

hi all,
do you think that was pulled by a big tractor, or garden tractor?
thanks kenny


Kenny if I am not mistaken I think it is self propelled.

#9 AcreFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2010 - 06:29 PM

From the pics, I would think it was pulled by something and the front tire provided power to the 90° gearbox.
:confuse: I really don't know, but what ever it is... it's neat & would be a good addition to anyone's collection.

#10 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2010 - 08:58 PM

The pickle picker is self propelled. The engine sits on the platform on the front wheel and drives the worm gear box. It goes very slowly over the cucumber vines so the riders can pick the cucumbers. I found out today that one of the hedlund family who had the company that built these is still alive and lives only 20 some miles away. I called the guy this afternoon to ask him if there was any literature or pictures of these left so I could find out what the hedlund decal looked like. He said he might have some info left and he would send it to me! I invited him to our show in June if he wanted to see this one restored. He sounded interested and said he would try to be here. That would be kind of cool to have him come down. This pickle picker project has turned out to be a lot of fun. I have had lots of people stop by my garage while I am working on it and talk about it and most of them rode one of these as kids and helped pick pickles. I got the elevator assembly sanded, primed, and painted today. Tomorrow I stop at the John Deere dealer to get a new belt cut and spliced and then I have to rivet all the flights on the belt and install that into the elevator.
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#11 dstaggs OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2010 - 09:03 PM

Oh my don't know which would have been the worse bending ( as we did ) are laying on the board. The one job i hated the WORST, Thank heavens pickle comes in jars now.Ha.

#12 Jasper OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2010 - 01:03 AM

Could you imagine coming across a snake in the patch while laying on your belly.

#13 Chuck_050382 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2010 - 07:40 AM

Thanks for the pictures and the story. I look forward to seeing the after pictures.

#14 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2010 - 07:53 AM

165.JPG

Here are some updated pics of the pickle picker. I need to build the tin cover that goes over the engine and gearbox yet but otherwise it is done. It should have vinyl pads that go over the plywood yet also, maybe a winter project.

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#15 Chuck_050382 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2010 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the updated pictures.

That thing is neat. I could have used something like that a few years ago. I had 45 hills of cucumbers that were were making pickles from.




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