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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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Connoisseur of Rusty Junk
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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?
 

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

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
caseguy said:
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.
 

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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?
 

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Accumulator
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Wow,really cool machine.
 

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

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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PN, thanks for some of the history on this machine. I, like many others, was not around when this came to be. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Water Jeans Plant Tree Vehicle


Here's some more pictures of the Cadtrac at work. The firts one is the completed trail, the second is work in progress, and the third is before we began. The pile is 1 of 2 equal sized piles of crushed limestone. This one is near the lakeside. The other is at the campsite end of the trail.
We actually started moving the beach sand (another work day) by the bucket full. It was actually easier and faster to drag it with the blade.
 

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Thanks. Good pics. I can see where hauling one bucket at a time would be slow, you went quite far each trip.
 

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Accumulator
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Very,very,very cool.
 

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Projectnut, I am in the final stages of completing my Cadtrac. I to have made numerous upgrade and overbuilt the tractor a bit. My biggest problem right now is the travel speed. I'm only moving at 1.8 mph. How did you engineer yours to hit 5+ mph?

I have it plumbed with a dual pump 14 GPM and 8 GPM. 14 GPM circuit is devoted straight to wheel motors. 1/2" 2-wire from pump to valve, 3/8" line from valve to wheel tee's and the last 12" to each wheel run 1/4" line. Would it help to run 1/2" line throughout the circuit?

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
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