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Slightly Scary moment!

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I was cleaning horse corals today at my dads when I had an equipment failure of rather surprising results with his tractor!

I am not one that gets shocked or surprised by much of anything but this had me wound up for a bit. :mad:

The right side main pivot point for the whole loader system violently failed.
I had a full load of manure in it, about 1200 pounds, and was about 5 feet up when it broke! Another two feet higher and I think it could have possibley tipped the tractor over.:eek:

When it tore out it swung the bucket and loader frame over to the left so hard it lifted the rear tire off the ground. The rear wheels are weighted and have solution in them to give it about an extra 1200 pounds per rear wheel.

I am very much a safety and maintenance advocate. My dad is however a zero maintenance equals zero operating cost person.:mad:
If you never fix any thing it does not cost anything to run.:mad:
If it has to be fixed the cheapest band aid repair is best.:mad:
Hence all of the welds and plating that has been added the loader frame over the last 20 years.:eek:

Well now its getting a new frame made up this next week or so! ;)



I notice a little bit of welding has taken place there.. Classic metal fatige. Should teach him a lesson, probably not, glad no one was hurt.
If you patch something like this the important lesson to learn is cut away the failure point and double up on material for the patch, and nice beads. What I see there isn't a weld, so much as it is metal filling with welding which is GREAT for short term strength and horrible for brittleness.
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I don't think the engine gave out, so why get rid of it not matter how old it is? It worked... Well until it broke. Probablyt still 'drove away' from it. Tcm being the good son he is probably already has a plate welded in place that will last the next 60 years.
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Its a early 1950's International M. I converted it to a W9 front end with full hydraulic steering from an old combine several years ago.
I have had several old timers sware its a rare industrial M at first site!

In fact I did drive away from it! about a half mile from my dads place to mine! 2 hours of cleaning horse crap and 5 hours of big ass band aid work and then back to 3 more hours of horse crap removal!
And it was all dam well on the clock too! :D

Yea Skaid I already cut the bad part out and finished the one coral. I still have about 40 -50 tons of horse crap to move yet.:mad:

But after that its getting a full tear down and possibly a paint job too!
The tractor itself is in very good mechanical condition and it runs great!.
Its been converted to a standard 12 volt 78 amp alternator and has an all new electrical system to handle the added charging capacity.
It will start at -35 below without being plugged in! :)
I put in a new clutch and flywheel about two months ago. I also did a rear rim rework on one side two weeks ago and new brakes last fall. Its going to get a full radiator recore while I have it down for the big rework. This one is rotted out.

I may even put an hour meter on it some place. I know it gets many hundred running hours on it a year! I just would like to know how many hundred exactly. ;)


If the failure was actually due to fatigue, there will fine parallel lines along the fracture edge where the tear started. These are called 'beach marks'.
A magnifying glass ought to bring them out, if they are there.

If the failure was just due to a single overload event, probably starting out at some sort of stress concentrator such as a corner, or maybe a crack within a brittle weld, then the edge of the break will not have any definite pattern to it.

It is sometimes useful to try to determine where the break line actually started, and where it terminated... as far as strengthening any repairs.

Looking at the third picture, over by the weld line, to the left of the picture,
there is one interesting spot that is just right of the weld metal line, where that top front 90 degree angle is. Note that 90 angles are stress concentrators.... This is why those liberty ships used to come apart at sea during WWII... Maybe there was more than one application of weld metal in this region of the original piece.
Typically, weld metal is stronger and tougher than the base metal. It may be that the heat incurred when that left top weld line was done caused some sort of carbon migration to occur. There would be some spots with excess carbon, and others with not enough carbon, causing some micro-regions with excess carbon to be brittle, and others with insufficient carbon to be weak, and leading to general weakness in the original base metal at that particular point.

One repair strategy would to repair original structure as best as possible, and then to put 'lap plates' on the top and sides, to lower the stress in the weld seam.


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Believe me I know my stress cracks! ;)
My welds dont fail. The original metal next to it does.:)

The loader is heavily used and about 25 years past its 20 year life expectancy. It's just old and worn out.:eek:

The metal has noticeable deep corrosion and too many stress cracks to count. I would have rebuilt it 10 years ago but I am not the owner. :mad:
So all it gets is band aid fixes an root of the problem just gets ignored. AGE! :mad:
The only reason its getting a new rebuild is because this time the frame got twisted far enough I cant straiten it. Other wise yesterdays band aid fix would probably still be there 5 years from now. :mad:

Around here equipment never gets traded in to wards bigger and better. The next owner after my family is typically the scrap yard! :mad:

And for some stuff the scrap yard WAS the last owner before my family! :eek:
Running equipment until its to far gone and becomes dangerous to operate is not my idea. :mad:

I became a very good mechanic because of my family, but not because they are great mechanics that taught me. In fact its just the opposite, I learned about quality and proper maintenance from a life time of watching them buy cheap crap and old junk that was not up to the task at hand and just fell apart costing far more in operating and repair expenses than had they bought something newer or better. :eek::mad:


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Oh yeah, that rubber bungee cord sure indicates regular maintenance!!! The red paint on it tells me it's been there for quite some time, used as a band-aid fix.


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Not my equipment so not much I could do about regular maintenance.:mad: The bungee cord just held a conduit for the lights.
My grandpa was a great person for just paint over every thing with whatever cheap paint he could find.
To him red primer was the same as international red paint. (after it had faded for 40 years)
I pushed fore safety related repairs and redesigns for most of my life and aways got shot down.:mad:
I have a family the does not see things as normal people do.
To a few of them a flat tire is not a reason to not use something. If its got four tires and one is flat that still means its 75% drivable.:eek: :mad:
If the brakes dont work just make sure your not carrying anything in the bucket that cant be dragged along to slow the tractor down if really needed!:eek: :mad: Seriously, family farm operations policy for years!:mad: :eek:

If it has a bad hydraulic leak dont fix it or fill the tank to full capacity. Just put a gallon in and wait until it leaks out and cant lift any more then just put one more gallon in. :mad:
Used up 75 gallons of hydraulic oil, I was given, in one summer before they paid for a $50 rebuild kit for one cylinder.:mad:
The oil was free so why bother fixing the bad leak? :mad:

My Grandpa first owned it for 15 years and did no maintenance other than an oil change once a year no matter how many running hours he put on it. My dad bought it five years ago and paid for the up grades to the main tractor but would not agree to a full loader frame rebuild.
When the bucket split into four pieces, the bottom fell out and the back split on both sides of the frame, eight years ago while my grandpa still owned it I did a full bucket rebuild.
When the support braces broke right off the tractor and bent the back upright frame over a few years ago they too got a full rebuild with all new steel.
The arms are the last original loader part.

So its been in the redesign going on the last eight years now.
I should have it fully restored and better than new when I inherit it in another ten to 15 years! :)
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