The Hydraulic Dump Trailer (Part II)

September 3, 2013

a good yard of gravel

No buyer’s remorse yet.

Yesterday’s task involved the collection of a couple of loads of scattered walnut branches from the pruning of a three-acre patch of seedlings. I liked the combination of the HSD Kubota and the narrow trailer. When working alone one appreciates the ability to leave a machine simply by stepping off. The last time we did this task I pressed my wife into driving the Bolens G174 on a 4X6 utility trailer. The trailer was a tough fit through some areas of the nursery, and of course the geared Bolens is hard to get on and off, so a driver was needed.

Unloading branches packed into the box of a utility trailer is a drag. In anticipation I had removed the tailgate from the new dump trailer. I just backed each load up to the compost pile, tipped, moved ahead a bit, lowered and drove away. Beautiful.

But today was the real test. An excavation contractor sells gravel, fill and topsoil from his yard two miles along the county road in Crosby. Our driveway needed some work, so I resolved to walk the Kubota up to Crosby for a yard or two of gravel. I had inflated the tires to 30 lb for the project. The loader operators were careful sprinkling gravel into the apparently-fragile trailer box. I made two round trips. Each took 54 minutes, including unloading. The turf tires warmed up, but the bearings remained cool.

To unload the gravel I removed the bottom pins of the tailgate to make a little dump truck. This allowed the load to spill out while supporting top corners of the side panels against the rush of aggregate. The second load was considerably heavier than the first, nearly filling the box.

The hoist wouldn’t lift the slightly forward-biased load when it came time to dump.

When I first bought the tractor I discovered that the auxiliary outlet tested at 2600 p.s.i. and the book said 1900, so with my neighbour Peter’s help I turned it down to 2000 p.s.i. Today I reversed the procedure, tightening the screw first a quarter turn, and then another quarter turn, until the hoist could lift the heavy load. My neighbour had told me that that relief valve has no effect upon the rest of the tractor, and at worst a hose might spring a leak from the extra pressure.

With the corrected pressure setting on the tipping lever, the dump went well. I see no reason why this little hydraulic trailer shouldn’t see a lot of (admittedly careful) use over the next few years.

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