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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The article is a little old but the guy who did this, lives in my town.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Electric-Garden-Tractor.aspx



He converted his Case from gas to electric, I guess I'm not so green I since my first thought was I might be able to pick up the old engine really cheap since he wasn't using it or suggest to him that the batteries would last longer without those wheel weights (which I would recycle for him!).

He claims he can run an hour under heavy usage which doesn't sound too bad however at the time of the article, he hadn't got the front PTO figured out yet.
 

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"Running on electricity does not directly produce any air pollution"
Hello Mcfly... Wake you and beat your head against the tree. (sorry sore subject)
You can tell them dang tree huggers don't live near a power plant can't you.
And their goofy little electric cars won't get them far enough to drive out and see one.

 

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To me, about all he has done is desecrate a nice 448 with the hood scoop for no real benefit.

Back in the early 70's, Generous Electric developed a comprehensive line of true garden tractors that were battery powered. You could mow the lawn, blow snow, plow snow or dirt with the front blade, rototill the garden, run a skilsaw, chainsaw, arc welder, 1/4" drill, hedge trimmer, edging tool plus pull ground engaging equipment for hours on end.

These machines used six 6 volt deep discharge golf cart batteries wired in series to provide 36 volts. The tiller used it's own separate 36 volt motor as did the 2 stage snow blower. The mower decks used three 36 volt permanent magnet motors, one for each blade. They were quiet, well made and simple to operate. As it happens, I own one but it's sitting at Jack's farm at the moment. Jack is allowed to sit on it if he chooses to. :sidelaugh:

While I appreciate this gentleman's attempt to find a green solution, the fact remains that pollution takes place to make the materials needed to make solar panels, wind mills, batteries, electric motors and everything else he used to convert that tractor and to provide a source of power to recharge the batteries he has in it. In other words, nice try but no cigar. He would have been far better off watching e-Bay for an old GE Elec-trak and then bringing that purpose-built GT back to life.

My opinion. Please feel free to disagree with me.
 

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I agree also. I live about 10 miles a the crow flies from a coal powered plant. It's the largest polluter in Delaware, even beating out DuPont corp. when they were in full swing. Anytime energy is converted from one form to another there is a loss. No conversion is 100% efficient.
 

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Not to mention the absolute and complete destruction and poisoning of vast surfaces of the earth in China where the materials for current batteries are mined. I dont understand why the tree huggers mention nothing of this. Or the fact a family of 5 would have to take two vehicles anytime they went grocery shopping together - and probably have to make two trips to haul everything.
 

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Rockdog said:
I dont understand why the tree huggers mention nothing of this.
Seriously? It's because then they wouldn't be able to brag to their other greenie friends about how they Saved The Earth. It's 99% feelgood and 1% fact.
Last I saw, 49+% of US electric power came from coal-fired plants. I don't know what the number is for CA. (Tom ??)

What really gets me is the people who scream about not using paper to Save The Trees. That's sort of like not eating bread to Save The Wheat.

BTW:
Snotrocket said:
I would like for Jack to post a picture of a sheep shitting on your electric tractor. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
I fixed that typo for ya! :lol:
 

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Snotrocket said:
I would like for Jack to post a picture of a sheep sitting on your electric tractor. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
Don't get me started about Jack's unruly sheep. They ganged up on my Colt and pushed it into the pond just for laughs. Jack won't put batteries into the Elec-trak because the sheep take turns driving it around. :sidelaugh:
 

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99flhr said:
eBoyDog said:
He claims he can run an hour under heavy usage which doesn't sound too bad however at the time of the article, he hadn't got the front PTO figured out yet.
So,, IF it had a pto it might run 20 min while driving a mower deck ?
Exactly................. and then you can limp back to the garage and wait 24 hours for a recharge so that you can mow the back yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I might try getting in touch with this man, I would like to know if he has improved it or has given up. Seems like he spent as much time and money converting it to electric as it would have cost to repair the gas engine assuming it was bad engine that inspired him to do a half way conversion.

Really I was joking about the green aspect, it's right up there with true cost recycling plastic. The only way I could see a electric conversion to even start being "green" would be have a solar power recharge ablity and then there is the issue of the lead batteries.

Now if you want to go green, convert you tractor engine to reliably run on moonshine, then plant enough corn and sugar cane to make your own fuel (of course that's assuming IF corn AND sugar cane will grow in your area!).
 

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All too often, e-bay and C/L ads are put on this site and as one of the site owners, I feel an obligation to comment. If I am lucky, I get to say some nice things about the advertisement. Believe it or not, I do try to find the positive aspects and remark on them. However, I also find it necessary to point out what I think are the negatives so that members who are new to this brand can have a better understanding as to how value is arrived at generally.

Moving now to this particular tractor, I don't want members to conclude that I am putting this gentleman down 100 percent. He chose a Case tractor because of the hydraulic drive. Good for him. He is not the first to do this and won't be the last. In truth, I would have far less objection had he really done some research into electric garden tractors prior to converting this one. What is at issue here, more than anything else is "run time" and that comes from the reserve capacity of the batteries chosen. This is the dilemma that has plagued the auto manufacturers. Yes... we can build electric cars but the damn batteries are the problem.

General Motors have been beating the drums about the Chevy Volt for several years now. Some of these apparently got sold or put into use in an area of the USA that has a true 4 season climate. In cold weather conditions, the Volt went half as far as it would in Florida or southern California. For this reason, other manufacturers went with a hybrid that would recharge the batteries on the go.

The G E Elec-trak GT's are considered by most people to be the epitome. No one has come up with a better machine in the past 40 years. The technology was bought up by New Idea and Wheelhorse for awhile and then it got dropped. These were expensive machines in their day and although they raved about them running on pennies, the fact remained that the batteries had a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. Today, those batteries will likely cost you $110.00 each times SIX plus taxes. Holy Crap. That's a big hit and it must be factored in when comparing the annual cost of operating an electric GT to a gas powered GT. And while they brag about the fact that you don't have to pour stinky, volatile fuel in them or change the oil or tune up the engine; the fact remains that the batteries need to be monitored on a regular basis. Water must be added to keep the electrolyte above the plates, the corrosion must be cleaned off and each battery should be checked with a hydrometer and load tester once a year.

The amount of reserve capacity or amp hours in 3 twelve volt batteries doesn't come remotely close to what is available from 6 six volt batteries. All of the electric golf carts use that configuration. Look at the size of the battery pack on an electric forklift. Look at the size of the battery used in a highway coach such as those with the Greyhound logo on the side. The point here is this. A rudimentary bit of research would have quickly conveyed to this man that battery capacity equated to the usefulness of what he was attempting to create. So now what? He has a tractor that will only run for a short time that is barely enough to perform a modest amount of work. It won't cut grass because I guess....he never thought about that at the outset.

As you can see above, GE used three motors on a front-mounted deck to solve this problem. So, does he get his hands on a GE deck and make a front mount set up? Perhaps but you should know that the Elec-traks have a very short wheelbase that makes them turn like a scared rabbit compared to a Case GT. I've seen such ideas tossed out for discussion on forums in the past and ideas are always a good thing. The biggest problem is in converting those ideas to a workable finished product. Companies spend thousands and sometimes millions of dollars trying to bring "good ideas" to life, only to go down in defeat. The road to success is littered with the bones of past good ideas.
 

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InTroubleAlltheTime said:
EBoyDog:When he gets tired of it I would see if you could pick it up cheap and put it back together and save its life. It is a hood scoop 448! :usa: :usa: :usa:
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
Not that I'd ever do such a thing, but can you imagine how mean one of those would look painted up like a Black Knight, with a set of suitcase weights up front, and V61 rubber in front and Denman 9.5-16s with cast wheel weights out back? Again, just thinking out loud.
John
 

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tanandorange said:
InTroubleAlltheTime said:
EBoyDog:When he gets tired of it I would see if you could pick it up cheap and put it back together and save its life. It is a hood scoop 448! :usa: :usa: :usa:
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
Not that I'd ever do such a thing, but can you imagine how mean one of those would look painted up like a Black Knight, with a set of suitcase weights up front, and V61 rubber in front and Denman 9.5-16s with cast wheel weights out back? Again, just thinking out loud.
John
Yes sir, smokin' cool John! :usa: :usa: :usa:
:222: :446: Best regards, Rich
 
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