Optimal design of the tractor-front-mounted sugarcane grab loader
Abstract: The percent of sugarcane mechanical sugarcane loading (in Egypt) has not been exceeded 10% because of the poor finance-ability of the farmers to by the imported self-propelled loaders. The local workshops have been attempting to fabricate a sugarcane loader attached to the farm tractors as a cheap alternative. Farmers did not accept the tractor-mounted loaders fabricated locally because of the problems concerning poor efficiency and poor balance of the tractor-mounted loader while operation. The main objective was to overcome the problems concerning precise fabrication of the tractor-front-mounted loader and to develop an efficient dynamically balanced machine. Fabricating a sugarcane grab loader for the tractor faces difficulties due to the variation of the farm tractor types and sizes. Reference to the size of the transport vehicles was supposed to be loaded, the medium size tractors 70-90 hp was considered to be equipped with the sugarcane loader. The most important specifications of the prevailing medium size farm tractors found in the sugarcane production area were recorded through field survey. Important tractor parameters related to the loader design were specified. For the prevailing medium size tractors of power range 70-90 hp, wheel base within 2.4 m. Total tractor weight about three tons, distributes as two thirds on the rear axle and one third on the front axle. The tractor operator is supposed to have clear view over the boom lowered for pilling, so that the height of steering wheel is important parameter determined as 1.9 m for the medium size tractors. Important dimensions such as the tractor chassis dimensions and other dimensions related to the sugarcane loader were identified. A chain of measurements and computations were conducted to facilitate optimizing the design of a tractor mounted sugarcane grab loader dynamically balanced with no need for counterbalance weights. Considering the data of the medium size tractor, the dimension of the loader components computed in accordance. A general formula relates the loader size to the tractor on which the loader supposed to be mounted was developed to facilitate fabricating the balanced loader for any size of the farm tractors. The loader was fabricated and tested in the field. The loader proved high dynamical stability and economical operation efficiency. The field test results show operating the loader for loading sugarcane transport vehicles, loading cycle time was about 1.7 min, loading rate up to 14 ton/h and operation efficiency was over 90%.
Keywords: sugarcane grab loader, tractor-front-mounted-loader, loader design, loader balance