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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, I have needed a backhoe for YEARS. I live on 22 acres of hobby farm in central NC. Pine trees everywhere.
I cleared the area where my house sits with a chainsaw, a 4 wheeler, and a Farmall 140. The property has come a long way in the 16 years since I bought it.
I've continually cleared areas and opened larger clearnings. I have have garden spaces, an apple orchard, grapes, pears, figs, honeybees, etc. A few years ago I sold the timer off of 8 acres. That was both a good and a bad decision. My wife and I were able to put the money on our house, which we have now managed to pay off 15 years early!
However, what used to be a nice tract of pines, is now a cut-over. It is quickly growing small sweet-gums, pines, poplars, maples, and dog fennel weeds.
I am tired of mowing around stumps. I have a pond dam that needs repair, and about 5 more years worth of work that needs doing, but needed the muscle to do it. My back ain't as strong, nor is the spirit as willing as when I was 25.

Anyway I just bought a 1986 John Deer 510B. It is a good strong running backhoe. Very little blow by, good charging, good cooling, good brakes, good strong hydraulics. Tires are about 40%.
The issues.......the previous owner dug septic tanks. His employee was pulling the machine when a car pulled out in front of him and when he tried to avoid the car the the trailer hit a culvert and flipped the trailer over breaking the pintle on the dump truck. The trailer with the backhoe still chained to it turned over. The ROPS ( roll over protection system) took the brunt of the impact. It is now bent to the back left if you are sitting in it. The plastic panel on the right fender where the monitor panel/instrument cluster mounts to also broke. Nothing I can't patch up. Obviously all the lights and wiring for the ROPS is in need of repair.

I feel like I got a really good deal. I went and test drove it, picked the machine up with the hydraulics, stomped the brakes, etc. Ran it a solid half hour. No smoke. etc
I have the ability to fabricate a ROPS, but would rather find an affordable take off salvage ROPS.
Anyone got an idea of a salvage yard where one can be found.

100753

100754
 

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You might want to try an give a call to Wengers equipment of Myerstown, PA. Look them up on line. Your odds are gonna be slim on used ROPS bar anywhere. But never know. I don't what skills you have or kind of shop I would do it my self try an use the front end loader heat metal up with torch an see if you can an pull it back with chain an pound out the fender. OEM John Deere parts are expensive like all parts an if it's just for home use who cares what it looks like.. Lol
Oh and congratulations on your mortgage I try an tell everyone about that... Guess I'm idiot with only Truck payment left.... Good Luck!
 

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Just south of me there is a place called Cook Equipment in Allegan, MI and they have a junk yard for construction equipment. You could give them a call and see if they have that model in the yard for parts.

Steve
 

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At least in this area all the tractor salvage yards are connected by internet. They can put out a request and get several answers back the next day. I'd call and ask a couple
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have found a few salvage ROPS at this point. They are all either way too expensive in my opinion or too far away. The best deal is in Texas at $700, but $500 to ship it.

I checked the price of steel to reproduce this ROPS and it was $254. I’ll be making one.

Fortunately for me I teach metal fabrication...:p. I am certified in MIG and ARC welding.
Unfortunately my high school shop does not have the ability to bend tubing of that size, so instead of having nice graceful flowing curves, it will have mitered angles welded together.

I know I could heat and bend the curves, but it will be hard to replicate the same bend 4 times, and keep it square with the tools and equipment I have. I plan on reusing the original mounting flanges. I’ll probably build it weld it, while it is on the machine.

Some have suggested that it doesn’t even need the ROPS for what I’m doing. I’m mostly digging pine stumps that have been cut for a number of years. They are mostly rotten. I will be filling in low spots and cutting down high spots in an effort to grade the areas where we mow.

However, I don’t feel comfortable not having a ROPS. We still have lots of standing trees, and I’d hate to have a limb or tree top fall on me, or whoever is using it. The biggest reason I want the ROPS on it is because a very dear family friend and mentor of mine was killed in a tractor rollover accident 2 years ago. He was on a small John Deere 40 with a sprayer on the back. His loss shook the entire family and the community.

Since then, I’ve actually considered adding a ROPS to my Farmall 140. I have a wife and three kids under the age of 13.
 

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Maybe I'm too frugal ...ok...CHEAP....but I'd use a torch,heat up the steel and use a sturdy tree for chaining the ROPS to it. Then a come-along or hydrolic jack to bend the steel back into place. OR...take the ROPS apart and have a muffler shop bend the pieces back into shape with their bending machine. Re-assemble and bolt back onto back hoe. Might have to weld new steel into place to replace parts that cannot be repaired this way. Just an idea...
 

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Another thought....cut ROPS apart at weld points. Then have muffler shop bend bent pieces to proper configuration. Weld it back together and bolt back on to back hoe.
 

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My two cents. Everybody sells at some point. A hoe with a clobbered ROPS will greatly reduce value and ease of selling. bet that helped you get a good deal.

That $1200 is money well spent. value will go up more than that. Plus, if your time is worth a nickel, you'll get a good portion of that cost back in time and material savings.
 

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I would try using the power of the hydraulics that the how and front bucket have to move things. Use a high grade of chain and you might be surprised what you can do. Also if you have never straightened steel by heating with a rosebud and selectively cooling you would be amazed at how easy it is. I have straightened 24" I beams with a rosebud and a water soaked towel. A welder worked in my quarry for a short period of time that spent a lot of time on bridge construction. This man saved me a lot of money by straightening used beams paid for scrap prices. Get things cherry red and remember where you place the rag with water you are going to shrink the steel. I wish you were in Florida I would love to see your reaction when this is done.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use heat a lot. On top of teaching basic metal fabrication, I have been a hobby blacksmith for 20+ years. This is just a lot of metal to heat in lots of places at once. I've ordered the steel an pulling the ROPS this afternoon. I already have it unbolted from three corners. It'll be off in less than 30-45 minutes after I get home.

I'll post "after" pics when it's done. Covid restrictions will slow me down, but I generally roll on with projects that I begin. I kind of get "Tunnel vision"
 
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