March 10 2017 08:00 AM

Handy Hint: March 10, 2017

I was working on a school project of restoring a John Deere 4250 tractor. While operating other tractors, I would get tired of cleaning windshields off from mud flying off of the front tires, as well as gravel and more mud coming off the back tires and landing on the metal fenders alongside the windows. While the stock fenders worked all right, I wanted something that would actually keep my tractor clean.

To resolve this matter, I purchased four semitruck mud flaps. I took one mud flap and cut it in half and bolted it onto the front metal fenders. I added a metal brace to the bottom side (both front and back) to serve as a weight to keep the mud flap vertical while cruising down the road. On the back side, I made a custom bracket that would support the mud flaps while keeping them off of the tires.

After bolting the mud flaps on, I repeated these steps on the front and added a metal brace onto the bottom. I did this to both sides before taking the fourth mud flap and splitting it down the middle. I took one half and bolted it from the bracket, going forward alongside of the stock metal fenders. I repeated this on the other side as well.

Once I was all finished, I took everything apart and painted the various metal pieces. While working on this project, I kept in mind that I wanted the mud flaps to last a long time. So, in the design process, I positioned the mud flaps off of the tires enough so I wouldn’t have to worry about ripping them off. If I would back up with mud on my tires, I didn’t want the mud flaps to catch on the tires and be ripped off. I also didn’t want the rear fenders to sit so low that they would get smashed while making sharp corners pulling implement such as a round baler.

The total project cost was $40 for the four mud flaps as the paint and metal were items already in storage. The project has already made a return on my investment because I no longer have to spend 5 minutes a day cleaning windows, and I can get right to jobs such as hauling manure or transporting silage boxes.

Philip Raak, Minnesota