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I'm thinking about building a cradle to mount my Bobcat 250 into. It is currently mounted on a trailer, but now that I have a set of forks for my loader (hence my screen name) I'd like to add some versitility to it's mounting. I was thinking about the base being from either channel or rectangular tubing (probably 3 or 4 in) with some runners underneath to prevent the forks from accidentally exploring the underside of the fuel tank. I'd be curious in hearing about different designs you guys have or have seen in the field (pics would be great). I'd like to mount my bottles with it if I can get the right design and the center of gravity works out because I'd like to be able to lift from the top as well. That brings up another issue. I'm thinking I'd play it safe and not use the lifting loop on the Bobcat to lift the entire cradle. I'm sure the bottom of the machine case is not stout enough for lifting and the bolts would just pop through. SSS
I saw a portable rig the other day in the back of a pick up. It had the welder mounted long ways facing toward the tailgate. It was made out of channel and had torch bottles mounted at an angle down both sides of the machine to maintain center of gravity. It would be easy to modify the unit with and overhead lift cage and would serve as protection for your rig to boot.
I know this may be obvious, but no matter what which side you intend to pick it up from, set your spacing for the fork tubes at a distance that you normally have the forks set, I have moved many different set ups and machines and it is always a hassle to have to jump out of the truck (cat in your case) to slide a fork over, then have to move it back after you get done. 2" by 8" or even 4" by 10-12" seemed to be the norm for the rectangle tube the forks slide in to, but most places I have been had some pretty big lift trucks or a big variety.
I'm going to have to go with the bigger stock to make it work out right. I was hoping to get by with the smaller rails, simply because I have a fair amount left over from another project and it would have saved me some $. After taking some measurements, even my relatively small forks won't work. I've seen the leaning bottles arrangment before, but I don't know how akward it would be to take them in and out. A vertical arrangement would help there, but then you have to build a taller cage for them, and the CG will change. I'll have to take some measurements in the truck and a couple of other places that it will be prone to end up and see what I can squease in. I have plenty of time to kick around the plan. It's been on a trailer for four years now. This will be a winter project when things slow down. Keep me posted if you see any other ideas running around. I only want to buid it once, as many ideas that I can get beforehand will help out. SSS
I am currently building a pallet style carrier for my new TB. I am using two lift points...the one on the TB and the carrier. The center of gravity is on the edge of the TB, thus the two points. It is based on Barry Milton's carrier...which he based on my old one. It is a top lift only. I didn't need to bottom lift it...yet.
My old one will allow forks under it easily...just have to take off the bottles. I didn't make it for taking them off. The new one will be that way...everything will come off at once without having to remove anything.
I'll post a couple of pics of the old one and see what I have of the new one...it isn't finished.