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  1. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    45
    Location
    Sonoma, CA
    Tractor
    BCS 853 (weights, 30" tiller, furrower, 40" mower, 20" mower, 1,200 lb trailer, scraper blade)

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    Hey F850!

    I have the one with the extra wide wheels on the right there....you found the actual one I bought.

    The cart does OK, but to be honest it is not an ideal way to haul any volume of material and it does lose traction.

    With that cart loaded up to the top (with no extra rails, as pictured above) with leaf/soil mulch and me (210 lbs) it will go over just about any flat land and take an incline of I'd say maybe 30% as long as the soil you're driving on is compact and not covered with any grass/leaves etc. As soon as you hit any lose soil or areas of leaf & grass on an incline the tractor loses traction. You can sometimes coax it through these spots by turning the handle bars back and fourth with the differential locked, but most likely you'll have to dismount while still controlling the tractor and help "push". For extreme inclines I had a buddy behind me pushing on the cart and we were able to get some super heavy loads up a steep hill.

    Going down hill, assuming you have some "grapes-on-the-vine", you can take a huge load and slide it using the brakes and handle bars to guide your somewhat uncontrolled decent. I had fun doing this on one job, but knew I was playing with fire for sure.

    I now have some wheel weights and can fit some decent plates on each side so I hope that this added forward weight will help the machine maintain traction on at least slight inclines.

    They aren't lying when Earth Tools says that the best implement to get material up a hill is the powerbarrow. That said, the cart is easy to put together yourself, is capable of hauling a lot of material in a day, and is pretty darn fun to ride around on (your turning radius is greatly increased with the use of a trailer though....you end up steering around corners with one hand and using left hand turns as much as possible because this is the hand that holds down the clutch lever...awkward, but fun).

    It also makes one great mobile swimming pool for a 5 year old, and it's really easy to change the water....lol..

  2. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    45
    Location
    Sonoma, CA
    Tractor
    BCS 853 (weights, 30" tiller, furrower, 40" mower, 20" mower, 1,200 lb trailer, scraper blade)

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    One more thing about hillside trailer towing with the BCS....you can find yourself in a pickle really quickly when your tractor starts to flip over to the side but your trailer, having a much wider axle, isn't. I found out just how heavy my 853 was.

    Later I was told that my stock wheels can adjust outward for a wider track, which would no doubt help with this problem.

  3. #13
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,782
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    PGC, Thanks for the details. I think I'll order a trailer coupler from Earth Tools and fab a pipe on an existing flat trailer of mine to try it out. If it works well enough on my terrain, I'll spring for the poly dump trailer.

  4. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    BCS 850

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    I realize this is an old thread, but thought I'd add my $.02. You hit the nail on the head when you noted the BCS cart sits higher. I've got a lawn cart with a pipe and curved coupler for the hitch. Instead of the curved coupler going up over the attached tiller, it goes down to meet the low cart hitch(after the tiller is removed). It's still not low enough so the cart sits low in the back and reduces the effectiveness of the dump action.

    The latest BCS utility cart, although much more expensive than the DIY alternative, has a couple of distinct advantages: 1. Able to leave tiller mounted. 2. "heavy duty brakes". I've only read about it, but the brakes are for both operating and parking. Those are the two big advantages, there there are others depending on the model you chose for your DIY. Advantages over mine: seat separate from the cart, back of cart sits higher for better dumping, wider tires, more capacity(weight and volume), sits level so things less likely to slide back or off the top.

    Earth tools shows a picture that the cart is level, but it's hooked to a Grillo with a taller curved coupler. If a similar curved coupler was available for the BCS, that would solve a lot of my problems and make it much easier to adapter other lawn tractor implements like my aerator.

    Concerning climbing hills: a simple solution for traction while climbing hills with the cart, is backing up the hill. Still not as good as a power barrow, but it works great for me. Whether ascending or descending, it's best to keep the weight up-hill from the drive wheels.

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with BCS in any way but I own a good bit of their equipment for residential as well as agricultural uses. Nearly all of said equipment was purchased from Joel at Earth Tools.

  5. #15
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,782
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    I ended up with the trailer coupler and rigged up a pipe hitch on the front of an old Harbor Freight style small trailer. The trailer bed is approximately 40" x 48". Then I built up wood sides on the trailer and added a 2x8 bench seat across the top front. I hardly get to use it, as any job that could be done with a cart or wheel barrow, my son volunteers to do with this BCS/trailer combo. The first job for it was hauling sod we removed from areas in the yard. We had the trailer heaped above the sides and made several loads with it. I made a conversion hitch for the trailer too, so I can pull it with my mowers or tractor, and my 25 gallon boom sprayer rides nice in the bed.

  6. #16
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Tractor
    BCS 739

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    I'm in the same boat - want to hook up my existing trailer to my BCS. Can anyone post a photo of the connection of the ball hitch to the curved coupler? The curved coupler has holes on the side, but most ball hitches I'm aware of have hole on top. I'm thinking of getting a metal shop to twist a flat plate with bolt holes to use as an adapter for the ball and quick hitch, but I was thinking a photo from some of you guys who've already done it would make it easier, so we're going from scratch. Thanks!

  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,195
    Location
    near Roanoke VA
    Tractor
    584 IH 4WD

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    I am trying to think "outside of the box" a little,,,
    since the handlebars can rotate,, why not connect the trailer to the engine end, like a Gravely?



    To make it easier to visualize,, here it is in the "correct color"



    The Gravely tows the sulky or trailer nicely when connected to the engine end,,,
    Some of the tractors include JD 4105, JD 855, JD 650,,,, and,,, the IH 584 4WD
    My favorite attachment is the homemade landplane,,, EVERYONE needs one of those!!

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,782
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    Sticky, Ill try to get some pictures for you. You use a short piece of pipe strapped to the trailer tongue instead of a ball hitch.

  9. #19
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Tractor
    BCS 739

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ford850 View Post
    Sticky, I値l try to get some pictures for you. You use a short piece of pipe strapped to the trailer tongue instead of a ball hitch.
    Thanks, my trailer has a ball hitch tongue on it already and I'd like to keep it on. also the ball provides some flexibility for rotating up, down and side to side.
    I think the connection of the BCS tractor to their "curved coupler" just allows side to side movement, and my terrain is pretty bumpy.
    Also to clarify what I said earlier in my post, I think I'd use a round pipe to horizontal flat plate type adapter for the ball hitch, some kind of custom fab connector piece..


    thx

  10. #20
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    23
    Location
    Midcoast Maine
    Tractor
    Kubota B2650 Kubota BX2350 BCS 749

    Default Re: BCS "curved coupler" for DIY sulky or trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by stickymonkey View Post
    Thanks, my trailer has a ball hitch tongue on it already and I'd like to keep it on. also the ball provides some flexibility for rotating up, down and side to side.
    I think the connection of the BCS tractor to their "curved coupler" just allows side to side movement, and my terrain is pretty bumpy.
    Also to clarify what I said earlier in my post, I think I'd use a round pipe to horizontal flat plate type adapter for the ball hitch, some kind of custom fab connector piece..
    Two wheel tractor hitches are not ball hitches and do not allow for "up and down" movement for a reason. The trailer keeps the tractor from tilting fore-aft. The combination of the tractor and trailer become an articulated 4 wheel vehicle. Also see the explanation on the Earth Tools website: Earth Tools

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