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Harsh Riding Carry All

During preparation for the 2017 Dig Tree tractor trek, Alan Carpenter and myself were warned of the dangers associated with taking a loaded carry all over long distances on corrugated roads and tracks. Apparently on past treks breaking carry all frames and link pins had been an issue as the load bounced up and down eventually causing cracking and structural failure. As we stood looking at my tractor we discussed the possibility of putting the carry all weight onto the draw bar of the tractor rather than on the lift arms as normal. Some sort of pole or bar seemed to be the go.

As it happened I had upgraded the suspension on my four wheel drive and had the old springs and shocks sitting in the shed. It occurred to me that a spring would be better than a fixed bar so I began to fiddle around with fitting one to the tractor. It was going to be a fairly hard fit as the spring was long and heavy. With perfect timing my mechanic, who lives up the road, arrived for a chat and he offered the strut from a Holden Commodore as a replacement which would be shorter and more compliant than the four wheel drive one. It took only an hour or so the weld an upper support bracket to the carry all frame and to figure out a suitable mounting on the draw bar. The final arrangement can be seen in the photograph.

This set up was strong enough to allow the entire weight of the loaded carry all to rest on the draw bar via the spring. The result was fantastic. Any corrugations and sizeable bumps on the road were virtually unnoticeable as the load was able to gently oscillate with no harsh jarring on the lift arms or link pins. Two struts could be used for heavy loads if needed. Mine carried four jerry cans, a gas bottle and a large plastic box of spares with no problems at all.

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