Hi-boy on stilts
Years ago, when farmers were doing anything they could to wring a little more horsepower out of their tractors, a guy told me, “Sometimes, all the horsepower you can get is just barely enough.”
I thought of that as I pondered how Gibson City, Illinois, farmer and custom operator Don Birky and his son, Matt, are adding more clearance to their high-clearance applicators. In the September issue of Successful Farming magazine (p. 49), I wrote about the RoGator they modified this summer so that it had over 10 feet of clearance for seeding cover crops in mature corn a few weeks before harvest.
Two years ago, responding to customer demand for ground application of fungicides, they bought a John Deere 6500 Hi-Boy and modified it so it has 8.5 feet of clearance. “Now we can go through 10- or 11-foot-tall corn with no problem,” says Don Birky.
Modifying the John Deere was fairly simple. “It was a much easier job than modifying the RoGator,” says Birky. “It only took about three days.”