My new cab took its maiden voyage yesterday. It was glorious to blow snow from behind protective plastic. No wind. No icy needles of snow. No half-inch coating of snow on the insulated winter wear. Even with no heater it was just fine, but already I can identify at least one change I’ll make when I can.
The sides are 20-mil clear marine vinyl. I close the left side with a hook and loop strip on the windshield post and on the vinyl. The right side is fixed closed. The change I will make? I can see already that I want to make some sort of door to enter and exit the cab. It will be wood frame, of course, and will exert less stress on the vinyl when I enter and exit in cold. By the way, the vinyl for the sides and top came from onlinefabricstore.net. Quite good prices. They didn’t pay me to mention their name, by the way. I called and talked over my selection with a nice lady. The order arrived days ahead of schedule. She explained that fabric, like vinyl, is bought by the running measure, not the square measure. Who knew? Had I not called, my order would not have been right. My wife told me that, but I just had to call to verify. It was a very good experience dealing with OnlineFabriceStore.
The windshield and the rear shield are Lexan purchased locally. I was ad
vised to use Lexan in case I ever wanted to wipe water droplets from it. I pondered putting a manual wiper on it but changed my mind. One bit of advice about buying Lexan. Don’t give the vendor the size on the telephone. Go to the vendor with the size written legibly. Don’t believe the vendor when he says he has the sizes right because he does this all the time. Mine were wrong, but we got it settled quite well when I had to return to the store to exchange it.
I mounted the Lexan loosely, with rabbeted and grooved wood strips. I had to allow for wiggling. This whole cab is mounted on the Rollover Protection System, which itself wiggles a bit. I thought of drilling oversized holes in the Lexan, but I didn’t know how big to drill them to allow for play. Instead I did not drill the Lexan. The wood is rabbe
ted and grooved about a quarter-inch oversize. I mounted the strips so the Lexan will not fall out or collapse in, but has room to wiggle. I just had to play with it.The vinyl top and sides are mounted to the wood frame with stainless steel screws, #8 x 1 1/4-inch, from woodcraft.com. I called there, too, to discuss my selection. I bought a hundred of the Kreg stainless screws for my exterior work, and used all except four of them. The guy, also very nice, very willingly measured the big head of the screen so that I would have an idea. I bought square-drive, round-headed screws. I love square-drive screws. My son introduced me to them, and now I hardly use Phillips head screws unless I have to or unless I want to get rid of some inventory.
The vinyl is loose a few inches on the bottom left side of the rear mount so I can reach out and crank the chute.
A quick note: I made sure to not drill any holes in any part of the tractor. I did not want to ruin the integrity of the Rollover Protection System nor the front-end loader.
In the next few days I’ll mount aflashing yellow strobe light on the roof, and a white rear-pointing flood light. The white flood has a magnetic mount, but I don’t know if it will suffice. I just may try to use the magnet rather than mounting it with screws someplace. The strobe light came from Tractor Supply. I cannot recall where the flood came from.
One thing I noticed on my first run. Sitting inside my cab seems to make the tractor louder. Maybe ear muffs, or stereo headphones will do the trick. It really isn’t that loud,
though, just different than sitting out in the open.
As for heat, I have read on the TractorByNet.com forum that people have used camp propane heaters. I’m reluctant to have open flame near so much vinyl. Also, I wasn’t to anxious to cut into the tractor cooling system. I don’t think I’ll need heat, but if I do I’ll look to get a 12-volt electric heater. I have seen at one of the big boxes store a heater that plugs into a lighter socket and sits on a car’s dashboard to defrost the window. Maybe that would do. Without heat, however, I think I’ll get less snow melting on the plastic, and will not have to jump out and squeegee it off.
The while wood strips you see in the pictures will get a coat of black paint, also. I couldn’t coat them yesterday, since I just had to get this out in the snow for the first run.