Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cushman tailgate mod

I have in the past spent a fair amount of time repairing tailgates . Seems there are not many out there designed for the daily rigors of golf course use . Our carts are used to haul anything from boulders to sand ,wet sloppy material from drainage repairs are the worst  . The newer Cushman  only has 288.7 hours so far . The tailgate has been an issue from new , even at the other course with the fancy dump out the bottom tail gate swing  set up .  
This is what it looked like after I came back from vacation .

I have seen this a few times at both courses . 

I started of by removing the old tailgate mounts . 

After removing the bolt on the bottom they pretty much pulled through the sheet metal .

Clean slate.

Made up some new hinges and welded to the box frame .

1.5 " angle iron works great for the side of the tailgate . Running a shouldered bolt through the bottom for it to swing on . 

Pressure treated 2x6  were cut to fit and bolted to the angle iron . The best part is that if the excavator takes a bite out of one of the boards it can be easily replaced . 

Swings very well . 

Now I cut the old tail gate hinge mounts and welded them in the same location . 

Another shouldered bolt added to the top of angle iron that will catch were it use to swing from before . The catch side was drilled out so we could use a pin to lock it in place. After it's all done the sharp edges should be smoothed out and tac all the nuts (except nylocs) so they don't back off on you . 

 The tailgate is held up with chains keeping it level with the dump bed .

Purchased some stair tread runners from a hardware store. I laid it on a bed of silicon and put a few self tappers in on the dump bed side.

When the tail gate goes up it slides up.

After tipping it up to get the rest of the debris out from the fall projects it worked pretty good . The guys also mentioned the material won't get trapped in between anymore .

All done .

This blog post made a huge difference and eliminated bent cushman tow hitches.

I really liked this one because for the simple fact that no one (except the mechanics ) could figure out how the get the wire latch back in when they fell out and my mowers don't pick them up anymore in the reels .

My newest concern are the tailgates on last years MD Toro workman . Latches don't want to work and jamb . The crew pull on them so hard they are bending parts .  They also crack easily. Our older MDX with the old style box and tail gate is a much better design . As annoying as it is to get latched and unlatched it is holding up well .

To bad the manufacturers couldn't figure out a way to have a sensor set up to tell the operator that the dump bed is over loaded. A bar of lights with different colors eg: 50-100-150-200 lbs . over loaded then followed by an annoying buzzer system if they exceeded the braking or tip over capacity.
Most staff have no idea what the materials weigh . Wet sand is much heavier than gravel .In the past we have seen bent axles , axle seals , busted side walls in tires, broken springs  ,rear end failure , premature wear on wheel bearings . Never mind the risk to other staff and members when they are driving on the course . I do tell the guys how much they should be hauling but I can't be there to watch them all the time . We have done better with training and now only get some sidewall tire damage on the old style balloon type tires on the JD  Gators . I've seen them driving  by the shop with a low tire and catch them on the way back for repair or top up the air in them .


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