Direct-mount scrapers

NEWS RELEASE--FEATURE STORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nelson EZ Pull

Nelson EZ Pull Moving into Production of
Larger Direct-mount Scrapers:

Aiming at reaching earth-moving
contractors and large farm operators

COMSTOCK, MN, June 23, 2012--Nelson EZ Pull, which custom makes direct-mount towed scrapers, announced this week that it will be expanding its capabilities to meet the needs of large farm operators and earth-moving contractors.

"In the past, we specialized in converting industrial grade scrapers such as Fiat-Allis and Allis-Chalmers, Caterpillar and LeTourneau into direct-mount pull-type scrapers between 18 cubic yards and 27 cubic years. Now we are offering the conversion of larger units up to 30 and 35 cubic yards," said Clifford Nelson, the firm's owner.

"Because we modify heavy duty scrapers such as the Allis-Chalmers 460, our machines can unload the toughest loads, with the gate rising to a position about three feet above the top of the bowl, providing unrestricted ejection capabilities," Nelson said.

"This means our scrapers do not get clogged up with mud, sod or other materials." Sod is dumped with ease because blade elevation capabilities provide optimum ground clearance."

He said at the customer's request they also can add two tires to the rear, which improves floatation, eliminates rocking and provides better operation in wet or soft-earth areas.

With its manufacturing facility located in Comstock, Minnesota, the company is expanding its product line to reach earth-moving contractors who need a dependable and efficient scraper for site preparation and road building, as well as to farm operators for earth-leveling and ditching, at considerably less cost than its competitors, such as Ashland, ICON, K-tec, Caterpillar and John Deere, he said.

In addition to Clifford Nelson, the firm is staffed by his son Mike, an expert welder, and other employees. So far they have converted over 1,600 units, selling throughout the Midwest, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana.

"We're not one of the big boys," Nelson said, "but in quality of machine and price, we are quite competitive."

The advantage his units have over four-wheel or dolly scrapers, as well as motor-scrapers, are manifold, Nelson claims:

"Because the weight is directly on the axel, as the weight increases, so does the traction. The scraper can be filled to capacity even under wet conditions and wheel slippage is greatly reduced. Because the scraper's front wheels are gone, there is less rolling resistance and a driver can see how deep the blade is cutting. Directly mounted, it can be easily backed into hard-to-reach areas."

The end product is like new, he said, with new tires, blade, paint, hydraulic ejector system and bearings, where needed.

Since Nelson EZ Pull converts four-wheel and motor scrapers, the firm has a wide variety of good used parts. It is also interested in purchasing used four-wheel and motor scrapers for its conversion business.

For more information visit Nelson EZ Pull online at www.nelsonezpull.com, or call Cliff Nelson at 701-205-1194 (land line) or 701-351-4007 (cell) or leave a message. The company's address is 1939 160th Avenue South, PO Box 21, Comstock MN 56525.

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To Editor: Photos, including high resolution images, available online at www.nelsonezpull.com and may be used for publication. For more information contact Cliff Nelson at 701-205-1194 or 701-351-4007 (cell) or email James Horsley at: jahorsley@yahoo.com.


NEWS RELEASE--FEATURE STORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nelson EZ Pull

SCRAPING OUT AN EARTH-MOVING BUSINESS IN COMSTOCK

COMSTOCK, MN, March 1, 2012--Clifford Nelson knew he had to do something. In the early 1980's he and his wife Clara Mae owned a farm near Munich, North Dakota. They had seven children, three of them in college.

Because several years of drought had drastically cut the productivity of his fields, he began to consider reclaiming some land by using a scraper or ditcher, as they are called, to drain a wet area.

New scrapers with hydraulic lines that lowered and lifted the scraper blade were expensive. Used ones, instead of having hydraulic lines, were outfitted with wire control cables that often rusted and malfunctioned. Out for a drive one day, Nelson and his wife noticed an old LeTourneau four-wheel scraper parked at a neighbor's farm and stopped to ask about it.

"Well," he recalled the neighbor saying, "I'm using it to drain some potholes. I've converted it to hydraulics, with new cylinders and lines. Works much better than those old cables."

That might work for his own land, Nelson thought, so he found an old four-wheel, dolly-type pull scraper for sale. He dismantled the cables and installed hydraulic cylinders and lines.

"And it did a good job," he recalled. "Then another neighbor saw me working with it and asked if I could make him one. So I did. And he liked it a lot. I thought, 'Maybe I should go into this as a business.' So I made some more, making some improvements in the hydraulic system, and sold about 20 of them that year. That's how I saved the farm. I converted old four-wheel cable scrapers to hydraulically-controlled scrapers."

He started contacting dirt-moving and road-building contractors, asking them if they had any old scrapers he could buy, such as Allis-Chalmers, Fiat-Allis, Caterpillar or LeTourneau. At that time, contractors were phasing out four-wheel scrapers to the more powerful motor-scrapers--large self-propelled units.

"Some of the contractors asked me what I was doing with them and I told them. Several said I should not be converting the scrapers just to hydraulic controls, but that I should also 'direct-mount' them to the axle of a tractor by means of a hitch, eliminating the front wheels on the scraper altogether. I said it wouldn't work. It would be too heavy for a conventional tractor. I wasn't interested.

"For four or five years I kept on doing it the way I started. But then a contractor in Texas said I should at least try to direct-mount a scraper and described the advantages to me.

"'Look,' he said, 'suppose you have some wet ground and you are pulling one of those four-wheel scrapers through the mud. Those front wheels get mired right easily, don't they? You need a tractor with a lot of horsepower to pull it through the soggy ground.'

"'That's right,' I said, 'and to make matters worse, my wheels spin.'

"'And that is what is terrific about direct-mount,' he said, smiling. 'Take off those two front wheels. All they do is make your tractor wheels spin trying to pull it because those two front wheels nose into the mud. After you get the wheels off, adapt the draw bar so you can mount it directly to your tractor. That way, the more load in the scraper, the more weight will be applied to the axle of the tractor and you know what that means--more traction.'

"I nodded my head. Sounded logical. 'But what about the weight on the axle--can a tractor handle that?' I asked.

"'No problem,' he said. 'And the good part about it is that all you need is a moderately-powered tractor to pull it, not one of those behemoth tractors. He said a 180-horsepower front-wheel assist tractor could load an 11-yard scraper easily.'

"We had an engineer determine the weight a tractor could handle on its axle and transmission and what horsepower would be needed," Nelson explained.

The engineer calculated that an 11-cubic-yard bowl could be directly mounted to a 180-horsepower tractor, with more powerful tractors able to handle larger bowls. For instance, a 27-cubic-yard scraper can be mounted on a 600-horsepower tractor.

Nelson recalled that he purchased another scraper--one he didn't mind ruining--and started experimenting. He disconnected the two front dolly wheels and devised a hitch that would directly mount to his 180-horsepower John Deere tractor. He converted the cables to hydraulic lines and took it for a test drive.

"It worked like a charm," he said. "I was amazed. I took it out to a wet field that needed draining. It didn't bog down but just kept on filling up with dirt--and the tractor's wheels didn't spin. Because the front wheels of the scraper were gone, I could see exactly how deep it was cutting and because it was directly mounted, I could back it up easily into hard-to-reach areas."

"Now these will sell like hot cakes," I said to myself, "and I started going around to some of the farmers who had bought the four-wheel scrapers from me, but they wouldn't even try one. All five farmers I contacted said that a direct-mount scraper would put too much weight on the axle and the differential.

"After the fifth failed attempt, I went back home and called up the last person I had visited. 'Lyle,' I said, 'this is Cliff. You know, you owe me. I have always been able to get you those used parts, now haven't I? Well, maybe I just won't be able to find them if you don't let me show you how great this scraper works,' and I chuckled."

"'All right, come on over,' he laughed. 'But it will never work.'"

"After I demonstrated it, he bought one. In fact, three out of those first five farmers bought one,'" Nelson said.

He and his son began to make modifications to the bowl, making the gate lift higher so mud could be more easily ejected and doubled the height of the cutting edge from 11 to 22 inches so sod could be unloaded more easily, as both mediums often clogged up conventionally built bowls.

Eventually they moved the business, which they had named Nelson EZ Pull, to Comstock, Minnesota, population 90. There he and his son Mike, along with a few employees, convert scrapers.

The firm can provide direct-mount scrapers from its own resources, or modify to direct-mount four-wheel or motor scrapers already owned by a farmer or contractor. To provide greater access to wet areas and to prevent rocking, the company is taking the front wheels off dolly models and mounting them at the rear of some bowl units. They are also exploring direct mounting up to 35-cubic-yard bowls.

He said farmers and contractors like the scrapers because he primarily converts units that have been used by soil-moving contractors. Such machines are usually of heavier, industrial grade metal.

"Compared to most agricultural scrapers, ours are construction grade and they last. Since we began operation, we have converted over 1,600 scrapers," he said. "We can ship almost anywhere."

Because the firm disassembles not only four-wheel scrapers, but also motor scrapers--that is, scrapers that have an attached tractor engine--Nelson EZ Pull is also a good source of used tractor parts.

For more information on the company's direct-mount scrapers, visit Nelson EZ Pull online at www.nelsonezpull.com, or call Cliff Nelson at 701-205-1194 (land line), 701-351-4007 (cell) or his son Mike at 701-351-4007 or leave a message. The company's address is 1939 160th Avenue South, PO Box 21, Comstock MN 56525.

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To Editor: High resolution photos available online at www.nelsonezpull.com and may be used for publication.

Grain bins

Front view of drawbar

Alternative hitch

Grain hopper

Grain elevator

Wrenches

Closeup of drawbar

From top to bottom: Grain bins to the south of our facility, front view of the drawbar, an alternative hitch, grain hopper silhouette, the Comstock Farmers Elevator Company next door, wrenches at our shop and another view of the drawbar during modification and assembly. Below: Comstock on the horizon.

Comstock, Minnesota, on the horizon