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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator

Directions for Setting Up and Operating

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


Assemble the derrick truck, telescoping the reach, to adjust the wheel base as required, according to the length of elevator:

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Truck wheel base 12 ft.
  • Place lifting bail bar at center of third section.
  • Bar for guy wires back of reel brackets on boot section.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Truck wheel base from 12 to 17 ft., depending on length of elevator.
  • Place lifting bail bar at a point which will allow derrick poles to stand nearly perpendicular, but never forward past center.
  • Bar for guy wires back of reel brackets or moved farther forward if lifting bail bar is moved forward.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Always use the wide truck with 21 ft. derrick poles. Truck wheel base at 19 ft.
  • Place lifting bail bar at lower end of fifth section.
  • Put bar for guy wires at center of the screen or second section.


  • Lay derrick and guy-wires back of rear axle.
  • Loosen setscrews and spread castings on square rod above front axle.
  • Lay boot section on truck. Put pivot lugs in shifting castings, fasten with spring cotters.
  • Move shifter arm on square rod as close to elevator as possible, set both setscrews tight.
  • Connect the perforated end of second section to the boot section using bolts in place. Be sure that upper trough of boot section overlaps the second section on top, with the lower trough overlapping underneath.
  • Bolt short splice plates to underside of troughs using buttonhead elevator bolts.
  • If elevator is to be used for small grain — cover screen with sheet provided. Attach other intermediate sections in like manner.
  • Attach head section as prescribed for intermediate sections. The scroll sheet in the head section must lap under the upper trough.
  • Loosen tightener screws in head section.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Attach reel brackets to center of boot section — with crank to the left.
  • Put in chain and slats with hook end of links forward.
  • Attach lifting bail underneath grain trough in proper location as outlined in Figs. A, B, and C.
  • Put derrick over elevator with crosshead over boot section.
  • Attach guy-wires to bar under grain trough at a point which will allow the derrick to stand nearly perpendicular, as outlined in Figs. A, B, and C.
  • Caution: The derrick must in all cases be nearly perpendicular with a slight slant toward Receiving Hopper. If derrick pipes slant in the opposite direction they are subject to excessive strains.
  • Attach tackle block with double eye to bail and the other tackle block to crosshead of derrick.
  • Pass end of cable under cable roll and attach with hook bolt.
  • Raise Elevator so boot will rest on the ground.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Bolt on supports for swivel-drive jack, as shown.
  • Attach double-chain tightener to right support.
  • Lay drive jack in position and fasten with cotter keys.
  • Put on drive chain with hook end of links forward in the direction of chain travel.
  • Attach chain guards as shown.
  • The drop side of hopper can be used on either side.
  • Use 12T sprocket for ear-corn and 10T sprocket for shelled corn and small grain.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • A. Bolt side plates to boot section.
  • B. Place hopper on ground back of boot section, with head-shaft bearings in slots of side sheets.
  • C. Bolt socket plates to side plates. Put in Oiler fittings.
  • D. Bolt door hinges to boot section.
  • E. Put rod in hopper side and connect other end to door.
  • F. Put on springs as shown.
  • G. Put on drive chain and tightener.
  • H. Attach guard with 5/16” x 4-3/4” carriage bolt with pipe spacer between boot side and guard.

The drop side of hopper may be used on either side.

Use 12T sprocket for ear corn and 10T sprocket for shelled corn or small grain.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Do not tighten bolts until assembly is completed.
  • Bolt hopper sides to inside edges of boot section using button- head bolts.
  • Bolt hopper end to hopper sides.
  • Attach upright supports on each side of cast boot. Bend the flange of upper trough so these supports lay against cast boot.
  • Attach braces to inside of boot trough.
  • Bolt crossbar to support head section with dotted braces under crossbar (1-1/2” carriage bolts).
  • Remove the six bolts from front head-sheet of elevator.
  • Bend end sheet forward and bolt steel straps to support end sheet in new position.
  • Attach chain tightener to rosette on right boot casting.
  • Put 12T sprocket on elevator-head shaft to line up with sprocket on boot shaft of roof extension.
  • Put on drive chain.
  • Tighten all bolts.
  • Raise the geared side on edge with gears down and brace securely. Loosen tie brace between the upper end of posts to take the crosshead.
  • Before bolting crosshead to posts, loosen the tie loops over the sheaves to thread cable in place.
  • The stop clamp and stop rod should be slid down the cable so the stop rod can be hooked in the shifting lever, as in cut. Be sure the cable comes outside of the shifting lever.
  • Now thread cables over sheaves and tighten the tie loops. Bolt the crosshead between posts, with the pipe ferrule on the threaded end of bolt. Leave all bolts loose until both sides and braces are in place.
  • Bolt the crosshead to the light side frame.
  • Bolt the four braces to crosshead and post angles. Now tighten all bolts firmly.
  • Raise the dump to upright position.
  • Pull cable ends even. Locate the center of cable in the center of roll and clamp it in the slot firmly at both ends of roll.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain ElevatorJohn Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Move shifting lever to disengage clutch and set spring tension on brake band.
  • Put a loaded wagon in position for dumping. Raise the load about eight inches off the ground with the dump.
  • Throw out the clutch. If there is not enough tension on the brake to hold the load, tighten thumb nut on spring holder.
  • To lower the wagon, move throw-out rod in the same direction as when releasing the clutch. This releases the brake — and adjustment of the brake release chain must be made accordingly.
  • Do Not Engage Clutch to stop a loaded wagon if brake fails to hold.
  • A little kerosene on the brake rollers will prevent rust. Do not use oil on brake rollers.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


Horse Powers are completely assembled at the factory except for the sweep.

If for any reason, the power should be taken apart, be sure the gears are assembled in time, as shown in cut with timing marks matched at “A” and “B”.

The ball-thrust bearing on the center shaft should be kept firmly in position to keep the bevel gear in mesh with pinion on horizontal shaft.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


This jack is provided with a three-step pinion which allows an adjustment of speed ratios of 3, 4, or 5 of the pulley shaft to one revolution of the drive shaft.

The regular drive pulley is 9-1/2” in diameter with a 4-1/2” face. This can be replaced with a pulley of proper size to run the pulley shaft at speed of:

  • 300 R.P.M. when 3 to 1 gear ratio is used.
  • 400 R. P.M . when 4 to 1 gear ratio is used.
  • 500 R.P .M . when 5 to 1 gear ratio is used.

The drive shaft of the jack which is connected to the elevator should run 95 to 100 R.P.M.


Multiply the speed of the engine by the diameter of the engine pulley. Divide this by R.P.M. of the Jack Pulley (300, 400, or 500 according to gear used). The result will be the diameter in inches of the pulley to be used in the jack.

Example: Engine speed 550, engine pulley 6” diameter.

550 (Engine speed) x 6 (Diameter engine pulley) = 3300 ÷ 300 (R.P.M. of Jack Pulley shaft — 3 to 1 ratio) = 11” correct size pulley to use on jack.


  • Do not oil clutch disks.
  • If clutch does not hold a load, loosen yoke collar (4239C) and make sure disks are clean.
  • Push disks firmly together.
  • Fasten clutch yoke collar securely about 5/16” from steel-hub washer.
  • Adjust setscrew in yoke casting (4240C) so that setscrew will stop against flange of cone when clutch is engaged.
  • When properly adjusted, clutch cone should slide in with just enough tension so friction disks will not slip under load.
  • Set lock nut on setscrew.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Remove small sprocket from countershaft.
  • Clamp bearing frames to reel brackets as shown.
  • Put shaft in place with set collar inside of bearing, so no end play will be in shaft.
  • Replace small sprocket.
  • Attach chain tightener with bracket as shown.
  • Put 18T sprocket on boot shaft.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator

Guards – The upper end of guard bolts to side bracket, the lower end bolts over boot-drive sprocket as shown.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


  • Assemble the drive shaft to the lower trough, as in cut. The guard for the universal joint fits on either side.
  • Pin the 18-tooth sprocket on boot shaft and install the drive chain, as shown in cut.
  • Bolt chain tightener to side of boot section.
  • Bolt on the chain and sprocket guards.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator

  • The side holes in lower trough should be laid out as in cuts, then drilled for 5/16” bolts.
  • Bolt bearings to the sides, then drill the holes in bottom of trough up through the bracket holes.


The elevator should be operated at from 95 to 100 R.P.M. of the boot shaft.

See operating angle recommended for different grains on Page 1.

See that proper sprocket is used on receiving hopper head shaft, 12T for ear corn or 10T for other grains.

A new outfit should be operated empty long enough to see that all parts are properly assembled and adjusted.

Do not attempt to change the length of truck reach while derrick is holding the weight of the elevator. Lower the elevator to within a few inches of the truck or support it in some manner before changing the truck.

When transporting long elevators any distance, remove the receiving hopper from working position, lengthen the reach, and place a plank under the elevator where it rests on the rear axle. This is particularly important where very much of the elevator hangs over the rear axle.

When storing the elevator, be sure it is lowered or supported so that it will not be blown down and damaged. Grease well to prevent rust.

When using pneumatic tires on trucks, inflate them to 20 lbs.


When bolting the sections of elevator together be sure the upper trough ends overlap the upper trough ahead, and each lower trough is underneath the trough ahead, so the chains will slide smoothly.

Bolt the short tie plates to the underside of troughs at the embossed holes in the middle of trough. When bolting on the head section, have the end of scroll sheet underneath the upper trough section. The lower cross plate in the head section must bolt on top of the return trough.

Loosen tightener screws in head section before installing the chain and slats.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


Assemble the socket plates on the base to hold the boot shaft bearings.

Fig. 1 – Mount engine on the wood blocks loosely until after the sprockets and drive chain are installed. Then tighten the mounting bolts.

Fig. 2 – Bolt the stud shaft securely to the base.

Bolt the plank for motor loosely until after mounting the motor and installing sprockets and chains. Now tighten the mounting plank to get proper tension on drive chain.

John Deere Portable Bridge-Trussed Grain Elevator


The side sheet can be bolted to either side of boot section trough and braced at the upper end. Then bolt on the end or hopper sheet.

Spotlight On: Livestock

American Milking Devons and the Flack Family Farm

American Milking Devons and the Flack Family Farm

from issue:

On a sunny early September day I met Doug Flack at his biodynamic and organic farm, just South of Enosburg Falls. Doug is an American Milking Devon breeder with some of the best uddered and well behaved animals I have seen in the breed. The animals are beautifully integrated into his small and diversified farm. His system of management seems to bring out the best in the animals and his enthusiasm for Devon cattle is contagious.

Livestock Guardians

Introducing Your Guard Dog To New Livestock And Other Dogs

When you introduce new animals to an established herd or flock, you should observe your dog’s reactions and behavior for a few days. Since he will be curious anyway, it is a good idea to introduce him to the new animals while he is leashed or to place the new animals in a nearby area.

On-Farm Meat Processing

The demand for fresh, local meat products – with no taint of industrial process – is absolutely staggering.

Collar Hames and Harness Fitting

Collars, Hames and Harness Fitting

Farmers who are good horsemen know everything that is presented here: yet even they will welcome this leaflet because it will refresh their memories and make easier their task when they have to show hired men or boys how to adjust equipment properly. Good horsemen know from long experience that sore necks or sore shoulders on work stock are due to ignorance or carelessness of men in charge, and are inexcusable.

Determining the Age of Farm Animals by their Teeth

Determining the Age of Farm Animals by their Teeth

from issue:

Establishing the age of farm animals through the appearance of the teeth is no new thing. The old saying, “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth,” is attributed to Saint Jerome, of the fifth century, who used this expression in one of his commentaries. Certainly for generations the appearance, development, and subsequent wear of the teeth has been recognized as a dependable means of judging approximately the age of animals.

Feeding Elk Winter Work for the Belgians

Feeding Elk: Winter Work for the Belgians

from issue:

Doug Strike of rural Sublette County is spending his second winter feeding wild elk in nearby Bondurant, Wyoming. Strike is supplementing his logging income as well as helping his team of Belgian draft horses to keep in shape for the coming season. From May to the end of November he uses his horses to skid logs out of the mountains of western Wyoming. I found the use of Doug’s beautiful Belgian team an exciting example of appropriate technology.

New York Horsefarmer Ed Button and his Belgians

New York Horsefarmer: Ed Button and his Belgians

In New York State one does not explore the world of draft horses long before the name of Ed Button is invariably and most respectfully mentioned. Ed’s name can be heard in the conversations of nearly everyone concerned with heavy horses from the most experienced teamsters to the most novice horse hobbyists. His career with Belgians includes a vast catalog of activities: showing, pulling, training, farming, breeding, and driving, which Ed says, “I’ve been doing since I was old enough to hold the lines.”

Cultivating Questions A Horsedrawn Guidance System

Cultivating Questions: A Horsedrawn Guidance System

Market gardening became so much more relaxing for us and the horses after developing a Horsedrawn Guidance System. Instead of constantly steering the horses while trying to lay out straight rows or cultivate the vegetables, we could put the team on autopilot and focus our whole attention on these precision tasks. The guidance system has been so effective that we have trusted visiting chefs to cultivate the lettuce we planned on harvesting for them a few weeks later.

Work Horse Handbook

Grooming Work Horses

The serviceability of the work horse may be increased or decreased according to the care which is bestowed upon him. If he is groomed in a perfunctory fashion his efficiency as an animal motor is lessened. On the other hand, if he is well groomed he is snappier and fresher in appearance and is constantly up on the bit.

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

from issue:

For the last ten years, I have made hay mostly with a single horse. This has not necessarily been out of choice, as at one time I had hoped to be farming on a larger scale with more horses. Anyway, it does little good to dwell on ‘what if ’. The reality is that I am able to make hay, and through making and modifying machinery, I probably have a better understanding of hay making and the mechanics of draught.

Lineback Cattle

Lineback Cattle

from issue:

Cattle with lineback color patterns have occurred throughout the world in many breeds. In some cases this is a matter of random selection. In others, the markings are a distinct characteristic of the breed; while in some it is one of a number of patterns common to a local type. Considering that livestock of all classes have been imported to the United States, it is not surprising that we have our own Lineback breed.

Living With Horses

Living With Horses

from issue:

The French breed of Ardennes is closer to what the breed has been in the past. The Ardennes has always been a stockier type of horse, rude as its environment. Today the breed has dramatically changed into a real heavy horse. If the Ardennes had an average weight between 550 and 700kg in the first part of the last century, the balance shows today 1000kg and more. Thus the difference between the Ardennes and their “big” sisters, the Brabants in Belgium, or the Trait du Nord in France, has gone.

Ask A Teamster Driving

Ask A Teamster: Driving

I have been questioned (even criticized) about my slow, gentle, repetitious approach “taking too much time” and all the little steps being unnecessary when one can simply “hitch ‘em tied back to a well-broke horse they can’t drag around, and just let ‘em figure it out on their own.” I try to give horses the same consideration I would like if someone was teaching me how to do something new and strange.

Littlefield Notes Making Your Horses Work For You

LittleField Notes: Making Your Horses Work For You Part 1

from issue:

The practical everyday working of horses and mules in harness has always been at the heart of what the Small Farmer’s Journal is about. And like the Journal, a good horse powered farm keeps the horses at the center: the working nucleus of the farm. All the tractive effort for the pulling of machines, hauling in of crops, hauling out of manures, harvesting and planting is done as much as is practicable with the horses.

Sheep A Logical Choice

Sheep: A Logical Choice

from issue:

Sheep have numerous uses on a smallholding. They are excellent grazers and are ideal at revitalizing old pastures as well as an excellent follower of the cows in a rotational grazing system. Cropping the grass at 2-3 inches that the cows have left at 8 inches encourages new growth in the spring. Their manure is usually in pellet form and is spread throughout a pasture as they graze. A sheep shares a ton a year of fertilizer with the earth.

Raising Free Range Turkeys is a Joy!

Raising Free Range Turkeys is a Joy!

from issue:

“Don’t let them out in the rain, they’ll stare up into it and drown…” Our experience with turkeys has been completely the opposite. While most poultry species aren’t exactly bright, we find that turkeys are lovely, personable, and most important for the self sufficient homesteader — extremely efficient converters of grain and forage into delicious meat. In 5 months, a turkey can grow from a few ounces to 20-30+ lbs.

Walsh No Buckle Harness

from issue:

When first you become familiar with North American working harness you might come to the erroneous conclusion that, except for minor style variations, all harnesses are much the same. While quality and material issues are accounting for substantive differences in the modern harness, there were also interesting and important variations back in the early twentieth century which many of us today either have forgotten or never knew about. Perhaps the most significant example is the Walsh No Buckle Harness.

Changing of Seasons

LittleField Notes: Changing of Seasons

from issue:

We are blessed who are active participants in the life of soil and weather, crops and critters, living a life grounded in seasonal change. This talk of human connection to land and season is not just the rambling romantic musing of an agrarian ideologue. It is rather the result of participating in the deeply vital vocation that is farming and knowing its fruits first hand.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT