+ All Categories
Home > Documents > YardHorse Scooter

YardHorse Scooter

Date post: 31-May-2018
Upload: jim
View: 225 times
Download: 0 times
Share this document with a friend
A l l - P u rp o s e Y a rd. Hor s e T h is 40-m . p.h. sc oot er ear ns it s keep t he year rou n d b y conv ert i ng to f ive po w erful m achi nes forus earo un dt hehous e By Alf red W . Le es I T DIDN'T seem likely—until we saw for ourselves. The letter from Clarks Summit, Pa., described a homemade scooter that pulled apart for portability and boasted a set of attachments to convert it into: a hauling tractor, a snow plow, a power lawn mower, a portable electric generator, and a pump. The inventor, anticipating our skepticism, enclosed a map labeled "Route to Douglas Biesecker." So PS photographer Bill Morris and I drove out to investi- gate. We found a young man waiting for us, up a country lane identified by the Biesecker mailbox. He straddled a neat-looking two-wheeler with a frame welded up from black iron pipe, angle, and strap iron. "Put it through its paces," we suggested. CONTINUED

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 1/9


Yard. HorseThis 40-m.p.h. scooter earns its keepthe year round by converting to five

powerful machines for use around the house

By Alfred W. Lees

IT DIDN'T seem likely—until we saw for ourselves.The letter from Clarks Summit, Pa., described ahomemade scooter that pulled apart for portability

and boasted a set of attachments to convert it into: a

hauling tractor, a snow plow, a power lawn mower,a portable electric generator, and a pump.

The inventor, anticipating our skepticism, encloseda map labeled "Route to Douglas Biesecker." So PSphotographer Bill Morris and I drove out to investi-gate. We found a young man waiting for us, up acountry lane identified by the Biesecker mailbox. Hestraddled a neat-looking two-wheeler with a framewelded up from black iron pipe, angle, and strap iron.

"Put it through its paces," we suggested.CONTINUED

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 2/9

WATER FROM A CISTERN or any natural sourcecan be brought to the job site by coupling thefeed and discharge hoses to a 1,000-gallon-an-hour pump, powered by the scooter motor.

EMERGENCY LIGHT SOURCE is rigged by bracket-ing a 110-volt, 1,000-watt generator to theframe. It's propped on a bolt; turning a wing-nut pivots the assembly for belt tension.

LURE OF THE OPEN ROAD calls scooter from itschores. Since all attachments are complete inthemselves, the scooter totes no extra burdenswhen stripped down for road travel.

SCOOTER CONVERTS TO MOWER in three steps:Auxiliary frame sets steering column vertical;mower unit replaces front wheel; large wheelreplaces speed pulley in drive train.

1. The scooter. Biesecker obliged by  jerking the four-cycle, three-horse motorto life and roaring out onto the road at40 m.p.h. In a flash he was gone over thecrest of a rise. Seconds later, he reap-peared, banking back into the lane. Hekilled the motor, hopped off, and de-tached two levers from the handlebars.

"The throttle control is the standardtype used on power mowers," he told us."The cable's other end is connected to

the carburetor throttle lever. The brakecable should be taped to the frame inseveral places, but I clamp it to the steer-ing column so it's removable."

Next, he withdrew a long T-shaped pinthat passes through the vertical pipebrace in front of the seat. The 1/4"-by-17-1/2" rod holds the ends of the steering-column braces in pipe-coupling sockets ateach end of this brace. Biesecker liftedthe scooter's separated halves into thetrunk of his car. "Total weight's about60 pounds," he announced.

2. The pump. "While the scooter's inthe car," said Bill, "why not drive back by the barn cistern and demonstrate yourpump by giving the car a hosing?"

Biesecker had the setup nearly com-pleted by the time Bill had his cameraequipment ready. He'd reassembled thescooter, set it up on its kick stand, andbracketed a small pump to an accessoryrest—which consisted of a short cross pipe

with pins at either end. A bolt, project-ing beneath the pump's mounting base,was seated in a hole in the frame brace


8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 3/9

THE CART BED DUMPS for unloading dirt or rock.Biesecker's left hand is on the spring catch.The new steering column fastens to rear wheelbracket; scooter's front fork is removed.

in front of the seat. By turning a wingnuton this bolt, Biesecker pivoted the pumpupward to put the proper tension on thelong belt that connected it to the drivepulley. He fed a hose into the cistern and

SNOW-PLOW BLADE pivots on frame ior adjust-ment of angle; it is raised by lifting entireframe, which hooks onto steering-column cross-bar, and brackets to cart axle at the back.

coupled the other end to the pump. Soonhe was directing a sturdy spray at thesoaped-up windshield.

3. The generator. We ran the drip-ping auto into the twilight interior of the


How the power unit is used to make six different machines 

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 4/9

TO TAKE IT APART for portability, you detachthrottle and brake from the handlebar and

pull a pin that passes through the center frame

barn. Biesecker set up a photographiclight bar and replaced the pump with anelectric generator equipped with an iden-tical mounting bracket and adjustableprop-bolt. After starting the scootermotor again, he lifted the car's hood anddirected the light exactly where he need-ed it to work on the engine.

"Actually," he said, "this portable gen-

erator is handy in lots of places beyondthe reach of city power. I've used it foroutdoor photography, night repair work in the fields, and even to rig a light for ahunting camp. It's handy in case of powerfailure."

Biesecker detached the generator. Thecoupling pin was pulled once more, andthe scooter began to lose its identity.

4. The mower. To ready the powerunit for its next function, the high-speed

drive pulley was replaced with a powerwheel of twice the diameter. The axlenuts were loosened to drop the frontwheel from its slotted fork.

Nearby lay a handleless lawn mowerand an extra section of pipe frame.Biesecker loosened two studs threadedthrough the handlebar column andslipped this upper unit off the steeringshaft. "All shafts are cold-rolled steel,"he informed us. "This one's 3/4" in diam-

eter and 13-3/4" long. Note how I filed itflat in two places at the back to seat thestuds." He slipped the angled steering-column housing up off the shaft andpointed out the coil spring that it hadrested on, where the shaft was welded tothe wheel fork. "That spring stays," he


brace. This releases the ends of the steering-column braces from their coupling sockets.

Both halves fit neatly into a car trunk.

said, slipping the new frame down to buttagainst it. I had a question:

"Why's the separate frame necessary?""To set the steering column vertical.

The scooter's column slants at 15 de-grees, but the mower's has to set upright.Notice how all the pipe-column housingsare slightly counterbored at each end totake brass bushings. These are pressed intight to support the shaft."

He replaced the handlebar column,retightened the studs, and reconnectedthe brake and throttle levers. Then hewheeled the mower unit into place, pivot-ing its mounting bracket up to bolt it intothe wheel-less fork. "I leave the mud-guard in place since it doesn't interferewith mowing. The mudguards are merelya standard bike fender cut in half."

With the inventor aboard, the little

tractor-mower moved out across a widestretch of grass, maneuvering aroundseveral fruit trees and running close alonga hedge.

5. The dump cart. This time, whenthe coupling pin was withdrawn and theframe pulled apart, the front steeringcolumn was discarded. Instead, a newvertical column, welded into the frame of a two-wheeled cart, was bolted onto thefixed fork of the rear wheel. Only the back 

half of the scooter is used in this conver-sion, and the power wheel becomes the front  wheel of the cart tricycle—which issteered by pivoting the entire power unit.

A U-shaped auxiliary foot rest is hookedonto the scooter frame behind the kick-

  [Continued on page 202}

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 5/9

All-Purpose Yard Horse [Continued from page i.54]

stand pivot. The cart bed is a simplewooden box nested in an angle-iron framethat's fastened to the wheelbase frame bymeans of three pivot bolts. Biesecker re-leased a spring catch and lifted the frontend of the box to show us how it dumped;

then he swung aboard the new seat andheaded the tractor into a potato patch. Ina moment he chugged back with a fullload. "It'll tote 500 pounds without strain.Only trouble is, you get lazy," he calledas he passed on back toward the barn.

6. The snow plow. It was now time tohook on the largest accessory. "A sheet-metal shop cut and bent the blade forme," Biesecker explained as he laid thelong frame flat on the slab floor. After

removing the pipe spacer between the topends of the notched uprights, he liftedthe tractor to swing it across and drop itinside the frame's broadest opening. Thesteering-column braces slipped down theslot formed by the uprights.

With the spacer pipe bolted back inplace, Biesecker crawled beneath the cartto raise the back of the plow frame andbracket the upbent ends to the axle. Next,settling himself on the seat, he reacheddown between his thighs, gripped thehandles on the uprights, and hitched theentire frame up until one of the notcheshooked onto a short length of rod weldedacross the top brace. The plow frame andblade now hung suspended, so that whenhe started the motor he was able to drivethe whole assembly out of the barn. Wesquinted up at the mild, cloudless sky.

"Last winter was great for plow-test-ing," Biesecker assured us, presenting asnapshot to back him up. "My best trac-tion is when my girl rides in the cart."

The demonstration was complete. Butit hadn't exhausted Biesecker's ingenuity.As we tucked away note pad and cam-era, he patted the transformed scooterthoughtfully. "This is only as far as I'vegone," he announced. "I'm now workingon a couple of collapsible pontoons anda propeller drive. So this summer, whenI ride the scooter up to the lakeshore,

I'll just keep on going. And"—his eyeslifted, focusing somewhere out in space—"maybe . . . souped up a little andequipped with rotor blades . . . it'll liftright off the ground . . ."

We fled.

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 6/9

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 7/9

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 8/9

8/14/2019 YardHorse Scooter

http://slidepdf.com/reader/full/yardhorse-scooter 9/9