Make: Projects

Soil Loading System

This guide covers the installation of the hopper, shaker, and grate to the assembled main frame.

  • By
  • Time Required: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Soil Loading System

You must have finished assembling the main frame before you install the soil loading system.



Step #1: Torch the holes for the hopper mounting plate

Soil Loading System
  • Clamp the hopper mounting plate to the top of the main frame, positioned as shown, with the cutaways positioned by the leg holders.
  • Clamp it so that the side you grinded down the welds on is touching the main frame.
  • Torch the holes thru to the main frame.
  • Check that the fit is good by putting bolts in all the holes.
  • Grind away all the slag.
  • Bolt the mount to the frame.

Step #2: Install hopper supports and prepare shaker mount.

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  • Install the hopper supports into the leg holders.
  • Make sure you put the support with bolts on it on the correct side (refer to your shaker motor and look where you marked it.)
  • Their bottom side should be flush with the bottom of the leg holders on the frame.
  • Make sure they are orientated correctly. See photo.
  • On the side of the shaker motor that you didn't weld bolts for, put a bolt (3/4"x1.5") thru both holes and tighten nuts onto them.
  • The nut should be on the side of the mount that the motor will be installed to. (see photo)

Step #3: Tack shaker bolts to hopper support

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  • Place the shaker onto the bolts already welded to the hopper supports.
  • Clamp the other side to the hopper support.
  • Use a square to make sure the shaker mount is square with the hopper supports.
  • Tighten nuts onto the side with the welded bolts.
  • Tack the bolts to the hopper support.
  • Make sure you tack them to the hopper support, NOT the shaker mount.
  • Tack as much as you can from this position.

Step #4: Weld shaker bolts.

Soil Loading System
  • Loosen all the nuts and remove the shaker.
  • Protect the threads on the bolts.
  • Weld all the way around the bolt to the hopper supports.
  • Don't remount the shaker yet.

Step #5: Clamp the hopper back to supports and torch holes

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  • Clamp the 34" tall hopper back to the hopper supports.
  • It should be centered horizontally between them, and touching the supports all the way down to the hopper mounting plate.
  • Torch through the holes circled in the diagram, so you torch through the hopper sheet metal.
  • Torch through it on each side, just enough so you have 2 small holes.
  • Un-clamp the sheet metal and torch 1/2" holes for the bolt.

Step #6: Remount the first plate, and prepare to weld

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  • Grind off the slag from the torching.
  • Mount the first plate back to the hopper supports.
  • Use a 1/2"x3" bolt and a nut with washers on each side.
  • Lift the side pieces and clamp them to the first plate via the hinge plates.
  • Minimize the gap between them as much as you can by pushing them together tightly.

Step #7: Weld the hinge plates to the back piece

Soil Loading System
  • Weld it about 50%, as no more is necessary.
  • Weld in 3-4 inch sections.

Step #8: Clamp and weld the front piece

Soil Loading System
  • Clamp the final piece in place to the other side of the side pieces.
  • Yet again, minimize the gap between the two.
  • You may need somebody to get inside of the hopper and push out so you can clamp it well.
  • Weld the last piece like you welded the first one.

Step #9: Place the grate and bolt it to the hopper supports

Soil Loading System
  • Get a friend or two and lift the grate on top of the hopper.
  • The front end (with the slots) should be as shown, and the grate should be inside of the hopper on the other side (the side with the nuts).
  • Have your friend hold the grate in place for the next step, or use C-Clamps to clamp the grate to the supports.
  • Bolt the grate to the hopper supports (1/2"x 2.5" bolt and lock nut). Bolt both loosely, and then tighten them.
  • You'll need 2 washers on each side, as the holes are slots and a 1/2" washer will be too small to prevent the washer from warping. Use a 3/4" washer as the other one.
  • You may want to use a large nut in place of a washer on the hopper support side. (see photo)

Step #10: Install the grate supports

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  • Loosely bolt the grate supports to the primary arms
  • Bolt (3/4"x2.5" bolt) The grate mounts through the hopper to the grate.
  • Use a 3/4" washer where the bolt goes thru the grate support.
  • Tighten all bolts

Step #11: Re-install the shaker

Soil Loading System
  • Install the motor on the shaker motor mount if you haven't already.
  • Place it on the bolts on the hopper supports.
  • If for some reason it doesn't fit, torch away whatever metal is preventing it.
  • Tighten nuts onto it.

Step #12: Install the Dirt Deflector Plate

Soil Loading System

Bolt it to the grate.