Rock Ridge Farm Builds a CAD Digger

Last Update 6/27/01

The Driveway from Hwy 318 to the gate of Rock Ridge Farm is one mile long. It has high spots and low spots and all of the low spots seem to become full of water. My solution was to get a backhoe and dig some drainage ditches for the low spots. I priced add-on backhoe attachments for my Ford 4400 Tractor and came home with sticker shock. About the same time someone on ATIS mentioned 'CAD Digger' and off I went to explore it. Well, as it turns out, I can build a 'Digger' from scratch for about $2000, much cheaper than a backhoe attachment, and it is towable and leaves the tractor free for loader work. The following is my photo history in the construction of my 'Digger'. I will also include the cost of materials along the way and the side cost due to needing special skills I did not have (welding). Total cost to build: $2588.08 includes cost of welder, welding course, plans, motor, steel, hydraulics, wheels, and misc.

Visit Rock Ridge Farm

The Metal

The metal was ordered, delivered, and scattered in my garage.

The Start

I started the project in mid December 1997, worked for a few, days then had to put everything on hold for the holidays. We spent most of our Christmas Vacataion at the farm working on the road in the rain (that's another story), I could have really used the digger.

Finishing the Frame

After Christmas, we returned to South Fl. (we work here). As soon as I walked into my office, I found airline tickets on my desk and spent another week out-of-town. Once that was out of the way, I got back to my evening work of building the frame (completed 1/19/98) and added the wheels (1/20/98). The following are the picture progress to this point.


The Frame held no special supprises and went together just as the plans indicated. The hole in the top plate was drilled and centered by my next door neighbor. I did not make the hole in the bottom plate as yet to allow for alignment when I install the boom piviot. (by the way - I owe my next door neighbor, Rich Spoerr, a big thanks since he was often able to get replacement metal for things I messed up)



Boom and Extension



Aligning the parts

Engine and pump


Bucket components and Assembly

Inspector Spot gives approval


Completed, painted, and Ready to go to the farm

These are the final construction pictures. Next pictures will be the Digger in action.

Cost Breakdown

The following is the detail cost to date for building my 'CAD Digger'.

$ 75.00 10HP Engine bought at Fla Flyweelers Swap Meet.

$ 766.50 Steel

$ 455.64 Hydraulic Parts

$ 119.95 The Plans from CAD Digger

$ 317.99 Sears AC/DC 250AMP Welder

$ 297.00 2 quarters at the local VocTec welding course

$ 301.00 Wheels, tires, bearings, axles, and stuff

$ 255.00 Misc final cost (Lead weight, nuts, bolts, paint, and trailer lights)

The Disclaimer:

Any information you may receive related to this web site is provided merely as friendly suggestions, not as expert opinion, testimony or advice. Neither Rock Ridge Farms nor myself endorses or sponsers any information, products or methodologies you may find herein. Rock Ridge Farms, The Florida Tractor Connection, myself, subscribers nor contributors can not be held liable for any use of the information you might receive.