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Build with Bailey: The Little Rig that Could


Ron Snyder has always been a thinker and a tinker. Whether it be dreaming up designs and building custom cabinetry and furniture for Frank Lloyd Wright homes or devising a way to retrofit his rig with a rear axle steer that he could operate from the cab of his Toyota 4 x 4.


A semi-retired woodworker and part-time adventurer from rural Illinois, Ron looked to Bailey to help him design a solution that would enable him to comfortably maneuver any situation the trail could throw at him from the safety and comfort of the cab of his 1984 Toyota. With the help of Bailey tech team rep, Tim Tafe, he was able to bring to life his vision of controlling the rear axle steer on his rock crawler from the cab of his truck with the help of a Bailey hydraulic pump and components.


First, he stripped the rig and fabricated a frame to support the weight of the cab and motor. Next, Ron consulted with the Bailey tech team to identify the hydraulic pump and components that would be needed to do the job efficiently, effectively, and fit within the space he had allocated inside the cab. It was no easy task. The pressure and flow of the small 12 VDC units needed to be in balance to ensure that the cylinders moved at an acceptable rate, and not too fast. They also had to ensure that the unit did not provide more pressure than the steering cylinders could handle.


Along with the flow and pressure calculations, run times for the unit had to be nailed down to ensure the right motor was installed. Initially, it looked like the rig may have required a permanent magnet motor. Still, after discussing in detail with Ron, Tim was able to put him into a standard duty motor. He helped him select the valve that would work best for his steering application. After several calls to our tech team and countless hours in the shop, Ron’s labor of love, affectionately named SPANKI, came to life and hit the trails. “Thanks for all your help Bailey International! You made the rear steer part of this build so much easier on me than I ever dreamed!”


Below is an example of the type of power unit Ron used in building Spanki. You can build one too! We customize power units and other mobile hydraulic components and parts for your specific application. If you dream it, we can build it!


What have you built with Bailey?

Share your stories with us, and we may feature you and your project on our website and social media channels! Simply drop a line to our Marketing Director, Polly Weston, at polly.weston@baileyhydraulics.com.