Is your tractor cab showing the years of wear and tear it has endured? Instead of spending money on a new tractor, why not simply replace the cab interior?
Doug Haas, of Haas Equipment, near Madison, MN, has been buying used tractors and reconditioning them for farmers for more than 20 years. In that time, he has given a new look to about 250 to 300 cab interiors. Haas has some tips when it comes to re-foaming your cab.
Before beginning work on a cab interior, Haas first identifies the make, model number and cab serial number of the tractor cab. He needs to know this information so he can order the correct cab interior kit from K&M Manufacturing, a company specializing in original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-quality cab interior kits. Haas uses the company’s pre-cut kits, making installation of new foam simpler.
To remake the interior of a John Deere 4430 with a 30 series early cab, he first consults his K&M Product Catalog to order the correct kits.
He will use the seven-piece kit, “30 Cab Foam Kit-Early,” because it has a 7-in. seat cavity. K&M’s price for this kit is $170. He needs two more pieces to complete this cab: the “30-40 Headliner Filter Door Panel,” $31, and the “30-40 Headliner Front Panel,” $86.
Once he receives the kits, he lays everything out next to the tractor so all his supplies are handy. Other supplies he says are needed include 3M Spray adhesive, about $20, a putty knife to use as an edge to shove and tuck foam into place, and a pair of scissors. Supplies to clean the cab also will be needed during the project.
Haas recommends removing the seat inside the cab for ease of putting in interiors, but it may not have to be done in all cases. In the case of this tractor, it is not needed.
First, Haas rips out all of the old foam he is replacing, then scrapes away old glue and foam bits still stuck to the metal interior. Then he uses an air hose to blow all the dirt and excess material out of the cab before washing and drying areas from where foam was torn out.
This tractor does not have any livestock odors or buildup, so the cab will not take as much time to clean out. But if it did, Haas recommends a steam wash. He says that to rebuild a nice cab interior, it’s best to start laying new foam in a clean tractor.
After the cab has dried out and is ready for new foam, he lays out all of the foam pieces he will be using and begins to pre-fit them into the tractor without using glue. The purpose of this step is to prevent errors and make sure all the foam fits accurately in its right place.
After laying out the sequence of the foam, Haas sets to work spraying glue on the foam and the cab steel of the area he is replacing. He precisely places the foam piece in the cab, using his putty knife to carefully fit the foam edges into tight spaces. His tip for spraying on the adhesive is to spray carefully around the edges of the foam first, and then evenly coat the middle.
He places the first piece of foam on the lower right section of the cab. Once this piece of foam is laid, Haas works his way around the seat bottom. The reasoning for this method is to have carefully fit pieces that match up nicely and make the cab interior look sleek.
Haas places the headliner front panel and filter door panel last. He glues on the flat foam piece of the filter door. Then he removes the headliner front panel and reassembles it with the new piece that clips into place.
For the finishing touch, Haas washes up the foam in case it has come in contact with any dirt or dust. In a total of about 2½ hrs. and a cost of $307 (not including labor), Haas has given the interior of his 30 series tractor a fresh, clean look.
Haas chooses to order his kits directly from K&M Manufacturing because he likes that the company is “a local business with good prices, fantastic service and a personal touch.” He also prefers its method of cutting out a groove in the foam where it needs to be bent, creating a neater and original-looking corner surface.
Haas points out that making over the interior of a tractor increases its value. And, he says, “when sitting in the tractor cab for many hours a day, it is nicer to see a clean-looking and unworn interior.”
Contact Haas Equipment, Box 115A, Madison, MN 56256, 320/598-7604. See a Farm Industry News video  of the K&M factory and its tractor cab replacement parts.
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