I picked up what I thought was a good deal on an American Hunter 225 lb. Tripod Feeder, from Amazon. It's the same one that Academy advertises for $79.99 (sometimes in a banner on THF). Well... It was garbage.
The motor crapped out after only 3 weeks. It would not spin, even with a new battery. The legs are so flimsy that I'd feel unsafe standing next to it with a full load of corn; and there are no feet for the legs, just thin metal pipes.
There was enough bow in the legs that, even unloaded, the tripod looked unstable. But we decided to give it a shot. After putting 2 bags of corn in it, the legs bowed considerably more and one sunk so far into the ground that the whole-shebang almost toppled over. The first thing we did was fabricate feet out of plywood and 6 in. nails(one in each corner of the foot and one in the center, protruding an inch into the leg). This kept the legs from sinking or moving. Next we had to drive a t-post next to each leg, intersecting the legs about midway up. We braced the legs to the t-posts and this kept the legs from bowing. It was still pretty easy to tip the feeder, so to protect it from hogs, we wired the barrel itself to the legs. At this point, it was pretty darn sturdy and we thought we had it made...
...But, when I came back to check it, only 3 weeks later, the motor was completely shot. So instead of trusting the rest of the mechanism, we replaced it with a Game Winner 6 volt kit. We also fabricated a varmint guard out of 1" welded wire mesh, that will hopefully keep the raccoons out of it. So, I think... for now... that I finally have this thing fixed. fingers crossed.
Long story short, If you're thinking about buying this feeder, because it seems like a good deal, It's not. Spend a little more on a better one and save yourself a ton of time and effort, and even some money in the long run. Buy once, cry once, right?
Just for the heck of it, here's some pictures of the (hopefully)finished feeder: