An overview of a design methodology based on finite element and fatigue analyses is described for the design of welded structures. Fatigue life is a primary design consideration for agricultural equipment structural members. The re-design of an agricultural implement frame and hitch assembly is used to illustrate the methodology for optimal design and improved fatigue life. A description of the finite element mode of the agricultural implement and the simulated loading history are described. Results from finite element analysis are used to optimize the frame member sizes and calculate the fatigue strength characteristics. This design analysis strategy provides improved fatigue life characteristics for the implement frame or welded structure.