Why a 27038, the smallest of the Craftsman Pro series? ‘Cuz it’s what I have, and because she who must be obeyed wouldn’t let me buy a used tractor, and wouldn’t let me spend over $2k. So, I chose this model since it has manual PTO, a good cutting deck, and a 20hp V-twin Kohler. And, I discovered there are several accessories available that fit.
Our yard is approx. 1 acre, and we have already dug up several bushes, some trees, and cut others down. Will soon be putting down plenty of mulch and will build a small raised garden. I can do the manual work, but shoveling aggravates my golfer’s elbow (no, I don’t golf). So, I’m now looking at front bucket and front-end loader ideas.
I have read several front-end loader threads here on MyTractorforum. But when I read where a Craftsman Pro frame bent from a front loader, I knew modifications were in order. https://www.mytractorforum.com/2813737-post3.html
I also read the New F.E.L. Build thread (among others) with interest. https://www.mytractorforum.com/14-cra...l-build-7.html
Thanks ridgestalker for all the pictures! Specifically posts 93 and 97.
My general plan is to use an Agri-Fab front scoop, Product Overstocks
but modify the mounting (eventually) so that it will go more than 6-7” in height, and use either electric actuators or hydraulics instead of the Armstrong method. The bucket is rated for 200#, but knowing me I should plan for 300# bucket loads, and lifted to a height of 36” - 42” above the ground, enough to reach a lowered pickup tailgate or my trash can. I initially planned to use the tractor’s mower deck lift setup, but I don’t see it lifting higher than the scoop controls. As nice a unit as it is, I don’t care to get a Johnny Bucket JR, because it doesn’t lift high enough for me.
I was initially contemplating adding some 1/8” x 2” C-channel on the inside of the frame rails, but after all the reading and research I’ve done, and how any machine with a front end loader needs stability and needs ballast in the back, I’m thinking I need at least the ¼” x2.5” flat steel on the inside rails. I measured the frame, and it pinches to 2.5 inches near the end of the mower deck, otherwise I’d look to use 3” steel. Extending from stem to stern, or five feet in length. And add plates across the front and back. I’ve even thought about extending the rails past the back of the tractor a foot or so to provide a place for the ballast weight, so I wouldn’t have to carry quite so much. ‘Cuz Torque = force x distance.
On second thought, I could run these steel pieces on the outside and use 3” steel all the way around. Would have to bend around to clear the muffler at the front.
Or, could run 2” x 3/8” inside the frame rails.
To compare square areas: 1/4” x 2.5” = 0.625 sq in
3/8” x 2” = 0.75 sq in
1/4" x 3" = 0.75 sq in
I also was looking to bolt/weld a doubler over the notch I’ll have to cut in the reinforcement to clear the front axle. Mainly because I like to worry, and don’t want to question that part everytime I use a bucket. I have NOT dug into beefing up the front end YET, but I did see some pictures on the PF Engineering site. Maybe once I get the frame done. *I can’t keep the tractor down too long at one time; I don’t want to push mow the yard!
I also realize the Tuff Torq K46 isn’t necessarily the premier tranny for what I’m planning to do. I plan to change it to synthetic fluid once I get 10 hours or so on it, and I am going to fabricate a fan duct to guide the airflow around the tranny to help cooling. And add a little temperature gauge to give me a temp readout. If I remember, I’ll drill and tap the drain ports in the bottom. That said, I’d also like to remove the pressure reducer that cuts reverse speeds…
Looking for advice from you folks who have gone down this road before. Thanks.