I plan to install quick connects on the feed lines to both FEL and backhoe so they can be removed without draining the system. The tractor came with a 2-cylinder front blade, which they never used. The fluid reservoir is in the FEL arms, which is an issue if I want to remove the FEL and mount another attachment. I haven't looked to see if the bucket can be removed and the arms moved back and/or up so a blade can be mounted.
Ideally, I would like to fabricate a stand which can be backed in to and the backhoe removed. I also have a 42" rototiller with it's own reservoir and pump. Currently, it has a belt drive which was made to go under a large rider mower. Perhaps it can be revised to use the rear PTO on the front pulleys. Last 2 photos.
Do folks mount an auxiliary tank for operation without the FEL?
If you remove the FEL, the pump is also removed due to the reservoir being in the posts. Adding an extra reservoir can create problems if the pump is to be left in place and operational. The fluid must
have a continuous flow path from the reservoir to the pump and back to the reservoir at all times.
To remove the back hoe, you need two sets of quick connects one for the feed to the back hoe valve set and the second for the return to the reservoir. The path for the fluid must be continuous from the pump to the reservoir or the pump will be damaged.
General schematic. "X" marks the quick connects.
With the hoe installed:
FEL valve set _________X________ Back hoe valve set _________X________ Reservoir
With the Hoe dropped:
FEL valve set ________X________ Reservoir
Back Hoe valve set inlet port _______X______ Back hoe return port.
Shut off the engine when disconnecting/reconnecting the lines.
The nice thing about a hoe is that it has two stabilizers and a bucket to act as a tripod to lift/tilt the hoe off the tractor and lower to a dolly or stand before disconnecting the lines. To reinstall, reverse the procedure.
I built my equipment shed so that the bottom of the hoe will just clear the floor when I back up to it. Then I can set it down and retract the stabilizers before disconnecting the lines.
There are four options for the plow.
1) Remove the bucket and raise the FEL arms out of your sight line and install the plow as it was intended. Not the best option, but doable with little fabrication and work.
2) Make a frame to replace the bucket and install the plow on the frame. The frame can be made so that the normal plow harness can be attached and tucked further back under the arms to reduce the distance out front to the cutting edge and still allow the blade to be angled. This involves some fabrication, but once completed, little work to switch back and forth.
An example of the frame suggested that I used for a trenching bucket to replace the normal material handling bucket.
3) Remove the FEL (and pump) and install the plow as normal. For various reasons, I don't consider this to be a reasonable option. It's too much work and use of the FEL is lost while the blade is installed.
4) Build a bigger bucket and use the FEL for snow removal. This is the route that I chose for my GT and it worked well for 22 years in conjunction with a back blade. The disadvantages are that there is no angling with a bucket and a larger bucket is heavier. The advantage is that snow can be piled 7' high and the loader will chew its way through deep snow that will stop a blade dead.
Winter, using my SCUT. The GT would actually pile it higher.
There are only four pins involved to remove and install a bucket. I did it on a regular basis with various attachments for the loader. It takes me about a minute to drop the bucket, and 2 minutes, if the gods are smiling, to hook it back up. Five minutes if they are in a bad mood.