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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys. I need forks of some kind to lift stuff using my JD955 with 70A loader. I have a 7 BH on the back end. My bucket on the loader has already been reinforced substantially by a prior owner. It has heavy 3/8" plate extensions on the top and sides, and a 1/2" extensions plate on the bottom edge with square holes spaced about 4" apart. The total bucket extension is about 4" past the original edge. Two tow/lift hooks are bolted to the top of the bucket. I need to lift hundreds of pounds, not thousands. I have a local machine shop/fabricator that sells used forklift forks for $200/pair, andhe can build me a frame to attach to the FEL arms. I dont know what it will cost to have him build it yet, as I have to take the tractor over to him so he can figure out what he needs to build. My bucket detaches quickly with 4 clevis pins and clips.

Can I get away with a decent set of bucket forks, instead of going with the seperate frame and fork setup? If I mount the forks at the outer edges (close to the sides) of the bucket, that would be the strongest point. As you move inboard, you put more stress on the lower edge of the bucket (at least with the bucket forks I have seen. With the reinforced edges, do you think I could lift 500lbs? 750lbs?

Thanks for any input. If there is a preferred bucket fork system out there, please point me to it. I figure the custom frame and forks are going to cost me $600 at least. I would love to find a reasonable bucket for attachement for less than $500.

Jim K in PA
 

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If you put just the bucket forks on it will eventually bend your bucket (might not do it the first time) but it will eventually. My neighbor had a set of those and was lifting empty pallets off of trucks and reselling them (maybe 300lbs at a time). He was unloading the truck about 1 time a week and after a couple of months his bucket looked like a u-frame!! I am attaching a picture of the type that I have on my tractor and we use them to load/unload semis everyday. I do not have them advertised but I can get you a new set for under that budget you have. just let me know if you need additional information.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Smartfarmer. Thanks for the quick response. The damage you describe is exactly what I am afraid of with the clamp on type forks, with or without the binders and chains. Point loading is NOT what the buckets are designed for.

I will email you from your web site directly for more info. What is your name?

Jim K in PA


thesmartfarmer said:
If you put just the bucket forks on it will eventually bend your bucket (might not do it the first time) but it will eventually. My neighbor had a set of those and was lifting empty pallets off of trucks and reselling them (maybe 300lbs at a time). He was unloading the truck about 1 time a week and after a couple of months his bucket looked like a u-frame!! I am attaching a picture of the type that I have on my tractor and we use them to load/unload semis everyday. I do not have them advertised but I can get you a new set for under that budget you have. just let me know if you need additional information.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Nick. I just sent you a private email

Jim K in PA

thesmartfarmer said:
My name is Nick Moore, Thanks.
 

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Caution!!
In Slips set up due to the distance between the lower mount and the angle of the cylinder it is very probable that you will bend/break a cylinder piston due to over extension!! Have seen many and it's not cheap ! A Quick attach Mount eliminates the stress transfered to the rod itself as it eliminates the compound angle to which the cylinder has to work against!!
 

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I am not sure what Dean is talking about, but my forks are indeed a quick mount. The reason for the angled mount is to have enough curl. The forks were origanally off a skidster and did not angle far enough on the curl if I mounted them flat to the loader brackets. There is no undue stress on any hydro cylander due to the angle of the brackets I designed. My forks go verticle to facilitate concrete slab removal and they work excellent. As with any piece of equipment safety and proper usage should be the operator's prime concern. If any cylander is over extended your load will already be on the ground. The curl is all the way out in this photo to demonstrate how far the forks will tilt and to bend anything I would have to bury them in the ground and back up. This would probably break the lynch pins on the mount before bending a cylander.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Slipshod. My 70A does not have that front bracket to attach the bucket to (or anything else). On mine there is an attachment point on the end of the arms to which the bucket is pinned. The upper attachment points on the bucket are pinned directly through the ends of the cylinders (piston side). To remove my bucket I just pull the 4 hairpins and the 4 clevis pins, and back 'er away.

The unit from Smart Farmer is pretty nice, but I am waiting on some more specs from Nick. It certainly is not heavy duty enough to sling around 3000# pallets all day, but it is way more than enough for what I need, and eliminates the potential damage to my bucket from using clamp on forks.

Jim K in PA
 

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WHat specs do you need about ours? I will get them to you as soon as you let me know what you need. But I do have to say so myself that the forks slips has are very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just thought I would update this thread a bit. I must confess that after much attention and information from Nick Moore at The Smart Farmer, I decided to try my local JD dealer with whom I have been dealing since I got the tractor last summer. He said he could match the price that Nick had given me on the pallet forks, but I would have to pay local sales tax. Well, it turns out my local dealer did not know how to read his catalogs, and after weeks of waiting, he could NOT get me the pallet forks for TWICE what Nick had quoted.

Needless to say, I called Nick and ordered the pallet forks today. I hope to have them by the end of this week or early next week. I'll post my findings after I get them on the loader.

Thanks again Nick.

Jim K in PA
 

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I got your forks coming your way and you should be seeing them soon. I believe that you will be very happy and if you have any questions or problems please let me know.
 

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Ok, You've been using them for quite a while. How are they??
 

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Now that I read this tread with out looking at the dates. I would also like to know how they are working out and what your doing with them? Please update us.
 

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Yep, I'd like to know how they are working out as well, and I see we are neighbors (sorta). I'm in Saylorsburg.
 

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I am also close to you bontai Joe. I had a customer in that area a few years ago.
 
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