My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
DIY_guys loader pictured below (which is fantastic BTW) got me thinking. My idea is to essentially copy his design but rather than the loader frame be bolted to the front of the tractor, the loader frame would be supported by two large swivel casters similar to a ZTR mower's front wheels. The loader frame would connect to the middle of the tractor frame similar to his except with pins so the entire loader could rotate or hinge and move up or down with the terrain. To keep the loader located side-to-side at the front I would make some sort of watts link or panhard bar similar to automobile suspensions.

I think with a std loader I would bend my front spindles and or frame so this method would put the majority of the weight on the casters and essentially the tractor would just push the loader around. Let me know what you guys think,

Jason

http://www.mytractorforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=69882&d=1245433768
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I think thats a good idea. Allowing the casters do bear the majority of the weight would be a great idea. Although I'm curious about the load bearing strength of the frame when the weight is placed perfectly horizontal to the vertical plane of the frame. Overcoming the torsional force is what you would need to do if you mounted it to the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
^^^^^What'd he say???^^^^^^

I think in other words..... would the front end lift with a load in the bucket? The floating frame might make a fulcrum of the caster wheels?

I think it's a great idea. If you build it, and it doesn't work well, you can always attach the frame to the front end and remove the casters.

What Tractor are you going to use?
:trink39:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sorry, GTS5000 Craftsman. Im thinking this may be doable.
 

·
Retired MTF Admin
Joined
·
11,156 Posts
Interesting idea!

What would prevent the caster wheels from sinking into the ground once the weight in the bucket is lifted?

I built a loader which makes me sound very intelligent :D! The truth is on my first build, I copied all the dimensions, duplicated the size and wall thickness and included a near identical hydraulic setup. I must say I didn't actually understand all of the aspects and added engineering of the original FEL. I felt that all that's necessary is for it to go UP, DOWN and TILT. Man, was I wrong. There were tortional differences, loader frame twists and transmitted front impacts that I hadn't even considered. It wasn’t until then did I understand why all the additional design and materials were used.

I'm not suggesting that your design wont work, but perhaps a joyride on another machine with a loader will help you further develop your plan. Regardless, I look forward to your build and future posts.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Your right, Ive never used a loader. Good point on the sinking, I think its absolutely true that the caster tires could sink. The widest afforable casters Ive found are 3" wide from Northern Tool. I may have to make my own using GT front tires.
 

·
15,000 +posts!
Joined
·
20,446 Posts
How about a big pivoting roller ,made of big pipe,instead of wheels??..then you can roll the lawn at the same time..:D....it would spread the load over a wider area and prevent it from sinking in soft soil ..or maybe a big "ball" like that Dyson vacuum cleaner uses..

After playing around with a simple bucket "conversion" device I made that slips over a plow blade on my MTD,I reached a few conclusions..

A:--the majority of lawn and garden tractors were never designed to carry 200+ lbs on the front axles--yes,SOME can,but they'll still wear out quick..
the majority of them will need beefier axle beams or at least spindles beefed up..few lawn tractors have real frames,stamped sheet metal isn't up to the task,not for long anyway..

B:..Even if the frame and front axle are beefy enough,the STEERING system isn't,even on "better" more rugged tractors..few use a "real" steering box,and the cheesy open gear setups dont like the heavy loads a loader imposes on them,and will skip,strip and fail, when the chassis flexes under a load..

I had a "real" tractor,a Ford 641 with a loader,and I considered even THAT pretty useless,with no power steering..its practically a must on any tractor with a bucket up front..no down pressure is another "bummer"..

Though I'd like to build a loader for my Suburban,I know darn well it'll be very limited as to how much weight it can handle,it still has open gear,non power assist steering,and it also pretty much makes the tractor a "loader only" one,since you cant use a mower deck if a loader is on it..even though they came factory with loaders,it doesn't mean they'll lift a heck of a lot or be able to handle the load if it CAN lift it..even my Ford felt "tippy" with 300 lbs in the bucket and it weighed 3500+ lbs,with loaded rear tires..200 lbs can FLIP a 600 lb.garden tractor over very easily..just the weight of the loader frame an bucket is pushing its limits empty!..

So I'm having second thoughts about going through all the effort to build a loader,then find its not much more than a tinkertoy,due to the tractors limitations..Are they neat??..absolutely..Would I love to have one?..YES!..would I have enough USE for it to justify all entailed in making it and getting it to work?...probably not..:(

A rear mounted scoop might serve me just as well,and the only drawbacks to having it in the rear is you have to use reverse ,to do all the "bull" work ,digging and loading the bucket ..advantages are the rear end can handle the weight better,it wont afftect the steering negatively,if anything it'll lighten the front end up..and you can leave the deck on or have a blade up front to level the dirt your moving too--but it'll still be a garden tractor, limited to 200 lbs capacity or so..It'll never rival a Bobcat or a "real" loader/tractor..a CUT might be a better choice in the end..
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top