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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Couple of days a go I was out in the woods smoothing out some trails between trees with the loader. In some places I was catching the blade under tree roots and stuff so was pushing hard on the loader hard. Other times I used the bucket up curl to break out some of the smaller roots. This all seemed like tough work on the loader. As I was doing this I was wondering how rough I can be with it with out damaging something.

I thought if I keep the engine around 1900 rpms that would limit the loads on the hydraulics and stuff, which still gave me enough power to do what I wanted. After I was done, I checked the bucket level compared to the garage floor, didn’t seem like I bent anything.

Anyone got any input? Ever damaged your loader?

One guy I know with a JD in the 50hp range bent his loader arms last winter shoveling snow, but I don’t know the details of how he did it.

I have a BX1860 with a LA203. The LA203 looks to me to be pretty much the same as other BX loaders but with a smaller bucket.
 

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I'm sure there's a way to damage it. My top lip looks to be a little deflected, but it's hard to tell. Worst abuse I gave mine was to dig a maybe 200lb to 300lb rock out of a hole. I could barely get the lip of the loader under the top edge. Kept curling it hard to try to move it out of the hole. Finally got it when I placed a smaller rock in the hole next to the big guy so that as I lifted the big one up, the smaller one fell in under the one I was trying to move. This kept it from falling back in once the loader lost leverage on the big rock. I must have maxed the curl function out 20 times trying to get that rock to move up over the edge of the hole. Like you, I thought I might have bent the cutting edge but no harm was done. I was impressed.
 

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You will have trouble to hurt that loader. I have put mine to the test several times..so far, no problems.
 

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I just finished another day of ripping out small trees (2" and smaller, as well as several clusters of 5-6 1" trees/shrubs at the bottom of the field. Decided it was time to clear out the brush and reclaim that area.

Typically I dump the bucket to around 30 degrees down, lower until the front wheels lift, then push forward and dig in under the roots. Once under the edge of the root ball I curl the bucket up to 'pop' the roots out. I quit counting how many times I've maxed the hydraulics LONG ago... bucket & arms are still in good shape. The hydraulics are designed to operate within the strength of the mechanical assemblies.

That said, these machines are POWERFUL, and quite capable of destroying themselves is used improperly!
i.e.:backing up while lifting the FEL when jammed under a root and allowing the rear end to lift high into the air, then trying to drive forward to pry something out of the ground. This will place WAY more stress on the arms then they are designed to handle.

Basically tyou should just pay close attention any time you are using your machine. You will develop a feel for what it will handle and what is too much for it. You have to be careful to work within the limits of any machine you are using. Not only could you damage a machine working outside its capabilities, it can also be extremely dangerous!
 

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I was helping a neighbor move a few FEL loads of dirt the other day. I don't have a ballast or any other weight for the back (yet, due to a paperwork mishap at TSC.. bastages!).

But, I was in 4wd of course to get a good bite (turf tires on my bx1860). When driving in reverse on grass to go dump the load, when I turned it almost felt like there was some clicking or grinding in the front end, and the front tires were obviously stressed, bouncy, and looked like they were gonna pop at any time. So after a couple loads I would back out straight, pop out of 4wd, turn, drive towards the dump pile and unload, drive back up to where we were digging, and before digging put it back in 4wd.

Is that overly cautious?
 

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LOL... when I pick up a bucket load of dirt w/o the rear ballast on I HAVE to leave it in 4WD; otherwise my rear tires just hover above the dirt spinning!!

Seriously though, if you can feel it binding up, you probably shouldn't be in 4WD.

HOWEVER...

If you are operating on hilly areas (esp heading down a hill with a loaded bucket) ALWAYS use 4WD. There was a thread on here a while back when someone tried heading down a hill with a loaded bucket and NO ballast in 2WD. Short of it was a runaway tractor that ended up rolling at the bottom and if memory serves me a broken arm. These machines have only 1 brake, and it only slows the drive wheels! If you do a nose stand heading down the hill and are in 2WD, you're in for a heckuva ride!!!

Actually, if you think quickly, you can drop the bucket to the ground fully curled and it will eventually stop you or at least allow your back wheels to stop you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree. I’ve experimented with using the loader with and without ballast. Without ballast is dangerous. I use the Kubota ballast box. On the box it says for BX add 300 lbs. This is what I have in there now which makes the loader much more useful and safe. I have hilly terrain and can go just about everywhere with the ballast. I started with 200 lbs, but the sticker is right, 300 lbs is much better. The box is 100 lbs so the total is 400lbs

I always use 4wd with the loader except on pavement, and always low range except on smooth pavement.

Also the box puts 400 lbs 3 ft behind the rear axel which lightens the load on the front tires. The front tires are much less squishy, but adds squishy to the back tires. I think its best to have some squishiness in all four tires with the loader to reduce the bouncing at the bucket when rolling over stuff. With no ballast on the back, the fronts are bulging a lot, and the backs don’t squish at all and when the backs roll over bumps the tractor bounces much more or can even cause the back to bounce off the ground. With the ballast all 4 squish more evenly and the whole package feels much better.


I was also digging some dirt this weekend, hard packed dried out. I fell into the same technique that JRC0528 described. Curl down about 30 degrees, lift up the fronts some, go forward, when the tires start spinning curl the bucket up and you end up with a good amount in the bucket. After you get the feel of the hardness of the dirt, you can anticipate better when you need to start the up curl spin the tires less and get bigger bite.
 

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My brother in law racked his bucket a bit when he tried to pick up a huge rock with only one corner of the bucket under the rock. It does not sit level now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My brother in law racked his bucket a bit when he tried to pick up a huge rock with only one corner of the bucket under the rock. It does not sit level now.
Mine wasn't exactly level when it was new, It's off by about 1/4 inch. I thought the rear tire pressures were mismatched, but wasn't. So maybe I should lift a big rock on the high side to level it out.
 
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