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Loaders for Garden Tractors

2627 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TUDOR
I have a 2000 model year Cub Cadet 3235. It was the biggest Cub sold at the time. Been a mower all it's life with a 54" shaft driven deck.

I know it's not a Cub of years gone by...but what are opinions on this tractor handling a front end loader with say, a 42" wide small profile bucket. Been seriously considering this and a three point to make me a utility dirt mover for my property. I'm tired of borrowing my friends huge bobcat skid steer that destroys more than it fixes in my yard.

I'd have to add an additional pump and perhaps reinforce the frame...but overall it's a decent sized machine with 25HP and power steering. I could easily run the pump off the deck pto location. I'll let the tractor hydraulic system handle the forward/reverse and the steering only.
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I have a question...

I made a scoop/bucket clamshell type of loader and have installed it on a Sears Suburban,using a home built frame that attaches to the 4 mower deck mounts,which are plenty beefy enough...the frame goes under the front axle,and does not attach to the axle,leaving it free to "tilt" as it goes over uneven ground...

After putting this all together,with no weights or ballast in the rear tires,or on the rear of the tractor,just me standing in the bucket (I weigh about 180 lbs),will want to lift the whole rear end off the ground,and the front axle pivot action makes the tractor want to do a flip ! also puts a lot of stress on the chassis,makes it want to flex if I put my weight towards the outer ends of the scoop bucket..

Now I realize adding weight to the rear will help a lot to eliminate that,but now I'm wondering if it would have been better to make the front axle "solid" by attaching the framework to the lower axle prevent it from tilting...?

I had a 641 Ford tractor with a loader that had a center pivot front axle and it didn't seem that unstable,even when I had no liquid in the rear tires..but that was larger and heavier too..

I'm thinking make the front axle more solid might improve the stability on the Sears though...the factory Roper snowplow had 4 links that went on the front axle tabs ,in addition to the mule drive,so it tends to prevent the axle from pivoting as much as it normally I right,or should I just leave it as is,and just weight the rear end down with loaded tires and wheel weights and more piled on the back ?..
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That makes sense to me--I recall driving my old go-kart I had as a kid "off road" ,that had a solid pipe frame and no suspension or front axle pivot action,and yeah,one wheel was off the ground more often than not..I can see that twisting the frame up ...:eek:..

Even with the pivot action,I can see the chassis getting flexed quite a bit...but with enough weight in the rear it should not be too tippy..I'm guessing about 500 lbs,including me,would be enough...I'm not planning on lifting cars or anything.:D...just snow,dirt,logs, and some other objects I cant lift myself..

I'm going to start making wheel weights and load the tires too,and probably add some weight to the rear hitch plate too..

I have a large torque converter out of a Ford 4x4 truck transmission,after fall season ends, I'm going to move it off my lawn and make it into a rear counterweight..(I painted it orange to resemble a pumpkin for a yard ornament for halloween !--no one is going to smash that pumpkin!) weighs probably 50 lbs as it is,filling it with cement should add almost add that much I bet..

I can get more torque converters free or cheap from a friend's auto shop's scrap heap,I have been keeping my eyes peeled for some out of an import or FWD car that might be small enough to fit inside a 12" rim,to make wheel weights...
I've seen some on a tractor a few years ago I guy made,he just welded a flat plate to the "neck" to bolt them to the rims holes, and filled them with cement...they worked great for plowing,look neat, and are pretty much indestructible..
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I'm not sure how strong a Sears Suburban's transaxle is when it comes to how much weight it can withstand before the axle tubes or shafts bust...I'd guess 500 lbs is safe,any more may be too much for them,especially being almost 50 years old..

All I know is with no weight on the rear of the tractor,and no fluid in the tires,if I stand up in the raised bucket, with my feet close to the edges,it doesn't take hardly anything to make the rear end come right off the ground,and it wants to flip easily...GT-80 saw me do it when he was here back in the summer !...

I doubt I could pick up anything with it the way it is now--just the weight of the plow and bucket empty makes the rear tires barely get traction !..maybe with me sitting on it it might be a bit better,but I wanted it to be able to lift say,200 lbs doesn't raise up all that high,maybe 2 feet off the ground or so...

I think because I'm using a winch to raise the bucket,that is mounted on a mule drive bracket,may also be adding to the issue--if it had a subframe like a loader with the lift arms attached closer to the center of the chassis,instead of the plow/bucket pivoting off the very front end of the tractor,there would be less uplift forces transferred to the rear perhaps ?..
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