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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought a John Deere 317 and decided I wanted a loader for it. I could not find one that I thought met my needs, so I built my first loader which I called the "Buford Bucket". It had two 2 1/2 inch cylinders for lift and one 2 1/2 for bucket roll. The loader is powered by the tractor's onboard hydrostatic pump which has about 800 PSI for the dual implement couplings on the front of the tractor. It was actually a 43 blade that I modified to make into a loader. A John Deere 317 does NOT have power steering which was the biggest drawback. The loader lifted about 500# but I wanted more lift height and bucket roll. Then I gradually bought a John Deere 318, 322 and 332 which all have power steering. Bye, bye 317.:sorry1: The tractors are the same except for different engine options. To get the lift height and bucket roll I wanted, I started a completely new design for what I call a Mini-Loader.

Buford Bucket on John Deere 322
322 Standing Doing Pushup.jpg 322 Load of Sod.jpg

Mini Loader on John Deere 318 and 455 GT's
318 Loader Dumped.JPG 455 Loader Side View.JPG

The Mini-Loader design is the same for the 300 and 400 Series John Deere Garden Tractor. The loader sub-frames are slightly different because of the 300/400 tractor frames. A normal loader has four hydraulic cylinders which are expensive. I designed my Mini-Loader around two 3X8 standard (Inexpensive)cylinders. One is for lift and the other is for the bucket roll. A single 3 inch diameter cylinder has more force than two 2 inch cylinders.

The loader lift cylinder is positioned vertically to my patent pending Variable Torque Lift Arm. A normal loader with 2 lift cylinders is losing lift force since it has an indirect lift through two pivot points. I am not sure exactly what my loader will lift. I had nine 42# suticase weights and my brother's fat :eck05: (About 225# according to our cattle scale) in the bucket of my 455 and it lifted like nothing was there.

I am retired and now have more time to design stuff. I will ocassionally post some of my new creations.

GotDeeres

PS I hope the moderators do not digitally slap my hand again for my post.:00000060: This is my third post and am 1 for 2 right now.
 

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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
My original Buford Bucket design was the amazing to even me. The dual lift cylinders were out of necessity since there was not room for the lift and bucket cylinders in the center. The lift height and roll were better that a JB, but I wanted more. I sold my 317 and this Bucket to my barber who was building a new house. He said he moved over 20 truckloads of dirt and gravel with it. I kinda miss it.:(
 

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Shop = My Therapy
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3,157 Posts
I really like your Mini-Loader. Looks good. Do you sell them?
 

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Moderator
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21,527 Posts
Ummm. Your cylinders are significantly larger than you need, unless you get them really, really cheap. Try 2" bore and 2" or 4" longer to give better geometry, they'll still be overkill for the tractor and any load it can handle.

Those are two really nice attachments. Ideal for around the home and for close quarters work. :congrats::congrats::congrats::fing32:
 

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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Tudor,
A John Deere 44 loader which is for 318, 322 and 332 garden tractors uses two 1 3/4 X 24 inch cylinders for lift and two 1 3/4 X 24 inch cylinders for the bucket roll. The two cylinders have an area of 4.808 square inches and are rated to lift 400#. My loader uses a SINGLE 3 inch diameter lift or dump cylinder with 7.065 square inches. The 44 loader uses an auxilary pump rated at 1000 psi. My loader uses the on-board hydraulic pump that is rated at 850 - 950 psi when new. Most of these tractors are between 15-20 years old and are producing a pressure of 700-800 psi. I always check a new to me tractor to see exactly what the hydraulic pressure is.

I wished I could have found 12 inch stroke cylinders, but there was not much to choose from and they were expensive. After trying a number of different configurations, I found that the 3X8 cylinder was the best option. Many loader owners complain that their loader does not lift enough weight. Mine will lift around 500# which is not overkill when you want to pick up a bucket of gravel or use the bucket curl to pop stumps out. These tractors were designed to handle a loader so I am not overloading the tractor.

I grew up on a farm and ran just about any kind of loader there is. I have been using my loaders for about 4 years and would not change anything in the design. There is no overkill to me, it is just right.

My son-in-law has a John Deere 2305 with a 200CX loader. My loader is much smaller and can get around a yard much easier. He spent around $14000 and I have less than $2000 in my 332 tractor and loader. That is the best part.

GotDeeres
 

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1,361 Posts
I like the compact design. From the pics it looks more capable than the JBs. It is also inovative as that I have not seen any loader with that design, of course I aint seen many.
 

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134 Posts
That is a great job of fabbing up the mini loader, sure would like to see some more pictures or maybe a video of it in action. Good work.:thThumbsU
 

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That is a great job of fabbing up the mini loader, sure would like to see some more pictures or maybe a video of it in action. Good work.:thThumbsU
x2.. That is a very nice designed attachment. That gives me a little more incentive to make one vs a std FEL you see. Wonder if Electric lift cyls could be used?
 

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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
When I designed the Mini-Loader, I used the the same "Reach With Bucket on Ground" as a John Deere 44 loader. This distance made me keep the lift arms shorter which made it easier to lift. Another reason for the short arms is safety. For someone who is not an experienced equipment operator, lifting 400# six feet in the air is dangerous. My loader lifts 36+" which is to the top of the hood. There is a thread in the John Deere CUT forum to prove my point.:bonk: I have never rolled a loader, but I have had a few close calls.

I first looked at a JB and decided it did not lift high enough, poor bucket roll and not enough capacity. My mini-Loader lifts 36+" high, has about 135 degrees of bucket roll and lifts around 450# depending on the tractor hydro pump.

Linear actuators may work but would not lift as much weight and would be slower. I have seen a couple loaders with them.

People always want to know if operating the loader slows down ground speed since they share the same pump. Another question is how fast loader cycles. Just watch the video.

These videos show my original prototype on a John Deere 332. I am an engineer not a welder. My brother IS a professionsl welder and now makes them. I will post some more pictures of a new one on a 318 in the For Sale forum.

A wise man once said "A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand pictures". Oh yeah! That was me and I just said it. :fing20:

Moving Gravel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRddRQ_SbU4

Moving Dirt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fUHe7OMmA0&NR=1

Some advice for anyone contemplating building their own loader. You need a GARDEN tractor not a Lawn tractor. You NEED power steering. My first Buford Bucket was on a 317 with no power steering. It was very difficult to steer with 400# in the bucket. A simple rule of thumb is for however much weight is in the bucket , you need the same amount of rear weight. My 455 has nine 42# suitcase weights, plus the weight bracket weighs 50# and fluid in the 26X12-12 rear tires. When I go up a hill with a full bucket of gravel, I can spin the rear wheels. Weight boxes cost around $150 and are much cheaper than pig iron weights. The average cost of Iron weights is $1+ per pound. My 455 has about $400 hanging on the back. :eek: I never said this was going to be cheap!

GotDeeres
 

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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Depending on the tractor pump psi, the loader wil lift around 450 pounds.

I buy some parts from Burden Surplus center. Bailey net is more expensive.

GotDeeres
 

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Hey gotdeeres, I just stick with the tierod style cylinders, less money than the welded type. And they are available in 3,000 psi ratings.
Later, doodlebug
 

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MTD 990 Twactor Guy
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573 Posts
GotDeeres -

Very nice design on the bucket!

Are you going to offer plans? Offer the buckets for sale?

Sure would be interested in seeing more details of your build. I think something like this would work very well on the front of my 990.

:thanku: Rich
 

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MTD 990 Twactor Guy
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573 Posts
Google search for what? Who? I did a search for Buford Bucket, and all I got was a link to this thread and to the YouTube videos.

Do you have a link to his website?

:thanku: Rich
 

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Doesn't this design put all the load on the front axle as opposed to a more conventional design that moves more of the load back towards the middle of the tractor?
 

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Moderator
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All the load ends up on the front axle no matter what design is used. That's why you can stand them on their nose if you have the lift capability. I've had the rear wheels of my 2400 lb. FEL equipped MF1655 in the air more times than I care to count. (320 lb. water/calcium, 80 lb. wheel weights, 29 lb. tire chains, 250 lb. back blade and 215 lb. tractor nut behind the wheel.)
 

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Just John Deere
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739 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Tudor,

I was just getting ready to reply about the front end attachment versus the mid tractor. The main reason for the mid tractor attachment is to have long lift arms to get more lift height. By using the same Reach WIth the Bucket on the Ground as the John Deere 44 loader, my loader puts the same stress on the front end. A loader like the O-B does put much more stress on the front end due to the long reach in front of the axle.

GotDeeres
 
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