Loader Build

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PatrickHanna
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Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:21 am
Location: NW Pennsylvania

Loader Build

Postby PatrickHanna » Thu May 10, 2018 5:43 am

My loader is mostly done. Other than painting it, I just have to install a sleeve on the tilt cylinder to shorten the stroke by 3" (a little bit of a miscalculation there) and get some quick disconnects for the hydraulics. Eventually I'm going to need to get longer lines for the line from the valve to the three point and for the line from the valves to the tank return. I completely removed the steel pressure line and used fittings from Hoye to connect the line to the pump and the three point.

I bolted the bracket (probably going to cut that down some in the front) through the front frame and then right behind the bell housing there were four threaded holes the same size as the ones that go into the engine block - I'm assuming they are there to mount some kind of mower or maybe a blade - and I bolted the back end of the bracket into those. This is for light work - cleaning stalls, turning compost, moving mulch, etc... so I was able to go with a lighter construction. I got the hydraulic cylinders and lines from surpluscenter.com and I bought the spool control from Northern Tool. It has an 8 gpm capacity, which is more than what my tractor can put out. I did this on a budget, and came in at around $700 total.

The arms are 3/16 2x3 tubing. The belly bracket and arm mounts are 1/4" plate, and the hydraulic brackets are 3/8" plate. The bucket is 42" and it was the bucket we used on the Massey Harris when I was a kid. I cut it down a little bit. I did save some money on the bucket since my dad gave it to me.

I'm not sure how much time I have in this. I made the arms over a year ago, and then I took a break until last October while I considered different ways to do this.. mostly how to mount the whole thing to the tractor. In October I started working on cutting the rest of the steel, and attached the belly bracket and posts to the tractor. I took a break over the winter, and then finished it up to this point in two eight hour days. I'm guessing that total I have probably about sixty hours into it.
Attachments
IMG_20180509_194433778.jpg
IMG_20180509_194433778.jpg (136.33 KiB) Viewed 205 times
IMG_20180509_194425090.jpg
IMG_20180509_194425090.jpg (150.01 KiB) Viewed 205 times

winston
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Posts: 4501
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:29 am
Location: North East Texas

Re: Loader Build

Postby winston » Thu May 10, 2018 1:31 pm

Looking good, those cylinders look like whoppers, should no doubt lift more than you need to. Be careful with the disconnects. I am not a hydraulic expert but do know the quick disconnects should be on the cylinder lines and not the in/out lines of the valve. Bottom line, just make sure you don't dead head your pump.

PatrickHanna
Volunteer Poster
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:21 am
Location: NW Pennsylvania

Re: Loader Build

Postby PatrickHanna » Thu May 10, 2018 3:59 pm

Thanks, Winston. The cylinders are quite a bit bigger than I need, you're right about that. It takes a little longer than I would like to raise and lower the boom. I bought them more for the price than the size. I've had a difficult time convincing my wife how useful a loader would be so hopefully after she sees it in action she will let me spend a little more and I can get more appropriately sized cylinders.

Yes, that is the way I understand the disconnects as well. I just want them so I can disconnect the thing without losing a gallon of oil.

Aaron
Site Administrator
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:39 pm
Location: Iowa Park, TX

Re: Loader Build

Postby Aaron » Wed May 16, 2018 3:59 pm

For a $700 home build that looks really good! Especially considering almost 1/3 of that money was probably spent on just the valve. Just be careful if you are ever tempted to lift anything heavy (it will happen :) ). Those cylinders look like they will lift WAY more than the tractor or the loader frame could handle. :D You could probably turn the relief valve in your loader valve way down just as insurance.

Any idea how high it will lift? I have kicked around building a small loader but I always thought I would move the bucket up so it just barely clears the front bumper/hood. I can't imagine ever needing to raise more than a 5 feet or so on that size tractor and losing that extra leverage from the loader would help eliminate lots of potential problems.

PatrickHanna
Volunteer Poster
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:21 am
Location: NW Pennsylvania

Re: Loader Build

Postby PatrickHanna » Thu May 17, 2018 5:48 am

Thanks. I originally wanted to buy a loader from Coldwater Tractors, but my better half torpedoed that idea. When I told her I was going to build a loader I think she thought I was joking until I did it. From the time I bought the first piece of steel until now it's been well over a year. My main motivation was the desire to not shovel manure and to not put manure into the bed of my truck for transport to the pile. Cleaning manure out of every place it can hide in a truck bed isn't very much fun. Light landscaping is just a plus that comes with this. Moving around mulch or a wheelbarrow's worth of gravel is nothing with this. We have a burn area where we burn all of our paper and have the occasional campfire, and after the ashes get rained on it turns into the consistency of wet sand and one layer settles on another until it's a foot deep and up to the top of the barn stones around it. I clean it out every spring and it usually takes me an hour to shovel everything into a dump wagon or wheel barrow and then make several trips to dump it all. I cleaned it out with this the other night - it took three trips and about ten minutes, and that was only because I had to drive so far to where I spread the ashes.

This is a picture at the highest lift -

Lift 2.jpg
Lift 2.jpg (181.71 KiB) Viewed 66 times


I'm very careful what I lift with this, at least so far. Right now I tinkered with the pressure release valve and it maxes out with about 300 pounds in the bucket.

The problem I have now is that I don't have nearly enough dump on the bucket - it has to be just high enough for the bucket to not touch the ground for it to dump. I can move the curl cylinder closer to the bucket, but I don't think even that is going to give me enough dump. This is why I didn't paint it before installing it. I knew I would overlook something and have to make modifications. If I can get enough dump on it it would be able to dump into a low trailer or wagon, but it will never be able to dump into the back of a truck, and that's how I want it. Even though the lift will take it that high, I have no reason to ever go that high.

As for temptation to overload it, the only thing I'm worried about is that I'll get comfortable and start trying to do more. But my dad has a skid steer I can borrow and I've rented excavators more than once, so hopefully I won't be tempted to try to bite off more than this can chew. :twisted:

If you're thinking of doing this yourself, I made a crude mock up with plywood for the belly bracket and 2x4s for arms and posts and played around with different geometry before I settled on what I wanted. I also read a very detailed analysis of a home loader build for a garden tractor that was written by a mechanical engineering student at Ohio State for his graduation project. It had a lot of detail about loader geometry and I just scaled it up a little bit for this tractor. I could email it to you if you would like. It's a good analysis.

As for the cost - like I said I saved money on the bucket. I would have been out quite a bit more if I had to buy a bucket because I'm not sure I could fab the bucket. It was originally a trip bucket, and I'd bet that the bucket is older than what I am. All I had to do was cut it down so it wasn't so deep.

Things that would probably make it easier for you than for me... I don't have a plasma cutter or acetylene torch - I just have a propane torch and it is really messy when it cuts steel. So I cut all the steel on this with an angle grinder and about fifty Harbor Freight cutting wheels. Even wearing a mask, I was blowing steel dust out of my nose for days. I also don't have a 240V welder, so I tacked everything with my 120V welder and then took it up to my dad's to weld with his Lincoln. All of that added quite a bit of time.

Without a doubt, the most expensive part of this was the hydraulics. The valve, cylinders, lines, fittings, and adapters were easily 2/3 of the cost, if not a little bit more. I didn't keep detailed records of how the money was spent, I just know how much I spent total because I kept a running tab on it.


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