Pallet Forks...Slip on: Loaders  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Pallet Forks...Slip on: Loaders -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 08-28-2002, 14:36 Post: 41732
Bruce Pirger



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

I have decided I will try out my firewood moving idea this season by setting wood on pallets and move it around this way. Tired of moving each piece a dozen time by hand...

SO, I need a pair of forks. I have decided against the 3PT forks, as I have a blade/blower there for snow removal. So I must decide between the bolt on forks or the "hang on" that attach to the welded hooks on top of the bucket.

While wedling is my next task to learn in the outoor projects arena, I'm a ways away from it...so I lean towards the bolt on.

Comments? Experiences with the "slip on forks"? I see BlueLine Manufacturing has a pair...look pretty beefy. #3000 pounds for $500 or so, #2000 for $400.

I figure I'll move just about a face cord on a pallet...which will weigh about 2000 pounds or so. Wet. Plan to build little roofs over these pallets and everything, so i can block, split, and stack right on the pallet. Let it dry for the year, then when I need it, carry it near the house. Quick and slick, eh? Then the wood can dry wherever I put it...heck, I could almost leave it out in the bush and go get it later! Laughing out loud

All comments, experiences, etc. most welcome! Thanks.






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 08-29-2002, 06:32 Post: 41762
TomG

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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

It's sort of ironic that I posted my small joke yesterday under 'Receiver Hitch.' I understand the problem, and I don't like to regularly swap implements during the winter either. While I'm not advocating my 'Cadillac' solution of 3ph forklifts for you situation, there are things to think about.

The main drawback of bucket forks is that the weight is further from the tractor, which reduces the lifting capacity substantially. A 2000 lbs. pallet on 4' bucket forks is likely to take a pretty big tractor. Besides, a snow blower may not provide sufficient counter-weight. Swapping the blower for a ballast box might be necessary, which would seem to defeat the purpose.

Other disadvantages of bucket forks are: They can't maneuver in as tight of places as 3ph types. They lift in an arc, so pallets can't be packed tightly and lifted without first pulling them out a bit. Without a back rest, a pallet shouldn't be lifted high, because there's always risk of a load falling off the back and onto the tractor/operator. Unless the loader has coordinated controls, the load angles back as it lifts and the curl has to be adjusted periodically to keep it level.

A true forklift has some advantages since they are intended for moving pallets. The forks on mine slide in and out to easily match up with the notches in pallets. The forks swing out from the carriage and are hinged in the middle so they can easily run under pallets without digging in. The fork design plus carriage tilt also makes it easy to get the right angle to easily release the fork. sometimes it get tricky to get the forks out from under a pallet that has been sat down on uneven ground.

Anyway, I'm not saying that bucket forks won't work to move firewood, but some things should be thought about.






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 08-29-2002, 08:11 Post: 41766
Murf

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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

Bruce, as per usual Tom makes some very good points. I completely agree that 2000# that far in front of ANY tractor is a big load, let alone a compact.

I am a firm believer in looking at EVERY option before deciding on a plan of action. Accordingly, my suggestion would be to save the $400-$500 and the nuisance of putting forks on & taking them back off, especially in the snow & cold. I would suggest that you build the pallets with a little sturdier than normal frame, and a continous outer band of framing, half-lapped, bolted & gussetted at the corners, with a groove or ledge in it.

This way all you have to do is put the bucket edge under one side, run a chain down from one bucket hook under the front and back up to the other hook. Lifting and a little bucket rollback will nicely lift the firewood, pallet and all.

Total cost, about 12' of good chain...Best of luck.






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 08-29-2002, 10:02 Post: 41771
DRankin



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

I have a set of clamp-on forks for my 4100. Even though the loader is rated for 900#, the forks are only usable to the 400# range because the tractor gets real squirrelly (bouncy)with that kind of weight suspended way out there. Also consider the concentration of all the weight on two narrow portions of the bucket. That much weight on the forks might warp the cutting edge of the bucket and give your tractor a smiley face. 3PH forks are not all that much more expensive then a set on heavy-duty front clamp-ons. That kind of weight should be on the back of the tractor, assuming your machine is rated for that sort of load.
A forklift is little more than a tractor with the seat and steering wheel on backward.






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 08-29-2002, 17:26 Post: 41791
Bruce Pirger



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

As usual Murf, that's a good idea! I planned on making the pallets a little beefy...maybe I don't need to forks at all.

As far the these other concerns, I agree. I have a small ag utility tractor, not a compact. The Zetor with loaded tires and loader is over 4 tons, closer to 5. With nearly 300 pounds of me and 300 pounds of tire chains...I think it is over 5tons. Loader is the Allied 594...so she's not a small machine. Although, a ton out on those forks...I totally agree.

Mark, do you like your clamp ons? Happy with them? They don't fall off or tend to be pulled of when backing up with less than perfect alignment?

Thanks guys!






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 08-29-2002, 19:31 Post: 41795
DRankin



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

I have the 1000# rated set from Gearmore. It didn't make sense to get the heavy duty model for a 1500# tractor. I am glad to have them and use them on a regular basis. They stay put on the bucket, especially if you reef down real good on those big inch and a quarter jack screws that hold them in place.






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 08-30-2002, 05:24 Post: 41800
TomG

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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

Here's a of kind of a sideways thought. If heavy-duty pallets have to be built, maybe they could be built heavy enough to work like a stone-boat. That would at least solve all the lifting problems.






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 08-30-2002, 09:51 Post: 41813
DRankin



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

It certainly sounds like you have enough tractor to handle the load. Always nice to know that I am not the only one around here that adds significant ballast when I hop on board a tractor.






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 09-06-2002, 09:20 Post: 42084
Bruce Pirger



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

Well, I have ordered a pair of clamp on forks. I need them for other projects...and I might just try to move the wood around as you suggested murf. We shall see. Turns out blue line manufacturing out in Moxee, Washington fabricates these clamp on's for many people, including gearmore I believe.

So, here's another question....Just how stupid is it to use a FEL as a man-lift? I have these windows to install on the second floor. The thought involves building a very sturdy "cage" with side rails and all...then raise it with the loader (and me and a window inside). I can drop the loader safety arms and even place a pole underneath for additional safety...in the event of hydraulic blowout or something.

I'm sure this is one of those stupid things you should never do that happens probably frequently...






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 09-06-2002, 11:02 Post: 42090
MRETHICS



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 Pallet Forks...Slip on

While the loader is not a manlift, and should never be considered as such, it is a dailey occurance for one to be used in that manure. I have not heard of any fatality in my area that was the fault of the FEL.

In other words............No........don't do that! (I do it all the time)






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Loaders Forum

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