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Forums > Active Threads > General Tractor Discussions > Loaders Back Hoes

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kubman
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2010-03-12          169153


I have read some posts on another tractor site about "Loader Buddy", Does anyone have any info or experience with this attachment?

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kwschumm
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2010-03-12          169154


Seems to me it won't pick stuff up as well as a grapple or scoop as well as a bucket. Like most all-in-one products it looks like it does a little of everything but none of it as well as a tool dedicated to a job. Here's a link if you haven't seen one. ....


Link:   Loader Buddy

 
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kubman
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2010-03-12          169155


Thank you for the link. It sure looks like it would be a handy tool. I'll have to do some more research. ....

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auerbach
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2010-03-12          169157


I'm not sure how much better it would work than a standard bucket on which you attached some extensions on the floor. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-13          169160


I made something like this for my medium-size backhoe loader which was 60" wide and had 3' sticking out from the leading edge. 18" was under the bucket. It looked like a grate; a piece of 1/2" x 4" x 1-1/2" x 60" angle welded to the grate crosswise to the 1"sq bar stock teeth fit over the cutting edge. A 1/4" x 6" x 60" strip welded along the rear of the teeth bolted to the rear underside of the bucket.

I went from a 7/8 yard struck capacity to 4-5 yds of hand piled-on brush, or 2-3 yds construction debris depending on what it was.

The only downfall was unlike the Loader Buddy, my bucket was not relieved on the sides to allow for more capacity and leverage (which translates into lifting ability) and longer items. A top single arm grapple would have been the cat's meow, but I sold the machine and bought a skid steer with an industrial grapple bucket with even more bucket side relief--and capacity upped to as much as 5 yds of non-hand piled brush---even an ocassional scrap car. But all this added capacity comes at a cost both dollars and weight--$5,200 for the bucket and cuts 800 lb. off the 5200 tipping capacity. Even still, the skidsteer is much more capable the backhoe loader any day by threefold. ....

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kubman
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2010-03-13          169164


Earthwrks, was this similar to a tooth-bar and did you make this solely to increase the capacity of your bucket?, or to help dig also? ....

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2010-03-13          169165


Not like a tooth bar in that the teeth or bar bolt to the leading edge of the bucket; mine went on like stepping into some bathroom slippers (tired now and can't think how to phrase it better). Once on the bucket, and with the loader raised then I would install 6 1/2" bolts along the back bottom to secure it to the bucket--the angle iron along the front edge of the bucket kept it from moving up/down and back, the bolts prevented dropping down allowing it to come off. I made it strictly for picking large loose loads which was my main business 11 years ago--like constructiion debris, tree branches, stumps, fire wood, metal scrap, cement chunks, etc. On ocassion I had to back drag where I picked up debris but it put tremendous stress on the bucket bottom pulling all 6 bolts one at a time through 3/8" plate leaving "bullet holes" in the bucket. Eventually I used 30,000 lb. ratchet straps to hold it wrapped backover the back of the bucket---this allowed some springiness when I put too much down pressure on it.

Not practical for digging at all, plus the tremendous leverage on the bucket cylinder just wasn't a good idea. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-13          169166


Take a look at manure forks or buckets--these have round bars that are widely spaced--mine were 1" sq bars with a chisel edge (note the loader buddy has the chisel the wrong way which just ride up over stuff). My teethe were spaced about 4-1/2" for strength (in numbers) and had welded 1/4" x 2" x 4-1/2" plates tipped backward between teeth to keep them from bending, and the helped prevent submarining of the teeth in loose soil. The whole assembly weighed about 300 lb. ....

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kubman
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2010-03-13          169167


Why do you say the wrong way? Wouldn't the way loader buddy has the chisels prevent the submarining in the loose soil you talk about? The web site says it is good for handling logs too, maybe this keeps the picking up of excess dirt to a minimum.?? ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-13          169169


I say wrong way because, yes it helps prevent submarining BUT also prevents picking up stuff unless you drastically tip the bucket forward which is counterproductive---think of the purpose of a tooth bar and the tooth orientation for. Not necessarily digging but getting under things to get a bite. ....

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kubman
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2010-03-13          169175


Thank you for answering my questions. I think I will ask a question on the web site and see what sort of response I get. I just like to do a little homework before I do that. I will let you know what they say. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-13          169179


Curious: what do you want to ask them?

Ask them for me what spec steel they use (is it all cold-roll mild steel), what are the tines made of, its weight, and cost plus shipping? Most sellers average the shipping at $250 so they sometimes make money on shipping too. I "check" them on it by telling them I will be in the area and would like to save $250--if they balk then you are taking money out of their pockets.

I had this happen on a set of skid steer tracks I wanted to order from Colorado. The guy wanted $280 to ship them. Turns out those tracks were made only 3 hours from me. All the guy was going to do was make a phone call to the mfg. and have them shipped directly to me (a lot of companies do this--they won't stock it). The first guy got a good reaming from me because he told me he made them-- instead he doubled the price and tried to boink me on shipping too. ....

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kubman
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2010-03-13          169181


Mainly about the Chisels being the "wrong" way. The web site states that a lot of the components are grade 50 steel which I imagine is tougher or wear resistant. A 4' bucket weighs 240 lbs. so there seems to be plenty of material used. I will let you know what I get for an answer about the chisels. ....

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kubman
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2010-03-15          169262


Here is what I found out. The tines are not "wrong" but that way for a reason. Evidently scarifying/loosening is equally a reverse function as well as a forward function, It has more of an aggressive bite when used in reverse. In addition when back dragging it allows a bit of a float when up on its fingertips and feathering material. And again when gathering material in the forward mode it keeps the teeth from submarining. The guy tested this for almost 10 years so seems pretty confident in the design. He did say that it requires thinking a bit differently to achieve the full benefits. His last comment was "it is a tool first and a bucket last, but still very much a bucket"
As far as the material goes, the tines, bucket bottom, wear strips and the end plates are all grade 50 material and I know this stuff is not cheap so there was no scrimping when it comes to materials or build quality. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-15          169263


Quote:


He's quite the salesman. Too bad he doesn't have his facts straight though.

Like I pointed out before, I built AND used mine too. I do this type of work for a living so I'm not talking hypotheticals or out my you know what.

There is NO way a chisel point is going to be MORE aggressive in reverse with them the wrong way--and yes they're the wrong way. Good luck trying to pickup brush the right way without it riding up over the branches versus the chisel points getting under the debris. That makes as much sense as saying I can pick up a dime better with gloves on.

And as far as submarining that was in the context of digging for the most part. Any competent operator under the conditions of picking up debris can prevent submarining. In fact I used mine on a lawn with little but expected and acceptable damage to the lawn.

If his chisel point are the "right" way then explain to me why every bucket known to man has the cutting edge's chisel point the "wrong" way?

And I don't buy it's a bucket second. That bucket will be useless and unpractical for anything other than moving debris. (Which is why was mine was removable) Or raking up stuff---digging NO. Moving dirt---NO. It is a dedicated debris bucket with a single purpose.

....

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kubman
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2010-03-15          169264


Thank you for your comments but it has left me more confused than anything. You don't think much of Loader Buddy, that is pretty evident. I have to respect your opinion based on your experience. What about the other guy? He sounds pretty convinced about his products usefulness. So here I am trying to sort this out, guess I will do more research. You did not comment on the materials so I will draw my own conclusions there. You wouldn't happen to have a photo of your removable attachment that would help me understand better, would you?
....

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Murf
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2010-03-16          169271


Quote:
Originally Posted by kubman | view 169264
You don't think much of Loader Buddy, that is pretty evident.I have to respect your opinion based on your experience.What about the other guy?


I know I'm not the 'other guy' your talking about, but as a pretty experienced owner-operator and a licensed engineer in 2 disciplines, I'm going to tell you, without reservation, that 'loader buddy' is a disaster waiting to happen to a FEL-equipped tractor IMHO.

Anytime you uncurl the bucket like that and then apply force to it you are putting 100% (more in fact because of the leverage) of the force (including tremendous shock-loading when you hit even a small obstacle) on the seals and lines of the curl cylinders and without the benefit of a pressure relief valve to boot!!!

I'd say you'd be lucky to only blow a cylinder or two or maybe a line, in a worst case scenario, (like hitting something with just one side of the teeth) twisting the FEL frame itself.

That really only leaves the ability to scoop debris better than a bucket, and a $200 set of clamp on manure forks will do that far better than the 'loader bucket' would IMHO.

Run away, very far away.


Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-16          169272


No pictures sorry. The backhoe and attachment were sold a few years ago.

And Murf is right about shock loading the curling cylinder--mine snapped in half but not before it bent into a cee while using it for back dragging.

I'm not a materials expert other than I buy the best for the purpose--my grapple bucket cost 4 times what my buddies paid for theirs. But theirs are ready or have been scrapped with 1/4 the hours on them than mine. Like we contractors say pay me now or double later. ....

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Murf
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2010-03-16          169278


Kubman, your profile is less than informative, just out of curiosity, what make & model of tractor are you looking at putting this on?


Best of luck. ....

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2010-03-16          169283


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 169278
what make & model of tractor are you looking at putting this on?


L4300 with a LA463 loader. Don't want to do all the plumbing for a grapple, plus don't have enough to do for it. I like the fact that you can pile long stuff in Loader Buddy and it has the tines plus it still can load dirt, compost, and you could work with rocks too. Guess I really don't mind all the things that you guys say it isn't. What I see is the utility of it over the plain old 5'tin scoop I have now. From what I have read the 4' loader Buddy weighs #240 so it is not a lightweight by any means. That would give me an effective lift of #750 more or less. It would be a little narrower but I would have better visibility. Maybe what I want to do with my loader is different than what you guys do. Despite your warnings of "run far far away" I am still contemplating it. I'll let you know what I decide. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-16          169284


Suggestion: convert your existing bucket. Relieve the sides of the bucket so that it has an ell shape to accept more product. Be sure to reinforce the sides to make up for lost material afterward. The pieces that come out could be bolted back on when moving dirt. For the tines buy bale spears from TSC or other. Weld or bolt on the round female holders individually like bucket teeth or as a unit like a tooth bar preferably inside the bucket or on the bottom if the cutting edge is in the way too much. For a cheap grapple which mounts to the top of the bucket check out eBay---they offer single arm ones for about $200. You'll need to reinforce the top of the bucket though. For plumbing buy a $60 divertor/selector valve and plumb it into the bucket curl circuit---or power it from a rear remote--if you don't have one this is one reason to justify it.

With my industrial skid steer grapple which does not have tines but has 2 separate arms, all I do to pick 4-5 yard loads at a time is push product into a pile, open the grapple arms with the bucket curled forward and crunch down on the load. Voila!

I feel if you relieved the bucket sides and installed a grapple even without tines you would have a formidable tool that would run circles around the loader buddy. Besides a 4' is intended really for a machine 1/3 the size of yours truth be told. ....

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2010-03-16          169286


Quote:
Originally Posted by earthwrks | view 169284
Suggestion: convert your existing bucket. Relieve the sides of the bucket so that it has an ell shape to accept more product. Be sure to reinforce the sides to make up for lost material afterward. The pieces that come out could be bolted back on when moving dirt. For the tines buy bale spears from TSC or other. Weld or bolt on the round female holders individually like bucket teeth or as a unit like a tooth bar preferably inside the bucket or on the bottom if the cutting edge is in the way too much. For a cheap grapple which mounts to the top of the bucket check out eBay---they offer single arm ones for about $200. You'll need to reinforce the top of the bucket though. For plumbing buy a $60 divertor/selector valve and plumb it into the bucket curl circuit---or power it from a rear remote--if you don't have one this is one reason to justify it. With my industrial skid steer grapple which does not have tines but has 2 separate arms, all I do to pick 4-5 yard loads at a time is push product into a pile, open the grapple arms with the bucket curled forward and crunch down on the load. Voila!I feel if you relieved the bucket sides and installed a grapple even without tines you would have a formidable tool that would run circles around the loader buddy. Besides a 4' is intended really for a machine 1/3 the size of yours truth be told.


I have seriously considered your proposal. Bale spears on Ebay $75, much less than tsc. Lets say 4= $300. Loader buddy has 6. Relieve the sides and then reinforce the sides. Loader Buddy has 1/4" grade 50 sides. I already said that I don't really need a grapple because I just don't have the work for it. Does this reworked bucket need a grapple to "run circles around loader buddy" or are you just sold on having a grapple? When I do the math, counting time and material, I just can't convince myself to ruin a perfectly good snow bucket to prove that I don't need to buy loader buddy. You obviously have built and modified a lot of stuff and have all the skills that are needed. I however lack the equipment to modify the equipment and to pay someone else to cobble my existing bucket is counter productive. If you buy a tooth bar, $200-300, throw in a ratchet rake, $300 (they advertise forward and reverse action too by the way), add a CHEAP grapple $400+ hoses and control circuitry you are over the price of loader buddy. I see 4' grapples advertised for skid steers and the much narrower stump bucket too so why is a 4' loader buddy too small for my tractor? I have researched this alot before I spend any money and greatly appreciate any input I get from others including yourselves. As I write this I realize I can either have a bucket riddled with holes to mount, bolt, and strap attachments to, or I can have loader buddy and a really nice snow bucket. Gonna sleep on it a few nights.
....

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Murf
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2010-03-16          169287


Quote:
Originally Posted by kubman | view 169286
Suggestion: convert your existing bucket. Relieve the sides of the bucket so that it has an ell shape to accept more product. Be sure to reinforce the sides to make up for lost material afterward. The pieces that come out could be bolted back on when moving dirt. For the tines buy bale spears from TSC or other. Weld or bolt on the round female holders individually like bucket teeth or as a unit like a tooth bar preferably inside the bucket or on the bottom if the cutting edge is in the way too much. For a cheap grapple which mounts to the top of the bucket check out eBay---they offer single arm ones for about $200. You'll need to reinforce the top of the bucket though. For plumbing buy a $60 divertor/selector valve and plumb it into the bucket curl circuit---or power it from a rear remote--if you don't have one this is one reason to justify it. With my industrial skid steer grapple which does not have tines but has 2 separate arms, all I do to pick 4-5 yard loads at a time is push product into a pile, open the grapple arms with the bucket curled forward and crunch down on the load. Voila!I feel if you relieved the bucket sides and installed a grapple even without tines you would have a formidable tool that would run circles around the loader buddy. Besides a 4' is intended really for a machine 1/3 the size of yours truth be told.
[QUOTE=kubman;169286]When I do the math, counting time and material, I just can't convince myself to ruin a perfectly good snow bucket to prove that I don't need to buy loader buddy.

As I write this I realize I can either have a bucket riddled with holes to mount, bolt, and strap attachments to, or I can have loader buddy and a really nice snow bucket.[/QUOTE]

That seems like a peculiar statement to make considering that only a couple of days ago you had never even heard of them and a simple search of the 'net shows that there is very little info. on the product.

Can you point me to the info. you found that I couldn't find?


Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-16          169288


Like anything in life you don't miss what you don't have. BUT like the oher saying: once you go ... you never go back. That said, I'd never go without a grapple. I have a bad back and use it to sort scrap when iLm achey---I can pick up one sheet of sheet metal out of a pile. Could never do that or anything like that with tines alone.

Skid steers like tractors come in many sizes. My brand has anything from 3' wide at the tires to 6' wide---something like 10 different models. So it follows that the width of the bucket should be at least the width of the machine. I prefer about 6" wider so that I don't scuff a building with the tires, or end up stuck up against it finding I can't steer away from the wall.

With tractors, the exception is for cleaning livestock stalls where width is critical, but you better have the reach on the loader. ....

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earthwrks
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2010-03-16          169289


Murf I had the same thought you did LOL

Kubman you wouldn't happen to BE the Loader Buddy would ya? You seem to be too defensive for someone just looking for objectivity or input.

If you're not my apologies. Please understand that from time to time we see posts like this and this seemed to fit the MO. Lol ....

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2010-03-16          169290


Apology accepted but thank you for pushing me into more research. I have learned alot. If they painted grapples different colors it sure would help!
http://www.ratchetrake.com/index.shtml
http://www.berlon.com/botb.php
http://cgi.ebay.com/Digging-Bucket-w-Grapple-attachment-skid-steer-72_W0QQitemZ280472150298QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item414d71611a

I have been to too many other places to list, Like I said I'll let you know what I decide.
....

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2010-03-17          169295


If I only needed some type of light weight root rake this thing "MIGHT" be ok. I would not buy it!

Putting tines on my bucket much cheaper. The other issue I see is lack of a grapple.

But to each his own. I think PT Barnum had a saying... ....

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2010-03-21          169400


I have been looking around the attachment market after receiving all the opinions here and so far have not seen anything that fits the bill for what I want to do except for loader buddy. Gonna see what kind of deal I can get and take a chance. Still don't know why you guys are so against something you have never tried. ....

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2010-03-21          169402


Quote:
Originally Posted by kubman | view 169400
I have been looking around the attachment market after receiving all the opinions here and so far have not seen anything that fits the bill for what I want to do except for loader buddy.Gonna see what kind of deal I can get and take a chance.Still don't know why you guys are so against something you have never tried.


There's been a lot of reasons given but it seems like you have dismissed them. I once had a boss who asked me to give him data supporting a decision he already made. That sort of seems like the path your are taking, looking for data to support a purchase you want to make. That's fine, everyone is free to spend their money as they see fit.

If you do get a loader buddy please post some pictures and your experiences. You might change our minds or you might change yours.

(BTW, my boss' decision was wrong, the data didn't support him, and it cost the company $2M dollars). ....

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2010-03-21          169403


Just an anecdote about grapples: when we were cleaning up Hurricane Katrina for the Army Corp there were 10 federal employees watching us. A buddy knowing he was being watched used his bobcat grapple to pick up a 1 gallon metal gas can by its handle, spun around and set it back down in front of them upright. He gets out of the machine with the federals cheering him. He feins modesty and says, "naw, don't cheer... I was trying to unscrew the cap" that got a big laugh!

But they are very versatile. ....

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2010-03-21          169406


I get your point. Maybe I will look at the thumbs again before I buy anything. Will just have to have someone weld it on for me. Do you think a tooth bar and a thumb would be the better option? Please tell me why also, that helps me decide. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-03-21          169409


No tooth bar. The loader bucket is not made for digging nor for getting leverage or "bite". What is made for you ask. Strictly for moving loose material. I have seen too many that are "smiling" after just a few hours use--even after I warned them--on new machines. And these guys were former equipment operators and or farmers who admittedly knew better. Even if the bucket could withstand it, the grapple (not thumb--thumbs are for backhoes and excavators on the dipper stick), you are defeating the purpose--the bucket cutting edge---tipped forward or sitting flat needs to be at or just below the debris pile. And preferably, while tilting the bucket forward simultaneously you're closing the grapple which needs to be just slightly above or just resting on the cutting edge. This way you're getting the full benefit of the grapple scraping action.

If it comes back from the shop looking like a snaggle- tooth tiger, that is not good. Like I said before, you should be able to pinch and hold a piece of sheet metal with it.

Make sure whomever welds the grapple on it doesn't make it so that when the grapple is closed that it forces the the cutting edge down more than say 1/4". It will flex back. ....

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kubman
Join Date: Mar 2010
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2010-04-23          170251


I have not pursued anything yet in modifying my bucket. I have done a lot of reading though. LOTS of people seem to think a tooth bar is the way to go. One guy talks up the "Ratchet Rake" a lot. Yet another add on I found was Bucket Buddy, another clip on device. Earthwrks, you seem to really like grapples. I do see that there are some Loader Buddy videos posted on You Tube. I also understand that there is a 4.5' version available now in both the low profile and HD version. Perhaps the low profile 4.5' one would be better for my L3400? ....


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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-04-24          170257


Ever hear the saying: using a pipe wrench as a hammer? The CUTS are not designed nor built to stand up to the abuse these attachment and buckets put on the tracor and more specific the loader.

But like the wise words of my good friend: opinions are like you-know-what holes: everyone has one and they all stink LOL ....

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kubman
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2011-04-25          178168


I am really glad I did not take your advice. I got a 4.5' Loader Buddy and love it. Well made, fits great and does everything as advertised.....With a little practice I might add. There was some delay in the order but it was worth the wait. ....

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