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

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skipll
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2011-04-13          177950


Hello
Looking at mechanical thumbs to put one on my Kobelco SK015.
Can someone tell me what size thumb I should put on as I see that they come in 21"--24"--30" etc..
(note: I would prefer a bolt on unit)
Thanks
Skip

Maybe this photo will help ( if it shows LOL)

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auerbach
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2011-04-13          177951


Wouldn't you measure from the attachment point so the thumb teeth will meet the bucket teeth? They don't have to meet exactly, and the heavier the expected loads the shorter you'd want the thumb, which will not be as strong as the bucket. ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-14          177965


Mine is about as auerbach said. The thumb is within a couple of inches the length of the bucket teeth or where they meet. My thumb is probably most used past 90 degrees toward the bucket, totally guessing here about 10 degrees.
I would have concerns about a bolt on thumb, considered them and was recommend against them. There needs to be an additional plate welded on the bottom of your boom for the thumb mounts to be welded to. It is my understanding the bolts ons have tendency to move and also to bend the top of the boom where the front U bolt is. It was suggested to me here and proved to be great advice, ask around and find out who there builds the thumbs and have them do yours. My guess you are looking at $800 to $1,000 install for a top quality thumb done right. It would worry me to have a thumb could not trust. As to being not as strong a bucket, mine holds it own against the bucket it not you would never be sure a load was secure. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-15          177976


Thanks for the replies--

Yes I was having doubts about a bolt on myself. So I have started looking at weld on ones---But I am not a good welder--but do have a neighbor that is very good.
So I'm lookin at mechanical ones---Don't think I need a hydraulic one as I won't be using it very much.

Just need a basic one like the picture shows---any suggestions on a good one out there?
I have measured as they say to do----IE. bucket 90 degrees to the arm---measure from arm to tooth on bucket---I get 20" ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-15          177977


I bought a bucket for my mini excavator from these people and they did a good job at fair price. They might have dimensions to help you out. No idea what is on ebay but there were thumbs made in India and being sold there. No idea their quality but you do not want a thumb to fail when loaded.

As to how much you will use it...my guess is you will find it much more useful than you think and end up using it a good bit unless all you really do is dig and load...dirt or such. If I had a hyd circuit for one rather have it for convenience but my machine did not. You do want the teeth on the bucket and the thumb to fit between each other. I like the curve if you will be picking up round stuff like logs. But not a lot of curve or holding onto small diameter is hard. ....


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skipll
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2011-04-15          177979


Thanks KT-------
This is the most confusing thing to sort out---
I will phone the link you posted tomorrow to see if they have what I need---or can make one. ....

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earthwrks
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2011-04-16          177994


I bought a weld-it-yourself kit off ebay and was very pleased with it for about $180 out of Canada.

Be wary of overbuilt units as they weigh a lot which takes away from normal lifting ability. Even on my mid-size backhoe I could feel the extra weight when swinging or even digging.

I bolted my unit on the dipper stick with 3/4" bolts. No good. The unit kept slipping down the dipper stick from the bolts stretching and everything loosening up. ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-16          177995


Jeff is correct, you will loose some load capacity due to the weight of the thumb and mounts. You need it to be easy to pull pins on and drop for that reason and when it will be in the way. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-16          178000


Thanks for the tip bout overbuilt thumbs Jeff--

KT---I will have to look for one that has easy pull pins as I won't need it on all the time---good thought.

In the picture in my last post it looks like that one has easy pull pins--but not sure. I think it is made by GC-Manufacturing--will have to track down were I found this ( think I can make out the phone #).
So in the picture below I get 20" measuring that way---so is a 20" thumb what I should be looking for?
Sure wish there was a place I could go & look at them & then buy one--this is not easy to do on the net. I mean it would be nice to see the real thing. Oh well, I will get there with Tractor Point help--Thanks ....

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skipll
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2011-04-17          178010


Hello---Well I been all over the web looking---small ones hard to find---but did find the one in link below---It is 1" longer than the measurement in drawing ( 20").
Being that the base plate is 4 1/2" wide & my dipstick is only 4" wide--can that be welded on? ( Don't know much bout welding things up).
The next size down is a 18"---looks too small to me.
Maybee I should have one made---

Still lookin--Thanks ....


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kthompson
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2011-04-18          178028


Skip,
The person who made mine builds them for full size machines so he may have over made mine and mine is a 5 ton machine, not sure the size of yours but what I can tell you:
He installed a plate 2 or so feet long on the base of my dipper and welded the thumb mounts to it. He used I think 1/2 steel for the sides but could have been 3/8, then welded the same thickness on the side of those but smaller to reinforce them and to reduce weight. My thumb weighs, about 75 to 80 pounds. One can hold it while another inserts or pulls pins. Have done it by myself when a must.

My thumb has some curve to it as my main reason for it is logs and he built it to help hold them in a cradle verses only the teeth. In using it for logs it has held like a champ and trusting the pressure to be there with a straight thumb is something not sure works well. Then the curvature has hard time holding small items say 4 inches in diameter or less.

You do want the teeth on the bucket and the thumb to slip between each other. Yes you can weld on the dipper. You certainly want the area welded to be sufficient the thumb does not tear out or bend it. Think 1 inch longer is fine. You do want the thumb mount so when folded up or off the bucket does not hit the mount.

I looked at the thumb and don't see where it tells the width nor any specs on the steel. I would ask (also need the width of the teeth to compare to your bucket), then would try to get opinion from local company. If there is a dealership near then often they will be willing to share thoughts with you for you will be needing parts. Might suggest you go ahead and find out who builds hyd hoses if you don't know. Holler back with the thickness of the side plates and mounts and the size of your machine. There probably will be times when the full weight is being held by one side with very little held by the other as all loads don't reach across the bucket and same diameter and such. That really puts it under stress. ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-18          178029


Looked back at both thumbs you have here and mine is much more like the first you posted and for me really like it much better than the last one. Then it depends on what you want to use it for. It has surprised me how much the thumb helps with so many things. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-19          178047


Called bout the first one KT----as I really liked it---But it is too big for my machine & they don't make a smaller one yet.
So I'm still lookin--but seems not many small thumbs are made. Sorry---forgot to call the link you posted---http://www.demfg.com/thumbs.htm---Will do that today.
My machine is 3000 Lbs/16 Hp Yanmar Diesel & I love operating it (100+ Hrs. since I bought it 6 Mons. ago).
....

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kthompson
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2011-04-19          178050


Skip, back to not an expert here and you have to know the strength of your bucket cylinder and such to be sure but my guess is you will not need one with over 3/8" thick sides.

Have you looked on ebay? When I decided to have one made there was a person near you selling on ebay. Still think you can find a local shop who does such and will for you at fair price counting installing it. Might find a company who has their own machines does such or they will recommend a shop. Call dealerships and ask them. There is not going to be a perfect design for each load is different. Boy do I like using the thumb. So is more fun for stacking debris than by hand. Can run those joy sticks all day and not be tired.

....

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skipll
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2011-04-19          178052


Just called your link---They want $600 ( + freight I assume )---So still lookin----been on Ebay to---
Gona start lookin at dealers & shops now---
There is a fellow in town that could make one--troulble is I have to take it to him & leave it---I don't have a trailer or truck to do that---anyway he is known to be slow. ( & I don't want to be with out it---might take 3 weeks or more when I talked with him a while bak)

So I'm still lookin KT ----Thanks ;)

Anyway--Here is a video I made bout 1 mo. ago---If ya got nothin to do take a peek---Yup--- Ilove those joy sticks :) ....


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kthompson
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2011-04-19          178058


Skip a few comments and questions: are you new to an excavator? The way you lean forward is that to help see better or by chance a back issue? Often I will lean when something hard is going on, such as pulling stump and just does not want to move. One machine I do wear seat belt on is my mini, have hit head as it rocked over mound of dirt and bout bounced out seat more than once without belt. I don't grab joy sticks if not belted in. Now I don't remember if you wear glasses or not but do recommend safety glasses and maybe ear muffs. Have had my face sprayed more than once by dropping stump in mud or water or limb popping and snapping back at me. You were putting the blade down with each move, was that for stability or to keep it from sliding or some other reason. Boy it sounds like solid rock you teeth were scraping on!

To the thumb, the person who did mine had portable welder and came to me. One reason I did not mind paying his price. At same time the guy should be able to come to the machine and take all measurements he needs to have thumb ready and only need the machine for the most two days to install it. Yep see why you want a thumb.

Be sure you are greasing ALL fittings as they are suppose to be. Looks like a good area for wildlife. Be safe, have fun and do good out there. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-20          178068


Yup---New to backhoe's---Though I've watched them work on some of my jobs.
Seat belt----Allway's ( truck too )
No back problems---just the way I do it LOL

Thanks for your replies & tips KT

Still learn'n & Still have'n Fun ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-20          178072


I have one very serious suggestion for you..a can of wasp spray where you can reach it very quickly. Keep have safe fun there, I really enjoy "working" with mine. Very relaxing.

A trick or two that might help you, if digging on a slope park the front end down hill and use the blade to level the machine. The other is so simple hate to mention it, if it gets stuck use both boom/bucket and tracks to pull out. Okay you knew those. The same works with trying to climb up a slope where the tracks are slipping. Use the boom/bucket to pull or push you, travel as far at that allows, with blade on the downhill side use it to level you to get another grip and go again. Will amaze you the slopes you can move up and down like that. I have climbed some very steep dirt piles like that and very stable.

On your thumb, it is very easy to have pins to slip out when working with limbs, found the large hair clip pin works the best for me. The pins with the flip over round ring will flip open and be gone before you know it and often so is the pin. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-20          178073


Hey KT---never thought of this [Quote]I have one very serious suggestion for you..a can of wasp spray where you can reach it very quickly[/Quote}---Will do that---I also have a fire extingisher mounted ( easy to reach).
Yup ---I been stuck a couple times---Learned out how to get out real quick---Also threw a track the first week--had to get a neighor to help get it back on ( he's run bulldozers all his life).

Too wet out to do much of anything--so I on the ole puta LOL
Thanks for tips ....

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skipll
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2011-04-29          178238



Now I'm getting confused---I emailed the seller of the product in the link--here is his reply--

"hello, here is what you should do. 1.>Curl your bucket 90 degrees to the dipper stick. 2.> Measure from the tip of the tooth back to the face of the dipper stick were the thumb will be mounted. That will then tell you what size you need. You can allways get to big of a thumb, but you should never get smaller than what you need. If you get to small of thumb it could get wedge inside you bucket. You should remeasure but probaly a 24" sounds more like it. Any questions please ask. thanks Joe D. 515-559-4879"
So the part that gets me is---measure to the face of he dipstick where the thumb will be mounted---So--is not a thumb mounted at the e very end of the dipstick?
I have measured, as shown in previous post, bucket at 90---I got 20".
Anyone have a view on this--
This thumb is the only one I could find at 21"---there is not much out there--
Any replies greatly appreciated


BTW---Wasp spray mounted --KT ....


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kthompson
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2011-04-29          178246


Skip, there are several videos on youtube on thumbs. Below is link to get you started. I don't like the location of this one to me too far back but if right up at the pivot point of the bucket it will limit what you can hold and if too far back will limit what you can hold tight. One video made a great point, tack weld it on and then work the bucket to be sure all is clear. I think you have measured yours correctly on size. What little I know if thumb should be longer than the bucket if one has to be longer. Mine is an inch or two and it works great. You will also pick up on the value of being able to adjust the angle of the thumb depending on distance from the bucket.

Think about the lift capacity of your machine. Say it will pick up a 10 inch log okay you don't need it wide enough for a 12 inch long but would certainly not want it so near a 4 inch is all you could close on. You don't want to try to hold a lot in an upside down "V" caused by the thumb too near the bucket. Again in a video a person is moving some small logs and you will notice he is not able to pinch them because thumb is too far back for that diameter log. Since there is no side view not sure but my guess is that thumb has too much curve in it. ....


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skipll
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2011-04-30          178255


You explained very well. I cut some sticks to represent the 21" & 24" thumbs. The one below is the 21" ( will have to do another post to show the 24")
I'm thinkin I will get the 21".
The video link you sent was exalant---I was all over YouTube--never saw that one.

Thanks KT ....

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skipll
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2011-04-30          178257


This one shows s 24"
Don't know how to post 2 photos in one post---or even if it can be done.

Wada ya think KT? ....

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kthompson
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2011-04-30          178259


I think the angle in the 24" picture is too sharp, should be nearer 90 degrees. Also think it is too far from bucket. ....

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skipll
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2011-04-30          178260


THANKS KT
Think I will order the 21" as it should do good enough for me. ....

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kthompson
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2011-05-02          178294


If you have some clamps place it where you think you want it, run the bucket and see how it clears and fits and move as you need to. It no clamps do your best guess and tack weld it and do same testing. Know the size of what you will be mostly lifting if logs then cut you a slice and test the way it fits.

If you have never used a thumb before you will be amazed as how handy they are. If you don't would suggest the use of safety glasses using thumb for that using the machine period as things will snap in there and come flying at you. And you must admit if flies much faster than you can duck, well than this fat boy can. ....

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skipll
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2011-05-03          178297


Clamps I do have---100+ (retired carpter)
Ordered the 21" Thumb last night---
And yes I've been slapped in the face a few times running that machine thought the woods---Will have to get some glasess & keep them on the bachoe :) ....

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skipll
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2011-05-19          178543


Can someone tell me--Do I have to disconect the battery before I weld new thumb on my 1994 Kobelco SK 015 backhoe ? ....

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kthompson
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2011-05-20          178555


No idea on your machine but I would. Some have a good bit of electronics on it and it to me is safer over sorry. ....

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earthwrks
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2011-05-20          178557


It' NOT a backhoe. It is an excavator. Huge difference. ....

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skipll
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2011-05-20          178561


Well the thumb is mounted---had a fellow neibour weld it for me--I no welder---but I can build a hoouse for ya ( anything with wood ).

So thanks to all that replied to my thread, big thanks. :)
I have really not tried it yet except to test it lifting a log couple times. Seems OK :)

"It' NOT a backhoe. It is an excavator. Huge difference."


Quite rite Earthwrks---I will try to remember that---Thanks

( BTW---we did disconect the battery before welding on my {u}EXCAVATOR[u] ) :)

Thanks again guys & Tractor point ( great site) ....

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2011-05-23          178577


Looks good. ....

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skipll
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2011-05-23          178584


You were quite rite bout the pins KT---
Lost one today Digging out a stump---but do love the thumb---still learnin how to use---but think I got the rite size--- ....

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