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Tips for First time FEL or Front End Loader users

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arcwelder
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 106 Florida
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2015-11-01          193993


I was asked about tips for using a FEL or Front End Loader.
I started this thread to help.
I have a Long 2510 Tractor that I fit a Massey Ferguson 232 loader with a Massey Ferguson 1017 Backhoe. Yes everything works correctly.

I am not an expert on this equipment, so I do not know everything.
I do know a few things.
I hope those that know more than me will add corrections or more information, so feel free to add information or ask questions.

Tractors pull and push. Add an FEL, it also lets you lift.
Keep in mind that a tractor does not have any suspension or springs to absorb any shocks.
When you do anything with a tractor, try to avoid jerking or bumping to get things done. If pulling with a chain or cable, slowly move forward and take up slack before applying power.

FEL's follow the same thoughts. If digging, move forward slowly, while lowering the bucket. Use smooth movements on the controls. Once you feel the bucket is full, pull the curling lever (move to right if it is a single joystick) to scoop while lifting the bucket.

When driving around with a full bucket, lower the bucket slowly so that it is near the ground. This is especially important when on a slant. The higher you have a full bucket, the higher the center of gravity moves. When the center of gravity passes the point of contact by the outside of the wheels, the tractor will tip.
Keep the speed down so that the bucket will not bounce. See the section on forces below.

Adding Implements to the bucket.
My dad added a piece of channel iron with clevises at both ends and the center. I added a short piece of channel to bolt to.
I also have a Hay Spear and Forks I made that connect to the top of the bucket. More on that in another post on this thread

The level indicator.
My tractor has a level indicator, a rod that goes through a pipe. As the bucket dumps or curls, the rod moves up and down. The rod sticks through the rod when the bucket is level on the ground. I painted it yellow at the top, so I can tell how much down angle is on the bucket when loading the bucket. Good to know when you want to remove the dirt down to level with the rest of the ground.
Pictures of the level indicator are here:
Bottom of page 1 and top page 2.
http://tractorpoint.com/forum/tractor-loader-guide/193344/1/FEL-level-Indicators-Ideas.html

Discussion about how the force on the bucket can effect the tractor.
Things to remember, bouncing the bucket when driving equates to hammering on the tractor.
Likewise when ramming into something.
FEL's are not bulldozers. If you can't move it by slowly making contact then pushing, you probably should consider other options.
Lowering a full bucket also has it's mysteries. You should slowly lower the bucket moving the controls smoothly, not bouncing the controls.
Because of the physics of having a bucket full of dirt or snow, Allowing it to fall 4 feet then release the control to stop, Force = Weight x ((Free Fall Distance/Stopping Distance) +1), that can be for a 72 inch bucketm 16 cubic feet of wet sand (120 lbs per cubic ft)leads 2400 lbs dropping 4 ft. yields (2400 x ((4/.25)+1)) or 40,800 pounds of impact (actually more because stopping distance will be less than an inch). Add in the fact that the fulcrum is the front wheels and the impact will be focused on the bell housing by the lever action of the FEL, it is the point where the tractor will be bent.
Ramming a tractor into a tree or snow bank to knock it over is much worse.
So the operator bumping and releasing the control valve on a full bucket to lower it instead of easing it down is not really a good idea.
Ramming into things to knock them down is not either, as the physics grow in proportion. My tractor without attachments is over 4,200 lbs so call it 5,500 lbs as is. With a 6 foot run at a fixed object, (5500 x ((6/.25)+1))yields 137,500 lbs. Even if it is a new tractor, you can break it eventually.
Suppose you over control the stick to lower and it is a free fall on a full bucket with no dangers, I go to the ground with it, then pick it back up.
Any impact that will lift the rear tires is enough to break most tractors eventually.
So taking an extra few seconds to not hurry can make a big difference in the long run.

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Tips for First time FEL or Front End Loader users

View my Photos
kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2015-11-02          193998


I am a new FEL owner. One of the issue I wonder about is cutting dirt down with the fel. How do you know what is safe and what is overloading the fel? If the fel is matched to the tractor by the manufacturer is it safe as long as slow steady speed is cutting the dirt to do so with the bucket?

Some things ARCWELDER mention here I want to echo from excavator and crane operation, always transport with load low. If the machine begins to tip towards the load, if the load is low it often will stop as soon as the load hits the ground but if very high the momentum will be enough to continue the tipping action. Also have been told if you hear the machine clanging that is not good operation. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Tips for First time FEL or Front End Loader users

View my Photos
arcwelder
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 106 Florida
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2015-11-02          194000


If the fel is matched to the tractor by the manufacturer is it safe as long as slow steady speed is cutting the dirt to do so with the bucket?
Yes,
IF the tractor stops moving or you hear the hydraulics complain, then re evaluate.
You may have hit a rock or stump that is buried. ....

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