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

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Backhoes and breaking frames

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BillMullens
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2002-02-01          35196


I've been itching to start a thread on this topic for a few months, every since I became interested in 3ph hoes.

My dealer warned me to be careful (with my NH TC29) because he personally had seen two tractors of this size "broken in half" by backhoes. I'm not sure if it was 3ph or sub-frame hoes. Anyway, at least one was broken (or was first noticed) either when tramming or trailering the tractor, that is, not when the hoe was in use.

Does anybody have a good idea where these tractors are breaking specifically, and what really causes it? I have a fair grasp of the statics involved, and really can't see how a 3ph hoe breaks the frame, unless perhaps a FEL was heavily loaded and a strong shock or dynamic load is imposed by the hoe.

I'm trying to design and fabricate a frame reinforcement for my tractor, just to ease my mind. Unfortunately, a full sub-frame mount (which would require hydraulic stabilizers on my CadPlans backhoe) isn't in the cards right now.

Thanks for any ideas.

Bill

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-02-02          35202


I haven't seen a broken one, but I believe the breaks are usually at one of the split points because the case bolts fail. I heard about a break on a Ford/NH 1720 (I think) described as right under the seat.

My impression is that a tractor just isn't like a dedicated hoe platform, and it's very easy to abuse a tractor with any hoe, but it's easier to abuse a tractor with a 3ph mount than a sub-frame. I describe the problem as abuse, because my hoe manual has a picture of the hoe stretched out and large letters 'DON'T DIG IN THIS POSITION.' The trouble is that it's very tempting to do just that, because often with a small hoe it means not having to move the tractor. I guess I have lost sight of the idea of abuse and rationalized: 'Well it's real sandy here anyway.'

The problem is that there is tremendous leverage on the tractor frame/cases when a hoe's boom and stick are extended. Any digging through, boom down, stick in or bucket curl applies force that travels right up the top-link and tries to jackknife the cases. The problem is magnified by the loader blade, which is dug in and extends the wheelbase. The only difference between a 3ph and sub-frame mount is that the sub-frame distributes the forces across more structural members than a 3ph mount.

I think my small 3ph hoe and tractor will get along OK as long as I keep the idea of abuse in mind. Easier to say than do though.

....

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Peters
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2002-02-02          35208


The forces from shock waves as you slam into something hard can be tremendous.
I grew up on the west coast where there is a lot of rock. Track hoes and backhoes where used to lift basted depree and dig new roads for logging etc.
A new hoe would spend months in the welding shop where the welder would apply pounds of reinforcement. Some of it was for increasing the strength and some was for increasing the wear resistance.
If you ever watch an operator dig through soil and then hit the bed rock or a large rock, there would be no question as to how the large forces can be applied to a hoe. ....

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John Mc
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-02-02          35211


If I'm following what you guys are saying, the best precautions when using a 3pt hitch backhoe (or any backhoe?) with a compact tractorare:
1) don't use a unit too large for the tractor
2) go slow when digging, especially where there are large rocks
3) dig in closer, rather than with the hoe stretched way out. If you are doing lighter digging (i.e. in sandy soil) you can probably stretch out further.

additions or corrections? ....

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BillMullens
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2002-02-02          35216


Peters, I'm starting to see that this has to be a shock or dynamic issue; perhaps repetitive fatigue. If (on a 3ph hoe) the force is being transmitted through the top link (as Tom G. states) then a 3/4" diameter pin (in the case of a Cat.1 top link) in double shear is taking the same amount of force that is responsible for breaking the frames. That really boggles me. Or, the top link plate bolts onto the differential housing with 4 bolts that are about (metric equivalent to) 3/8" diameter. Why doesn't that pull loose? (OK, it is in almost pure tension, where the bolts holding the frame would be in tension and shear; but there are a lot of bolts holding the frame together.)
Does anybody know what actually breaks? Is it perhaps some bolts loosening and then breaking the casting around the other bolts? My dealer indicated breakage on top where the tranny and engine bolt together and advised me to keep an eye on those bolts; kind of hard to get to with the bodywork in place on the TC29.
Some I've talked to about this believe the breakage issue is exaggerated; that a tractor in this class, if not abused, will easily handle a hoe like mine. Abuse meaning not lifting the wheels off of the ground and slamming them down, etc. Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Bill ....

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Paul Fox
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2002-02-02          35217


Hmmmm. Well. I think I'd vote for the "Tempest in a Teapot" theory, based on my experience.

I have a 3 point hoe for my JD750. I've used it HARD, in rocky ground (coastal Maine) and at full extension. I don't intentionally abuse my equipment, but I need to get work done, so I don't baby it either.

In 8 years of this kind of work, I've cracked two castings ON THE HOE, and egged out the toplink pin holes in the bracket on the tractor. The toplink attachment point wear was obvious after the first year. I took the bracket off and had a machine shop bore it out and press in hardened bushings. Problem solved.

I have seen or experienced NO damage to the tractor itself.

Of course, now that I've said this, the dang thing will fold in half the next time I put the hoe on it... ....

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BillMullens
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2002-02-02          35221


Thanks for the note, Paul. This info gives much support for Tom G.'s statement that force is transmitted mainly through the top link.
I'm still working on a reinforcement.

Bill ....

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JohnS
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2002-02-03          35229


Here is a link that might give you some ideas. Its not with your tractor or a 3pt hoe, but it might generate some thought.

JohnS ....


Link:   JM Hoe mods

 
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TomG
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2002-02-04          35273


It sure seems that I spend a lot of time trying to visualize geometry, and with varying degrees of success.

I think that digging creates forces that try to lift the boom. However, the hoe is free to rotate on its lower link pins, which compresses the top link. It seems like there also would be a vector that applies down force to the lift arms so the hitch (and drawbar in some mounts) will absorb some of the force. I don't have the background to even guess whether the forces are divided fairly equally or not.

Since I'm in the guessing buz today, I'll also guess that the division of forces would be affected by which top-link bracket pin position is used. I think the upper positions are intended for use with heavy draft implements. The idea is that the upper positions provide more leverage on the cases to keep weight on the front end when the top link is compressed. If the top-link absorbs most of the forces frpom digging, them perhaps lower pin positions would be better. However, lower positions likely place greater load on the lift arms. Which parts would be the most vulnerable; Who knows?

Lifting the bucket reverses the forces. The stabilizers act as pivots and the back of the hoe tries to lift, which decompresses the top-link. I suppose there also is a lesser lifting force on the lift arms. So, in operation there is repeated compression and decompression of the top-link. I check my mount adjustments frequently during operation to make sure there is no free-play in the top-link.

I recall the broken 1720 story better now. It was one of the few first-hand reports I've heard. I believe the cases broke under the seat. I seem to recall comments that the cross-section of the cases was not constant and the brake happened at a thin section.
....

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DRankin
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2002-02-04          35281


After reading the posts on this thread I would speculate that the free standing, self powered Trencherman II that Northern Tool sells would be too wimpy to do much real work. I think I will stay with my original assesment... there is just too much cost, complication and stress in a back hoe for a small tractor in my life. For the few times I would need the tool it makes more sense to rent the real deal down the road at $300 a day. Thanks for the input guys. ....

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TomG
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2002-02-05          35304


Cost is one thing, and hoes aren't cheap. Rental is an alternative in many areas but not here. Contracting is the other alternative, but here you get a big tracked hi-hoe lumbering around your yard. In some of my work, I've had to go down 5.5' for trailer anchors and over 4' to trench for water line and some electrical line. A little standalone probably doesn't go anywhere near that deep.

I think Paul's comment should be kept in mind, and I'm pretty much of the same mind. I think this discussion describes some issues and risks that do exist. Knowing the risks doesn't eliminate all risk to the machinery, but it does help keep operations within the machinery's capabilities.

I don't use my hoe all that often, but when I need it, I really need it. My 6' 3ph hoe works for me; mostly because I don't think the newer fancy sub-frame mounts are available for my old Ford. The older sub-frame mounts can be real pains and compromise other uses a lot. I just keep trying to keep in mind what it's reasonable to expect the tractor to do, and if something breaks, then Iíll just have to fix it.
....

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HarryW
Join Date: Sep 2003
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2002-02-06          35346


This topic always generates heated discussion. At issue are the forces generated by the backhoe on the tractor and whether they exceed the design limits. First, let me say that I am an Aerospace engineer and have some experience in structural design. I have a JD4100 and have built a Cadplans model 608 for it. Conventional wisdom, oft repeated here, is that the 4100 cannot handle a backhoe. Deere does not currently make a hoe for this little tractor. However, my dealer has indicated to me that one is under development to fit the expanded 4100 models (4010, 4110, 4115). It seems Deere is loosing a lot of potential sales due to this shortcoming.

The use of a backhoe, and indeed, the use of any Non-John Deere manufactured attachment makes the operator liable to potentially run afoul of the abuse clause in the warranty. According to my dealer, the use of hoe on the 4100 does not automatically void the warranty, as long as it is sized correctly and operated in a responsible manner. I was offered a Kelly unit, frame mounted, for mine, but the cost exceeded the amount of use I expected to get out of it.

I elected to build a Cadplans model 608 (the next size smaller than the 708 that Bill constructed). I felt that this size hoe would not overtax the capabilities of the 4100 and to that end I feel I have succeeded, in fact, I think the 4100 could easily handle the 708, but I really didnít need that much digging ability. Fun project, by the way!

I have done a rudimentary force analysis on the 3-point mounting hardware when the hoe is in use. The force analysis tends to get very complex due to the changing geometry of the boom, dipper and bucket. The toplink mount ends up being the most stressed member of an unrestrained 3-point mount, alternating tension and compression and transferring the forces to the tractor through the mount.

Unrestrained 3-point mounts are free to move upward the full travel of the 3-point hitch, relieving some of the stress on the tractor, but making them uncomfortable to use and potentially dangerous due to the proximity of the operatorís head and the roll bar.

Mounts that use a restraining link to keep the hitch from rising by attaching a link from the toplink attachment on the hoe to the drawbar of the tractor change the stress pattern considerably. The restraining link ends up transferring about half the force from the toplink to the drawbar. This results in less bending force on the top link tractor mount and distributes it to the drawbar mount. The total forces can be greater due to the 3-point hitch not being able to move in response to using downforce at the bucket. However, the downforce can now be more effectively used, and at considerable improvement in safety to the operator.

I have used my hoe equipped with a 7Ē bucket to dig several trenches for water and electric lines on our horse farm as well as digging out the occasional small stump and it operates as advertised. In truth, I think that I have put a higher stress on the tractor using my box scraper than using the backhoe. I am currently using the hoe and the scraper to grade 2.5 acres of new pasture that has had the trees recently bulldozed. The hoe is perfect to digging the small stumps that get broken off at ground level by the bull dozer, the ones that stop the box scraper cold (now, that's a shock load!)
HarryW
....


Link:   Cadplans 608 on my 4100

 
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Harry W
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2002-02-06          35347


For some reason, the link didn't work above. Try this one: ....


Link:   Cadplans 608 on my 4100

 
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TomG
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2002-02-07          35365


Thanks Harry! It's always good when a formal technical approach seem to come to the similar conclusions as my impressions and reasoning.

I could be wrong, but I thought that all commercial 3ph mounts were restrained. My Kelley mount is, and I also realized that the draw bar would take quite a bit of the load, provided the mount is kept in adjustment. A fatality was reported here some years back from use of an unrestrained 3ph mount, but I can't remember if the 3ph was draft controlled or not. If the hitch lifts with somebody in the hoe seat, they end up crushed between the hoe console and the ROPS.

There is a picture of a tractor with a big chunk of the cases around the top-link mount broken out. I still wonder if compression forces from ordinary, even enthusiastic, digging could do that--barring casting flaws. Hard to tell. Somebody could have using the bucket to drive posts and creating big shock loads. I think that hammer-head bucket replacements are available, but itís a thing for dedicated hoes rather than tractors.
....

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DRankin
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2002-02-07          35367


Wow. A curbside engineering consult. So let me see if I understand the issues.
Is it fair to say that the back hoe, by design, creates shock loads that must travel back to ground through the tractor, mainly via the top or center link of the three point hitch?
If that is true, are we then saying that the tractor, especially if it's a little guy like our beloved 4100's, makes a lousy shock absorber?
If I am tracking the bear through the woods so far, then here is my out of the box question... Why not take the tractor out of the loop during actual operation? Why not disconnect the top/center link and extend a foot or beam underneath the tractor to take the shock loads directly to ground and allow the lower arms of the 3PH to function as a pivot to relieve stress on the tractor frame?
If that is not do-able how about a set of clamp-on gas pressurized shocks on the FEL bucket lip to engage the ground and then we could just let the pony buck?

....

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Harry Webster
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2002-02-07          35368


Tom,
All of the commercial 3-point hitch backhoes that I have seen use some type of hold down. The cadplans hoes do not feature a hold down as part of the plans, and I suspect many are being used without hold downs. I used mine until just recently without a hold down, using the seat of my pants to tell me when to back off to prevent the 3-point hitch from lifting. After looking at the pictures of Bill M's hoe, I added a temporary/(permanent?)hold down consisting of a length of chain and a load binder. I made the chain long enough so that I could raise the hoe with the 3-point hitch for moving the tractor. Once it is set in place, I use the load binder to tension the chain. Works great, but hydraulic stabilizers would be much quicker. I am considering converting the hoe to some type of semi-frame mount, making the hydraulic stabilizers a necessity. The chain only helps with the tension loads, of course. Not much good for compressive loads!

HarryW ....

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TomG
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2002-02-08          35396


Harry, Mark and others I hope: The ground of course is a very good shock/load absorber. I believe that good 3ph winches have butt plates. With a hoe, I imagine that most similar ideas for a hoe would complicate moving the tractor, and that already takes an aggravating amount of time when trenching with a small hoe.

An engineering type was question was previously discussed. The question was what happens when structural components of mild steel that deflect under load are mixed with cast components that don't deflect. I wonder how much load 'beefing up the cases' with mild steel actually would take off the cases? Iím interested in such questions, but in practice, I go along with Paul's idea that ordinary use shouldn't be a problem for most tractors with appropriate sized hoes. I just try to recognize when it's time to call the guy with the dedicated hoe/loader and dozer.

My Kelley mount probably is a typical commercial mount. There is a plate that bolts through the drawbar and is additionally u-bolted. The plate must be within 1" of the drawbar support racket. The plate provides top-link brackets either side of the drawbar. Two top-links run from the drawbar to brackets on the hoe either side of the top-link mount. The various pivot points are off-centre, which locks the 3ph down.

The mount seems like a good design, and I believe the drawbar takes considerable load. I guess with an unrestrained mount, the load 'hangs' from the top-link and doesn't provide enough lift on the lower links to float the 3ph when lifting the bucket.

I did almost needed the mount for safety, because the 3ph got bumped into lift once. I was fortunately in the tractor seat. I do run my hoe from a valve controlled rear outlet on my loader SCV by 'bungeeing' the valve open, so when the hoe is active (with me in the hoe seat), the 3ph is disabled. I suppose it's possible the bungee cord could fail with the 3ph in lift position, and that could give me an unwanted close relationship with the ROPS.
....

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BillMullens
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2002-02-08          35397


Yes, Tom, you were able to put into words what I've been studying regarding the castings vs. mild steel. A mild steel reinforcement could only help as much as it resists flexing, I guess. I also agree with the point that Harry made (privately) that sometimes changing the stress points (by adding reinforcements) is not such a good thing.

Without hydraulic stabilizers, our CadPlans hoes can't have a drawbar hold down that will take compressive loads. When we dig, they tend to sink in the ground; if they were tied rigidly to the drawbar then they couldn't sink, and the tractor would be taking the full force of the backhoe. I used a top link with an exta link that allows the hoe to sink 4-6 inches. The link link (hehe) is below if you haven't seen it.

I feel compelled to make some sort of disclaimer. I haven't done a force analysis on this device. I just built it and tried it. It is a combo cat1/cat2 top link that has been shortened for my application. It will stall my 3ph; it will allow me to pick up the rear of the tractor. But repetitive stress could very well cause a failure. Your results may vary.

Thanks,
Bill ....


Link:   3ph backhoe hold down

 
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TomG
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2002-02-08          35399


Thanks for the kind words Bill. I do figure I use so many words that I have to get a few right. Just probability and I'm still a statistician.

Ahhaugh--this stabilizer business! I think I'm back in the visualizing geometry buz. Oh well, I'll try to keep mostly quite about it. I just can't quite get in mind why CADPAN diggers can't use stabilizers and what is sinking into the ground. Now I've got some doubts if my mount places compressive load on the drawbar.

My impression is that the stabilizers in conjunction with the loader bucket mostly provide a stable platform--especially for swinging the bucket. I can see how the stabilizers take load during lifting operations. For digging operations that compress the top-link, my impression (guess is a better word) that there's a fairly rigid line along the boom and mount to the tractor frame. I'm guessing that up force on the boom tends to unload the stabilizers and is mostly absorbed by the tractor.

Never the less, my key phrase here is 'fairly rigid line'. I make sure my mount is adjusted to keep play out of the links. I think I can see that any play allows the stabilizers to act as pivot points, which could place large shock loads on the tractor. Geeíse, just when you think youíve got it figured.

....

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Harry Webster
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2002-02-08          35408


Tom,
The cadplans backhoes certainly do use stabilizers, but the design of the "feet" is a little different from commercial hoes. The cadplan foot is made of a piece of heavy angle iron set 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the tractor. When the angle iron is sunk into the ground, the vertical edge of the angle iron helps to keep the tractor from being pulled into the hole as you curl the bucket or pull on the dipper. If the ground is hard, the stabilizers won't dig in until you start digging, actually pulling the feet into the ground. I think that is why Bill M designed his link with some "give" in it to allow the feet to settle. There is no reason why a cadplans hoe could not use hydraulic stabilizers, and in fact I am considering changing my current manual ones to hydraulic. The cadplan stabilizers are adjusted by inserting a pin into the matching hole, works Ok on level ground, but can be real annoying when its not. This is one of the places where $ was saved in the design.

I like the way your hold down is designed, using two links spread at the base where it attaches to the drawbar sounds like it would be very stable, as well as take most of the load off of the top link. Rigidly mounting the hoe makes hydraulic stabilizers a must.
HarryW ....

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TomG
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2002-02-09          35423


Thanks, and think I've got it now. What was said is 'hydraulic stabilizers' and I missed the hydraulic part. Guess it's easy enough to assume that all stabilizers are hydraulic. I imagine they would be a big improvement over mechanical ones. At least I find that I adjust my stabilizers frequently as the soil compacts or just when moving the tractor during trenching.

I never thought about stabilizers as preventing a tractor from getting pulled into the hole. I can see it though, and sinking loader bucket blade in the ground also probably helps. Guess I've never thought about it because the soil is very sandy here. The only times I want to be close to the edge is when the hole is too small for the tractor to fit in--something like a trench. As most people probably know, digging close to the tractor invites the hole wall to collapse. You can end up debating whether you feel more like ĎHumpty Dumptyí or ĎCradle and Allí (or so I hear).
....

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Johnl
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2002-04-15          37420


I recently purchased a woods 7500 backhoe w/subframe for my NH-1530 and I did have concerns about this issue. I was assured by several service people that if I kept the proper torque on the bolts connecting the engine/trans I would have no problem. Apon assembling the hoe/subframe I noticed I was missing a reinforsment kit needed to attatch the subframe to the tractor. This is a bracket that attaches to the FEL mounts and spans the engine/trans connection and bolts to trans holes. The subframe connects in the front to this bracket and in the rear to the 3pt pins.The backhoe now has 3points of connection to the tractor. It appears to be woods answer to the tractors breaking. The only problem is that this is so new to my dealer,who is large and very reputable, didn't have any of these kits is stock.It Seems they weren't aware of a change and that this kit it was needed for the assembly. Looks like a great system though! ....

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TomG
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2002-04-15          37424


A well designed sub-frame sounds like a better solution than torque checking. I think I decided to check the case bolts on my 1710 once. I seem to recall that it wasn't exactly obvious how to get a standard socket on all the bolts. Well, I've got one of those ancient long armed pointer torque wrenches and they aren't exactly a joy to use. All told, I don't think I actually got any torque readings I was confident in.

I believe I've heard of this type of sub-frame design before. Generally designs that distribute forces toward the middle of the tractor are pretty good. Some sub-frame designs really don't distribute force much more than a 3ph mount.

Since it's early in the year (still snow on the ground here), maybe it won't be too much of a problem to wait for the kit. For myself, I'm only starting to think about tractor digging projects for this year.
....

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Russ. C.
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2002-05-03          38092


keep in mind that there have also been several deaths and numerous critical injuries from 3PT top link failure. This occurred where the the top link,pins or casing mounts failed and the whole backhoe rotated upward crushing operators against the ROPS. ....

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TomG
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2002-05-03          38097


I've heard several unfortunate accounts of accidents and fatalities as well. One in particular resulted in fright rather than an accident. The situation occurred due to a 3ph accidentally left in draft control mode. As soon as the hoe got a good bite, it compressed the top link and activated the hitch. The 3ph was locked down so the hitch continued in lift mode. Reportedly the operator baled out of the hoe seat.

It's definitely an issue, and my somewhat unusual hook up for my hoe does have an additional safety factor built in. I run the hoe from the third spooling valve on my loader valve by holding the valve open with a bungee cord. Since the loader valve is a power beyond type, return oil from the hoe goes to the sump through the tank rather than PB line. Activating the hoe hydraulics deactivated the 3ph and it can't lift as long as the loader valves is open.

The down side of my hook up is that I suppose the oil runs through more parts and orifices than a conventional hookup. There probably is some reduction of flow and more erosion of SCV parts. Still, the hoe does the work I ask of it.
....

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Marc
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2002-05-14          38614


Why can't someone market a backhoe implement like whaty attaches to a JD 300B. I don't know the model of the hoe, but it pins to the frame, uses the same seat, runs off the hydro of the tractor. I have yet to find a better setup for a hoe. ....

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Ted@Abbeywoods
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2002-05-15          38659


Dear Marc, there are more such hoes available than you might think! I'm an aerospace engineer who owns a small landscaping business part-time, and like you, was dissatisfied with the type of hoe you mentioned. So I looked around and what I discovered may be of interest to you and others. I have two machines, a Cub Cadet 7275 3 range hydro with loader and sub-frame hoe, and also a new Kubota L-35 TLB with quite a different hoe mounting scheme. The Kubota B-21, L-35 and the new L-48 all have a sub-frame mount that stays on the machine, and the backhoe pins to the sub-frame. Instead of removing the hoe and sub-frame (which are a unit on many compacts) like the Cub, just the hoe is removed. Also, the tractor seat is used instead of having an additional seat on the hoe frame - you just pull a lever and the seat revolves to face the hoe. You should also know that the Kubota hoes (for B-21, L-35, and L-48) are the absolute power champs for small tractors. Nothing comes close, that is until now. John Deere is offering a direct competitor to the L-48, their 110TLB. This is basically a 310 TLB scaled down to a 43hp compact, has hydro, and the kind of hoe you and I prefer. So Deere is now in the running for small construction grade machines like the Kubota. Kubota also makes a neat side-shift hoe for the R-420/520 articulated loaders, but you need to be Hurcules to put them on and off. Besides, the R series aren't really ag machines, but all of the above I've mentioned can plow your field too, that's one reason why landscapers like them. ....

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lsheaffer
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2002-05-16          38707


Backhoe companies I've talked to say the damage to a tractor usually isn't done while using the hoe. One cause of brackage is transporting the hoe on a trailer & not allowing the hoe to sit on the trailer. When hitting bumps in the road, extra stress is put on the transmission husing. The other is using the tractor loader as a bulldozer. The extra weight of the backhoe allows more pushing force, which can over stress the frame ....

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TomG
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2002-05-17          38710


Thanks for the insight. Tractors hit bumps too but I guess there's a difference in the shock loads between bumps at tractor road speeds and at highway speeds on a barely sprung flat bed trailer.

A local contractor carried my tractor and hoe on his heavy equipment trailer once. I remember that he was particular that I sit both the hoe and loader down on the trailer bed. It wasn't too difficult since I had to disable the 3ph lock-down to raise the hoe so I could drive up his trailer dovetail without dragging the hoe. I understand that it's very easy to damage the hoe and maybe the cases too by backing off a trailer unless the hoe is raised.

I've also heard that it's very easy to break a loader when using it like a dozer and with the bucket angled sharply down. I think that hitting something solid can seriously break a loader, rear ballast or not.
....

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Art White
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2002-05-17          38714


To muddy the waters a little from what I've seen when using a poorly matched hoe and tractor one might while digging actually be lifting the front of the tractor and slaming it back to the ground when releasing the load on the bucket. This I know splits tractors, full frame three point hoe or not. On another note on the new JD 110 I think to the specs it actually fits between the L-35 and L-48 and is not a direct contender of either. ....

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TomG
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2002-05-18          38742


Now that is an interesting thought. I don't believe that castings are very fond of shock loads, but what I don't know if shock loads on castings are cumulative. I know that many steels 'work-harden' in some applications. They become more brittle and subject to failure as they age. Frequent and heavy use accelerates the work hardening. I don't know if that also is true for castings but probably not. Cast iron is sometimes used for bridges where you'd expect a lot of shock loads.

At any rate, minimizing shocks to the cases sounds like a good idea. My hoe isn't large for the tractor and it never would have occurred to me that dumping a bucket might bang the tractor around. I guess the problem would be at its worst when somebody misjudged the pile for dumping and then tries to dump on the backside of the pile by reaching with the stick.

When I do that to myself and run out of top, I usually try to push the top of the back with the side of the bucket. Actually, I've noticed that making contact with the pile when dumping the bucket reduces a bunch of jerking around anyway. Maybe I should have figured out that dumping the bucket creates all sorts of shocks.

I guess that weight could be put into the loader bucket if the front wheels are lifting. That thought does raise the question of why hoe equipped tractors are supposed to have loaders. I always heard 'loaders' not just front-end weight and I dig in my loader blade when using hoe. With the blade dug in I figure it's more difficult for the hoe to drag the tractor into the hole. The tractor also may not slide into the hole if the front wall collapses. Anyway I always figured those were the safety reasons for having a loader and not just for the extra weight.
....

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Art White
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2002-05-18          38744


Tom what I was refering to was not empting a bucket but trying to get a stone to release itself and the bucket sliding off while the hoe was actually lifting the front of the tractor off the ground over a foot and then dropping to the ground. The tractor clutch housing broke right behind where it bolts to the engine. This is the type of thing that will break many of he tractors with the backhoe. ....

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TomG
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2002-05-19          38773


OK, got it! I guess that my interpretation does illustrate a point of hoe operation. There can be some good sized weight transfers when moving a full bucket around. Conceivably a big bucket on a small tractor could pick up a full load near the tractor and then raise the front wheels when the bucket was moved further from the tractor. Dumping the bucket may not create the type of shock loads Art mentioned. For the same reason all safety material says that buckets should never be dumped on the downhill side if operating on a side hill.

Guess my hoe is a good size for my tractor. I was doing a bit of root breaking a couple of weeks ago. I can say that my hoe doesn't have the power to raise the front wheels--at least as long as the slick is fairly retracted.
....

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Marc
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2002-05-20          38836


I think Tom makes one point when he says root breaking, because I've found that one of the hardest things I do with a hoe is stump removal. I do most times lift the loader off the ground but try to be careful to set it back down when I uncurl, rather than let it slam. I have not had breakage problems, perhaps due to the hoe. This is I feel because of the how my hoe is integrated (see earlier post) which Tom gave me some good info on. When I use our full size hoe (580 Case) in stump removal I slam the loader often with no adverse effescts. I think it's because the hoe is part of the machine. I however prefer the hoe on the tractor due to it's speed. The power is not the same, but when I dig trees in new topsoil I can make much better time with the tractor, where I don't need the power. ....

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Lee
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2002-05-24          38987


I'm new to the tractor world, but have recently acquired
a compact tractor (33hp) with backhoe. I'm curious about
the flexibility of extending or not extending the hoe.
My hoe is connected by rigid lift arms and an adjustable
draw bar. Tightening the draw bar rolls the pitch of the
hoe blade. How do I lessen the extension of this setup ? ....

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spb1971
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11 Georgia
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2002-05-24          38991


Compact tractors required the support of a sub-frame when mounting a back hoe. They will break at the transmission housing if you are not careful. It can happen for various reasons. The extended weight of the backhoe swinging from side to side puts a lot of stress on small tractors. Plus the force needed to dig alone is tough on them. By using a subframe the force is absord through the whole tractor. ....

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SIMPLE SIMON
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2002-05-24          39003


Man....after reading alll the posts on this subject I feel as if I should recieve some kind of credit hours.

The simple solution:

The back hoe is a big lever that prys on the tractor frame in all directions.

Yes, there will be all kinds of shock also.

Where any of the load or shock comes from does not matter, get a big tractor and a little hoe.

And if it says in the book "don't dig this way" don't buy the hoe, cause you will dig that way.

That would be the same as telling a doctor it hurts when I bend my arm and the dr telling you "well....don't bend your arm"

There is alot of good tech advice on this board, I refer to it quite often. Keep up the good work guys. Maybe I can help translate occasionally. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-25          39009



Lee: I trying to figure if your hoe is a sub-frame or a 3ph mount. In a 3ph mount, there would be two hitch or lower link arms running from the tractor to pins in brackets on the lower part of the hoe frame. A top-link would run from its bracket on the tractor to the hoe. Other parts on the mount serve to lock the 3ph down. Most sub-frame mounts appear sort of like the hoe sitting on half clamshells attached to either side of the rear cases.

It sounds more like your mount is a 3ph type. If so, the hoe frame can be leveled front to back by the top-link and side to side by the 3ph leveler. On some 3ph mounts, lock down parts may have to be removed for leveling and then replaced.

Simon's comment about 'don't dig like this' instructions in manuals is true enough. The 'don't do it' instructions are usually don't dig far away from the tractor (with the boom and stick stretched out) and especially don't use the bucket curl in those situations. When it comes down to it, stretching the hoe out is a strong temptation, because it means the tractor doesnít have to be repositioned as often. A big tractor with a little hoe does reduce the risks, but of course, with a small hoe there's more reason to stretch and reach. Those same instructions also say donít dig close to the tractor, but the reasons donít have to do with leverage. Walls collapse easily enough and the tractor end up in the hole.
....

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Art White
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2002-05-25          39018


It would be nice if all things in life would be simple. Last summer a new customer brought in his Kubota complaining about his rear axle seals leaking and a broken three point hitch. We did not sell him this unit but this is what it was and what was wrong. He did buy it from a dealer as a package and he did buy it from a Kubota dealer. Pay attention here, B-2400 kubota with the loader being Woods and the backhoe also Woods. Now for the fun, on the front he had an extra 150lbs attached to hold the front down, on the back was a 7500 backhoe. That tractor was designed for a 6' hoe not 7 foot. He did not break the tractor in half but the rear axle flex was tearing out the wheel bearings and causing the seals to leak. The hitch was broke and we did weld that up as good if not better than new in an effort to hold the hoe weight. He did ask if Kubota would cover the axle leak problem as it was the second time he had to fix it. I informed him of the reason he was having the problem and why he will continue to have problems but he couldn't change at this point in time. What a disappointment to see this machine knowing it was going to fail again and not being able to help him. ....

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Spring Valley
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2002-05-25          39030


After reading the preceding book on backhoe use and abuse to the tractor I would like to pose a question that was neither addressed nor asked. I have a JD4600 with a JD48 hoe. This hoe attaches into two plates mounted to the tractor (all welded mild steel). There are two lower pins that fit into a yoke and two more pins that hold it at the top. I have lifted the front end of the tractor, loader and all off the ground ONCE when digging a very large stump. I gently sat it back on the ground. Is it possible, or was it designed to dig like construction hoes? I have rented a large CAT before, put the FEL bucket open side down on the ground and with the stabilizers lifted the entire unit about a foot in the air. This will dig some serious dirt this way. My JD is capable of lifting the tractor off of the ground but I am afraid to do that for fear of something breaking. Should I lift the rear wheels slightly when digging or just try and relieve some pressure? The owners manual is very unclear on the actual approach to operation. It just explains how to operate the hoe not HOW to operate the hoe if you know what I mean.

I am curious if anyone has a response or experience with a similar set up.

Thanks,
Matt ....

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Mr Ethics
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2002-05-25          39031


I know what you mean about the Op man being unclear.

In my opinion, I would try to avoid raising the front of the tractor off the ground.

I think your tractor is strong enough to take the abuse, but a couple safety issues come to mind.

No 1 This raises the center of gravity of the unit, making it more susceptable to tipping over.

No 2 when in this position, you are getting to the edge of the envelope on the capacity of the equipment. Once the front of the tractor is off the ground, raising it farther willl produce no more leverage, so you may as well try a different approach.


Adding ballast in the form of dirt in the bucket may help keep the front end down, but it also puts more stress on the tractor, possibly exceeding the limits of it's design.

However, I am as guilty as the next guy for not giving up. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-05-26          39056


Yep, the manuals say that a hoe-equipped tractor is supposed to have a loader, and the implication is for safety reasons. I don't think I've ever read exactly why. I know with the bucket dug in and some down-pressure, the wheel-base is extended and the hoe is less able to drag the tractor around. Getting the weight onto the loader and stabilizers provides a more stable platform and one that isn't subject to an 'air-ride.' I don't know if weight some weight on the tires provides some protection against shock loads or not. Anyway, I never understood a reason for trying to raise either front or back wheels completely off the ground--besides the stabilizers on my Kelley B600 won't quite lift the rear of my 1710. I keep saying the Kelley 6í seems a good size for my tractor, or maybe the hydraulics are a bit weak. In either case it does all I ask of it.

I wonder how Artís customer uses the stabilizers? I suppose that lifting the wheels might save the axle seals but also might cause more serious problems.
....

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Marc
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2002-05-27          39089


In response to Ted's post on new bachoes to possibly replace the JD 300b. Ted I went and looked at the Kabota L-48 with loader and hoe. I think the way the hoe mates to the tractor is great just what I was looking for. The problem is the hoe size. I don't think a hoe that small is of much use to me. The hoe on the 300 can easily load a dump truck, I'm not sure that you can with the Kabota. So I guess I'm back to the drawing board, to look for something comparable. ....

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Ted @ Abbeywoods, LL
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2002-05-28          39120


Dear Marc, this weekend I met with some of the area landscapers that I work and we put our heads together for an update for you regarding the type of hoe we don't see too much of anymore. You may like to visit http//www.jcbna.com/ and look at the 210S tool carrier or re-visit the John Deere site. The JCB machine weighs 5 tons with the clip-on hoe, has 4x4, and a bunch of nice features including a plush cab with heat and a/c. The JCB hoe mounting is very much like the old Deere 300, having a hydraulic arm setup for mounting and draft hitching - not really a cat II but similar. JCB also offers a version of this hoe with an extendable dipper stick, it has ample power in the class of the older 210 Deere and early 580 Case. Probably a bit too big for your needs but nevertheless it exists. I operated one of my friend's (@ 400+ hours), a very nice machine but out of my price range at $68K. Another guy I work with has a Deere 210 4x4 tool carrier designed for landscaping, but it uses a monster 3pt hitch, I think it is a cat II, but could be a III. Anyway I didn't like it as much as the JCB, and the Deere's hoe wasn't as good in feathered operation (@ 1700+ hours). Both machines have a massive frame and it doesn't matter one bit if you jack them up on bucket and stabilizers, they just dig and dig with more than enough power to pull them into the trench if you get stupid. In passing, no pro I know of picks up their machines entirely by bucket and stabilizer, we all aim to ground the bucket by turning it out and apply just enough pressure on the stabilizers to level square to trench and take off some weight. Hope this was good info for you. ....

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Marc
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2002-05-28          39123


Once again thank you very much for the info, Ted I will see if I can find anything that can help me. I will let you and others know of my findings. On a side note I read of some people having problems moving their equipment on construction trailers. We have had good luck moving most everything on a rollback. It dosen't have a "beavertail" you just drive or winch it up, chain it down and away you go. There is no trailer just a truck. You do however lose the benefit of a dump truck or other useful truck. I would say if you have no way to move your tractor maybe look to a local towing company, most medium duty rollbacks can move it for maybe not as much money. ....

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Ed
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2002-05-30          39196


The problem with 3ph hoes is the amount of weight at both ends.....800lbs easy for a FEL, 1100lbs easy for a woods 7500 (Im picking averages here)

When transporting across a field there is a lot of bending stress put on the bolts for the clutch housing, which is pretty much where all tractors split. If in doubt, perform torque checks on these during all maint and replace any grade 5's (9.8s) with 8s (10.8's) english (metric) ratings.

one thing that will help during transport is turn the hoe to either side....it moves its mass center forward.

Feel good tho, if the tractor does break, it will be those bolts and perhaps a tweak to the tranny input shaft, inconvenient yes, expensive perhaps, but its not giant broken hulks of metal. ....

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Allan
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2005-12-13          121000


Yes I unfortunately know what breaks. I ripped the top plate off the cast frame. I was quite shocked, and even more shocked when I found that a new upper link plate cost 75 dollars. But at the same time I was really happy that the casting didnt come apart or the four bolts ripped off. I was able to reweld the old bracket and use it on a weight box I was making, so I dont feel it was a total loss. But I am soimewhat scared now to use it with much force. I assume tho that after 20 years of using the same hoe and somewhat hard, that it was gonna happen sooner or later.
Its resting now in the shed for winter...
al
....

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regniflow
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2006-04-03          127053


I have a ford 1900 with the 7 series hoe. I was told to get a frame or risk the rear case bolts breaking. Woods did not make the frame for mine any longer and I modified it to work on my tractor. The frame works well , it transmit part of the weight and load to an upward push on the front end of the tractor. My bolts on the top link are much larger than the bolts on the case. The bolts on the case are torqued a lot higher than the ones on the lift in order to maximize their holding power and would guess the shock of moving the hoe ie... legs up really puts the hurt on a straight 3-pt arrangement. ....

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