Gear Review Installing a New front end loader on an older tractor.

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by HK_User, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    This will be a "As I manage too get it done project."
    In this project you need to have a solid reason and in that a solid plan. The first is to have a good tractor with good maintenance and relatively low hours. Only an older diesel can provide the HP and work weight as the newer models are pretty light weight and may need a lot of ballast to work properly. In this the newer models will consume less fuel with daily "light" work but there is no short cut to fuel usage/work time.

    The tractor is a Ford from the 80s, well maintained and yet it shows its years of constant use. A bit scruffy but only the left power steering cylinder weeps due to a seal's age. Along the way that will be replaced as I have the repair kit in hand. The steering wheel is aged and cracked so it's on the list of repairs. The seat was replaced last year and a kinder thing to my rear as the older seat would hold rain water and the stuffing was compacted.

    I received the Loader assembly last week and have studied the "assembly manual". The manual IS NOT an assembly manual for my tractor, instead it is a parts list with very few notations and is for a variety of tractors. Not exactly what I expected from a company that has been in business for nearly a century. What it does show is a lack of thought to the buyer's time to install. The manual lacks measurements, just something it would be nice to have to understand the best way to go about this project in a manner where you do not take the tractor out of service while installing the loader.

    The manual also lacks in its entirety any notations of OEM parts you may need to remove to install and discard to complete the work.

    A loader maintenance manual is part of the "kit" and is a must since the assembly manual/parts list leaves out a series of moves you must make.

    The first thing you need to receive the Loader kit is a LOADER. Imagine a 1200 lb package/pallet arriving on your road in a semi with no tail gate lift and you the new proud owner. Not unexpected and being fully aware of the hap hazard trucking industry since deregulation I was prepared with my smaller and newer loader. The first problem was the lifting capacity of my in service Front End Loader equipped tractor. Maxed out at 1000 lbs, and that is just the bare lift arms, I was out matched because add the fork lift attachment and no way could I lift and move my prize.

    NTL the driver was up to the task of breaking down the load and we unloaded in three units from the trailer to the ground and then inside my gate.

    On the ground and inspected I was happy too observe no damage. Then I noticed a disturbing thing, the front end loader was ordered with a skid steer attachment and the common skid steer bucket. Nothing to do but place the pallet, only the loader was still on the pallet, now easy to move in the planned location of under a large shed roof .

    Inventory began and so did the phone calls.

    More later, co fee time.
  2. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Do follow up.
    Gator 45/70 and sec_monkey like this.
  3. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I'm interested as well . Which loader company did you choose ? What model tractor are you installing it on ? I've been looking at a MF tractor , and a few after market loader companies , Woods , Westendorf , so your input could be valuable.
    sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  4. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Sure to the Bloody Knuckled end.
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Westendorf, as it stands now it is a good loader but a poor sales team, at least for me so far.
    I will, as always be honest and will send Westendorf my write up in hopes of helping Westendorf and others.
    sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Sounds like you're getting ready for Spring. Can't wait for the rest of the story.
    sec_monkey and HK_User like this.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Yup, just like a good potato chip one tractor is never enough and when you get use to using a FNL (front end loader) you change your system of work and need a back up FNL.
    Motomom34, sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Received this almost 2 weeks ago and have solid experiences and I have had time to inventory and review not only the design but everything else that involves this build.
    As such I want to use a well know theme song and the name of the Movie as a way to grade my experiences so far.
    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    Good Is a rating the Top management equates to meets expectations." And what I always figured just meant your good help be we ain't gonna give you a raise and any way this is the highest praise we give so suck it up or move on"

    Bad You have the right stuff you just did not use what you got!

    UGLY Just that what an ugly way to use a good part/product, management needs to look into this.
    sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I will provide pictures of all ratings as I get a chance but for now just a couple of examples of the ratings system.

    GOOD Great Build, good engineering and proper assembly. I can use my FNL as an example in this as some of the parts are as much as 3 times as heavy as my FNL. Pictures on this later.

    BAD Ordering and accounting system.

    UGLY As a working man involved in many types of industries I can say I am a real stickler about cleanliness with electrical control cabinets and hydraulics.. When I opened the cardboard box and viewed the Aluminum Hydraulic Manifold just loose with a bunch of large bolts I about lost my lunch, And I added another couple of hours for making all things right.

    Good All hydraulic hose were and still are heat sealed in heavy vinyl, this was the way the Manifold should have been delivered. No JMHO here but a fact of the way an industrial assembly should be delivered to a Farm or Ranch.

    Later tomorrow as I have stuff to do. Thanks for the comments.

    EDIT>But I will stop by to answer any questions.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I am certainly interested in your trials and tribulations concerning your tractor rebuild. I know about as much about tractors as I know about brain surgery - yet - I must get one and soon so your post adds to my knowledge. I have refrained from purchasing the older Ford tractors even though they are plentiful around here. I refrain due to the nightmare my neighbor is going through to find parts and the cost of those parts; however, his tractor is much older than yours, 1950's.

    We certainly look forward to future updates, HK. And, best of luck!
    sec_monkey, Dunerunner and HK_User like this.
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I suggest the FORD 2310 as most were used in AG work and many have fewer than 400 hours on the all cast 3 cylinder engine with no Glo Plugs needed and parts still in the after market as well as the New Holland/Ford Dealerships.
    sec_monkey and Dunerunner like this.
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Before you get a loader that is heavy duty, in my humble opinion, you need a 4 wheel drive tractor, front wheels don't have to pull, but if they don't climb out of the hole created by the weight on the front tires when you put a full load on the bucket, you will quickly come to a stop, usually stuck. You need a front end and tires on the tractor to support the weight of the loader, the load in the bucket, and the tractor itself. You also need power steering to be able to steer when the weight sinks your tires a couple inches in the ground as it often will or when you wish to turn the wheels and the tractor is stopped. For safety if you have a good loader, you will also need a good weight box, etc in the rear, nothing wakes you up like going to lift a heavy load and the pivot of the extended bucket and your front wheels lifts your rear wheels off the ground, or you can't steer as all the weight is on the front wheels. As much as I love my 9N Ford, it is not suitable for a loader, there are some old 1970's plus farm tractors with 35 or so HP that may be excellent for a good heavy duty loader, there are others that were bought for mowing, plowing, pulling bailers, etc, that never had a loader on them because they were not suitable for one. Here in NH you can buy good older tractors without a front end loader for about half of what a similar tractor with a loader will bring and older 20 plus hp tractors with a good front end loader are worth more today then when they were new. A lot of the new smaller loaders work well a powered wheel borrows, hold about that much, and go about where a wheel barrow will, but will not dig out a rock go out into the woods, etc.

    Good luck on your bucket, my old 64 Case loader bit the dust, parts and cost for hydrolics, and I really miss it.
  13. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Ford 2310, Weight: 3,437 lbs Two wheel Drive. add 1000 lbs with the FNL. Power Steering
    .Kubota L3800, Weight:2480 lbs. Four wheel drive. Power steering.

    Both are rated about equal horse power @ 36 but the Ford just pulls torque more than the hydrostatic Kubota.

    My area is a hard pack rocky base so little concern with front end sinking in soft ground.
    The front tires are being replaced with 10 ply truck tires.
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I have a 580C with Extendahoe Too large for what I need as it is a full cab unit and I am looking at about 4K to just get it semi reliable. Inherited it and it came with triple axle 8 thousand lb. trailer. It is so heavy it'll punch through most any thing and came with a Rock Hammer.
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    This is one of the reasons i got the articulated Kubota 4X4 right from the beginning! Its the size and weight i needed as well as the compactness! I dont have to do a lot of digging, more like moving large piles from one place to the other, and levelling, that and I also have a Cat Dozer which does the heavy stuff! The Real trick with the Kubota is its maneuvering and its off road agility, something to think about for those looking to buy a tractor, that and the number of attachments for it is mind blowing! JMHO!
  16. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I need to lift 1600 lbs round bales and place them in hay rings. Other than that the Ford would have been enough. The Ford's solid front axle will handle that and the path from the Hay storage to three feeding stations is cliche'. The Kubota Tractor handles the small stuff and gives me that extra power source for moving most any thing and the skid steer attachments are sure nice.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Mine little R520 is awfully handy for every thing I need to do, and used, was way less then the other options!
    Dunerunner, HK_User and sec_monkey like this.
  18. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Always hate it when they sink a few inches in :)

    Dunerunner, SB21, Gator 45/70 and 2 others like this.
  19. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Year? Give me a range in years that I should look for the Ford 2310s just in case I come across one. I MUST have something this Spring or Summer, need it to move snow next's either that or buy another truck and hang a plow on it but I think I would get more use from a tractor...

    @duane " need a 4 wheel drive tractor, front wheels don't have to pull, but if they don't climb out of the hole..."
    What the...??? Okay, you lost me. I understand 4-wheel drive and got it in my 'requirement list' but then you say they 'don't have to pull'...Please explain.

    @Ura-Ki So, how much can your R520 lift? I googled around but couldn't really find an answer. Like you, I need it to do move gravel, dirt, lift logs (fallen trees), bucket loads of firewood, etc...
    Dunerunner and Ura-Ki like this.
  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Ford 2310 was made from 1982 till 1985. Ford 2310 tractor information
    A 4W drive would be nice and just like anything else the right tires can make more of a difference than AWD. I did not get a 4WD because a Winery in Kali defaulted on a FORD loan and they shipped 12 2WD to Texas and were happy to unload the lot at a Dealer with deep pockets that promptly sold them at a huge discount. I purchased mine at that time.

    The only time a 4WD might have helped was when I drove into a soft spot of drift mud at my lake. A Dozer building a dam for me had to push with his blade using the Front Bumper I added/built as a push point. .

    Even a 4WD would not have helped and from that moment on I decided it was better to not get stuck and the only other time 4wd would not have worked was when I drove into unseen whoop to dos and high centered it. Even then once I unhooked my fence trailer I was able to drive out. I have taken the Ford down a rock face where I had a Heavy BUSH HOG (brand) as a drag brake. Front wheel drive would in this case would probably have caused me to roll.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    Dunerunner, SB21, Motomom34 and 3 others like this.
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