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Author Topic: Can my tractor pick this up?  (Read 1035 times)

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Offline ncsawyer

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Can my tractor pick this up?
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:46:21 PM »
That's the question I always ask myself when working around the mill. I try to stack customer orders in such a away that my tractor can pick up the stack and load it on a trailer.  I usually end up with multiple stacks, like the 3,000bdft of oak I cut for a customer the other day. He hauled it all home in one load behind a F250 and deck over, tag-along trailer.  The truck was not happy! The bumper was nearly dragging the ground.

I know what my tractor lift is rated for, supposedly 3,500lbs, but that is at the pins. This rating is supposed to be the rating at the top of the lift, so I know it will likely pick up more at a point lower to the ground.  I pick up heavy logs and stacks of lumber all the time, but never know how much I am actually picking up.  So I have always wondered how much weight will my tractor actually pick up.

I had a full pallet of concrete, which weighs between 3,300lbs and 3,400lbs, on the trailer the other day.  I used my tractor to set it off and was surprised how easily it handled it.  I picked it up nearly to the top of the lift, just to see how high it would lift.  There have been times that I estimated stacks of lumber to weigh nearly 4,000lbs that I was able to pick up to trailer height to load, but was never confident in my estimate, thinking there was no way my little tractor could lift that much.  After this little test, I would say that the 4,000lbs was probably a good guess.

I just wish they still made 50hp tractors that would do this. I think mine is actually rated just under 50hp. None of the later model tractors this size will pickup anywhere near this.

And yes that is a concrete landscape block on the back of the tractor for a counter weight.  It weighs 2,200lbs and I pick it up with a set of forks on the back when I need extra weight and just set it off when I don't need it.  Its the cheapest and easiest to hook up counter weight I've every had.  Takes 3 seconds to pick up or set down and only cost $35 from the local concrete place.



 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 04:10:35 PM »
That's good
It will lift a hefty load.
I'm still trying to find my next mill machine.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 04:31:12 PM »
That's looks a lot beefier than any new tractor that I have seen. Looks to be a industrial tractor? I don't like to use that tractor word looking at that. I have a subframe under my 40hp tractor for the loader,but mine is under,not on the side. Nothing like what I see on yours.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 04:35:43 PM »
Thats a very handy machine for sure!  Mine certainly cant pick up loads like that but I ask the same question.  Those older industrial tractors are more powerful than modern agricultural or utility tractors.  They were made heavier and stronger in their castings for the halves of the tractor. Todays tractors are lighter weight and have less strong castings for the rear of the engine and transmission.  It is easier to break a tractor in the middle than it used to be.  One way to break one is to lift heavy weights on the loader and use a heavy counter weight on rough ground. Ive seen more than one broken that way. 
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Online Don P

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 05:20:54 PM »
Front spindles are another thing to keep an eye on when you're getting froggy with the FEL, they are beefier on industrial machines though.
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Offline A-z farmer

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 07:04:59 PM »
Very nice Texas block on the back of your tractor.we have the same blocks on two of our industrial loaders and it really makes them very stable picking up loaded forks.Last year we got two new new Holland tractors with loaders and after using them for a year I still would rather use the older industrial tractors night and day difference.

Offline Southside

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 10:27:23 PM »
It does look like the top part of your forks backstop found something that was a tad heavy at one point!!
My Lull has a chart in the cab telling you what the rated capacity is at how much boom is extended.  One day I was moving some of the 22' long, 14"  steel I beams I use under lumber stacks and had the carriage all the way forward and the boom just about completely extended setting the first one in place, bumped the boom out to full extension and "wheee..." the back end came up in the air, translation of the chart is 3 steel beams at full extension is the limit!!   
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Offline Greyman

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 02:20:54 AM »
I have a 50 hp JD and it can lift just 2,300 lbs with a chain at the base of the forks.  I know because I have a 2,400 lb weight and I have to put a heavy pipe thru the cross-tube brace (which is back about a foot) and use that to lift it.  Wish it could lift more.  My neighbor has an older Ford that will lift probably 3,500+ like yours.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 07:54:24 AM »
My Kubota 8540 with Farmi winch for counter weight has lifted many a load when I had to use FWD to back up
front tires do squat tho and are showing some stress cracks in them.
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Online barbender

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2019, 09:14:57 AM »
Ford 445 or 545 Industrial? They have a beefy loader on them. I ran one for years on a commercial asphalt crew doing prep work. It had a belly blade on it that we did all of the grading with. That thing had a really large front bucket on it (I think it was too big), and you could fill it and lift it all day long. I was always afraid I would blow a front tire and tip over sideways. Other than that, the machine handled the weight effortlessly. It also had a 55 gallon drum on the back that was full of concrete.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2019, 09:57:44 AM »
 


This customer's ~95hp Kubota could not even attempt to pick this SYP log up.


 
But the sawmill loaded/handled it very nicely.  Today's farm tractor FEL's are are sized to lift loads that the tractor can safely handle. 

A backhoe is actually well suited for handling logs because the FEL will lift the load plus the counterweight is already attached.  My old Oliver backhoe did not know it's own strength.  I never encountered a log that caused it to even hesitate to lift.
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Offline tacks Y

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2019, 10:52:32 AM »
Magic, Look at the distance from the front tires to the forks. They make these loaders to long in my opinion.

Online Andries

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2019, 12:34:31 PM »
It might be more than just the length of the loader . . . 


 
Like ncsawyer, I've had good luck with the industrial loaders. The concrete ballast gives a lot of stability


 
Four foot forks make for a nice lift of planks. 
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Offline ButchC

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2019, 12:59:23 PM »
I don't mean to come across as bashing the newer compact tractors but stiff competition has caused all manufacturers to place less and less in them. They work well within the limitations of what they are made of but rating for rating they will never compete with older ag/industrial units like your Ford or an equivalent Massey or JD.
Friend bought a new L series Kubota last month and bent the loader frame the very first day he used it pulling wood fence posts with a chain on the far end of the bucket. It was bent so bad that one side of the bucket was in the ground and the other side was 8-10" off the ground. Stupid? Yes!  but try that trick with an older unit. You might flip the tractor but you won't bend the loader frame. Point being a person needs to be a whole lot more aware of what he is doing with a modern compact as evidenced by taking a look at the late model used ones for sale. And you need to pay attention to the ratings. The vast bulk of the time the loaders, or "bucket" as they call them is bent, broken, welded etc,, at least around tbese parts.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2019, 07:51:33 PM »
Magic, Look at the distance from the front tires to the forks. They make these loaders to long in my opinion.
Yup, that's a farm tractor intended for loading hay bales, etc. not logs.  :-\
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Offline caveman

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2019, 08:11:14 PM »
Several years ago while using the forks mounted on my Kubota M 7040 to pop up chinaberry trees I twisted the front end similar to the L series tractor described above.  It was operator error due to only having one fork well engaged in the tree's root system.  The front lower cross part was a 2" pipe that twisted.  I cut it out, leveled the loader arms and welded in a piece of 4" gas line.  The repair has lasted for several years.  A friend of mine with the same model tractor damaged his similarly and welded in a solid 2" bar in place of the 2" pipe.

The man I used to work for while I was a kid had an old Massey industrial tractor in the 60 hp range that was nearly worn out when I was working for him.  He had a drum of concrete on the 3pt hitch for ballast and was able to flip a school bus using the forks.

Every day that I run my tractor I generally find that I would prefer that it would lift more weight but it also saves me a lot of manual labor and I would not hesitate to buy it again if I had to go back to the day we decided to buy it.
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2019, 08:13:30 AM »
My buddy is well connected at New Holland and he tells me what everybody is already saying.  Todays compact and farm tractors are designed for hay bales and not lifting much to protect inexperienced and greenhorn users.  Basically, a newbie cant flip a tractor and get killed if the tractor wont lift it.  However, the hydraulic pressure is there, but the cylinders are sized a little small and the pump flow rate is low.  It also keeps the cost down.  

On the other hand, both Deere and New Holland can upgrade the loaders to lift very heavy loads, if the customer asks for it.  Along with that, axles, spindles, pumps and loader frame need to be upgraded, as well.  

My New Holland model came stock with a hay bale loader, but we ordered it with all the upgrades and its rated for about double that.  The most confirmed weight Ive lifted and moved was a weighed 6,400 lb pack of lumber.  

I dont know if the other brands can be upgraded, I never checked.  
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Offline Southside

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2019, 08:17:38 AM »
was able to flip a school bus using the forks.


Just something he did for fun on Friday nights?  Mooved up from cow tipping to bus tipping?  Come on - you have to give us more than that!!  :D
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Offline offrink

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Re: Can my tractor pick this up?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2019, 02:03:32 PM »
The biggest skidsteer cat makes, 299d, is rated at 4,500lbs at 50% height. The tips up on the forks is the weakest lift point. We have had logs we can lift barely (2-5) and transport them to the trailer and then lift them one side at a time onto the trailer for transport. 


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