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Author Topic: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline opticsguy

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Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« on: February 20, 2019, 11:39:20 PM »
First, I do have a manual sawmill and all my wood is cut for me only. 
So, on occasion I move small or large logs up to the mill using forks I built for the 3-point on the rear of my tractor.  I can move any log I can saw on the mill, so no limitations here. 
Sure would be nice to have forks on the front bucket but not sure if spending $700-$800 is worth the costs.  

Bolt-on forks are available and curious if they have any practical use?  I understand the reduced lifting capacity of extended forks on the front of the bucket but sure would be a lot lot quicker and probably safer than changing out the bucket for a fork.  

Looking for first-hand experiences, comments and thoughts,  thank you.  
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 12:55:14 AM »
loss of lift capacity was the big turn away when it came time to buy my tractor. i had used a friend's small kubota that didn't have a detach bucket and he had bolt on forks. again, loss of lift was the key thing, and by trying to lift what the tractor could lift, it actually bent the forks at the clamping bolt. i offered to pay for new forks and instead of new forks, i paid the cost of new forks, in the cost of swopping out for a detach bracket and a set of pallet forks.
if the logs you are lifting are under the rated limit for the FORKS, not the loader arms themselves, then you might be fine, and even if you exceed the rating, you may be good, but for how many times. it only took once for me, and those are a NO-GO for me. if you have a detach bucket, go ahead and spend the money for a set of pallet forks and be done with it. even if you upgrade to bigger tractor, you can still use the forks, but gotta watch and make sure you don't overload the forks, or it can, and possibly WILL damage the forks.
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Offline donbj

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 01:55:18 AM »
First, I do have a manual sawmill and all my wood is cut for me only.
So, on occasion I move small or large logs up to the mill using forks I built for the 3-point on the rear of my tractor.  I can move any log I can saw on the mill, so no limitations here.
Sure would be nice to have forks on the front bucket but not sure if spending $700-$800 is worth the costs.  

Bolt-on forks are available and curious if they have any practical use?  I understand the reduced lifting capacity of extended forks on the front of the bucket but sure would be a lot lot quicker and probably safer than changing out the bucket for a fork.  

Looking for first-hand experiences, comments and thoughts,  thank you.  
You say you can move "small or large logs" with your three point hitch. The large logs is what should decide things. You can ruin your bucket with bolt on forks and over lifting. The reduced lifting capacity still has the break out force applied to your bucket cutting edge. I have a 5300 JD 4x4 with loader and built a set of forks to manhandle my logs. They use the same quick attach as the bucket. 
I may be skinny but I'm a Husky guy

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Offline whatwas

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 02:44:02 AM »
I had a set on my 580K case, hated them mostly because you couldn't see the fork tips infront of the bucket.
so I bought a skid steer style quick attach and pallet forks, they work good
life is good

Offline Ianab

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2019, 03:37:23 AM »
Those forks on a FEL bucket are light duty only. Because the weight is extended out past the bucket, the weight is even less than the loader is rated for. Small logs or packets of boards, yeah they will work. 

Tractor I've been using lately has forks or a bucket fitted. It's been used and abused, and the fork mountings are now a huge mess of welding and random reinforcement. If they had been clipped to a bucket, it would have torn that up even faster. Now for heavy stuff we have found a set of back forks, much sturdier, more lift capacity, and the weight is carried close in to the back wheels. Not quite as convenient as you don't have the angle control, but it can pick up some pretty heavy logs. 

This is on older ~65hp Kubota, but the logs are up around 3ft dia, and it's also been used for various demolition type missions that weren't kind on the front forks.  :-\  :D
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2019, 04:52:47 AM »
I used them for the first 3 years I had my mill.
They work well if you buy a quality set.
They are hard on your bucket and hard to see.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 04:54:20 AM »
I bought a set of aluminum ones for my NH1520 with a pin on bucket. They are very awkward because of the length, and have "dished in" the bottom of my bucket where the screw clamp connects. I have 3 "real" loaders but sometimes the 1520 was the only machine in the place at the time. I would buy them again but start saving for a weld on skid steer adapter for my bucket and buy a set of skid steer forks. Keep the forks when you trade tractors and your not in much deeper than the bolt on forks. To sum it up: the bolt on forks are handier than chaining to the bucket for small stuff but aren't going to work out for regular use.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 05:55:45 AM »
Opticguy, bolt on forks are better than nothing, but not much. It easy to make something that works well and won't damage and twist your bucket. Take two pieces of heavy angle iron and bolt them to the edges of your bucket. Taper the upright leg of the angle iron to almost a point and a shallow valley behind the point. They only need to stick out about 16"-18". You crowd under a log and roll your bucket back. When I made mine I had a clip that slid over the cutting edge and a stud welded to the back, one nut and off it came to use the bucket. Frank C.
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2019, 07:07:48 AM »
Whatcha got for a tractor? HP too?
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 07:16:28 AM »
If you have the "quick attach" option, you can beat the prices you mentioned, at palletforks.com!
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Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 07:36:23 AM »
Bought a set of universal quick attach forks for my tractor in the fall.  Extremely useful tool around the property... good for so much more than moving logs around.  Cant go wrong with getting the right tool for the job.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 07:36:46 AM »
As I was building my mill it quickly became to much for me to move around. So in the middle of my mill build I built a set of pallet forks. These are not your typical forks cause I wanted them easy width adjustable since I have so many different size skids I have acquired.

Bucket forks in General Board

I use these things more than I thought I ever would. They are still holding up great. With the cross bar to make them adjustable it spreads the load across the front of the bucket. My bucket has not had any type of damage from using these forks. Definitely one of the best things I have ever made.

I should probably do a followup on that thread after using them for over a year and show what they look like now. The paint did not last very well but the forks and bucket are great.

I have a kubota SSQA plate that I bought for my tractor. But it is for a bigger tractor and I do not like it so I am going to sell that and build a custom SSQA mount and switch everything over to get my extra lift capacity back.

Offline John S

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2019, 07:50:09 AM »
Check out the "Walk softly" post!
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Offline AZ_builder

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2019, 08:01:42 AM »
My dad and I built a set out of 1/2 steel plate. Cost was cheap since we had the steel already. Not for heavy lifting as stated previously

Offline btulloh

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2019, 09:22:39 AM »
Definitely worth having, even with the limitations mentioned above. 

I only had the 3pt forks on my 40hp Kubota and then I added the bucket forks.  Worth the price of admission for sure.  I had to make mine since I have a 4-in-1 bucket.  Of course I want a rough terrain fork lift, telehandler, skid steer, excavator, . . . , . . .    But until then . . .

Really improved my slab handling.  Logs up to about 1800 lbs, light pallets.  



 


Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2019, 09:29:28 AM »
Ive been in the same boat for almost a year since I got my tractor.  I wanted forks, but didnt want to spend the money.  I considered the clamp on forks, but figured they werent worth the money.  I wouldnt be able to move the bigger logs, which is what I want to do.  As others have pointed out and you did too, you lose capacity out in front of the bucket.  I ordered my Titan forks yesterday from Amazon for $566.  They also have a hay spear and trailer receiver.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2019, 09:31:37 AM »
Quick-attach is nice.  Much better to ditch the bucket if you've got QA.  

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2019, 09:35:33 AM »
When I have something I can't pickup with the forks I use chains from the chain hooks I made for the bucket.

Puts the log right at the pin with the bucket rolled correctly.


Offline btulloh

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2019, 10:07:11 AM »
It's pretty obvious, but you'll need a counterweight on the back whenever you're lifting a heavy load up front.  There's a lot of leverage when the weight is that far out front.  It's nice to keep the back wheels on the ground.  :)

Sometimes I just grab a log on the back for a cw.  I also made a little pallet that holds 1000 lbs of cinder blocks.  Easy and quick to grab when a counterweight is needed.
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Bolt-on front bucket forks, your opinion please.
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2019, 10:27:33 AM »
You might keep shopping, I only paid $275 for mine that are rated at 4K. I dont use them very much, but Im glad I have them when I do. 
With the right fulcrum and enough leverage, you can move the world!

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