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Need plans for bucket forks

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  • Need plans for bucket forks

    I have a lot of big piles of dead tree limbs on my place. The best way to pick these up would be with forks on my tractor's FEL. Not two prongs like you use for pallets, but 6 or 7 prongs. I could make one with my welder, if I can come up with a simple, cost-effective design. Any ideas, pictures? I could just weld some 2x2x1/4" tubing to a plate and bolt the plate to the FEL, but I'd kinda like to avoid drilling holes in my FEL.

  • #2
    Here's a few ways:





    Last edited by usmcpop; 06-17-2011, 11:03 AM.
    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
    -------------------------

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    • #3
      The first picture is a simple design - I would have to modify it using heavier steel to support longer prongs (about 3 feet would be nice). But I get the idea.

      The one in the 2nd picture looks interesting, but I can't figure out how it attaches from looking at the picture. I'm wondering how strong it is - it looks like the entire weight of the fork load is held by those two little welds...

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      • #4
        Watch yourself on the length of the tines - they create a lever that can do a job on whatever is holding them. The cutting edge/lip of the bucket get a LOT of torsion from those. If you go that route I would do 2 things to keep the bucket edge healthy:

        - make the sleeve that fits over the bucket edge as wide as possible to distribute the load
        - use chain binders (as in 1 pic above) to spread the load to the top of the bucket

        You need to stabilize the forks from movement in both vertical directions to avoid the operator becoming violent and cursing your name

        I move a lot of limbs and debris but rely on a hydraulic grapple/skid steer - found the forks really frustrating to work with. I know that is a lot more work or expense, but I think it is money/time well spent if you have aux hydraulics on your tractor.
        Hobart LX235
        Victor OA Welding/Cutting Rig
        Bobcat 743DS
        qty 2: F-350, 4x4, Crew cab
        10K lb equipment trailer
        15KW Generator
        Outdoor Wood Furnace (10 cords/year)

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        • #5
          In the second one, the chains probably go all the way over the bucket and attach to the rear of the two members that pass under the bucket. Looks like they should be beefed up at the front.
          --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

          Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
          -------------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            Good points, Wiley. I think 3 feet would work - not lifting anything heavy, just piles of dead, dried out cedar and mesquite. In any case, protecting the bucket would be part of the design; I'm mentallly still wrestling with it. My Mahindra bucket has a lifting strength of about 2900 lbs at the pins. It's made of 1/4" plate, with a 1/2" plate bottom. I may end up drilling holes in the bucket yet. Weld the tines to some 3/8" plate and just bolt the sucker on there.

            Yep, a grapple would be nice, but I don't have any extra hydraulics.
            Last edited by Ruark; 06-17-2011, 12:58 PM.

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            • #7
              Charles Atlas once said....Give me a long enough lever and I can move the world. Same applies to bucket forks. Problem is, you'll flip the tractor.
              So little time...So many machine tools.........
              www.flipmeisters.com

              Miller, Hobart & Lincoln TIG/MIG/-
              Hypertherm Plasma (Thanks Jim)
              Plasma-Cam DHC (coming shortly)
              Harris OA
              Too many motorcycles.............-
              sigpic

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              • #8
                I made one similar to picture #3 above.
                http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=38082

                As stated previously, be careful how hong you make the tines. Mine are a bit too long and put a lot of stress on the bucket. I did reinforce the bucket bottom where the clamps attach. I use it often and so far it has worked as advertised.
                Nctox
                Stickmate LX 235/AC 160/DC
                HH 210

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                • #9
                  You can get a lot of leverage real fast with forks.

                  I have an ATI quick detach on the loader on my Kubota M9000 and with a set of forks on (3 feet long), I can get enough leverage under something real heavy (the loader capacity is 4500 pounds dead lift) to lift the rear of the tractor (and it has cast wheel weights on the rears), so I know about the tractor wanting to tip sideways. I've dropped the forks real quick before.

                  The tractor weighs in the excess of 7,000 pounds so it's not a lightweight wannabe tractor.

                  Myself, I'd never use or build a set of forks that acted on the bucket. Most smaller tractors just have material buckets, not excavation buckets, in other words, they are made from lighter gage material. The one picture shows the cutting lip deforming under the tension of the chains. Add the weight and the fulcrum of a set of forks out front of the lip and you are going to either deform the cutting lip or break the corners of the bucket where the cutting lip is welded on. Something has to give and from experience, it's usually the corner welds.
                  So little time...So many machine tools.........
                  www.flipmeisters.com

                  Miller, Hobart & Lincoln TIG/MIG/-
                  Hypertherm Plasma (Thanks Jim)
                  Plasma-Cam DHC (coming shortly)
                  Harris OA
                  Too many motorcycles.............-
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    I could not keep any thing on my Ford 5000 loader bucket except for fork lift forks.. On my Ford 335 loader I made my tines for the brush forks out of 1" plate I cut into 2" wide, so I had 6 tines. BTW. the 2" was vertical....

                    If your tractor has any kind of lift capacity I would not waste my time with tines made out of tubing. You need to have your brush forks slip under the cutting edge all the way across (you will need the support)and come under the bucket to the rear about 3/4 the way back. pin them to the buck at the rear. No pressure is on the pins/bolts. They are just to hold them on when you dump the bucket..

                    The pictures I see posted will never hold up to hard use. And by all means don't use the clamp on style.. Get yourself some real steel and make some real brush forks. You'll be glad you did.

                    Another thing you may want to check out is block forks. If they have solid tines they are ready made. I have seen them hollow and solid tines..Check out truck equipment yards. Or if you see a junk block truck being junked out..
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I have an old Lincoln Electric welding book here that I like to read. It has all kinds of good info about strength/rigidity for various shapes and is a delight to read. I think it's the "Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" and it is really good, the best 50 cent book I've ever bought at a thrift store. I might just buy a current copy for $25. to see if they have added anythiing new since about 1950.

                      https://ssl.lincolnelectric.com/linc...asp?prodnum=PH

                      Anyway, if you read into it, you can see why some shapes and designs just won't cut it on rigidity and strength.
                      --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                      Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                      -------------------------

                      Comment

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