Tractor FAQ's

Q Where do you get the plans?

A is where I got mine. Beware, though, some parts of the plans don't work. Also, the plans specify non-standard cylinders. I recalculated the angle and forces to use standard size cylinders. (cheaper)

Q Where do you get the stuff?

A is a good source of *cheap* hydraulics. I got my valve, pump, and cylinders there. is another good source for hydraulic stuff. I lived near one when I built my loader and visited a number of times to get hoses and fittings; the great advantage there was that I could eyeball stuff to see that it was what I wanted.

Q Can I convert my >insert vehicle name here< with a bucket loader like yours?

A You can put a bucket loader on your kids tricycle, but it will take a little more work, and when you get done it'll look like a garden tractor. The best platform is a 'Garden Tractor', characterized by 23" tires on the back with holes in the wheels for wheel weights. A 'Lawn Tractor' is more lightly constructed, primarily being a riding lawnmower. Even the garden tractor tends to get bent up when you use the loader to it's limit; I think a lawn tractor would suffer a good bit more. Also, you will need lots of ballast, and the wheel weights are a good start.

Q Does the single arm system work Ok, or does it suck?

A Works fine, and saves money on lift cylinders.

Q Are there any dangers in converting a tractor like yours?

A Life is dangerous. Converting a garden tractor to a bucket loader configuration is very dangerous. You can flip the tractor by carrying a load too high, you can flip the tractor by getting the bucket stuck under something and not backing off when you try and lift it, you can severely damage stuff by running the bucket into it... Use your imagination. If you do the conversion you have built a piece of construction equipment. Having the power to lift and dig means you have the power to REALLY screw stuff up. If you mess up and wind up under your upside down tractor you will probably die from your injuries. I haven't (yet), but have had a scary moment or two. I actually ran off once, abandoning my beloved tractor to it's fate when it started to turn over backwards on a steep incline. Leaving the seat lowered the center of gravity and killed the motor (love that seat switch) and things turned out just fine, but it could've been bad, bad, bad.

Further questions? Email Harry!