Hi, folks....I'm a newbie. I was just gifted with an old (2005) John Deere 102 lawn tractor - no mowing deck, but the engine and drive train seem pretty good. It's a 17.5 horse one lunger, and since I'd like to do more with it than towing a wagon, can anyone point me to some DIY front end loader plans? Either 12 Vol6t actuator or simple hydraulic would be fine. I expect to put a hydraulic pump on the old mower deck drive.
BarcodeBilly in Alberta, Canada
Welcome to GTTalk!!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings though . . . Your tractor weighs 442 lb with the mower, maybe 360 lb without. About the lightest you could make a conventional loader frame is going to be about 100 lb. Add to that, cylinders @ 7 lb each, pump @10 lb, hydraulic lines @ about 20 lb, and about 2 gallons of fluid (12 lb), oh yeah, and a bucket at about 50 lb. Total loader weight approximately 225 lb, balanced on the front axle.
Then you add payload to the bucket, say 2 cu-ft of dirt @ 90 lb/cu-ft. Since that weight is out in front of the front axle, there must be a countering weight behind the axle to keep it balanced, That will be approximately 60% of the payload weight. ALL of this weight (288 lb) will be on the front axle, along with the weight of the loader (225 lb) and the weight of the tractor that it normally carries (another 150+ lb) for a total axle load of around 665 lb. The steering gear on lawn tractors is not noted for being robust.
Two cubic feet is half of the struck capacity of a standard garden wheel barrow.
Would you like me to continue with why this is a bad idea for a tractor/loader that does actual work? It will make a good show piece, but that's about it. A member of another forum did this with a JD115 LT and did an amazing job of fabrication. Then he took it off and instead built a full glass cab with heat, air conditioning, and a CD player that looked like it was straight from the factory.
If you really want a front end loader to do work, start with a garden tractor. It will have a transmission/rear end capable of doing real work without suffering a premature death.
Edited by TUDOR, April 14, 2015 - 03:45 AM.