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Building a Front End Loader


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#1 webtechlin OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 02:04 PM

Hey everyone,

 

I'm toying around with the idea of building my own loader for my Ariens GT18.  They are awefully hard to come by and when I do find one, they are either really expensive, really beat up, or both.

 

Anyway, I know this is quite a job and I'm just toying with the idea right now and doing some research, but I thought I'd ask a quesiton and see what everyone thought.

 

For the loader arms, would 1/8" box steel have a thick enough wall and be strong enough for this loader?  How about the posts/uprights?  Would 1/8" box be thick enough steel for those as well?

 

I'm asking because I'm limited to a Hobart 110v wire feed welder.  It welds 1/8" steel beautifully, however, I'm not sure how good it would handle 1/4".

 

I'm aware of loader plans available for purchase on the internet.  Has anyone used those?  If so, were they any good?

 

Anyway, thanks ahead for any info.

If I do decide to pursue this "little" project, I'm sure I'd have tons more questions.



#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 02:28 PM

I have the Hobart 140 and if I bevel joints, I can weld 1/4" metal just fine. I started looking into doing this, but got stuck on the cylinder lengths.



#3 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 04:16 PM

Yes 1/8" is fine, my Johnson Loader was about that, I cut it to widen it. 2"x3" are the arms. Some plates may need to be thicker, but bevel joints can help weld them.  If your proficient( doesn't have to look good) at welding than this may be a good route to go. I personally haven't used the plans but I believe we even have some plans here somewhere. Good luck and remember 2 things , plan plan plan and measure measure measure. Tom


Edited by TomLGT195, May 13, 2015 - 04:17 PM.

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#4 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2015 - 06:01 PM

Take plenty of time to plan because it will save time in the long run. Check our Manuals Section for FEL plans and the new plans for  a rear mounted bucket. Good Luck, Rick

 

Try: http://gardentractor...y-gt-fel-plans/  ,  http://gardentractor...feloader-plans/  and   http://gardentractor...6-loader-plans/

 

 

Attached File  gtbucket.pdf   1.57MB   28 downloads


Edited by boyscout862, May 13, 2015 - 06:21 PM.

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#5 webtechlin OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for the replies.  Would you guys have any recommendations on pumps and controls?  I know that it's important to get them right so the system won't be over stressed.

 

I'm thinking of running the pump off of the rear PTO on the tractor as it directly connected to the drive shaft.

 

I'll try to keep good documentation/pics of my progress and post out there.

 

Thanks again,

Ryan


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#6 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 03:51 PM

One thing I would do is get my cylinders for lift & bucket and design from there. There are so many different lengths of those in the size we would use that it makes it hard to get the framework correct.


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#7 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:41 PM

I think that most loaders have the oil tank in the loader upright posts. If you would use the front or mid PTO it would be gravity flow from tank to the pump. Those two are a bit lower. Just a thought.


Edited by shorty, May 14, 2015 - 08:42 PM.

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#8 webtechlin OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 09:21 PM

Thanks again for the great info/suggestions. It will be a bit before I will get started, so this post may linger a bit, but I am sure I will need more of your guys's help in the future.

#9 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 10:45 PM

Thanks again for the great info/suggestions. It will be a bit before I will get started, so this post may linger a bit, but I am sure I will need more of your guys's help in the future.

We are all in this together. Check out https://www.surpluscenter.com/  and  http://www.baileynet.com/ for ideas. Good Luck, Rick 



#10 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 11:13 PM

Do not be afraid of your welder handing the job. I have a handler 125 110 volt welder and am completely positive it would do fine for you. I can not weld that well but am learning quicker than I would like.
Just yesterday I hooked up the 5 ft mower to my ford, and noticed the sway control was broke. I welded the 3/8 inch chain split link to the turnbuckle bolt. mowed a while and one side broke? Took it back to the shop and welded it up again,am pretty sure it will hold this time(I defiantly got penetration this time) but it rained all day today, so I could not test it. It takes a certain mind set to be willing to break things till you learn how to fix it?
One thing for sure, the welder was one of my wiser purchases.

Oh another thought, I am. Sure I read on the PF Engineering sit ( sells loader plans) their prototype was built with a 110 volt Lincoln.

Edited by JD DANNELS, May 14, 2015 - 11:20 PM.

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#11 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 11:23 PM

Using 1/4" wall tube would be massive over kill and a waste of money.

 

I'm guessing that 1/8" wall would work, but if you want to be positive, you could split the difference and use 3/16" wall tube.

 

If I was making one, I'd use the 3/16" wall.


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#12 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 06:06 PM

Save yourself a lot of the guesswork and buy the PF Engineering plans. They are only around $65 or so, and will save you lots of trial and error. I have his plans and they are great. www.loaderplans.com.

 

He tells you the cylinder lengths to get, the pumps, etc. 


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#13 TUDOR OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2015 - 06:32 AM

The hydraulics will cost over $1K, the steel somewhat less.

 

The depth of the tubing used for the arms is more critical for load carrying than the wall thickness. Light loads to about 400 lb need 2x2x1/8, medium loads to about 700 lb need 2x3x1/8, heavier loads to about 1000 lb need 2x4x1/8, and super duty should have at least 5.5" depth at the break in the arms. 

 

With arms 65" post pin to bucket pin, lift capability can be about 1000  lb at 1500 psi using 1.5" x18" cylinders, 2000 lb at 1500 psi using 2" x 18" cylinders, depending on cylinder geometry and ballast load.

 

Anyone with a loader will eventually test its maximum capability. Build it accordingly. The front axle will be the weak link.

 

The pump for mine is at about the same level as the fluid level in the posts. In 2000 hours, the pump has been starved for fluid precisely once, when the tire chains wore a hole in the pump supply hose and the fluid drained out onto the lawn.


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#14 webtechlin OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2015 - 06:10 PM

A small update here.  I had been emailing Paul from PF Engineering (www.loaderplans.com).  He's a really friendly guy and answered all my questions, even before I purchased the plans.  I felt compelled to purchase the plans because of the great customer service alone.  That's pretty hard to find these days.

 

Anyway, the plans should be here soon, I'm really anxious to see them and get started.


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#15 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2015 - 06:18 PM

Yes, customer service is a thing of the past. It's great when someone still offers it. I buy sometimes for that reason too.






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