260 Backhoe Dolly Build
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    danwolfgang's Avatar
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    Lightbulb 260 Backhoe Dolly Build

    There are a few threads and posts about dolly builds for the 260 backhoe. There's obviously room for interpretation about how to put one together but I was hoping to find some clear direction about what might be best. I didn't find that, so I set out to build and document my attempt so that others would know how to duplicate and improve upon my work.

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    First up: the casters. I wanted big and fat ones so that the backhoe would roll easily on the concrete of the garage and maybe be manageable on the hard-packed dirt driveway. 5" casters seemed the biggest I could go, however most of the 5" options used only 1" - 1-1/4" wide tires. I eventually found that Harbor Freight has some 5" x 2"-wide casters. These are some big and weighty casters! They don't have locks, but otherwise fit the bill. I bought four of them, all swivel. My family helped me take advantage of 25%-off coupons so the total cost was just over $50 for them.

    The casters have big mounting plates so I got 3/8" lag bolts to mount them. In each caster plate I used two 2-1/2" lag bolts to go through two pieces of 2x4, and two 1-1/2" lag bolts to mount the other side that only goes through one 2x4. Washers on all of them, of course.

    And a couple 2x4s, of course. The dolly measures 40" long and 18" wide. There are three 18" wide support members. The gap between the first and second member (where the bucket sits) is 7". I ripped another piece of 2x4 to 2" wide, and this is against the support member where the backhoe frame sits. This 2" wide piece is important because it brings the height of the backhoe frame closer to the dolly at the point where the backhoe will pivot off of the subframe on the tractor. A handful of deck screws holds it all together. I set the casters 1-1/2" in from the edge of the dolly frame, just because I thought it looked nice spaced like that.

    Total cost was under $60.

    The dolly is low enough to roll under the backhoe. It angles between the left-right swivel for the boom and the stabilizer. There's less than 1/2" of clearance between the top of the dolly and bottom of the backhoe so there's not a lot of room, but it fits in easily.

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    Line up the dolly below the backhoe. The dolly is just long enough to get the backhoe off. The bucket needs to be lowered into a somewhat-level position and the dipper stick needs to be as close to the tractor as it'll get. Under the backhoe, the dolly will bump the left-right swivel pivot for the boom. Lower the boom to the dolly enough to take pressure off of the backhoe subframe so that the pins can be released from the top of the subframe, then raise the boom to lift the backhoe off of the backhoe subframe. Stabilizers don't need to be lowered.

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    That extra piece of 2" wide 2x4 allows the backhoe to pivot off of the subframe and easily clear it. Here the boom arm is all the way "up," tilted back onto the dolly and the backhoe pulls away!

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    Woot, it works!

    It's not perfect, or, Version 2.0:

    • Most obviously, the dolly could be two inches shorter, negating the need for the extra 2" wide 2x4.
    • I should have used 2x6s for the long pieces. The caster plates are big, slightly wider than the 2x4 (so, probably about 3-3/4" wide). I hope there's enough material left on the 2x4 around the screw holes to support the weight of the backhoe. Using 2x6s would have provided that extra width.
    • Caster selection is a big consideration. Harbor Freight has 6" x 2" casters that I looked at using, but I'm fairly certain they are too big, even if the caster is mounted to the 18" horizontal supports on the dolly, preventing the dolly from rolling under the backhoe. These are some big casters, though. Most of the other (narrower-wheel) casters are not quite as tall. I think that means 6" casters might fit if mounted to the horizontal supports on the dolly. Other 5" casters would be shorter, but I think they would still be big enough for the backhoe to go "up" and lift off of the subframe without use of the stabilizers. The reason I'd consider other casters is to get something with locks. I have nightmares of the backhoe rolling over and smashing my beautiful fiberglass kayak!
    Last edited by danwolfgang; 07-06-2015 at 09:11 PM.
    1025R TLB with the 53" loader bucket and 12" backhoe bucket, 54" mower deck (no AutoConnect!), 54" snowblower, 647 tiller, and a ballast box. Fitted an RIO override, added several KBOGH products (a pair of hooks on the loader bucket, a clevis mount to the backhoe, and the diff lock pedal), a GoPro mount on top of the ROPS, R2 Manufacturing 2x 4" Edge Tamers and Edge Extenders. What next?

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    Great write up on your dolly. I'm going to make one this week when I start my stay cation. I do have a few questions though for those of us with different sized casters.

    How tall is your dolly from the ground to the top of the upper supports?

    Would you recommend shortening it to 38" from the 40" now?

    I will also post my pics when complete. I am also building my own dolly to stand up my MMM in the winter.

    Cheers,

    Fred
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    Caster Criteria

    I've built quite a few dollies for implements. It's important that the caster material not take a set (develop a flat spot) when heavy weight is on it for an extended time. I gave up trying to figure out which plastic casters were suitable and have only used steel casters recently. They're a little more noisy when rolling and they can get a little rusty if they get wet, but they don't ever develop a flat spot. I haven't seen 5" steel casters, but I'll have to look around.
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    @Dan: Good and simple.

    @Keane: Check McMaster-Carr www.mcmaster.com for all sorts of casters. They aren't cheap; but they have stuff you won't ever find at the Big Box stores.
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    Backhoe Dolly

    I looked at different optons and made this one. Similar to yours. Trick is to keep it low enough that is will slide under the backhoe at the bottom. This one just fits. It has 2.5" casters and then 2x2 steel 3 layers high. If I made it again, I would use 1x2 on the top - layed down, for more clearance.
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    Great post, I'll be making one shortly


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    danwolfgang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FredTheCanuck View Post
    How tall is your dolly from the ground to the top of the upper supports?
    I measure it at 9-5/8".

    Would you recommend shortening it to 38" from the 40" now?
    If building out of 2x4s, yes shorten it to 38". There's no advantage to making it longer, and you can't make it but a fraction of an inch shorter.

    I am also building my own dolly to stand up my MMM in the winter.
    I would be interested in seeing your build of that!
    1025R TLB with the 53" loader bucket and 12" backhoe bucket, 54" mower deck (no AutoConnect!), 54" snowblower, 647 tiller, and a ballast box. Fitted an RIO override, added several KBOGH products (a pair of hooks on the loader bucket, a clevis mount to the backhoe, and the diff lock pedal), a GoPro mount on top of the ROPS, R2 Manufacturing 2x 4" Edge Tamers and Edge Extenders. What next?

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    sincerest form of flattery ...

    I finally put together my own copy of your dolly. Picked up the castors (5"x2") at Lowe's (2 straight, 2 swivel) just because they were nearest ($12.50 for the straight style, $14.50 for the swivel style). Used your dimensions, with 38" for the length. Used 2x6 long way, 2x4 on the cross members.

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    With the Bro-Tek thumb, the bucket sits a little different when I got it to the point it would lift off the sub-frame, but it still works fine. Thanks for the design!

    Nick
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    Guys you are great, built this in 20 min today. I followed the original instructions with a 40" length but used a 2x6 for the header rather then ripping a separate piece. Works perfect and cost me $22 from Lowes with a gift card I had laying around.

    Backhoe is new to this tractor. Bought the machine last year and wanted to test how it worked over the winter before buying too many accessories. Needless to say I've ordered about everything you can for it. The machine/snowblower combo was nothing short of amazing during last years New England winter.

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    mods to my copy

    Thought I'd resurrect this thread for an update on my copy of the 260 backhoe dolly.

    After using it for a bit, I had noticed areas that looked like they would get significant wear over time. I decided to "armor" those locations & used what was at hand. Most areas were given an angle iron sheath (metal salvaged from a bed frame queen -> king add-on). At the very front, I used a couple of door striker plates (with the tongue flattened out) for where the backhoe frame hooks areas make contact.





    The protected edge at the very back is there because that is where the bucket hangs (by the ledge behind the teeth) when the thumb is in an extended position. When the thumb is not in use, the bucket sits normally. The smaller pieces on the interior of the frame protect from the bottom boom hinge point, which tends to make contact on the frame when the thumb is in use.

    Nick
    Last edited by nikdfish; 08-27-2016 at 08:52 AM.
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