Newbie loader technique/safety
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    Newbie loader technique/safety

    While waiting for my 3046R/320r/72" 4 in 1 bucket to be delivered, I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can about proper operations.

    I've read about ballast and plan to have a full box of concrete (probably with ext) on the back when using the loader. If I understand correctly, that is intended to offset the loader weight at maximum lift on level ground.

    The capacity of the bucket is 4.5 cubic feet, or 1/6 yard. That amount of Class 5 weighs about 475# and the empty bucket weighs 425#. About 900# FULL, so things should be in the "safe" range.

    I'm guessing that a considerable margin of safety could be gained by taking a half a scoop of dirt when operating under less than ideal conditions. Probably easier, safer and less strain on equipment than trying to add even more weight to the back.

    Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    ctrider's Avatar
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    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...ent-3046r.html

    This is a pretty good thread on the topic. I would recommend reading through the owner's manual that KennyD provided in the link. Good luck, it sounds ;like a nice machine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN3046 View Post
    While waiting for my 3046R/320r/72" 4 in 1 bucket to be delivered, I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can about proper operations.

    I've read about ballast and plan to have a full box of concrete (probably with ext) on the back when using the loader. If I understand correctly, that is intended to offset the loader weight at maximum lift on level ground.

    The capacity of the bucket is 4.5 cubic feet, or 1/6 yard. That amount of Class 5 weighs about 475# and the empty bucket weighs 425#. About 900# FULL, so things should be in the "safe" range.

    I'm guessing that a considerable margin of safety could be gained by taking a half a scoop of dirt when operating under less than ideal conditions. Probably easier, safer and less strain on equipment than trying to add even more weight to the back.

    Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    If you are moving slow and on level and hard ground then with proper ballast you can lift until the hydraulics refuse to lift any more. As you add more ground speed, lift height, softer ground, or unlevel ground then you will want to start cutting back on your load to be safe. There is no hard rules that say you can carry X amount of weight safely on Y slope at Z height. If you are carrying anything on a slope make sure to engage 4wd. Since tractors do not have front brakes unless in 4wd. It’s very easy to loose sufficient traction on a slope using the rear tires alone. Also when driving with any nontrivial load you should keep your hand on the loader control. That way it the tractor starts to tip you can slam forward on the control to drop the loader to the ground. This should stop the tractor from going over if you are fast enough.


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    There's a sticky on ballast:

    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...-you-need.html

    Basically, ballast is needed to offset the weight on the front axle, and keep the back end down (where most of the weight should be) as it is stronger than the front. And the front axle is on a pivot, so if the back end comes up then there is nothing keeping the front level. This is just the basic premise, there is a lot of information in the link.

    BTW, if you are moving, ALWAYS keep the bucket as low as possible to keep your center of gravity low. Raise the bucket to dump when you arrive at your destination. A heavy bucket high can flip you before you ever feel it going over. Be safe.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Tom

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    Tomfive, I think your 2 cents is more like 2K cents! Keeping the bucket low is very, VERY important and even an empty bucket becomes a heavy bucket when fully raised. Another helpful hint is to keep your bucket curled slightly up when travelling. Curled down/below level, a high spot in the ground can stop the tractor, throwing the operator forward. You'd probably only end up with a few cracked/broken ribs when you hit the steering wheel, but curled up, you'll slide over the high spot! Common sense goes a long way! Bob
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    The enemy of any small frame tractor or skid loader is uneven or soft ground. The tractor is only as good as its footing. Avoid lifting or carrying loads while on the side of a hill or traversing on sloppy ground. Carrying a load low when moving is a good bit of advice, lifting at the end to pile or place in a trailer.

    I would expect that you will feel out exactly what your tractor will and wont do quickly. A loader becomes fairly intuitive with just a little use.

    I don't have any experience with the 3 series loaders but I would expect you will see some flex in the loader arms if you are doing something it does not like. The small tractors seem to run out of traction far before really getting into a spot where you can damage something.

    The biggest skill I see people take time with is understanding where the cutting edge is and how it affects what you are doing. Its the difference between digging a hole or just moving the pile. I would recommend fooling around with it and just moving some dirt if you are new to get the hang of your tractor and loader before you go and try to make a garage pad or something that requires a bit of precision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomfive View Post
    There's a sticky on ballast:

    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...-you-need.html

    Basically, ballast is needed to offset the weight on the front axle, and keep the back end down (where most of the weight should be) as it is stronger than the front. And the front axle is on a pivot, so if the back end comes up then there is nothing keeping the front level. This is just the basic premise, there is a lot of information in the link.

    BTW, if you are moving, ALWAYS keep the bucket as low as possible to keep your center of gravity low. Raise the bucket to dump when you arrive at your destination. A heavy bucket high can flip you before you ever feel it going over. Be safe.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Never start raising a bucket load while turning or planning to turn. As Tomfive said "it can flip you before you ever feel it going over" It might save time to raise as you approach, but the time saved will never make up for putting your tractor on it's side.
    J
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    Quote Originally Posted by quackaddict View Post
    The enemy of any small frame tractor or skid loader is uneven or soft ground. The tractor is only as good as its footing. Avoid lifting or carrying loads while on the side of a hill or traversing on sloppy ground. Carrying a load low when moving is a good bit of advice, lifting at the end to pile or place in a trailer.

    I would expect that you will feel out exactly what your tractor will and wont do quickly. A loader becomes fairly intuitive with just a little use.

    I don't have any experience with the 3 series loaders but I would expect you will see some flex in the loader arms if you are doing something it does not like. The small tractors seem to run out of traction far before really getting into a spot where you can damage something.

    The biggest skill I see people take time with is understanding where the cutting edge is and how it affects what you are doing. Its the difference between digging a hole or just moving the pile. I would recommend fooling around with it and just moving some dirt if you are new to get the hang of your tractor and loader before you go and try to make a garage pad or something that requires a bit of precision.
    One way to level your bucket, front to rear. Curl the bucket back, lower your boom and put it into "float". Uncurl/dump your bucket while watching the top of the boom arms. As soon as the boom arms start to raise, you have gone slightly past level. Slowly curl the bucket until the boom arms drop and the bucket will be level.
    J
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    Don't forget tire inflation. The fronts should be at the maximum the tire is rated for. The rears should be the same psi in each. If they are not the same, you will not be level side to side when on level ground.
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    J
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    Question

    1. What about backing up when you have bucket full in front how would the stability be baking st. down the hill
    2. I have done this once there is mention in an article above
    2 WD tractor stuck in lose sand raised the empty bucket all the way up and the added weight on rear wheels got me out as soon as
    free bucket back down this is a desperation move only

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