FEL and BB Usage Training?
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    FEL and BB Usage Training?

    After watching me use the front end loader and box blade on my 1025r, my wife says I shouldn't quit my day job! I don't have any excuse with the box blade, as I have one on my old Ford 8N and have been (trying) to use it for 20+ years. (Wife says I have a depth perception problem with it.) The FEL is a relatively new thing - I've just had the 1025r for about 9 months. I can usually get my dirt or mulch moved to where I need it or get my burn pile pushed up, but I'm pretty messy doing so. I've watched a few You Tubes, but that's about all of the training I've had. Anybody got any suggestions? Does it just take lots more practice? Does JD or anybody offer training courses? Is there any hope for me?

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    Iím here only to commiserate not to help because I also am inept in the use of a BB and only less so with a FEL. Iím so bad with a BB that I sold mine, couldnít afford to keep hiring others to come and fix my messes.

    Best,
    Gregg

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    IMO, it's all about practice. I've been trained to use a lot of equipment over the years and pretty much all of the training was the same thing. They cover specific safety practices, any legal issues that might be unique to the equipment and the basics of where the controls are. 99% of that is to get you in the seat and not afraid to go out and try. Getting good at using any of this stuff is all a matter of trial and error. Fuel it up, dig some holes, pile up dirt, put dirt back, smooth it out. Then dig it all up and do it again. And again.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwing View Post
    After watching me use the front end loader and box blade on my 1025r, my wife says I shouldn't quit my day job! I don't have any excuse with the box blade, as I have one on my old Ford 8N and have been (trying) to use it for 20+ years. (Wife says I have a depth perception problem with it.) The FEL is a relatively new thing - I've just had the 1025r for about 9 months. I can usually get my dirt or mulch moved to where I need it or get my burn pile pushed up, but I'm pretty messy doing so. I've watched a few You Tubes, but that's about all of the training I've had. Anybody got any suggestions? Does it just take lots more practice? Does JD or anybody offer training courses? Is there any hope for me?
    You're light years ahead of me. I don't own one, never used one.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD, The Wife
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    Goldwing, Practice is the key...the more you use it the better you;ll get with it. One safety point that I can't over-stress: keep your bucket low to the ground and slightly curled up. I've seen a lot of guys driving with the bucket fully raised...they say so they can see better under it. This is a real good way to roll the tractor. Granted, you can see better with the tractor lying on its side...BUT!

    WOW! 8N, it's been 35+ years since I had one, but if I remember correctly...and probably don't!... they had adjustable leveling screws on both trailing arms and a "draft control" lever, In one direction of the draft control, the trailing arms were "locked" in position by the hydraulics. In the other position, they would "float"...as the tractor went up & down, the implement would stay in contact with the ground.

    Your 1025...that I'm not familiar with! You should (??) have a bucket level indicator. Get tractor on flat surface and see if level indicator is correct. When moving brush, keep bucket SLIGHTLY curled and in float. For soil, bucket flat but still in float. Once you've established a flat surface for the tractor to be on, you can use bucket without float. But still, practice is key. Bob
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    Practice. My box blade is my favorite implement. Once you get the hang of controlling the depth in both directions, feathering it to dig or pull or spread. And using the tilt (top and side) to vary further how much you want it to cut or drag or shape. I absolutely love this thing. I've done numerous other projects with it this year around the yard. None of this I could have done with just the loader or a back blade.

    This is regrading the crushed stone on my driveway in preparation for paving. It was a huge bowl that held water before. Reshaped it all sloping towards the camera with a swale from the corner of the lawn across towards the camera. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_RqnxNmV0M

    This is spreading topsoil and grading it around the newly paved driveway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9QWchzqN90







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    I agree with the rest, practice, practice, practice.

    Once you get the hang of it you can make a masterpiece with the FEL and BB in combo. If I had any idea how handy the BB was going to be it would have been the first implement I bought.
    Pat
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    Practice with a plan

    Nothing beats practice but like anything else, a little planning for your practice will help you get a feel for all of the ways you can use these implements. Start your practice on loose dirt first, even if you have to dig an ugly hole to get the dirt.

    For the FEL, it's not too hard because there are relatively few adjustments but still there are some things to practice.

    • Moving dirt from a pile - keep the edges of the pile pushed in and don't dig into the underlying ground.
    • Skimming the top 2" off the ground. If the ground is hard, this may be a real challenge and it will give you a feel for the breakout capacity.
    • Digging a hole with a smooth entry slope down to a vertical face.
    • Spreading material from the bucket evenly by driving forward while dumping. Surprisingly difficult with a SCUT/CUT as the buckets are small.
    • Smoothing an uneven pile of material with the bucket both forward and backward.


    A box blade has a lot of adjustments and they affect how it collects and moves material. Someone mentioned a top n tilt and while it's not necessary, (I don't have one but wish I had hydraulics for one), it would be very, very nice for a box blade or back blade. Anyway, you might want to practice using the box blade and changing these adjustments to see how they work on your machine.

    • Change the length of the top link and see how the scraper blades work going forward and backward.
    • Move the adjustable lift arm and see what kind of a slope it will cut.
    • Try dropping some of the ripper teeth and change the top link to see how aggressively the teeth dig in.
    • Drop all the ripper teeth to see if your machine will put the load. Also check to see if material flows well with all teeth down. Mine tends to pile up between the outside teeth and the box when ripping sod.
    • Add weight to the box and see where it's too much for the tractor to handle when full of dirt or the rippers fully engaged in the ground.
    • Do all of the above with different soil conditions. Dry, wet, just slightly moist etc. Sometimes that's the most important thing.


    This isn't a full list but you get the idea. While these look like simple implements, when you change one thing like lifting the FEL arms, you also change the angle of the bucket. One other suggestion is to do your first practice at an excruciatingly slow pace so you can really see what's happening. Get the feel and touch for the machine first and then speed up. You are aiming to operate the machine smoothly and sometimes that means a slow pace but if you watch a really, really good equipment operator, (not me) they never appear to be in a rush nor does the equipment move in a herky jerky fashion. It smoothly goes from one thing to another without back and forth movement hunting to the sweet spot. That's what you are aiming for. Practice until you have muscle memory and can reach for the controls with your eyes shut, know what the machine is doing by the sound and feel and one day you will be proud of what you can do with it.

    Treefarmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Nothing beats practice but like anything else, a little planning for your practice will help you get a feel for all of the ways you can use these implements. Start your practice on loose dirt first, even if you have to dig an ugly hole to get the dirt.

    For the FEL, it's not too hard because there are relatively few adjustments but still there are some things to practice.

    • Moving dirt from a pile - keep the edges of the pile pushed in and don't dig into the underlying ground.
    • Skimming the top 2" off the ground. If the ground is hard, this may be a real challenge and it will give you a feel for the breakout capacity.
    • Digging a hole with a smooth entry slope down to a vertical face.
    • Spreading material from the bucket evenly by driving forward while dumping. Surprisingly difficult with a SCUT/CUT as the buckets are small.
    • Smoothing an uneven pile of material with the bucket both forward and backward.


    A box blade has a lot of adjustments and they affect how it collects and moves material. Someone mentioned a top n tilt and while it's not necessary, (I don't have one but wish I had hydraulics for one), it would be very, very nice for a box blade or back blade. Anyway, you might want to practice using the box blade and changing these adjustments to see how they work on your machine.

    • Change the length of the top link and see how the scraper blades work going forward and backward.
    • Move the adjustable lift arm and see what kind of a slope it will cut.
    • Try dropping some of the ripper teeth and change the top link to see how aggressively the teeth dig in.
    • Drop all the ripper teeth to see if your machine will put the load. Also check to see if material flows well with all teeth down. Mine tends to pile up between the outside teeth and the box when ripping sod.
    • Add weight to the box and see where it's too much for the tractor to handle when full of dirt or the rippers fully engaged in the ground.
    • Do all of the above with different soil conditions. Dry, wet, just slightly moist etc. Sometimes that's the most important thing.


    This isn't a full list but you get the idea. While these look like simple implements, when you change one thing like lifting the FEL arms, you also change the angle of the bucket. One other suggestion is to do your first practice at an excruciatingly slow pace so you can really see what's happening. Get the feel and touch for the machine first and then speed up. You are aiming to operate the machine smoothly and sometimes that means a slow pace but if you watch a really, really good equipment operator, (not me) they never appear to be in a rush nor does the equipment move in a herky jerky fashion. It smoothly goes from one thing to another without back and forth movement hunting to the sweet spot. That's what you are aiming for. Practice until you have muscle memory and can reach for the controls with your eyes shut, know what the machine is doing by the sound and feel and one day you will be proud of what you can do with it.

    Treefarmer
    Thanks for the great tips!

    My Dad was a plumber and I recall him talking about how good some of his backhoe operators were. He said to them the bucket was like an extension of their arm. They could dig right next to a pipe without touching it. Maybe if I keep practicing, I can get that good with the bucket and box blade. (But I probably don't have enough years left to achieve that status!)
    etcallhome and PJR832 like this.

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    userjh160's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the float function on your loader too. Back dragging loose soil or stone with the bucket edge slightly below horizontal can give good results on cleaning up and smoothing out any material left over when you've gathered all you can in the bucket.

    Don't tilt it too far down though. It could cause some damage to loader components if it gets too much pressure in this orientation.

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