What can you tell me about the Mechanical Self Leveling option on FELs?
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    stevepsd's Avatar
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    What can you tell me about the Mechanical Self Leveling option on FELs?

    How does it work?

    Does it work?

    What are the pros and cons of it?

    Can it be retrofitted, in my case on a H180 FEL (since the H180 is available both ways)?

    Would you buy it? I ordered mine without, but I use pallet forks alot, so maybe I should quickly change the order....

    Thanks!

    -steve
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    Phil-T's Avatar
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    About 25 years ago, I was on a farm that had a 4240 with one of those self-leveling bucket configurations. Most I can say is that it worked and was nice when handling most any material. I would think it would be great for pallet forks. The way I look at it it's cost vs convenience.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Here are the two drawings from JDparts, I assume it can be retrofitted but I can't find the bundle number that would get you all the parts in one package.

    NSL:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Boom And Leveling Link, H180 NSL
    Cart key PART NO. PART NAME QTY SERIAL NO. REMARKS
    1 AW36323 Loader Boom 1
    2 AW36399 Brace 1
    3 W50028 Link 1 (A) LHS
    4 W50025 Link 2 (B)
    5 W50026 Link 2 (A)
    6 W50027 Link 2 (A) RHS
    7 W52211 Link 2
    (A) Outer

    (B) Inner





    MSL:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Boom And Leveling Link, H180 MSL

    Cart key PART NO. PART NAME QTY SERIAL NO. REMARKS
    1 AW35944 Tube 1
    2 AW36399 Brace 1
    3 W52211 Link 2
    4 W50027 Link 1
    5 W50028 Link 1
    6 W50026 Link 2
    7 W50025 Link 2
    8 AW36322 Loader Boom 1
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    I bought a H120 with my 1025R with a 53" bucket and I use the pallet forks more than the bucket. I would not buy a tractor without a loader. If your tractor is on order the dealer can add one to it and roll it into the financing. Most FEL are installed at the dealer. They ship separately on a pallet. If you drive around the dealership they probably have several in the back lot. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepsd View Post
    How does it work?

    Does it work?

    What are the pros and cons of it?

    Can it be retrofitted, in my case on a H180 FEL (since the H180 is available both ways)?

    Would you buy it? I ordered mine without, but I use pallet forks alot, so maybe I should quickly change the order....

    Thanks!

    -steve
    I am spoiled - I ran large loaders most of my life which of course all had self-leveling buckets. When I bought my 2520 and loader it took me forever to get used to it without - I still kind of struggle with it.

    If I had the option for my loader I would have it even if the cost were high.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    I bought a H120 with my 1025R with a 53" bucket and I use the pallet forks more than the bucket. I would not buy a tractor without a loader. If your tractor is on order the dealer can add one to it and roll it into the financing. Most FEL are installed at the dealer. They ship separately on a pallet. If you drive around the dealership they probably have several in the back lot. Good luck
    The OP is getting the H180 loader. He was asking about the self-leveling option which is available on some of the larger loaders.
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    Well....I ended up changing my order to include the H180 with Self-Leveler.

    However it was a 'ordeal' according to my great local JD dealer.

    Even though you can order the 4Series with the H180-MSL (Mechanical Self Loader) FEL, it cannot be built that way at the factory. The factory will only install the regular H180 FEL!?!?!? What?

    So, if you want the self-leveler, you order the basic tractor with no FEL, then order the H180-MSL separately and the dealer puts them together at the dealership. Sounds odd and would not have believed it if I had not heard it from the JD rep directly. The plus side is that doing it this way for me, is that the tractor and loader will be here 3 weeks earlier than having the factory build it with the H180. Not sure why. But oh well. I think it will well be worth the extra $600.
    2017 4044R Open Station, eHydro, iMatch, H180 MSL loader & R4's.
    Power Beyond (BLV10969), 3rd EH SCV (BLV10764),
    John Deere 485A Backhoe with HD 18" Bucket & mechanical thumb,
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    I wish MSL was an option on all JD loaders...

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepsd View Post
    Well....I ended up changing my order to include the H180 with Self-Leveler.

    However it was a 'ordeal' according to my great local JD dealer.

    Even though you can order the 4Series with the H180-MSL (Mechanical Self Loader) FEL, it cannot be built that way at the factory. The factory will only install the regular H180 FEL!?!?!? What?

    So, if you want the self-leveler, you order the basic tractor with no FEL, then order the H180-MSL separately and the dealer puts them together at the dealership. Sounds odd and would not have believed it if I had not heard it from the JD rep directly. The plus side is that doing it this way for me, is that the tractor and loader will be here 3 weeks earlier than having the factory build it with the H180. Not sure why. But oh well. I think it will well be worth the extra $600.
    Very good Steve, thanks for the update. If you could find out and share the "bundle" number (and maybe post the instructions) for this it would be very helpful to others in the future.
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    I had a 400CX loader with self leveling bucket.

    It is great if you use pallet forks a lot, although the forks do not stay level through the full motion of the loader.

    The only con I saw with it is the the bucket does not roll back as far as it does on the regular loader. If you are moving a gravel type material, the bucket on self leveling loader will not hold as much material as the same size bucket on a regular loader.
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