Hullo all. I know there are dozens of posts about forks and I've read most of them. However, I would like to ask a few questions, give some specific facts about what I want/need, and get some advice. Ya'll were great help in deciding about a quick connect type system (Loving the Pat's BTW) so thought I'd pick ya'lls brains again.
My setup - JD 3025E with D160 FEL
My needs - Ditch digging, digging up rocks, general moving junk around the property, etc. I'm often using my FEL bucket to dig and maintain ditches, so the front-hoe bucket is VERY attractive to me. I also move things often and currently use my bucket with my Ken's hooks and that works great, but always looking for a new and better way. However, cost has to come into play, so I'm trying to see if I can justify the expense of the artillian versus other options
1) Which artillian setup do I need? The D160 can only lift about 1000 pounds, so I'm not sure I need the 3000 pound lift capacity. I do know I want the 42" tines, but not sure about 3" or 4" ones, but leaning towards the 3" for weight reasons. I like the hitch receiver on the 3000 pound set, but that's not a deal breaker for me either way. If I order from artillian I'll be adding the front-hoe bucket.
2) Is the front-hoe bucket, or something similar, offered from anyone else? I've done a bit of research and have yet to find anyone else that has something similar for the FEL. If artillian is the only company to have something like that, then it's more likely I'll go with them as I need to do quite a bit of water redirection around my farm and need to dig a bunch of ditches. Again, I've been using the FEL bucket and a single bottom plow at times, but this front bucket looks like it'd make that job much quicker and easier. Also transplanting of trees could be in the future, and this appears ideal from some of the videos I've seen also.
3) I do not have any hydraulic hookups other than the FEL, so no grapple or anything like that is in my future. Also I rarely use my blades so the ability to mount them on the front isn't a huge selling point. Based on those facts do ya'll think I'm better served financially to not get artillian as some of the future functionality they offer I don't believe I'll ever need?
I'm sure there are other factors that I'm not thinking about, so please ask any questions that will help ya'll help me. :-) Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!