Some of my tractor projects wear me out. I've given this a lot of thought. Part of it is just being older and trying to do too much. But another part is too many trips back to the garage for the tools I need. I really want to get all the tools I use for routine matters stored on the tractor, but the space just hasn't been there. I upgraded the size of my toolbox once already (another post in this subforum), but I quickly ran out of room again. My first toolbox upgrade was also not watertight around the handle, and I found I could not seal it properly. I did not like getting water inside the box.
So I took some careful measurements and tried to determine what the maximum size of toolbox I could install without interfering with any other functions of the tractor. Then I started trying to find a good toolbox that fit those dimensions. I ended up selecting a box from Ranchex that looked sturdy, reasonably waterproof, and the right size. It was even green. I found it on Amazon. At the time, it was much cheaper on the Ranchex website. Now it's the other way around, with the best deal on Amazon.
I wondered if the color was JD Ag green. I used the Amazon "ask the community" feature to ask about the color. I got 2 responses. One said the color was exactly JD green. Another response said it was a couple shades off. Now that I have it, I can tell you it is a couple shades off. I'll wait until I ding it up a bit and then paint it to match.
You wouldn't think it would take long to install a tool box. But I wanted to make sure that there was no interference with the 3-point quick hitch or the backhoe. So, separately, I had to install both of these attachments and check them for clearance. My other installation goals: (1) No blockage of the right console storage compartment. (2) Toolbox opens outward. (3) Lid will stay open while being used. (4) Stay within boundaries of other tractor components so the toolbox doesn't get hit by bushes, trees, etc. when operating close to them.
I was able to find a mounting position that met these requirements to a high degree.
There is no interference with the backhoe's stabilizers or the 3-point quick hitch when fully raised.
The console storage area is not compromised. I put a long straight edge against the wheel weight. The corner of the tool box extends only 1/2 inch beyond the outer wheel weight.
There's a lot of room inside the tool box, and the lid opens inward such that you have access standing next to the tractor.
It holds a lot of tools, and even larger tools.
I put a hook (captured by a chain) on the hasp to ensure the box stays shut on rough ground. I keep a padlock inside the box in case I need to leave the tractor unattended outside for awhile.
I added a small hook (made of coat hanger wire) on the lower bolt of the right-hand rear lighting assembly to hold the lid open when needed.
I keep my proof of insurance (which is required in my state to operate on public roads) in the lid of the box. Because the box is all steel, I just put a super-magnet inside the waterproof pouch with the insurance documents. It stays in place and out of the way.
In part 2 of this post, I'll show you what I did with the standard JD toolbox that this upgrade replaced.