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I'm new to the FEL world. We are having our 1025R delivered later this week, and it will be our first tractor with a loader. I understand I need weight out back, I'll weld up a box to go on the iMatch hitch. I've been around buddies with loaders enough to know I'll need/want some hooks on the bucket to attach chains to. And I know about the site vendor that sells them, and will likely use them.

But I don't know if it's best to get weld on or bolt on. And I don't know if I'd prefer just one in the middle, 2 of them on outside corners, or both. Can there be too many hooks? Do they need bracing?

Can't say I'm thrilled to be drilling holes or welding on our brand new tractor, but it what it is. I know those hooks are damn handy. What brand/color paint matches best?
 

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I'm new to the FEL world. We are having our 1025R delivered later this week, and it will be our first tractor with a loader. I understand I need weight out back, I'll weld up a box to go on the iMatch hitch. I've been around buddies with loaders enough to know I'll need/want some hooks on the bucket to attach chains to. And I know about the site vendor that sells them, and will likely use them.

But I don't know if it's best to get weld on or bolt on. And I don't know if I'd prefer just one in the middle, 2 of them on outside corners, or both. Can there be too many hooks? Do they need bracing?

Can't say I'm thrilled to be drilling holes or welding on our brand new tractor, but it what it is. I know those hooks are damn handy. What brand/color paint matches best?
Bolt on!!! If you are like most of us you will also want to install the clevis backing plate. This allows you to use chains, tie-down straps, etc. Just about anything you could ever want to attach. It is best to align the two outside hooks with the hooks where the loader arms attach. I initially installed three hooks (left, right, center) but found I never used the center hook. So I replaced it with Ken's 2" receiver hitch which I use all the time.

Don't even think twice about drilling some holes in the top of the bucket. It don't mean nut'n. And... it doesn't burn up the surrounding paint like welding does and makes it much easier to change the configuration later should you ever want to.

Ken's hooks now come with a gold coating that doesn't really need paint. Back when I bought mine they were only primer. I used Rustoleum JD green which has held up extremely well.

Here is how the bucket is set up on my 2720 and it provides all the lifting configurations I have ever wanted or needed.











 

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Ditto the above. I would venture a guess and say that 90% of the owners on here have hooks and clevises from Ken's. Quality stuff and Ken is super easy to work with.
 

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I bought two weld on hooks off an eBay site, and welded them on … Works for me … :bigthumb:

G
 

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I bought two weld on hooks off an eBay site, and welded them on … Works for me …

G




(Sorry, I couldn't help it) :)
 

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I'm new to the FEL world. We are having our 1025R delivered later this week, and it will be our first tractor with a loader. I understand I need weight out back, I'll weld up a box to go on the iMatch hitch. I've been around buddies with loaders enough to know I'll need/want some hooks on the bucket to attach chains to. And I know about the site vendor that sells them, and will likely use them.

But I don't know if it's best to get weld on or bolt on. And I don't know if I'd prefer just one in the middle, 2 of them on outside corners, or both. Can there be too many hooks? Do they need bracing?

Can't say I'm thrilled to be drilling holes or welding on our brand new tractor, but it what it is. I know those hooks are damn handy. What brand/color paint matches best?
Hook rules and suggestions..........

1. Buy QUALITY hooks, and remember, you get what you pay for.
2. Kenny makes outstanding quality products and is great to deal with. He's also a nice guy and has a nice family and a BIG DOG.....:laugh:

3. Don't paint the hooks because once you do, they will always need to be touched up. Get plated hooks they look great all the time.

4. Two hooks provides a balance and I like pulling and lifting in line with the loader arms, not the center of the bucket. Personal choice.

5. I put clevises on the inside of my bucket as a backup to the hooks and its a win, win......Extra capability and secure mounting with a back plate.

6. You need 5/16th's sized hooks or they are not as handy as you might think.......Most "common chain" is that size

7. Make sure you learn the differences in chain grade, it's very important.

8. To be honest, I use the sling straps from KBOH more often than chain. I think I have 4 different length pairs of the straps.

9. I use the hooks and clevises about the same amount, but I also always secure a hand held 2 stroke blower in the bucket when brush hog mowing as I like to stop and blow the dust, dirt, chaff, etc. off the tractor every 30 minutes or so, just because I am a neat freak.......plus allergic to dust.

10. You will also find a need for hooks on the rear of your tractor. Just be EXTREMELY careful about pulling with the rear of the tractor above the center line of the axle as you can rotate the tractor upside down on top of yourself is not careful. It's not as common with hydro than the old gear tractors, but sadly it still happens.

11. You will want to add the hooks to the box you weld up and likely a clevis point or two as well. Probably the most useful is hooks on the sides of the rear ballast box and clevises on the rear of the ballast box. Since you are making it yourself, you can built the box to handle the loads of the hooks and clevis pull / attachment point.

12. I find I use the hooks and clevis as much for securing loads as I do for "pulling" or "extracting" items, loads, etc.

13. Personally, I would rather bolt the hooks and clevises on the bucket and you may want to weld them on your rear ballast box, since you are fabricating it. The thought of welding on the new bucket is not something I would want to do. I even repainted the drilled holes before mounting anything so the edge of the drilled holes isn't bare metal to avoid issues down the road.

14. You will definitely want a "bar" on the front of your bucket........I have a piranha bar and really like it. Others have one from heavy hitch or other sources. It all depends your use. I will say the piranha bar is sharp enough to cause an in jury bumping into it when walking past, but it's also outstanding at dealing with brush and small debris..........think about how you are going to use your FEL and the bucket edge bar you choose will likely be based upon intended use.

The bar I have requires drilling holes in the end of the bucket and the steel in the end is thicker than the steel on top so drill a pilot hole first and use VERY GOOD drill bits. Here's a tip I wish I had thought of when I was first drilling it;
A. Set the bucket down on the ground to fit the edge and mark its holes. The edge is heavy to hold and position on your own. Clamp in place to make sure it snugs up to each end of the bucket and the edge lines up.

b. Remove the bucket edge and raise the bucket to a good work height for you. Drill the pilot hole and the larger hole.

c. Lower the bucket back down to install the edge. The edges are heavy and you don't want to drop it or scratch the bucket up, etc.

I figured this out after I drilled the first hole on my knees an didn't have a good work angle......the second hole was MUCHO EASIER....working at a good height where you can put some "force" behind the drill and control it easier......The holes for the hooks go easy, the holes for the bucket edge on the bottom of the bucket is where the reinforcement is and the steel is thicker as well so it takes a little more effort. Its not "difficult", just takes a little more time.

15. I am going to add clevis's onto my pallet forks and maybe even a set of hooks for securing items during transport. I use my pallet forks FAR MORE than I ever thought I would. In fact, after my 3 point carry all, the pallet forks are the most frequently used "attachment" implement. I would suggest you get pallet forks. Just keep in mind, every pound of fork weight is one pound of lift capacity you will loose so don't go crazy with the fork selection.........There are many threads on that topic on GTT as well.

Just some advice from practical use. Your results may vary based upon your machines use, etc.
 

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If you go bolt on and don’t have a de-bur tool the one Ken sells is a good value and works great.
 

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dont get the cheap titan replicas the quality is bad :laugh: if ken received some like those he wouldn't even put them in his outlet store :laugh:
 

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I had to weld the hooks on my bucket because at the time Ken didn't have his business up and running yet!

Darn it anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone. Great information, as usual on this forum. We have a bit of learning and buying curve to get over to effectively use all that this tractor has to offer, but we'll get there.
 
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