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Looking into a thumb for our backhoe, but I'm wondering just how useful it really is. What sort of camping force do you think you get? And just how much can it lift? If I was to use it for logs for firewood, how long and thick of a log can the 260 and a*thumb manage?
 

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That is a complicated question. I have the 260 but no thumb so I can't really state what it would lift. The specs only give a boom lifting capacity at full dipper arm and boom extension ( 285lbs ). Certainly much greater with both retracted somewhat. Also wood log weight will vary dramatically at the same diameters depending on specie and condition. I will be interested as well to hear from someone with experience using a thumb because firewood processing with the tractor is my idea of a good day.
 

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I am curious about this thread and the use of a thumb as well. I've been looking at the BX thumb since I bought my tractor but my wish list keeps growing and the thumb keeps getting moved down the list for now.
 

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I am curious about this thread and the use of a thumb as well. I've been looking at the BX thumb since I bought my tractor but my wish list keeps growing and the thumb keeps getting moved down the list for now.
The lift capacity is dynamic and depends on how far the boom is extended. It will easily grapple stumps and large concrete sections heavy enough to tilt the wheels of a 1025 off the ground if you swing the elevated boom side ways to load refuse into a dump trailer. After changing your shorts you will learn to curl your load straight back and lift it into a trailer backed straight up to it from the rear. Generally speaking, you can lift a load way too heavy for a wheelbarrow.

Ken Richmond
 

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Backhoe thumb

I purchased the thumb right away when I got my tractor. All the capacities of your backhoe, remain the same with the addition of the ability to grab.
 

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Looking into a thumb for our backhoe, but I'm wondering just how useful it really is. What sort of camping force do you think you get? And just how much can it lift? If I was to use it for logs for firewood, how long and thick of a log can the 260 and a*thumb manage?
I know my tractor is a 2032r but here is mine:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/83857-bro-tek-thumb.html

I use it to clean the stream out on my property, have used it to pick up rocks that I could/would not lift and of course lifting large logs as you will see in the thread. I am sure there are other uses just have not had it that long to find out.
 

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I discovered that the thumb is a very effective tool for removing barberry bushes including the roots. Barberry is an invasive species that is also a favorite haven for deer ticks here in the Northeast.

Because barberry grows in clumps, my method is to dig/loosen the root clump with the backhoe bucket then grasp the whole shebang with the bucket-thumb and yank it out of the ground. You may have to try several positions of the thumb to find the most effective one. I find that this method removes the entire root ball to prevent regrowth.

I pile up the bushes in huge piles and grab the pile with the Artillian grapple which handles it with ease for moving to a burn pile.
 

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I purchased the thumb right away when I got my tractor. All the capacities of your backhoe, remain the same with the addition of the ability to grab.
That's great but I think the OP was trying to figure out if it was worth getting so that he could lift logs for cutting into firewood lengths. Do you have any recollection of diameter and lengths that you found the 260 could pick up and grip for this type of activity?
 

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The first post in the thread Shown in BillieS's reply shows exactly what you can do regarding logs with a thumb.

I've had a 2305 TLB and now have a 1026 TLB and have lifted slightly larger than that (but not much)... same thumb even :)
 

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The first post in the thread Shown in BillieS's reply shows exactly what you can do regarding logs with a thumb.

I've had a 2305 TLB and now have a 1026 TLB and have lifted slightly larger than that (but not much)... same thumb even :)
That link showed a different backhoe I think, although a very small one like the 260. I was just wondering if a guy could state that he could generally pick up a log of x diameter and y length reliably. Just to get some idea.I know these machines are small.
 

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You can see by BillieS's post that you can surely lift a log with the thumb. I have the same Bro-Tek thumb on my 8B BH. With a thumb you can do all kinds of things and I agree if you can make it hydraulic it is best. So you can truly lift a log. What size of a log you can lift depends on the hydraulics of your 260 and its abilities.

That link showed a different backhoe I think, although a very small one like the 260. I was just wondering if a guy could state that he could generally pick up a log of x diameter and y length reliably. Just to get some idea.I know these machines are small.
Here is a good thread about the difference between the 46 and 260 BH's. http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/sub-compact-utility-tractors-scut/4518-46-260-backhoe.html As I believe others have posted along with what I said above, you really have to look at different capabilities of the hydraulics on the BH and then you can get an idea of what size log you could lift based upon its weight etc. That will differ between types of tree and whether the log is green or it has dried. Here is a good site to determine the weight of what you are trying to lift for wood Wood Species - Moisture Content and Weight I am sure there are others as well.
 

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These are some lengths of dead wood moved with the backhoe & thumb on our 1025R. They are roughly 4' long and were carried close in to the rear of the tractor to get them out of the woods. Regarding the heaviest of them, with the boom fully back, the dipper could lift them, the boom could lift them as long as the dipper was not extended past vertical.



I have used it to lift and buck roughly telephone pole sized downed pines, the larger ones lifting at one end rather than the middle. For the most part, if the thumb can grab something I can generally lift from at least a few feet back to allow cutting. I have loaded wood sections onto a flat bed truck I could not have managed by myself.

Nick
 

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I'll second that. I've lifted some of 12' long by 12" diameter pieces with it, but I doubt any of them were heavy wet oak. =)

Honestly I don't use the hoe/thumb for this purpose much... I find forks to be faster and easier for lifting/moving/placing trunk sections, and I generally then cut down to rounds which I move by hand onto the splitter. I normally use the hoe/thumb for things that forks can't (as easily) pick up (rocks) or place (due to location/reach). For firewood I tend to cut 8ft or 10ft sections and then buck into 2ft rounds. If I go any larger than 10ft then it's a pain to maneuver them through the woods (like a dog with a big stick trying to get through a doorway). If the wood is light then I can carry a couple such sections on the forks at the same time.

I could use the hoe/thumb to buck the 10ft section down (or longer) but it's just faster to:
1) Cut the right and left parts off when it's on the forks, then cut the last 4ft section in half (btw the forks) and let the pieces drop.
2) Make all the cuts half way through on the ground, then roll it and finish them all
3) Use a pike pole (or the forks) to jack one end and cut away.

Good luck and enjoy the thumb. =) All the methods work, including using the BH!
 

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Also, a bit of searching on the forum about the bro-tek thumb led me to this thread:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/sale/16948-bro-tek-thumb-john-deere-260-backhoe.html

Post #5 (shown on upper right of each post) has a nice pic of a good size log being held by the 260 and thumb. I've held bigger than that, but not by much. The thumb will do what you want, but I think that (barring mobility/strength/health issues) you will find it easier/safer to move logs with forks, and faster therefor to cut them that way too.
 

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Interesting thread as I am contemplating the Bxpanded thumb for my backhoe . Trying to weigh need vs. expense . :banghead:
 

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For me, it's been one of those things that I really wanted and thought I would use, but haven't much. I tend to use nice solid lightweight forks (thanks artillian) or the bucket to pickup most things. For example, I did pick-n-place some large rocks for a wall with the 260+thumb but pretty soon I found it faster to just put the forks close together and pickup/drop-off rocks accurately that way. Most anything you can drive up to can be picked up more easily with the forks. In the rare case that something is not reachable that way, I just chain/pull/push/nudge it to a better spot with the hoe and then get it with the forks.

In the end, for me, the thumb is one of those things I could easily have not spent the money on that I was "sure" I needed. =(

On the other end of the spectrum: The loader, backhoe, land plane, and forks are the things that I'm glad I have over and over again. (plus hooks on the loader/forks/hoe)
 

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Just a little humor.
 

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