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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.

GTP1pic1.jpg


There is no interference with the backhoe's stabilizers or the 3-point quick hitch when fully raised.

GTP1pic2.jpg


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.

GTP1pic3.jpg


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.

GTP1pic4.jpg


It holds a lot of tools, and even larger tools.

GTP1pic5.jpg


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.

GTP1pic6.jpg


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.

GTP1pic7.jpg


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.

GTP1pic8.jpg


In part 2 of this post, I'll show you what I did with the standard JD toolbox that this upgrade replaced.


Keane
 

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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.




Keane
Very nice. Has the proof of insurance insurance requirement always been in force here? Or is that something new thanks to a certain bunch of 'rrhoids in the capitol down in Denver? I assume the proof of insurance is via your homeowner's insurance.
 

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Same tool box I installed on mine, that was/is Speeco branded...
Yeah, it's a couple shades off from JD green.
Nicely done.
 

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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.


Keane
Excellent idea!
 

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Nice Job! :good2:
 

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Very nice. Has the proof of insurance insurance requirement always been in force here? Or is that something new thanks to a certain bunch of 'rrhoids in the capitol down in Denver? I assume the proof of insurance is via your homeowner's insurance.
It has been a lot of years they have required every motor vehicle that operates on public roads to be insured. There was a long time when you had to sign the back of your registration (under penalty of perjury) that you had the required insurance under effect. I think they've changed that now, but the requirement for insurance is still the same.

My policy with American Family Insurance is specific to the tractor. It is not part of my homeowner's insurance, although it does link in to my umbrella liability policy. The tractor is insured no matter where it is located (off my property, at the dealer for service, etc.). Homeowner's policies typically only cover something on your property. I wanted to be covered no matter where I was. This coverage is about $90 per year. It does not cover me for commercial work.

Colorado does not require vehicle registration (which also means a license plate) on "farm tractors". The term "farm tractors" as defined in the statutes means a machine used for operations such as mowing and plowing. It is defined as such to delineate between this type of tractor and the tractors that pull large trailers on the highway. It does not mean you have to do farming or live on a farm to receive this designation. This must not be the case in every state. Every year I receive a letter from American Family telling me that the VIN number for my tractor is not on file with the state motor vehicle department. They assume I have made an error in providing them with the number. In reality, the VIN number is not on file for any farm tractors in the state since there is no registration for them. My insurance agent always says to ignore these letters.
 

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Re-purposing the OEM Toolbox -- Part 2

After getting the larger size of tool box in place, I wondered about a new use for the OEM toolbox. It's pretty sturdy and waterproof. My only concern with it was its small size.

I had seen a post sometime back where someone had mounted a tool box on the 3-pt. quick hitch. I don't think it was the JD tool box, but I started looking to see if it would fit and be functional. It did work. The concern with a toolbox on the rear quick hitch is that it isn't always there. It gets removed for the backhoe. My rake doesn't work with the quick hitch, so I remove it when using the rake. I also frequently mow without the quick hitch installed. So there would be times when the tools in this box wouldn't be available. I decided to address this dilemma by using this tool box for items primarily associated with the quick hitch. For example, I have a large wrench for the locking nut on the top link that I typically only need when the quick hitch is installed. I also have various parts and pieces that I use when storing the quick hitch on the Heavy Hitch cart. It's fine if these "tools" stay with the quick hitch, whether it's on or off the tractor. So focusing the quick-hitch-related tools in this box frees up more room in the big tool box.

The OEM tool box fits quite nicely on the 3-pt. quick hitch:

GTP2pic1.jpg



The lid will open to 90 degrees:

GTP2pic2.jpg



The back of the lid rests on the latching lever when the box is open.

GTP2pic3.jpg


I had a piece of 1/8" aluminum plate (6" X 9.5") that I used to support the tool box. It should have been a couple of inches longer, but I went with what I had. There's no fear of it rusting, but I painted it just so it would look right.

GTP2pic4.jpg


I used elevator bolts in the bottom of the tool box to maximize the flatness of the bottom. I added a plastic plug to the empty hole.

GTP2pic5.jpg


The plate is fastened to the box with 4 bolts.

GTP2pic6.jpg


I drilled and tapped threads into the quick hitch for connecting the plate. Two 5/16" wing bolts and fender washers are used to secure the plate to the quick hitch. This permits quick removal if, for example, more room is needed for servicing something or if you want to remove the tool box when the tractor is going to the dealer for service.

GTP2pic7.jpg
 

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I didn't see mentioned, did you use the elevator bolts for the new box to the original mounting bracket on the ROPS too?

Great idea and nice write up.
 

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I didn't see mentioned, did you use the elevator bolts for the new box to the original mounting bracket on the ROPS too?

Great idea and nice write up.
I didn't use elevator bolts on the new box. I used the original bolts that held the OEM box in that position. There was actually a couple of months between the 2 phases of this project. With the new bigger box, I wanted to try it for awhile to see if actual use would reveal a downside to this solution that I didn't foresee when planning it.

The elevator bolts have some pluses and minuses. I like the flatness, obviously. But they expect a square hole to keep them from turning when the nut is tightened on them. For the 3 new holes that I drilled, I sized them a little small so the corners on the elevator bolt would bite into the plastic box and keep the bolt from turning during assembly. This worked well. However, the existing hole in the tool box that also received an elevator bolt was already larger, and the bolt turned in it during assembly. I had to use a vice grip on it to keep it from turning. I used lock nuts on these bolts, and of course that aggravates the turning problem.

I don't know if this approach would work on the steel toolbox. I really need a drill that can make those square holes.
 

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It has been a lot of years they have required every motor vehicle that operates on public roads to be insured. There was a long time when you had to sign the back of your registration (under penalty of perjury) that you had the required insurance under effect. I think they've changed that now, but the requirement for insurance is still the same.

My policy with American Family Insurance is specific to the tractor. It is not part of my homeowner's insurance, although it does link in to my umbrella liability policy. The tractor is insured no matter where it is located (off my property, at the dealer for service, etc.). Homeowner's policies typically only cover something on your property. I wanted to be covered no matter where I was. This coverage is about $90 per year. It does not cover me for commercial work.

Colorado does not require vehicle registration (which also means a license plate) on "farm tractors". The term "farm tractors" as defined in the statutes means a machine used for operations such as mowing and plowing. It is defined as such to delineate between this type of tractor and the tractors that pull large trailers on the highway. It does not mean you have to do farming or live on a farm to receive this designation. This must not be the case in every state. Every year I receive a letter from American Family telling me that the VIN number for my tractor is not on file with the state motor vehicle department. They assume I have made an error in providing them with the number. In reality, the VIN number is not on file for any farm tractors in the state since there is no registration for them. My insurance agent always says to ignore these letters.
When I bought my 4200 in 2001; the dealer said as long as I have the SMV sign on the tractor while on public roads that I'd be fine. I have my rigs covered under our homeowners' policy. It definitely sounds like things have changed since then.
 
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