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John Deere 3038e d160 fel. I have had a rod that indicates level all the way down. I’m looking for something to indicate level where ever the forks or bucket is. Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks Dave


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John Deere 3038e d160 fel. I have had a rod that indicates level all the way down. I’m looking for something to indicate level where ever the forks or bucket is. Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks Dave


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My high-tech bucket level indicator that I had been developing went idle after last input from Ken. Been busy doing other things in the mean time. I did start a major re-design a couple of weeks ago.

Let me ponder my available time--maybe I will assemble the previous design and send it to you in exchange for a serious review.
 

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Basically you want an indicator that works like an MSL loader works? Or some kind of spirit level affair? Since the back of my bucket is at an angle and my forks are 90° where they hook to the loader, I have a mark on the level rod for the forks. My loader is MSL, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.
 

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Hmmm.... I'd consider using something like a Inclinometer with a remote display. Something like this:

Angle Tilt Sensor/Inclinometer with Remote Display- Pendulum type: Dial Calipers: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

You could find "zero" on your bucket and forks, mark them and attach the read head with a magnet (so that you could move it between loader functions). That thing isn't waterproof so I'd remove it and store it when it isn't actually needed. It'd be a 30 second thing to put back on once you had the positions marked.

For $50 it'd be worth trying IMO.
 

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Basically you want an indicator that works like an MSL loader works? Or some kind of spirit level affair? Since the back of my bucket is at an angle and my forks are 90° where they hook to the loader, I have a mark on the level rod for the forks. My loader is MSL, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.
My design calibrates to any angle on power up. Attach the sensor (magnet), turn it on. Whatever angle the sensor is reading is calibrated to zero.

My initial design used a sensor and a readout communicating over bluetooth. Cost too high--batteries on both ends, charging circuitry on both ends...

Second design, tethered the sensor over a four-wire cable. Only one battery in that system but a wire between the bucket and the mainframe was required.

Third design...readout and sensor on one unit mounted to the bucket. Requires that you can see at least some portion of the bucket while working.

Once you start pondering, waterproof, charging intervals, visibility, harsh environment...non trivial stuff.

The circuit architecture is trivial.

Here is a video of an early version. bucket level demo wired - YouTube
 

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John Deere 3038e d160 fel. I have had a rod that indicates level all the way down. I’m looking for something to indicate level where ever the forks or bucket is. Any and all suggestions appreciated. Thanks Dave
I hope you don't mind me asking a very silly question. Why do you need to know if the bucket (or forks) are level when the boom is up in the air? When on the ground makes sense because folks often want to grade and scrape parallel to the ground so having a level indicator is important.

But when up in the air... do you really need the bucket level? If you have a load of material you normally DON'T want the bucket level or else you will be spilling material.

And if using forks you also typically don't want the forks level as you could risk dumping the load. When handling most loads with forks you always want the load tilted back slightly so it doesn't tip forward and fall off. The amount of tilt varies with the load but it is always very easy to determine by sight.

Just curious....
 

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I hope you don't mind me asking a very silly question. Why do you need to know if the bucket (or forks) are level when the boom is up in the air? When on the ground makes sense because folks often want to grade and scrape parallel to the ground so having a level indicator is important.

But when up in the air... do you really need the bucket level? If you have a load of material you normally DON'T want the bucket level or else you will be spilling material.

And if using forks you also typically don't want the forks level as you could risk dumping the load. When handling most loads with forks you always want the load tilted back slightly so it doesn't tip forward and fall off. The amount of tilt varies with the load but it is always very easy to determine by sight.

Just curious....
I've been wondering the same thing. :confused:
 
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That's a very good question.

For me, knowing bucket level is only important at or near ground level unless I'm using the bucket to unload something from the bed of my truck, but even then it's not critical. When using forks, that's a whole different matter - I've unloaded stuff from a semi trailer and I would love to have a precise level indicator. A tiny movement of the loader joystick results in a mega movement at the ends of the forks. It's a bit embarrassing to have the driver give hand signals for fork placement :unknown:
 

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That's a very good question.

For me, knowing bucket level is only important at or near ground level unless I'm using the bucket to unload something from the bed of my truck, but even then it's not critical. When using forks, that's a whole different matter - I've unloaded stuff from a semi trailer and I would love to have a precise level indicator. A tiny movement of the loader joystick results in a mega movement at the ends of the forks. It's a bit embarrassing to have the driver give hand signals for fork placement :unknown:
Even with forks I think you're better off with eyeballs. I've off loaded several semi trucks with my 2720 and Artillain forks and it was always just a matter of aligning the forks to the pallet openings. A bigger issue for me was always side tilting as usually the semi would pull off the side of the road and the trailer wouldn't always be level side to side.

I will agree that you REALLY need to feather the SCV joystick to get smooth slow movements of the forks. If you've ever ran a REAL forklift you will realize just how clumsy the hydraulic controls are on the tractor.
 

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I wonder why. . .

Hi All
Here is a Bucket level indicator that works all the way up and down with forks and bucket. And there is no need for any input from the operator to keep the forks or bucket level for the full travel of the FEL.:good2:
Regards John
Nice rig. When I see a mechanical auto level bucket like that, I always wonder why the manufacturer doesn't move the tilt cylinders back to the rear of the forks for shorter hydraulic lines and less weight to lift on the front end of the FEL. It would seem like an easy change but it's seldom done.

Treefarmer
 

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Hi All
Hi Treefarmer the reason the cylinder is where it is, is that the cylinder has more travel than the linkage will allow if it was redesigned it might create more problems than it solves:unknown:
Regards John
 

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Could be

Hi All
Hi Treefarmer the reason the cylinder is where it is, is that the cylinder has more travel than the linkage will allow if it was redesigned it might create more problems than it solves:unknown:
Regards John
I see the cylinders on the pivot end of the forks on track loaders which have enormously more lift capacity so I always wonder why not do so on smaller machines. It would take a small change in the pivot arms but that seems like a reasonable thing to do. Obviously manufacturers don't agree with me and they know the details far better.

Treefarmer
 
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