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After agonizing over all the various options and reading every thread on here I could find, I decided to pick up the Artillian frame, forks, and bucket. The forks are pricier than some other options, but I knew I wanted the bucket and eventually the grapple system.
First the bad: The whole order process just left me unhappy. The website said they were a week or two behind on 'some popular products' then I got an email after my order saying it would be three weeks. It ended up being 5 weeks from order to delivered. And communication was poor - I had to contact them, and tried a couple different addresses, to get any kind of update or ETA. It just left a bad taste - paying for the 'premier' setup, I guess I expected a little more.
Then I sliced my finger pretty bad on a burr :D Ok, so I was excited to get it all together and put it to work and probably should have put my gloves on first.

Anyway... it's a very well designed system. I like being able to take the brush guard off if I don't need it. I've only played around with the forks a bit, but they've done everything I've thrown at them so far. The bucket was worth the money on the first project - ~150 feet of french drain

IMG_20180505_115404866_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

It takes a little thought and finesse to get a trench like that with a front bucket, but once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly. I wouldn't make a habit of using it for this, but for small little digging projects around the yard, it's a pretty handy piece of equipment. I did manage to bend a couple teeth pretty good with my little 2305, so I'm not sure how well it would handle any more umph behind it.
It's a good system, worth the $$ (I think) I just hope they get some ordering/customer service kinks worked out before/if I end up ordering the grapple from them.
 

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Nice looking trench. I received the frame, forks, back rest, 3pt/quick hitch plate, and front hoe, two weeks ago. It took one month once I ordered. I've been playing with the forks so far. I'm looking forward to excising some small stumps and some other projects once mowing season slows down.
 

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NICE job on that trench! I envy you guys that have enough finesse with your front loader controls to be able to do that.

Did you do it driving forwards or backwards? (This might sound like a dumb question, but I'm really interested in the answer. :laugh:)
 

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Echoing previous comments about the trench. Nice work!:good2:

Have fun with your new Artillian system.
 

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Darn nice wildblue. :thumbup1gif:
Welcome to GTT and thanks for the post.
 

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wildblue, Looking at the picture again, I don't think you would have had room to use a BH without the outriggers hitting the fence.
Did you off set the bucket on the fork frame?
 

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wildblue, Looking at the picture again, I don't think you would have had room to use a BH without the outriggers hitting the fence.
Did you off set the bucket on the fork frame?
Being able to offset the bucket is a big plus of this. You could dig a trench nice and close to a building.
 

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Very nice looking job on the trench. I have the hoe but haven't had the chance to use it much yet, but have wondered about the best way to dig and place the dirt on something like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did you do it driving forwards or backwards? (This might sound like a dumb question, but I'm really interested in the answer. :laugh:)
Driving forward for most of it. In the picture, we had turned around and were coming at it from the other end for awhile to stay off the fence. I did flip it upside down at one point because of what I had to work around, but I didn't have as much 'power' in that direction with my little tractor. You really have to think ahead using it this way - you have to be able to turn the whole tractor to dump the bucket, but you might be straddling the trench and can't turn far without your tires dropping into it :D Add to all that I can't really curl and lift at the same time... like I said, it was slow-going and not really the perfect tool for the job, but I had time.

wildblue, Looking at the picture again, I don't think you would have had room to use a BH without the outriggers hitting the fence.
Did you off set the bucket on the fork frame?
You can off-set the bucket by a little bit. It's hard to explain, but the bucket locks in-between the notches on the frame, so you have a little adjustment. Had to be really careful because then my tires we close to the trench wall when I was straddling it - it was really solid ground though, I wouldn't have tried that in loose stuff.

Thanks for all the good words - been lurking on here a good long time. This is new to me and I've found a ton of good info on here. The transmission fan cover thingy is probably next on the list because of some threads I stumbled on here and I have a whole list of other attachments I'm looking for now :D
 

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Very nice looking job on the trench. I have the hoe but haven't had the chance to use it much yet, but have wondered about the best way to dig and place the dirt on something like this.
Like I said, I wouldn't make a habit out of digging trenches with it. I just did a much shorter run this weekend through much softer ground and was able to shove it all past the end of the run and dump it, then came back with the bucket and moved it all. I saw a youtube video of someone doing that - basically making 4 or 5 runs down the trench, dropping the bucket lower each time.
For the harder stuff, I had to take a bucket at a time. Depending on what room I had to work with, I'd go forward past the end of the run or a turn I had yet to make and dump it, then back down, straddling the trench, and do it again. Sometimes it was easier to get it from the other direction - take a bucket, backup and turn off to the side, little forward and dump, line back up with the trench and do it again. In that case, you're pushing some into the existing trench and need a little more manual cleanup later.
Hope that makes sense and discourages anyone else from trying it :laugh:
Oh - and a little baking spray will keep clay from sticking.
 

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Wildblue, patience and perserverance sound like the key. Some years back I was admiring a wide, deep, beautiful trench. Turned out the guy did it with a walk behind rototiller and hand shovel. He was quoted a ludicrous amount by some professionals. He was bound and determined to do it himself. I was told that it turned out to be pretty easy. It was in a high visibility location. He left it opened up for months until he laid all his utilities. I think he was showing off. When there's a will, there's a way. In year 13 with my 2305 I've gone a little wild with Heavy Hitch and Artillian. I haven't needed a back hoe yet, and don't see a new tractor in the near future. I do see some ripping, trenching, and toothbar work getting closer and more interesting.
 

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Wildblue, patience and perserverance sound like the key. Some years back I was admiring a wide, deep, beautiful trench. Turned out the guy did it with a walk behind rototiller and hand shovel. He was quoted a ludicrous amount by some professionals. He was bound and determined to do it himself. I was told that it turned out to be pretty easy. It was in a high visibility location. He left it opened up for months until he laid all his utilities. I think he was showing off. When there's a will, there's a way. In year 13 with my 2305 I've gone a little wild with Heavy Hitch and Artillian. I haven't needed a back hoe yet, and don't see a new tractor in the near future. I do see some ripping, trenching, and toothbar work getting closer and more interesting.
You know - watching a good operator or seeing a very nice excavation site is really something to me. Guess I am weird....

There was an excavation business owner (now retired to his hobby farm) who I happened to buy my house from. When this guy was running his track hoe in or near town he always attracted an audience. It was pure art to watch him operate.
 

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I'm curious as to how deep of a hole you are able to dig if you were using your Artillian Front Hoe?
According to the Artillian site and videos it’s 18” - the length of the front hoe. That is where you come up against the fork frame.

That is just a statistic - not real word use.....
 

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According to the Artillian site and videos it’s 18” - the length of the front hoe. That is where you come up against the fork frame.

That is just a statistic - not real word use.....
That must be end of the teeth to the back of the frame. Measuring from inside the bucket, it's more like 16" That's about as deep as it can reach and that's with the bottom of the bucket vertical.
 

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After agonizing over all the various options and reading every thread on here I could find, I decided to pick up the Artillian frame, forks, and bucket. The forks are pricier than some other options, but I knew I wanted the bucket and eventually the grapple system.
First the bad: The whole order process just left me unhappy. The website said they were a week or two behind on 'some popular products' then I got an email after my order saying it would be three weeks. It ended up being 5 weeks from order to delivered. And communication was poor - I had to contact them, and tried a couple different addresses, to get any kind of update or ETA. It just left a bad taste - paying for the 'premier' setup, I guess I expected a little more.
Then I sliced my finger pretty bad on a burr :D Ok, so I was excited to get it all together and put it to work and probably should have put my gloves on first.

Anyway... it's a very well designed system. I like being able to take the brush guard off if I don't need it. I've only played around with the forks a bit, but they've done everything I've thrown at them so far. The bucket was worth the money on the first project - ~150 feet of french drain

View attachment 622570

It takes a little thought and finesse to get a trench like that with a front bucket, but once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly. I wouldn't make a habit of using it for this, but for small little digging projects around the yard, it's a pretty handy piece of equipment. I did manage to bend a couple teeth pretty good with my little 2305, so I'm not sure how well it would handle any more umph behind it.
It's a good system, worth the $$ (I think) I just hope they get some ordering/customer service kinks worked out before/if I end up ordering the grapple from them.

Wildblue - thank you for your purchase of the Artillian frame, forks and front bucket. We are happy to hear you are pleased with your purchase and its performance. We are, however, concerned to hear you had a less then satisfactory customer service experience. We pride ourselves in not only quality products, but quality customer service and support as well.

Feedback from our customers is important to us. I would appreciate a call to discuss your issues so we can correct and improve our customer service.

Thanks again.

Best

John Davis
Sales and Marketing Director

[email protected]
Direct (508) 459-4308
 
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