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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

My 870 is a 1990, and it has a 440 loader on it. Since day one it has had a bucket on it...never had to the need for anything else....or so we thought.

Now that the tractor is at my new place, I have been admiring pallet forks, thinking they might be pretty handy to use.

Trouble is, my 440 isn’t a quick attach model. I see that EA has two different types of quick attach setups that can convert my loader into one. The trouble with that is now my peverbial $500 set of forks will cost around $1500 to actually use. :gizmo:

I am looking to see if there is any other options that will allow me to use forks, but not break the bank. Sadly, my pile of money hasn’t shown up yet.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what is the best way to proceed?
 

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I have an old 2440 with FEL (without quick attach also) and made a set bale spears to move round and 3x3x8 bales with. I also use them as 'pallet forks' and it's really pretty handy.

The bale spears clamp on the bucket with chains that go around the bucket and tensioned with load binders. I'll see if I can come up with a picture.
 
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Have you called EA & see if they have or can customize a set of forks for your loader? I would think they would have something for less than $1500 for you. Give them a call tomorrow and let us know what they say. I am assuming you have a pin on bucket.
 
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Not the same machine as yours and I don't know if this is going to cause more issues for instance if the spacing between the connections are not the same, but here is a thread where someone added JD Quick Attach mounts to his FEL.

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/lawn-garden-tractors/122226-x495-45-loader-john-deere-quick-attach.html

If it were me and I was going to do a conversion, I would go to the standard that skid steers use. The nice thing about going this route is that it opens the door to more options when it comes to attachments. It might be cheaper in the long run because this stuff comes up for sale on the used market much more often than JDQA stuff ever will.

This mentions that they have a model that fits 400 series FELs but not sure if that is the same as a 440.

Attachments Using Quick Attach System

With any of this though there is one thing to keep in mind. For every pound of adapter and attachment you add to the end of your FEL it takes a pound away from your lifting capacity. This is more of an issue for those of use with smaller machines like mine but keep it in mind. That is one benefit of going with the JDQA. There isn't much to it if you can get the spacing right. So it will eat less into your max working capacity.

Least expensive and easiest option would be those forks that attach to a bucket. It gives some of the pallet capability but has limitations. Depending on what you are trying to do it might be able to cover all your needs. Only you can answer that.

It would be nice if there was a solid answer on what is the best way of doing this but there isn't. You will have to determine what will work best for you.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks everyone! The EA quick attach is meant for skid steer attachments, which as you say, is a good thing, as they come up more frequently than other stuff.

I also am concerned about putting more weight on the loader, which decreases the total load. I have looked at graple buckets that are several hundred pounds, and figured that I could then lift only a portion of what I could with my original bucket.

I am guessing I will just have to pony up for the quick attach, that way if I needed something one time, I could potentially rent it cheaper than buying it.

I will say it looks pretty easy to put on the JD parts...quick eyeball says they might just work!

Actually looked on JDParts, and it seems I can purchase everything to make that work, including the stuff I would weld on the bucket...comes to $623 + tax.

Cheaper way to do it, but I would be stuck with JD style QA. Decisions decisions....
 

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Cheaper way to do it, but I would be stuck with JD style QA. Decisions decisions....
My opinion is to go the JDQA route...it's not something you'll be "stuck" with. Everything you can effectively use on your loader (bucket, forks, and grapple) is readily available, and it's lighter than the SSQA setup. Yes SSQA forks turn up used all over craigslist all the time, but they are either to HEAVY since they are meant for skid steers, or they are beat to crap already. Most SSQA attachments are to heavy to use on your loader anyway. You can get Chicom JDQA forks for under $500, and very high quality USA made ones for under $1000 from reputable companies like Artillian and Everything Attachments.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very true. I shouldn’t have used Stuck as the word. You are correct that most stuff from a skid steer is beat to heck, and depending on what it is, can be very heavy.

Ok, on to finding these parts then. :greentractorride:
 

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Very true. I shouldn’t have used Stuck as the word. You are correct that most stuff from a skid steer is beat to heck, and depending on what it is, can be very heavy.

Ok, on to finding these parts then. :greentractorride:
I tend to agree that the JDQA is the better route for you simply because of weight. If I were in your shoes it is the route I would go by my machine isn't as big as yours either but we both are concerned about the weight. No sense eating up lifting capacity with quick attachments. The biggest hurdle is the spacing between the JDQA. I don't know that the boom spacing is the same across all machines. That said the link I posted above where someone converted the smaller 45 series FEL to fit attachments that also fit his bigger machine (I forget what it was 2 or 3 series) means his boom spacing must have been close enough. Also I don't know what you have for ability and equipment for modifications which it will take some. It would be a fun project. I haven't had a need for pallet forks but I could see the benefit to having a grapple. Need to do the H3 conversion first though.
 

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I did wonder a bit about the JD quick attach spacing, and I am hoping it is all the same.

My Dad is a retired Pipefitter, and I have quite a few “hand me down” tools. Heck, I have some tools that I have never used that got dropped off at my place, cause I “might need that” someday!

I am pretty well set for welders and torches, as well as a bit of steel plate. My thought is to get the pieces together needed for this, and then get a quick attach attachment, and be sure everything fits on the loader, then start tearing into the bucket.
 

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The JDQA spacing is the same from the 1-series clear up through the 4-series.

JDQA Pins.jpg
 

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Good to know! I assume (maybe incorrectly), that mine would fall into the 4 series?
 

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Good to know! I assume (maybe incorrectly), that mine would fall into the 4 series?
I am referring to the tractor series, yours would fall somewhere between the 2 and 3 serious when compared to todays machines.
 

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The JDQA spacing is the same from the 1-series clear up through the 4-series.

View attachment 551633
So that spacing would be from the top of the hook to the bottom. I would assume that the spacing he is going to have more of an issue is the left to right spacing between the booms. Is that standard? While he can weld it on his bucket wherever, that doesn't help him if he picked up a pallet fork with standard JDQA spacing. He will want to set it up to whatever that spacing is.
 

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Thanks everyone! The EA quick attach is meant for skid steer attachments, which as you say, is a good thing, as they come up more frequently than other stuff.

I also am concerned about putting more weight on the loader, which decreases the total load. I have looked at graple buckets that are several hundred pounds, and figured that I could then lift only a portion of what I could with my original bucket.

I am guessing I will just have to pony up for the quick attach, that way if I needed something one time, I could potentially rent it cheaper than buying it.

I will say it looks pretty easy to put on the JD parts...quick eyeball says they might just work!

Actually looked on JDParts, and it seems I can purchase everything to make that work, including the stuff I would weld on the bucket...comes to $623 + tax.

Cheaper way to do it, but I would be stuck with JD style QA. Decisions decisions....


Doesn’t sound like you are wanting to save much $$. :dunno:
 

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I made a Hay Spear set up on my Pallet Fork Quick Attachment. I cut 3" Box Steel into a Tee and welded it onto the Pallet set up. I added 2 extra collars to put the spears into when not in use. I used a good hole saw to cut the holes into the 3" box and welded the spear holders into it. I can move big square bales with these on my 4044M D170 Loader. Another fun build project. DSCF3717.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am referring to the tractor series, yours would fall somewhere between the 2 and 3 serious when compared to todays machines.
That makes more sense. Like I say, I seem to be wrong more than I am right these days. :bigbeer:
 

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So that spacing would be from the top of the hook to the bottom. I would assume that the spacing he is going to have more of an issue is the left to right spacing between the booms. Is that standard? While he can weld it on his bucket wherever, that doesn't help him if he picked up a pallet fork with standard JDQA spacing. He will want to set it up to whatever that spacing is.
Side to side spacing is the same, that’s why I did not mention it.

Check the drawings here: http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/greentractortalk-technical-library/83225-1-4-series-loader-john-deere-quick-attach-spec.html
 
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Ok, that was what I wasn't sure about. Seems odd that the width between the arms are not different as you go up with bigger machines but I guess is makes sense because this way the same attachments fit across all machines.

Since this is the case he should be able to change over without much modification. Just covert the FEL over to JDQA and then weld on brackets to the old bucket.
 
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