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Now that I have the 738 the 3pt hitch has opened a new world of possibilities for me. I'm just about done with converting my old sleeve hitch attachments, and have added a couple of 3pt attachments to the collection that includes a work platform, and a new 3pt core aerator. I'm considering a rear 2 way scoop, and I'm also considering adding the rear PTO and moving my chipper from a towed chipper to a 3pt chipper. My towed chipper is not a cheap chipper. It's 15hp, costs over $2500, and will burn through 5" logs like they were nothing. That's a tough choice, especially knowing the PTO will set me back a grand.

So my question is this. Is there, or can there be any value to adding a powered top link. And, if so how do I add the top link? My mind is telling me I need extended outlets at the rear of the tractor and maybe a third spool.

Any help will be appreciated.
 

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I have mentioned this many times but I don't care for just the H2 on the X Series but there are reasons people choose it over a 1 series or other machine. That is fine. Personal preference.

At some point I will move up to a bigger machine so I haven't bothered digging too far down the rabbit hole of a H3 or more conversion but for what you are asking, it would be an option for you.

There is a great write up on the process at the following link. Consider it, but ultimately it comes down to what you are comfortable with. You can just do the easy route and run a hydraulic line to the ports like you do when you mount a front attachment that uses hydraulics. If I were planning on keeping the X long term, I would most likely do this. My plans are to shift platforms so it doesn't make much sense for me. It might work well for you though as an option to consider.

John Deere X Series H3 Conversion - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
 

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It depends. Do you want to be able to operate the hydraulic top-link at the same time as the other two hydraulic ports? If so, you will need either a diverter or an additional hydraulic port. It can be mounted on the back or you can run longer hoses from one of the other outlets.

As for the chipper, I would seriously give a lot of thought on the pros and cons of the towed chipper vs. PTO powered. #1 pro is you already own the towed chipper. The advantages of the towed chipper is they are totally independent. You can tow it anywhere with anything with no additional equipment required. You can also position them to blow into a cart and then use the tractor and cart to haul the chips away. You also don't need to have your tractor sitting there screaming away wide open the whole time you are chipping brush. Additionally, chippers can be a bit rough on a tractor's PTO, especially the brake. When you shut the PTO off it takes a lot of braking power to bring that huge chipper flywheel to a halt. Since you have a Cat-0/Limited Cat-1 3PH, you may have some issues attaching to and lifting a 5" chipper. A 5-inch self-feed chipper will usually weight over 500 lbs. Hydraulic feed will increase the weight to over 800 lbs.

Quite frankly the only DISadvantage to a towed chipper is cost and of course since you already own one that bridge has already been crossed.

I have a larger 2720 tractor and have considered a chipper/shredder many times. In each case I have come to the conclusion that I would get a towed chipper.
 
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It depends. Do you want to be able to operate the hydraulic top-link at the same time as the other two hydraulic ports? If so, you will need either a diverter or an additional hydraulic port. It can be mounted on the back or you can run longer hoses from one of the other outlets.

As for the chipper, I would seriously give a lot of thought on the pros and cons of the towed chipper vs. PTO powered. #1 pro is you already own the towed chipper. The advantages of the towed chipper is they are totally independent. You can tow it anywhere with anything with no additional equipment required. You can also position them to blow into a cart and then use the tractor and cart to haul the chips away. You also don't need to have your tractor sitting there screaming away wide open the whole time you are chipping brush. Additionally, chippers can be a bit rough on a tractor's PTO, especially the brake. When you shut the PTO off it takes a lot of braking power to bring that huge chipper flywheel to a halt. Since you have a Cat-0/Limited Cat-1 3PH, you may have some issues attaching to and lifting a 5" chipper. A 5-inch self-feed chipper will usually weight over 500 lbs. Hydraulic feed will increase the weight to over 800 lbs.

Quite frankly the only DISadvantage to a towed chipper is cost and of course since you already own one that bridge has already been crossed.

I have a larger 2720 tractor and have considered a chipper/shredder many times. In each case I have come to the conclusion that I would get a towed chipper.
Another issue is that it is a limited CAT-1 3PH not a full CAT-1. Where this comes into play is two areas that may or may not be an issue. Lifting weight. How much does the chipper weigh? The other day I was doing some box grading and compacting soil where I filled in where a sump was removed by an excavator. For more ballast, I took off my heavy hitch and put on my box grader. Then I hung 6 suitcase weights off the sides of the box grader. My X585 couldn't lift it. It wasn't a big deal because I could just take off the weights, lift it and then put them back on.

The other issue that I found out with my Fimco 3pt Sprayer with the limited CAT 1 is that it is limited in not only lifting weight but lifting height. As I try and spray around my ditch and other areas where there is a steep transition in slope, I can't lift it high enough and it digs into he ground. If you are taking a chipper back in a wooded area, you might get into this situation where you can get stuck. It wouldn't be an issue with a towed version.

A little different case but might apply. My Brother-in-law as a 2505 or is it 2305. I forget the number. It is the one they had for a few years that was replaced by what became the 1 series. Anyhow he wanted a log splitter and was going to get a 3pt one. Then luckily he realized how much he uses his FEL and how it is a back saver to lift a heavy log up to the splitter. While you won't be lifting heavy logs up to a chipper, you might want to station a chipper while you or someone else is using the tractor to collect things and bring it to the chipper or haul the chips away to where you are going to use them. While another person is running the chipper.

Not to mention as pointed out you already have the towed chipper.
 
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Another issue is that it is a limited CAT-1 3PH not a full CAT-1. Where this comes into play is two areas that may or may not be an issue. Lifting weight. How much does the chipper weigh?

Not to mention as pointed out you already have the towed chipper.
I also suspect a gasoline X700-series is going to be a bit underpowered for a 5-inch chipper.
 

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So my question is this. Is there, or can there be any value to adding a powered top link. And, if so how do I add the top link? My mind is telling me I need extended outlets at the rear of the tractor and maybe a third spool.
I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups with a quick hitch since there is no need to get off the seat.

For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
 

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I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups if you have a quick hitch.

For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
The biggest advantage for the 3rd spool is you can separate the rock shaft from the other hydraulics. The bypass valve and lower limit adjustment on 3pt only do so much for you when doing a lot of work. It can also be tricky when you are using stuff on the front and the back of the tractor at the same time. For instance a FEL and a box grader at the same time doing a lot of dirt work which is a pain with the X Series.

It really comes down to the attachments you have and what you are trying to do at the same time to see if it is worth the effort to add another spool, live with the limitations or go up to a bigger machine and deal with entirely new trade offs.
 
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It really comes down to the attachments you have and what you are trying to do at the same time to see if it is worth the effort to add another spool, live with the limitations or go up to a bigger machine and deal with entirely new trade offs.
Yeah I'm fortunate to have a 2nd larger machine to do those other tasks so the little X739 doesn't have to be a jack of all trades.
 

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I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups with a quick hitch since there is no need to get off the seat.

For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
While I do have a hydraulic top-link, I find that once the length is properly adjusted, implements will attach and detach smoothly without any further adjustments. Even though I can reach the quick hitch release levers from the seat, I still have to get off the tractor to deploy and stow the parking stand on implements. :-(
 

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While I do have a hydraulic top-link, I find that once the length is properly adjusted, implements will attach and detach smoothly without any further adjustments. Even though I can reach the quick hitch release levers from the seat, I still have to get off the tractor to deploy and stow the parking stand on implements. :-(
I'm really lazy and don't bother with the fiddly parking stand on my rake :) I just drop it on some pre-positioned wood blocks that are at the approximate height needed to unhook from the quick hitch.
 

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I would echo to stay with the towed chipper. You need to Max out the front ballast and then some to carry more than 500lbs in the air on the 3ph on the gas x7 platform. I've looked at chippers and thought I'd be better off for usability and tractor health to have a towable chipper. Chippers are just tough on everything.

As for the hydraulic top link, if you get a box blade you will want one. I can live without an H3 setup or at least I think I can. After I get a new top link I may reconsider.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Another issue is that it is a limited CAT-1 3PH not a full CAT-1. Where this comes into play is two areas that may or may not be an issue. Lifting weight. How much does the chipper weigh? The other day I was doing some box grading and compacting soil where I filled in where a sump was removed by an excavator. For more ballast, I took off my heavy hitch and put on my box grader. Then I hung 6 suitcase weights off the sides of the box grader. My X585 couldn't lift it. It wasn't a big deal because I could just take off the weights, lift it and then put them back on.

The other issue that I found out with my Fimco 3pt Sprayer with the limited CAT 1 is that it is limited in not only lifting weight but lifting height. As I try and spray around my ditch and other areas where there is a steep transition in slope, I can't lift it high enough and it digs into he ground. If you are taking a chipper back in a wooded area, you might get into this situation where you can get stuck. It wouldn't be an issue with a towed version.

A little different case but might apply. My Brother-in-law as a 2505 or is it 2305. I forget the number. It is the one they had for a few years that was replaced by what became the 1 series. Anyhow he wanted a log splitter and was going to get a 3pt one. Then luckily he realized how much he uses his FEL and how it is a back saver to lift a heavy log up to the splitter. While you won't be lifting heavy logs up to a chipper, you might want to station a chipper while you or someone else is using the tractor to collect things and bring it to the chipper or haul the chips away to where you are going to use them. While another person is running the chipper.

Not to mention as pointed out you already have the towed chipper.


The difference in CAT1 vs Limited CAT1 is lifting height only. Weight lifting capabilities are a function of the machine. As for suitcase weights I've already lifted 8weights plus a 4' 3pt aerator. There were no issues. I'll be keeping my chipper, and thanks to you all.:bigthumb:
 

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The difference in CAT1 vs Limited CAT1 is lifting height only.
When getting attachments It's important that the pins are 12" off the ground for the Cat 1 limited. Regular Cat 1 is 16" pin to ground. Makes a big difference on how high the attachment is off the ground.
 

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The height makes a big difference with some implements.
My box blade is for the limited height. That extra couple or inches makes a big difference when driving over piles of material and on uneven terrain.
 

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A hydraulic top link is a huge advantage if doing ground engagement tasks, like Eric. But for a chipper, I see almost no advantage. I also agree that the X739 will not have enough torque to run a 5" chipper effectively. So I would not modify your chipper. I use a 5" chipper/shredder behind a diesel tractor with 22.5 HP at the PTO. It is just adequate and can bog down if fed too fast with big limbs.
 
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