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rusty_wingnut

Vapours and diggers

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Not strictly Land Rover or 4x4 related, so OT!

Like many I've got myself an old Fergie, petrol job which I use for mowing, and general carting about duties. I have a few jobs coming up where I will need to do a bit of digging, namely foundations for a garage extension, two soak aways and a general remodel of my driveway. I've looked into renting or purchasing a mini digger, but can't justify the costs involved, the out lay to purchase is to high, and if I rented I am sure I would end up covering the cost of a second hand machine with the amount of work and how sporadic my free time can be.

This has lead me to look at one of these back-actors on the three point linkage of the Fergie, I am also thinking I could attach a flail for my hedges etc. https://www.tractorfactory.co.uk/ProductDetail/TF0229/

This then got me thinking if I could purchase a second hand mini digger back ram and arm arrangement, and then fabricate a bracket to mount it to the tractor, and utilise the tractors hydraulics to power the rams rather than a PTO driven pump arrangement as per the link above.

 

Has anyone looked into this before? Any suggestions?

 

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I recently acquired a little Kubota B8200 with front end loader and back actor and spent a little bit of time looking into this, but I'm by no means an expert.

One key thing to mention is most manufacturers which produce back actors from factor appear to have veered away from 3 point setups and gone for chassis mounted ones. Bearing in mind that almost all 3 point linkages cannot push down so when the stabilisers come down they are lifting the weight of the tractor up on the 3 point which may not be the best idea. The one I have is a chassis mounted one. There are a couple of large arms (not really visible in this photo) that are theoretically quick to remove if they weren't seized in place. There's a pin that goes through a bracket roughly inline with the centre of the rear wheels and the front of the arm has a point which slots into an outrigger under the seat. The rear of the arm had a U shape which the back actor sits in and then there are some "top-links" that go back down to the sub-frames to tie it all together. It utilises the tractors hydraulics.

On my own I can attach / detatch it in 15 minutes or so. You simply reverse up to it, plug in hydraulics, lower stabilisers so they sit into the U-brackets. Plop in pins underneath to stop it lifting out and then attach top-links, job done.

One major thing to consider (I think) is the type of hydraulic setup the tractor has, the Kubota is old and a "cheap" setup. Consequently the spool valves are open-centre (?, can't remember the correct term) and the pump is fixed displacement. What this means is that you can't really use two hydraulic functions simultaneously because the fluid goes via the path of least resistance. I.e. if you have a large ram on the main boom and it's the first spool valve in the circuit then if you try and curl the bucket there's no fluid left because everything's going via the main boom first. Not saying you can't do it but it's a crude setup, most modern and larger tractors will have variable displacement and pressure compensating pumps so that you can use multiple (closed centre?) spools simultaneously irrespective of loading.

For occasional use I'd have thought a 3-point linkage setup would be more than sufficient, ironically one of the problems I've already hit with mine is simply it's not big / heavy enough. I've been using the front-loader for scraping driveways etc., and the little Kubota simply isn't heavy enough so struggles for traction a fair amount. That's ironically the reason why the previous owner was selling it. He found it massively useful while he was doing renovations etc., but now he just needs to maintain a mile long driveway so was selling up to buy a 3CX instead which would suit that job better.

One thing I really want to replace on this one when I get around to it is the slew drive. It's got a stupid (in my opinion) arrangement of a ram pulling a chain around a gear which snapped when I lightly clipped the back actor on a doorway going into a barn.

I have a friend in Surrey who may well have a digger arm lying around his yard he'd be willing to part with (he's got everything else so...).

DSC_0001_2.thumb.JPG.fb151a987f5b6c5655297543a695fc70.JPG

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Ed has made some valid points regarding weight and 3 point link mounting  , you will find it easier to dig pulling towards the tractor rather than going down if you see what I mean . I've got an old Connel cat.1 mount with a ditching bucket on that I don't need... :)

 

cheers

Steve b 

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I had an old Kubota KX71 (nominally a 3t machine I think) which was great for that kind of job. The neighbour bought a back hoe for his tractor but it was quite limited by comparison. I managed to get less than €5000 for mine when I moved, if the cost of the tractor one is over £4k then I would much rather scratch about until I could find a proper digger for the same money..... 3t and 1.5t machines seem to be about the same price after a certain age because the 1.5t are handier and easier to trailer about. 

The only thing about running a pto pump on the Fergy is you can run a larger capacity (new) unit, .... Fergy pump isn't big to start with and is probably past its prime?

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Incidentally if you keep an eye out for "mini" diggers - if you've got the space for it keep an eye out for diggers above ~2.5 / 3 tonnes. Anything that is towable behind a transit / 4x4 fetches silly money, OK you've got the problem of getting it there (my friend in Surrey can probably help out there). Once you go over something that's not towable on a B+E prices drop substantially. Before I got the Kubota it was ridiculous how much cheaper 7 tonne+ machines were compared to the 1.5t size.

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Incidentally my mate (unsurprisingly) has a couple of complete arms (one on the back of a trencher for example) that could be up for grabs?

Interested? He's based just outside Wood Street Village so probably not that far from you.

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I bought a little Yanmar tracked excavator 18 months ago, and its SO much better than the little Kubota tractor and backhoe that we had before the do as you likeys took it.

Also have an old Smalley here (look it up) but that has a lot of limitations.

Couldn't justify the cost of the Yanmar , but the convenience of having your own is marvellous. However, on reflection hiring is probably better, as if you have a problem, they can cost a LOT of money to fix.

Also, there is the problem of keeping hold of it. If you buy one, get one that is too heavy to be towed behind a van or 4x4. They are much less expensive to buy, and a lot less likely to be stolen.

A month ago we picked up an old Priestman Mustang 35 that had stood outside for 15 years. Wouldn't start apparently and was abandoned. Cost £350 plus the hassle of collecting it.

Took 20 minuites to get it running, and apart from a hydraulic leak caused by rats, and being a bit battered and rusty, works fine. Bargains are around to be had, if you can find them

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The 3 point linkage backhoe is not ideal, and could be a lot of fun on a fergie weight wise. I also imagine its going to be fairly thirsty.

 

Have you looked at JCB 3Vmk2 or 3's? can be had for £1000 upwards are more than man enough for any job, yes they are abit numb but they are extremely simple and will dig all day on a few gallons of cherry. 

You also have very good hydraulics for flails, log splitters, other cool stuff....

 

That or an 8 ton 360, its hard to NOT see the usefulness in that....

 

Will.

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A mate had similar on the back of a MF implematic, I wouldn't say it was rubbish, but it was very slow going most of the time. They were digging heavy clay, but even so. 

Same went for the screw. 

I suppose if you were digging loam it might be alright. 

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I was thinking about the demountable back actor to go behind our Ford 3000. After a fair amount of reading I realised that they are quite a pain to reposition. Consider you have to clamber off the digging seat, get in driving seat to move the tractor, then back upto the digging seat. A mini digger can get into much tighter spaces too.

In the end I picked up a rather tired 1.5t excavator for £3700. It's been near perfect for my occasional needs although there are times I wish it was a bit bigger. 2.5t machines seem to go for a lot more though. Can't find a picture of it at the moment.

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I would be careful flail mowing on an open top machine. My grandad used to do it for a living, their tractors had 'bullet proof' glass in and one had a 4" piece of wire stuck half and half through the glass. 

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lots to think about there, and some good offers in amongst it! So far every machine I've chased has been well over the 5k mark, even a couple with hydraulic issues. Just doesn't seem right to be forking out that kind of money for something that doesn't work. Space could be an issue on a 3Te + machine, I'm only dealing with half an acre all told, but it is open. I think the ability to trailer the machine/drive the tractor up the road is key, what with other family members lining up work!

In terms of the Fergie option, I've seen a few demountables with separate hydraulic drives off the PTO, and don't think I'd trust the tractors hydraulics to run a large set of rams, despite the pump being in good order.

@Ed Poore I'll drop you a PM regarding those rear arms your mate has.

I've also come up with a couple of leads on mini diggers that may be a bit cheaper than those I've seen so following those up as well.

 

Cheers

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I do quite a bit with farms and have used quite a few diggers, the common one I see is people snapping bits off the mini diggers by thinking it's a 3CX! A small machine can did, but slowly, you have to nibble rather than try and take a mouthful, all too often I see people using a small machine and trying to take a full depth scrape with the bucket, rather than slow and steady, oh, and they aren't made for ripping out 20 foot tall trees either, and yes, I've seen it tried.

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After a lot of mucking about I found a micro digger locally, an old Eurodig that had a refurb recently. Starts first crank, new rad and tracks. Happy enough

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21 minutes ago, rusty_wingnut said:

After a lot of mucking about I found a micro digger locally, an old Eurodig that had a refurb recently. Starts first crank, new rad and tracks. Happy enough

Hey foul play!
No announcements like that without pictures :rtfm:

 

:stirthepot:

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32 minutes ago, mickeyw said:

No announcements like that without pictures :rtfm:

I can placate you. I sold the Kubota - wasn't heavy enough for the work I was trying to use it for so had a slight accident and upgraded it :P. Did have a look at some 3CX sized machines but a friend had a friend with a 2CX which was a slightly more sensible size long-term. Also being 4 wheel steer it turns on a dime compared to the other vehicles in the fleet.

DSC_0062.thumb.JPG.1b89e5f99cfb03e4477dee8b7922a288.JPG

 

Ironically it's now the newest vehicle I own :lol:, Defender is an M-reg, 6x6 is an old fashioned Y plate and the P38 is no more...

First job was trying (and failing) to pull out a stump, so it had to be dug out. Dogs tried to help out but 5t JCB was a little faster.

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And helping clear out of the floor for the slab in the machine shop.

DSC_0066.thumb.JPG.a21208dce8e8a9d6b780299d51e6296f.JPG

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Well as we're all joining in, here is the toy I picked up for the children to play with and maintain the Landrover abode.

image.png.f1b8eeeb6abdb306dd1cd6296d61f9cb.png

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1 hour ago, mickeyw said:

Hey foul play!
No announcements like that without pictures :rtfm:

 

:stirthepot:

Go on then!

digger_LI.jpg

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I approve of this thread!

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I'm afraid the only diggers I have are sprocker spaniel pups 6 months old and parts of the garden look like a construction site regards Stephen

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2cx at a sensible price is a great machine, I couldn't find one worth having and ended up with a KX71 back in the day, which we trailed about the place on an IW 3.5t  slightly overweight but we were careful ( and lucky I guess).  The JCB is always at a disadvantage to a 360deg machine trenching but scores big when it comes to the front bucket and moving/loading stuff. Having both is the dream solution. Nowadays in a modern bungalow the only digging in evidence is next doors terrier and occasionally the rabbits🐇:D

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Yeah it's a shame there's no real competitor to the 2CX apart from a 3CX compact which is much newer (read expensive). Can't really justify two machines when I've got plenty of other stuff to spend money on so best compromise. Loader is actually more useful in general for me but backhoe also essential.

I was extremely lucky that a mate down the road (with machines from 0.5t to 30t) knew someone who had one. Asked if he'd consider selling it, didn't initially but then his son convinced him to. Knew of another one locally but needed a new front hub and some electrical tweaking (dodgy connection when I went to view it meant it wouldn't select forwards or reverse).

One I've ended up with is much tidier and a street master so dogs danglies in terms of options (extradig, more powerful engine and aux circuitry). 

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Happy to get on board with this! 

Mine 

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And sadly not mine! 

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Well if we're including machines that are sadly not ours then this was the little digger my mate showed up with to dig out the garage.

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And the smallest bucket he brought for it.

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I was surprised at how tiring it was driving a dumper truck for him. Had to jump off after parking up because he couldn't see me / most of the 6t dumper behind the bucket, which he'd fill in two or three scoops by which point I'd have to jump back on and go and tip it.

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I sit here in France, looking at all these pictures and 😭

..a lot

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