Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:26 am

As I've mentioned in the past my LB-185 will spend most of it's life doing the grunt work around the home / shop. I learned real quick it's a lot easier to move trailers around the yard with a tractor than a truck. Add forks or a boom pole to the mix to unload materials / customer projects and you've got a vital piece of shop equipment. Of course the shop doesn't heat itself so there will be plenty of log dragging and land clearing to do as well. I found a few commercially available hitches out there that seemed to fit the bill the only problem was they wanted like $600 bucks for it. This is where having a fab shop in the garage comes in handy, a few hours in CAD and I had come up with a plan to build my own "multi-hitch" With 4 2" receivers the outer 2 can be used for forks, the bottom middle used for trailer moving and the bottom & top will be home to a 5' boom crane in the near future. Another feature is every gusset has either a 3/4" hole for shackles or a slot for chains.

The only problem is if I (230lbs) stand on the tips of the forks and bounce up and down I can pull the front wheels off the ground. Looks like it's time for a fabricated front weight too. I'll just be careful until that project gets finished.
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Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:59 am

:worthy: Wow!! Beautifully done!! :worthy:

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:58 am

I like it! Well done. :D I love those kinds of projects, love to fabricate stuff with steel. I'm thinking about something similar to this for the front end, at least a trailer mover that can be manipulated with the touch control.

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:00 am

Nice! Sure makes me wish I had a 3 point on mine!

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:15 am

And you didn't build a second one to sell?

I like the three hole adjustment on the 3-point lower links to make sure that you can get the forks down to the ground. Well thought out!
A front flat stock steel bumper with a few holes in it may serve you well to hang suitcase weights on. Utilize the threaded holes for the grader blade for mounting.

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:03 am

Wow. Nicely done.

Front end weight. I have one front tire on my 154 that weighs - guessing 40 to 60 lbs. The other tire and rim weighs about 20 lbs. Don't know what material has been installed in the tire, but it's not fluid.

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:04 am

What a good looking project!

I like the slots and holes in the gussets, those will be time savers.

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:58 pm

VERY NICE!!!! I love the design and thought that you put into this. I will definitely be incorporating some of your ideas into my next hitch that I build. The 3-point lift is way more capable as a lifting device than a front end loader, and even though you can bounce the front wheels, you will be able to lift much more with the hitch than you ever could with a front loader. Yea, some weight up front will help, but I'll bet that most of what you want to move will easily be handled with your new hitch setup as-is.

Excellent!
Bill

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:03 pm

You are getting some very deserved high praise from a couple of the best fabricators in our community. Very nice idea .. well thought out, well fabricated and the paint job is very nice as well. That puppy looks good enough to be factory :D :!: I assume that those slots are for chains to be used in that Log Hauling exercise correct?

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:17 pm

LFEngineering wrote:The only problem is if I (230lbs) stand on the tips of the forks and bounce up and down I can pull the front wheels off the ground.

As long as your forks are, that isn't surprising. You may want to make another pair of forks about half as long. For any job that shorter will do, you will have less trouble with a light front end. Another benefit, in many situations you will find maneuvering easier with shorter forks.

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:32 am

Hello,
That is a great idea and project !!!! I think it turned out very nice.......very well thought out and great fab skills !!!!! Looks like factory !!!!!



GreaseNipple

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:29 am

I debated making the forks shorter but settled for incorporating multiple pin holes allowing me to make them shorter if needed. The solution is much simpler; Don't pick up overweight stuff. (Easier said than done)

This weekend yielded some more fabrication. Though not as complicated or fancy looking as the hitch I needed to come up with some front end weight. Originally when I got the tractor someone had made a 100-120 lb round concrete weight. It was functional, but the torch cut c-channels, misdrilled holes and overall goofy look needed some work. Another problem was I needed the weight to be easily removable. Tipping the scales at 1500 lbs the tractor is pushing the limit of my 1650lb rated trailer. Having a 75lb custom hitch and a 120lb front weight would just be unnecessary weight. (I will be beefing-up and adding a new axle to the trailer soon enough) My solution, utilize the pile of 10lb gym weights that were just taking up space in the basement. I reused the c channel from the original front weight,but drilled new holes and made the weight bars pin on. That way if I need to move it I can remove the weights 10lb at a pop. With 180lbs of cleaner looking front weight the forks could handle me + some with no problems. I shot some paint on Saturday night, but never got around to taking new pictures.

I had also planned on dropping some trees this weekend so I had the log tongs all setup, never got around to cleaning up the mess. That's this weeks project.
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Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:57 am

You are really turning this Lo-Boy into a real work horse. Going to be able to do far more than most folks envision. I like that. That 3 point is a class fab job and I see you already have come up with a couple of additional uses for it :D I like your front weight concept .. makes a lot of sense. Well done :!:

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:48 am

WOW, what another great idea!!! Those home gyms are always laying at curbs or in the Free section on Craigslist. I'm going to have to keep an eye out now because those weights could be real handy for a lot of applications. I had just never thought of it before. Thanks!!!

Re: Lo-Boy "Swiss Army Hitch" Forks, Boom Pole, and More.

Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:58 am

WOW!! That's a great piece! Think that I'll try one for my 184. Thanks for sharing your idea.