Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:34 pm
Well, here we go again, another project. I’ve been wanting a front end loader (FEL) to use around the homestead but those nice compact tractors don't fit my budget (or lack thereof). Also, as nice as those compacts are most of them are bigger than I could justify or really need. So I decided to fab up a FEL for a garden tractor. As I get older I am trying to mechanize things around here to make things easier as I head closer to those golden years. The less I have to lift and carry, the better.
The first thing I needed to do was decide what I would put the FEL on. What I have setting in the barn is a
‘86 John Deere 160, ‘66 John Deere 110 , and at my Dads place there is his JD 210. I sold my ‘74 JD 110 earlier this year. My current mower is a Grasshopper zero turn so that is out of the question. Of those, the 210 would be the best choice but it is still on the small size for a loader. I don’t want to put a loader on a Cub.
Last month I bought an Economy Power King to mount a loader on. However after spending some time with it I decided that I wanted something newer to mount the loader on, something with a hydrostatic transmission maybe even power steering. The Economy is now for sale.
Today I put a deposit down on a John Deere 425 to use as a platform for my FEL. The 425 has on-board hydraulics, power steering hydrostatic transmission, locking differential a liquid cooled V-twin Kawasaki 20 hp engine and it’s big enough that I can build a pretty good size loader on it. Plus it came with a 54” mower deck. It’s much bigger than the smaller garden tractors weighing almost 900 lbs. I have to drive 200 miles to pick it up but the price easily makes it worth the drive. I hope to pick it up later this week or next. Once I sell the Economy that money should pay for the 425. I won’t start on the FEL until nice weather so I have plenty of time to plan it out and make sure everything is good with the tractor.
Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:39 pm
Rickey, I've owned 2 425's and they are excellent tractors!
Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:52 pm
Around here we had one to clean horse stalls where the Bob Cat couldn’t get to. It’s had a hoist on it from day one, never used for cutting grass. It was liked so much it was moved to another Ranch to use inside a barn for the same thing. The only problem I’ve heard about them was a camshaft gear on the first built ones. I think JD recalled all of them.
Good tractor, you’ll like it.
Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:01 pm
Ricky, Looking forward to seeing this project. I enjoy the thought and craftsmanship you put into the things you fab.
Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:57 am
First step in the project is to buy a can of IH 2150 paint.
Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:43 am
ricky racer wrote:.........My current mower is a Grasshopper zero turn so that is out of the question. ..........
I am SO DISAPOINTED IN YOU, backing away from a challenge like that!
There's quite a bit of your post that I would need to get out my JD to English translator to understand what you're talking about. Please tell me there will be pictures
when you start building. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:10 pm
The JD will make an excellent small loader tractor! thanks; sonny
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