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Cub Cadet Fitted With Home-Built Loader, Backhoe
"Both projects were fun to do. Once I got started on them I was out working in the garage until 10 or 11 every night," says Bernie Traxler, who built a front-end loader and a backhoe for his 1972 Cub Cadet tractor.
  The loader is made from 1 by 2-in. heavy wall rectangular tubing and has a lift height of 8 ft. Its bucket measures 38 in. wide and is made from 3/16-in. thick steel plate. Traxler welded a piece of grader blade across the bottom of the bucket to reinforce it. The bucket is just 1 in. wider than the tractor's rear wheels.
  A belt-driven hydraulic pump, located under the middle of the tractor, supplies oil to four 2-in. dia. cylinders that operate the loader.
  "I found that when lifting a load the back end of the tractor was too light, so I added fluid to the rear tires to keep the tractor from tipping forward,"says Traxler.
  He built the backhoe when he bought a new place in Arkansas and had to dig water lines. The loader mounting bracket underneath the tractor is also used to mount the backhoe. "By pulling two pins from the bracket and unhooking three hydraulic quick couplers, I can drive right out from under the backhoe," says Traxler.
  The backhoe bucket measures 8 1/2 in. wide and is tilted up or down by a 3 1/2-in. dia. cylinder. The bucket teeth are made from heavy truck leaf springs. He used 2-in. sq. tubing to build the stabilizers.
  He modified the tractor seat to swivel 360 degrees so he can operate the backhoe controls facing backward.
  The boom can be swiveled from side to side by a low speed, high torque hydraulic motor. "Conventional backhoes can swing less than 90 degrees in either direction, whereas I can swing the boom 120 degrees to either side. It really helps when digging close to a building," says Traxler. "The bucket can reach down a little more than 10 ft. I made the outriggers bigger than I really needed to level it up in steep areas.
  "I built it for less than $1,000. I paid $500 for a new control valve and hoses and $3 apiece for the hydraulic cylinders, which I bought at an auction.
  "I made a small extendable boom that attaches to the back side of the bucket. It lets me lift beams 15 ft. up in the air and really came in handy when I recently put up a new shed. I used the boom to put up steel beams. I have a quick disconnect for the backhoe bucket which makes it easy to pull the bucket off. I'm in the process of building a hydraulically-driven post hole digger to attach in place of the bucket. It will be reversible to aid in freeing the auger in case it ever gets stuck on a rock."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernie Traxler, HC 33, Box 31, Harrison, Ark. 72601 (ph 870 420-3266).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #1