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Mini Loader For Garden Tractors Lifts 4 Ft. High
Robert LaBonte, Friendship, Tenn., built a mini front-end loader for his Deere L130 23-hp riding mower. It worked out so well that he recently began marketing the high-lift mini loader.
  The Kelly Loader bucket can be raised up to 48 in. high - enough to load a pickup bed - and dumped. The bucket measures 40 in. wide, 13 in. deep, and 12 in. high. It's operated by three electric linear actuators that hook up directly to the tractor's battery. The actuators are used to do both the lifting and the dumping and have a lift capacity of up to 500 lbs.
  The loader frame is made from 1 by 2-in. rectangular tubing and attaches to the tractor's frame with four 3/8-in. bolts. A multi-axis joystick control, located next to the steering column, operates the lift and the power dump simultaneously.
  "It's a universal setup that bolts onto any type of riding mower or garden tractor," says LaBonte. "It comes in handy for a variety of jobs that would otherwise have to be performed by a large tractor. Some examples are to clean out livestock trailers and barn stalls, to remove snow from driveways, to scrape and spread gravel, and to load a pickup or trailer.
  "I built it because I couldn't find anything on the market that would lift high enough. I spent about 1 1/2 years researching the idea and went through several designs before I was finally able to work it all out. The reason it works is that in recent years linear actuators have become much more efficient and can deliver a lot more force. The actuators I use exert 600 lbs. of force to keep within the limitations of the tractor's frame.
  "The loader can be attached or detached in about five minutes. Some drilling in the tractor's frame may be required. The loader's mounting brackets don't interfere with a belly-mounted mower, so you don't
have to remove the mower to use the loader," says LaBonte.
  An optional set of toothbars can be bolted onto the bucket for breaking up hard ground.
  The Kelly Loader sells for $1,400 plus S&H. A hydraulic-operated loader that operates off the tractor pto is also available and sells for $1,700.
  LaBonte also recently came out with a 3-pt. hitch for garden tractors that's also controlled by a linear actuator. The Kelly Quick Hitch is a universal setup equipped with a receiver hitch. It has a lift capacity of 500 lbs. and is operated by a self-centering toggle switch that mounts on the tractor's dash.
  The Quick Hitch sells for $450 plus S&H.
  He also offers a small self-leveling utility cart that hooks up to the hitch. The cart can be used to transport anything from tools to yard debris. Also, it can be used to add weight to the tractor when using the loader. The Kelly Caddy sells for $200 plus S&H.
  He plans to come out with other attachments, including a pull-type trailer with an automatic dump, and a mini backhoe. For hunters, he plans to introduce a quick hitch and cart that mounts to the back of a 4-wheeler and can be lowered to the ground to load deer.  
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert LaBonte, 2567 Hwy. 189, Friendship, Tenn. 38034 (ph 731 345-9192; kellyproductsco@yahoo.com; www.kelly productsinc.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3