2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Bucket For Compact Utility Tractors
"It handles a wider variety of materials and is more versatile than any other bucket on the market," says Dunn. He started working on what he calls the "Loader Buddy" 10 years ago, and it turned out so well he recently began marketing the bucket in 2 different sizes.
"I wanted simplicity, which is why the Loader Buddy has no moving parts. And it can do a lot of different jobs without having to change attachments, which saves time," says Dunn.
Some of the bucket's unique features include:
• 6 tines made from wear resistant, 1-in. bar stock and spaced 6 in. apart. The tines extend 5 in. beyond the bucket's lip and all the way to the back edge of the bucket.
• A slightly decreased rollback angle, which means that with the bucket rolled all the way forward, the tines point back toward the tractor. That makes it easy to loosen the ground while backing up the tractor.
• The bottom of the tines angle back at 45 degrees which greatly reduces "submarining" and gives a better purchase when engaging rocks, logs and so forth.
• The bucket's end plates are cut out, allowing the bucket to handle logs, 2 by 4's and other long material. The bucket's top lip acts as a stop to keep the material from rolling back toward the operator. "On a conventional bucket there's no place to set such material unless you roll the bucket all the way up and raise the loader," says Dunn.
A conventional bucket is designed mainly to handle loose material, but the Loader Buddy can do that and much more, says Dunn.
"It lets you handle an amazing variety of materials without having to change attachments. You can use it to dig out rocks and roots, to haul logs and scrap metal, and to dig, scarify, transplant and do contouring work. It works particularly well for scarifying work. In fact, I use my Loader Buddy almost as much with the tractor in reverse as going forward.
"I personally own a grapple fork and a 6-ft. wide heavy-duty bucket equipped with a fancy $900 cutting edge, but I don't use it any more. It's not as versatile, and it isn't worth the time for me to change attachments now that I have the Loader Buddy."
Dunn says that when people first see the Loader Buddy, they wonder how a bucket with cut-out end plates can hold much material. It's because the bottom plate extends 4 in. farther forward than on a conventional bucket.
"When scooping up material it's amazing how much you can get into the bucket just on one pass. The tines loosen the material while the bucket scoops it up. You can use it on your lawn to scoop up a pile of dirt without digging up the grass.
"It works great for rock landscaping work, because you can use the tines to spin rocks around and place them where you want them. The tines are exposed on the inside of the bucket, which keeps rocks from rolling around like they would on a totally flat surface.
"By rolling the bucket back and forth you can dig deep enough, depending on soil conditions, to transplant small trees and shrubs. And by pointing the tines down, you can use it to remove vegetation while picking up very little dirt. You can use it to pop out a rock with minimal damage to a lawn.
"Recently I used a 4-ft. Loader Buddy on a 30 hp tractor to dig out a 6-in. dia. tree stump. I curled the bucket back and used the tines to snap the roots off all the way around the stump. Once all the roots were snapped I pried and lifted the stump out."
The Loader Buddy is built strong, he says. "There are 4 separate angular separate torsion tubes built into the top and back side of the bucket for strength. All parts are laser cut for accuracy and all exterior seams are 100 percent welded, plus it has a powder coat finish."
It's also easy on loaders, says Dunn. "The tines line up inside the loader arms so both loader arms share the load evenly, which minimizes the risk of damaging the loader."
Two models are available - a 4-ft. wide model that weighs 250 lbs. and sells for $900; and a 5-ft. model for 40 to 60 hp tractors that weighs 410 lbs. and sells for $1,300. "The 5-ft. model has 1 1/4-in. tines and heavier construction that the 4-ft. model, which is targeted at the 30 hp tractor market," notes Dunn.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jery Dunn, E1573 Johnson Rd. Iola, Wis. 54945 (ph 715 203-4763; email@example.com; www.mytractortools.com).
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