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Excavator Bucket Equipped With 3-Pt. Hitch
Mark Yax added 3-pt. connections to his mini-excavator bucket and turned it into a multi-use implement carrier. The concept started when he looked for a way to mount a hook on the bucket.
    “I realized a clevis type bracket would also work as a top link connector,” says Yax. “By adding pins that screw in and out in brackets bolted to the outside of the 24-in. wide bucket, I can attach different width 3-pt. attachments.”
    Yax uses dog bone connectors between the pins on the bucket and the attachments and a steel bar pinned to the clevis in place of an adjustable top link.
    Some of the attachments he is planning to use with his bucket 3-pt. include a forklift pallet lifter, man-lift, landscape rake, and box scraper. More tools are in the works.
    “The pallet lift was designed for use on a tractor’s rear 3-pt. hitch,” says Yax. “It could lift a pallet about 3 ft. in the air. Mounted to the excavator bucket, it can lift a pallet about 12 ft. in the air. It’s handy for moving stuff into my upper barn loft.”
    Yax’s lift was built for use on the rear-mounted tractor 3-pt. but will gain new height with the modified bucket. It uses a $300, 2-ft. wide by 7-ft. long motorcycle lift from Harbor Freight. Manual hydraulics in the lift base can raise and lower the platform 3 ft.
    “I reinforced the motorcycle lift a bit and welded tubes on the base to match the forks on the 3-pt. forklift,” says Yax. “Bolts run through the tubes, and the forks keep it from sliding off.”
    He used angle iron to make a 3-ft. high railing for a safety basket with gates at either end which he can open up or lock in place. He also painted the floor of the lift with gritty bed liner, so it isn’t slippery.
    Mounted on the tractor 3-pt., the motorcycle lift gives Yax a platform up to 6 ft. in the air. Mounted to the excavator bucket 3-pt., he has a 7-ft. long working platform 12-ft. up that can be raised another 3 ft. using the motorcycle lift.
    While Yax could have a second person operate the boom with an occupied lift, he prefers to lift it in place and use a ladder to reach it. He mounted brackets to the lift base to hook ladder rungs.
    “I can climb into the basket and then raise and lower it the extra 3 ft. as needed,” says Yax. “I think it will come in handy painting my barn this year.”
    Yax has plans for using his 6-ft. landscape rake on the end of the bucket for cleaning up work sites and cleaning vegetation out of ponds. Mounting his 5-ft. box scraper on the bucket will be a low-cost alternative to a 4-ft. wide grading bucket.
    “I know a guy who built a stump grinder for his excavator boom,” says Yax. “It has a hydraulic motor and mounts in place of the bucket. I think I should be able to build something similar for about $1,000.”
    An even simpler attachment and much less expensive is a single shank ripper he is looking forward to using this year. “It will be incredible for removing stuff,” says Yax.     “I will be able to reach down and sever roots with it and pull a stump out of the ground.”
    The hook bracket that started Yax down the 3-pt. road has already proven valuable. “I used the hook with chains to pull down damaged trees,” he recalls. “On an excavator, curling the bucket has the most power. If I am pulling something with the hook, I’m using that curl.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark S. Yax, 36755 Pettibone Rd., Solon, Ohio 44139 (ph 440-668-6296; valmarktool@aol.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2