Self-Powered Loaders For Garden Tractors, Riding Mowers

"Our redesigned front-end loader for garden tractors and riding mowers comes with a self-contained lifting system. It's especially useful for the owners of smaller riding mowers and garden tractors that don't have lift systems," says John Scheele, New Berlin, Wis.

The Johnny Bucket Jr. (first featured in Vol. 25, No. 4) now has a "power dump" option that uses electric lead screw linear actuators that hook up directly to the tractor's standard battery. The actuators are used to do both the lifting and the dumping and have a lift capacity of up to 250 lbs.

A pair of switches or a multi-axis joystick can be used to operate the lift and the power dump simultaneously.

In the past, the Johnny Bucket Jr. only fit garden tractors with factory-capable lift systems and was manually dumped by pulling a trip rope. To reset the bucket, a second rope was pulled back. "We still offer the manual dump option, but since we came out with the power dump option everyone wants to be like the big boys and go for the power dump," says Scheele.

The Johnny Bucket also comes in a second, larger "Senior" version that's designed for larger garden tractors. "The Senior model is hydraulically operated and requires the tractor to have onboard auxiliary hydraulic ports to control the lifting and dumping. With the hydraulics it has a lift capacity of up to 500 lbs.," says Scheele.

Both models are designed so the mower deck can remain in place while using the Johnny Bucket. "Our custom adaptor brackets are available for virtually every riding mower or garden tractor model made from 1959 to the present. Once the adaptor brackets are permanently installed on the machine, the bucket can be attached or detached in a matter of 30 seconds using our unique 'quick hitch interface' and watertight electrical quick connectors," says Scheele.

A wide variety of accessories are available, including tooth bars for digging; a bolt-on bucket doubler that raises the sides and back of the bucket; a snowshoe to protect the cutting edge when used to move snow; and caddy arms for carrying long boards, logs or for holding brush like a hay fork.