Made myself a pallet fork attachment

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Got myself a BX1880 recently. Part of the reason for getting it was for a retaining wall project I've had in mind for years. That will involve moving a fair amount or rocks and granite blocks around and a set of forks seemed a good tool for that part of the job.

I looked at a bunch of attachments, but most that I found seemed to be rated for 2-3000 pounds or more and weighed in at close to 200# just for the attachment, some even apporaching 300. That would eat up almost a third or more of my little tractors lift capacity. So I decided to try fabricating a set.

This is the result. I bought the QA plate as I could not buy the steel for what a prefab one cost, and it has all of the fiddly parts done for me already. The forks are 2"x3"x 3/16 wall tube. A friend had made a similar set and actually did the calculations on the sizes of the tubes, etc (he's a mechanical engineer by trade) so I have confidence in the basic design.

They weigh in at just about 115 pounds total, so a significant weight savings. I've tested them to the point where my hydraulics limit out with no sign of any trauma to them so that's good. Overall cost was about $230 so long as I count my time as free and before I bought paint. Not 100% perfect, but I'm pretty happy with how they came out.



 
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techcrewkevin

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Kubota - my fathers, not mine. Always looking for ways to help improve it.
Feb 16, 2017
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
That looks awesome! Can we get some more photos of the mounting portion/back side?

What did you make your forks out of?

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
That looks awesome! Can we get some more photos of the mounting portion/back side?

What did you make your forks out of?

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
Thank you! I think I added the details on the fork material after you had replied, but beyond what I posted above, everything is else is just mild steel from the local
metal supply place. I can get some pictures of the back side of the plate tomorrow if it's not raining here.

The attachment is the standard skidsteer style quick attach plate that the BX FELs come with. I bought it from Titan Attachments (palletforks.com). It cost a bbut under 100 bucks, shipped to my door. I could not even buy the steel for that if I wanted to make it myself, so it was easier to buy. That also assured that the plate actually fit without relying on my (somewhat less than awesome) fabrication skills.
 

Orange1forme

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B2650 HSDC, filled tires, wheel spacers, B2728B , LA534A FEL, 3rd valve kit
Dec 1, 2018
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I'm interested in specific details, as well.

I'm am contemplating pallet forks for my B2650. This would probably do more than I need.
 

bird dogger

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Kubota B2650 and lots of other equipment
Feb 24, 2019
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I'm interested in specific details, as well.

I'm am contemplating pallet forks for my B2650. This would probably do more than I need.
I second the motion for more details and pics! Al, that is a super fab job! That would work well for my occasional needs, especially considering the prices of some of the retail models. Your design is simple (form follows function) and is mechanically elegant! :D
 

edritchey

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A bunch of cute little Kubotas
Jul 19, 2014
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Nice work and they should be perfect for the loader on your tractor you will probably find you use them more than you thought you would forks are awesome.
 

B737

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LX3310
Jun 9, 2019
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Those came out great!! nice job

the Earth and Turf SSQA forks weigh ~110 pounds but you saved 3x the money and yours are more compact
 
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Yooper

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3901 LA525
May 31, 2015
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Nice job! You have the right idea keeping the weight low. I built a Rube Goldberg for my L3901 that weighs about 400 lbs and there are times when I need that extra 100 lbs or so to lift something.
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Thanks for all the kind words. I'll try to get a few more photos posted and add some details over the weekend.

Inteesting that I had not stumbled on the Earth & Turf forks with all of the searching I'd done before deciding to build these. I'm not sure I'd have spent quite that much on a set, though they look like a nice product.
 

mikester

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M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
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Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
Looks good!

For anyone else looking you can buy used old fork lift rack and forks off of a forklift dealer for around $300. They end up scrapping stuff during safety inspections after customer employees flame cut holes on the fork ends for chain hooks.

Just add a tractor loader mount and you are ready to go.
 

m.t.hands

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L 5030, L 3400 and BX2200
Jul 26, 2015
137
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16
NE Bama
very nice work, hard to tell from the pic though, is the tube/rod hanger for the forks solid or tube, looks to be a tube for me, if tubing could you list specs on it as well;)

and i think that is going to serve you well with your intended uses;)
 

PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,277
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83
NZ
I'd love to see a photo of how the forks attach to the pipe. And how you made the angles on the end of the forks - I'm imagining you cut them on an angle with a cutoff wheel, then welded flat plate into them?

I have a set of 3ph forks for my BX. https://www.implementsdirect.co.nz/...cts/deleks-3-pt-adjustable-pallet-forks-300kg (that price is NZD, so about $400 US).

I'm getting a B2601 (one day) and will get SSQA. I'd love to modify my existing pallet forks to also fit the front - I like that they fold up and their weight/size. But I worry the quick attach plate will add enough weight to them that they'll end up substantially heavier than if I bought new ones.
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Again, thanks to everyone who chimed in here. I'll try to fill in a few of the blanks.

The SS quick attach plate that I used was this one:

Titan Attachments

It weighs 58 pounds.

The part at the top along with the "ears" that hang down that the pipe goes through is 2-1/2" x 3/16" flat steel bar. The ears are doubled up and welded together to be 3/8" thick. I'm not sure that was necessary, but it just looked better to my eye. I cut the holes with a hole saw in a milling machine, but could I as easily done it on a drill press or with hand power drill with a bit of care.

The forks were made from 2" x 3" x 3/16" wall rectangular steel tube, and as PaulL suspected, the bevels at the front were just cut with a cutoff disk in a 7" side grinder and a plate welded over.

m.t.hands (I love that screen name, clever!) to answer your question, yes, that is tube that the forks hang from. It is just a length of 1-1/4"schedule 40 black iron pipe, stuff I bought at Home depot, I think. Nothing special and plenty strong for the task given that this is a little baby tractor that limits out at 600 or so pounds of lift capacity. .

The tubes at the top of the forks were attached again by cutting a "saddle" of sorts in the end of the tube with a holesaw and a piece of DOM tube with an ID that was just a bit more than the OD of the 1-1/4" pipe welded in. That was really more trouble than it should have been, but my holesaw was in less than great shape and I was too impatient to wait to get a new one. I could have done as well just grinding out a fishmouth to fit with a side grinder I think. In any case it came out OK.

The black strip along the bottom is some self adhesive rubber stair tread material I got at a Harbor freight store. It keeps the forks from sliding around and also keeps them from scratching up my nice orange paint where the forks lean on the plate.

This was all MIG welded. My welds always look a lot better after a tiny bit of grinding :)



A few detail photos:

Top end of the forks:




Ears that hold the top tube:




Back of the QA plate:

 
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m.t.hands

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Equipment
L 5030, L 3400 and BX2200
Jul 26, 2015
137
0
16
NE Bama
m.t.hands (I love that screen name, clever! to answer your question, yes, that is tube that the forks hang from. It is just a length of schedule 40 black iron pipe, stuff I bought at Home depot, I think. Nothing special and plenty strong for the task
ha ha ha, got nick-name "hung" on me from a fishing buddy, at a tournament he just said well if it ain't ole "empty hands" and it has kind of stuck:rolleyes: I kind of thought it was tube and agree structurally sound for intended use, but I could have done w/o seeing that piece of granite, got some I have to repair, little cutting/grinding/and polishing and i'm really looking forward to it...
again nice work:D
 

poyjas

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B7100HST & B2650 TLB-LandPride grapple & 60"BB
Jul 20, 2016
39
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Hayden ID
AL A, nice! I did something like that a few years back but can only wish it turned out as well. I’m going to re-work it this winter. You have any trouble seeing the fork tips as you load? I’ve wondered if one might cut away some of the SSQA plate to see through. I’ve thought of just disabling the seat switch so I can stand up but hate changing a safety device.
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
AL A, nice! I did something like that a few years back but can only wish it turned out as well. I’m going to re-work it this winter. You have any trouble seeing the fork tips as you load? I’ve wondered if one might cut away some of the SSQA plate to see through. I’ve thought of just disabling the seat switch so I can stand up but hate changing a safety device.
Yes, my forks are 36" long and if they are near level I can only just barely see the tips of them. If I were building another set, I would probably buy one of the QA plates that has a cutout in the center like this:

https://www.palletforks.com/skid-steers/conversion-adapters-and-mount-plates/mount-plates/516-inch-attachment-cut-out-mount-plate/161200.html?lang=default

It would require a bit more fabrication work, but not much different, really. I have not used mine enough to decide if this is a problem or not. If it is, I suppose it would not be so difficult to cut an opening in the middle that would let you have some view through.

I am of the same thinking about the seat switch. While I'm not a safety nanny I prefer not to override stuff like that, particularly being pretty new at owning and using a machine like this. Such safety things typically get added as a result of bad stuff that has happened to some number of people.
 

NHSleddog

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B2650
Dec 19, 2019
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I purchased a QA mount 42" set from Titan with a 2" receiver built in for 375.00 delivered. Forged forks are a whole different beast than welded flats. It shouldn't matter on the BX though as you aren't lifting much.

One word of caution, don't ever let anyone work around them, if anything bad happens, it would be a lawyers dream.
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
4
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
I purchased a QA mount 42" set from Titan with a 2" receiver built in for 375.00 delivered. Forged forks are a whole different beast than welded flats. It shouldn't matter on the BX though as you aren't lifting much.

One word of caution, don't ever let anyone work around them, if anything bad happens, it would be a lawyers dream.
Thanks for chiming in.
The lift capacity of this machine is not much over 600 pounds so the hydraulics limit out well below the point anything is likely to fail. A friend who is a mechanical engineer ran calculations on the general design (he had made an almost identical set for his tractor some years back) so I'm confident on that part.

These will likely never leave my property and I'm the only one who uses this machine. But yeah, your point is well taken. Crazy world we live in these days.