Pallet fork; drill a hole?

ve9aa

Well-known member

Equipment
TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
975
113
NB, Canada
I have a set of PFL1242 pallet forks on my BX,.

How "hard" of steel are they if I wanted to poke a BIG hole near the end of one (or both)

Occasionally I might like to put a trailer hitch ball in the end of one to move an empty utility trailer around my flat yard.

Also, another project has JUST come up where using forks could be a lot easier than using my bucket for visual reasons.
I want to gently yank something BIG out of a shed and visibility and maneuvering real estate is at a premium, so thought if I had a hole in one
(or both) I could install D-rings in the holes, then straps or chains, etc.

I don't own any specialty drill bits or a mag drill (who wouldn't just love one of those, right?)

Thanks for the thoughts / ideas.
 

MapleLeafFarmer

Well-known member

Equipment
Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
590
446
63
E.
if you are going to pull with your tines (versus lifting) this "tab" that holds bottom of fork to cage is a weak spot. First hand experience says not a good idea. Also if you have QA style mount stress to bottom pins needs consideration.
So you mention you want to yank something big so depending how big/heavy needs consideration also. tines designed to lift of course not pull. Using both tines to pull at the same time would require both tines close togther otherwise you going to introduce another force of pulling tine tips together in a twisting motion which is probably a very bad idea on anything of weight. Consider hooking direct to cage to yank that big thing you speak of.

Lifting tongue of a trailer that rolls as designed (10% of trailer weight) is generally not a problem.

just my experience. Your results may vary.

1683933345095.png




I use this on my pallet tines to move trailers around my yard all the time without problems but they road worthy with rolling tires, etc...
1683933975267.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users

ve9aa

Well-known member

Equipment
TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
975
113
NB, Canada
if you are going to pull with your tines (versus lifting) this "tab" that holds bottom of fork to cage is a weak spot. First hand experience says not a good idea. Also if you have QA style mount stress to bottom pins needs consideration.
So you mention you want to yank something big so depending how big/heavy needs consideration also. tines designed to lift of course not pull. Using both tines to pull at the same time would require both tines close togther otherwise you going to introduce another force of pulling tine tips together in a twisting motion which is probably a very bad idea on anything of weight. Consider hooking direct to cage to yank that big thing you speak of.

Lifting tongue of a trailer that rolls as designed (10% of trailer weight) is generally not a problem.

just my experience. Your results may vary.

View attachment 102368
Thanks MLF - I had not considered that. It's a small car, but on (slightly) uneven (dirt) ground and likely it'll have 1 or 2 flat tires. Brakes may be stuck as well.
Maybe I would be better off with my bucket afterall, given I have a 2" receiver and other doodads to "hook to". My PF's are just way easier to see around - :oops:

EDIT: Due to limited room, I might even just yank off the tractors trailer hitch area where I have a small hitch installed. Less maneuvering, but easier "pulling"
 
Last edited:

anomad

Active member

Equipment
YM2310D
Jun 10, 2021
101
55
28
Western North Carolina
I wonder if you could run a chain/rope/strap under the tractor and mount to the rear to pull from. Then use the pallet forks to guide the chain and lift a little if needed to steer the car. Would have to be careful the chain wouldn't damage anything under the tractor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
10,096
4,165
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I mde my own version of MLF's ball on tubing adapter. Welded a 2" receiver to a piece of 2x6 tubing. Allows me to slice in 2" ,2-5/16 or whatever. A chain connects adapter to the PF or Fl vertical 'carriage'. I've used a chain wrapped around the BX23S SSQA to pull 'stuff' as it was quicker than trying to find WHERE did I put the adapter.....
while typing...SAR's response came in....fancy version of what I welded up...the short sleeve came from princess Auto , $10 on sale .....
 

waggie

New member

Equipment
Kubota L3800
Feb 2, 2023
1
0
1
tasmania australia
I have a set of PFL1242 pallet forks on my BX,.

How "hard" of steel are they if I wanted to poke a BIG hole near the end of one (or both)

Occasionally I might like to put a trailer hitch ball in the end of one to move an empty utility trailer around my flat yard.

Also, another project has JUST come up where using forks could be a lot easier than using my bucket for visual reasons.
I want to gently yank something BIG out of a shed and visibility and maneuvering real estate is at a premium, so thought if I had a hole in one
(or both) I could install D-rings in the holes, then straps or chains, etc.

I don't own any specialty drill bits or a mag drill (who wouldn't just love one of those, right?)

Thanks for the thoughts / ideas.
I have a bolt on towbar receiver attached to a cross bar on pallet frame. Take off tines and insert towbar...
 

jimh406

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
2,176
1,576
113
Western MT
If there is tongue weight, I think you can move a small utility trailer on level ground without issues. However, to "yank" something, use your drawbar. It is made to pull and connects below the axle.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Yooper

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
3901 LA525
May 31, 2015
1,464
433
83
NE Wisconsin
They are not as hard as you think. Pilot hole and a sharp drill bit with coolant will get the job done. When drilling the big hole you must have a drill with decent torque and turns slow enough to not overheat the drill bit. Water is the best coolant
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,898
4,333
113
Eastham, Ma
if you are going to pull with your tines (versus lifting) this "tab" that holds bottom of fork to cage is a weak spot. First hand experience says not a good idea. Also if you have QA style mount stress to bottom pins needs consideration.
So you mention you want to yank something big so depending how big/heavy needs consideration also. tines designed to lift of course not pull. Using both tines to pull at the same time would require both tines close togther otherwise you going to introduce another force of pulling tine tips together in a twisting motion which is probably a very bad idea on anything of weight. Consider hooking direct to cage to yank that big thing you speak of.

Lifting tongue of a trailer that rolls as designed (10% of trailer weight) is generally not a problem.

just my experience. Your results may vary.

View attachment 102368



I use this on my pallet tines to move trailers around my yard all the time without problems but they road worthy with rolling tires, etc...
View attachment 102371
The pictured fork/hitch ball adapter is a good solution.
I have one, and use it as mentioned above.
 

Pawnee

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501
Jul 1, 2021
329
282
63
Ontario Canada
I wonder if you could run a chain/rope/strap under the tractor and mount to the rear to pull from. Then use the pallet forks to guide the chain and lift a little if needed to steer the car. Would have to be careful the chain wouldn't damage anything under the tractor.
The draw bar is below the axle so when you pull forwards with it there is no danger of rotating the tractor over backwards.
That flips if you pull from the front with it using a chain underneath.
Tractor could flip too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
5,834
3,104
113
Texas
if you are going to pull with your tines (versus lifting) this "tab" that holds bottom of fork to cage is a weak spot. First hand experience says not a good idea. Also if you have QA style mount stress to bottom pins needs consideration.
So you mention you want to yank something big so depending how big/heavy needs consideration also. tines designed to lift of course not pull. Using both tines to pull at the same time would require both tines close togther otherwise you going to introduce another force of pulling tine tips together in a twisting motion which is probably a very bad idea on anything of weight. Consider hooking direct to cage to yank that big thing you speak of.

Lifting tongue of a trailer that rolls as designed (10% of trailer weight) is generally not a problem.

just my experience. Your results may vary.

View attachment 102368



I use this on my pallet tines to move trailers around my yard all the time without problems but they road worthy with rolling tires, etc...
View attachment 102371
I have the same ball-mount to slip onto my fork tines…but the hand-screw/bolt doesn’t offer much safety either…..and the device can slip off the end of the tine, resulting in loss of the trailer.

In answer to the OP…. yes you can drill a hole…but be ready to wear out bits. To prevent this tool (depicted above) from slipping off the tine….I drilled a hole thru my left tine to accept the hand-screw/bolt for security…. It completely wore out an expensive Cobalt bit. (Yes, good tines are hard to drill.)

I guess if you’re good with a torch you could blow a hole thru one safely…. Or, you could have a machine shop punch a hole for you if they have a hyd-press.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Smokeydog

Well-known member

Equipment
M59, B26 grapples, backhoes, tillers, graders, diesel atv
Jun 2, 2020
572
530
93
knoxville, Tennessee
I would make or buy pocket hitch for the tine the best option. Don’t clamp but chain to frame. I wouldn’t drill my tines.

Drilling large holes in thick steel with bimetal holesaw is fairly easy. Slow rpm, high pressure, lubricant, and constant air from blowgun. Air helps cool and blow away cuttings. Take about a minute. Heat kills drill bits or any cutting edge.
 

Kurtee

Active member

Equipment
BX2660, BX2680 cab, JD 2032R, Honda 5518, JD X590, JD X739
Oct 3, 2013
306
98
28
Nicollet, mn
There is an attachment available for forks that uses both forks and has chain to wrap to the frame so that it doesn't pull off. Although it may not apply to you, a hole in a fork is a safety infraction, not allowed in industry.
 

MapleLeafFarmer

Well-known member

Equipment
Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
590
446
63
E.
I have the same ball-mount to slip onto my fork tines…but the hand-screw/bolt doesn’t offer much safety either…..and the device can slip off the end of the tine, resulting in loss of the trailer.
same would happen to mine.
Mine didn't come with chains or straps (but the eyes are there) I see the new ones at my local farm store come with chains that run form the gizmo back to the fork frame that stops it from sliding off when pulling. At first I thought they wanted trailer chains hooked to those eyes as instructions didn't say.
Now I use a couple of small ratchet straps from the eyes back to the loader frame. The screw snugs it to the forks and the straps stop it from pulling off.
Not a perfect solution but was cheap and now I have a lot more confidence it will not slip off.
 

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,898
4,333
113
Eastham, Ma
same would happen to mine.
Mine didn't come with chains or straps (but the eyes are there) I see the new ones at my local farm store come with chains that run form the gizmo back to the fork frame that stops it from sliding off when pulling. At first I thought they wanted trailer chains hooked to those eyes as instructions didn't say.
Now I use a couple of small ratchet straps from the eyes back to the loader frame. The screw snugs it to the forks and the straps stop it from pulling off.
Not a perfect solution but was cheap and now I have a lot more confidence it will not slip off.
I do the same!
 

ve9aa

Well-known member

Equipment
TG1860, BX2380 -backblade, bx2830 snowblower, fel, weight box,pallet forks,etc
Apr 11, 2021
1,202
975
113
NB, Canada
Y'all have changed my mind (& Thank you!)

No holes in the forks.
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
5,834
3,104
113
Texas
I would make or buy pocket hitch for the tine the best option. Don’t clamp but chain to frame. I wouldn’t drill my tines.

Drilling large holes in thick steel with bimetal holesaw is fairly easy. Slow rpm, high pressure, lubricant, and constant air from blowgun. Air helps cool and blow away cuttings. Take about a minute. Heat kills drill bits or any cutting edge.
“take about a minute”…??

If one has an active imagination perhaps.

(I don’t think a bi-metallic hole saw will do anything more than scratch the color off the times of my forks. If fork tines could be cut with a hole-saw…. I wouldn’t want those forks.)

A 5/8” or 3/4” hole thru a fork tine has ZERO ability to weaken the forks.
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
10,096
4,165
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
Never really understood the hole-in-fork-for-ball deal...
You have to get ball, wrenches, tighten then use the ball as needed
THEN you have to get wrenches,again and REMOVE the ball to use the forks as normal
seems to be a HUGE waste of lifespan compared to just having a 'ball on fork adapter'.
Mine's on the forklift 24/7, along with some straps and 70K chains. Takes me less than 15 seconds to slide adapter on and secure the hook.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users