Put a tree limb through my grill (brand new L2501)

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
So my new L2501 is still under 20 hours use. Got it back in May just before I got married so I've not used it a ton since I got it. I've got a huge list of jobs to do when the weather starts to change here in fall. (I'm in north florida) One of those jobs is lots of land clearing. Expanding our backyard, and clearing an area for a new garden spot. The other weekend it was a heavily cloudy day so it was a bit cooler I decided to go ahead and start one one of those jobs and headed out to the woods. Got some good work done - was impressed with how much easier and better looking I could do this sitting in a tractor seat than my old way of manually cutting and piling by hand with a chainsaw. In the process of pushing one of my piles though I pushed into about a 3 inch limb that was sticking out form the pile. I am pushing these piles with a root rake on the FEL, so I couldn't really see that limb protruding as I pushed in. It punctured the front plastic grill on the L2501. It never reached the battery or radiator thankfully, so the damage is just minor cosmetics. It punctured in an like an L patter, so it didn't bust open a full hole - the plastic is flexible so it just punctured then bent, so if you look at the tractor and don't look close you cant tell its actually broken until you press in on it. I don't plan to replace the grill at this time as It was over 100 dollars for the part when I looked, and its just not noticeable.

This incident did get me to thinking however about either buying or having fabricated a better grill guard for the front of the tractor to prevent this form happening again, and potentially reaching the battery or radiator. I've looked online to see if there are any after market options for a grill guard but didn't find anything, most of what I've seen is just individuals fabricating their own solutions, some of them look really nice. I was thinking maybe some expanded metal welded onto the grill guard. I would have to pay someone to do the fabrication as I have no welder personally. I plan to do a lot of land clearing work however, and pushing lots of cut limbs and trees, so I feel like I need to do something. I'm just trying to elicit some ideas or suggestions.
 

D2Cat

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L305DT, B7100HST, TG1860, TG1860D, L4240
Mar 27, 2014
8,912
200
63
40 miles south of Kansas City
I made one for my L4240 from some punched metal. I made it from two pieces because it was left-overs from a project, $15 each and some angle iron.

This is held on to the existing guard with two each bolts with a hook on them. It works good.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
I made one for my L4240 from some punched metal. I made it from two pieces because it was left-overs from a project, $15 each and some angle iron.

This is held on to the existing guard with two each bolts with a hook on them. It works good.
Thanks for the pictures D2Cat. I love seeing the pictures for ideas. That would be the simplest solution and one I could do myself. I just worry if something like that is not rigid enough? If I push into a pile and a limb lets go and sling shots a little id Like the guard be able to withstand that kind of impact. Im trying to plan for the worst case scenario. It is an L2501 we are talking about so I obviously wont be pushing stuff TOO big, but I do want it to be able to withstand any possible forced impacts without failing. I do like your solution however as that is something I could do myself in a day and not have to take the grill off, take it to someone else, etc etc.
 

Freeheeler

Member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
271
13
18
Knoxville, TN
Go to the fab section here and search 'grill guard'. Tons of posts and pics to get ideas from. If you get something made, post up pics.
 

Missouribound

Member

Equipment
B2320, FEL, BOX BLADE, FINISH MOWER, QUICK HITCH
Jun 17, 2014
606
1
18
Missouri
What may look good is some of those nice chrome plated grill grates like on high end gas grilles. You would have to build a frame though.
 

Terrain Twister

Member

Equipment
B2650, RTV-X1100C
Nov 17, 2018
36
16
8
Heron, MT
A few more weeks and I'll have my CNC back in action and I'll be doing something custom for mine. Haven't hurt anything yet but I have pushed on the hydraulic lines on the grapple and that got me realizing something needs to be done.
 

Piper59

New member

Equipment
L2501 w fel,howse 5ft.bush hog,howse 5ft.bb,piranha TB,MTL Grapple, Titan forks
Aug 21, 2019
19
0
0
Orangefield,Tx.
I did the exact same thing on mine at about 35 hrs.I saw where some guy on this forum put expanded metal on his grill and csad it with (what looks like ) 1in.angle iron.Nice job.Think I'm going to do something similar. Btw,this is my 1st.post and have visited quite a bit looking at information. Good forum.
 

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
adding expanded metal mesh to the grill guard is one of the first things we do. This is heavy duty 9 gauge mesh
This looks exactly how Id like to do mine. I don't have a welder however so Id prolly have to get someone else to fabricate it. What are you using in terms of paint? I have some of the spray paint that is "Kubota Orange" and it looks perfect and would do the trick, but I wonder how that spraypaint holds up? Are you using something more substantial for the paint ?
 

Bmyers

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Grand L3560 with LA805 loader
May 27, 2019
568
58
28
Southern Illinois
Just put the first coat of paint on my grill guard. It has expanded metal across it to help reduce the chance of a limb making it to the radiator. Came in to get the phone to take a picture, started pouring down rain, so picture will wait.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Piper59

New member

Equipment
L2501 w fel,howse 5ft.bush hog,howse 5ft.bb,piranha TB,MTL Grapple, Titan forks
Aug 21, 2019
19
0
0
Orangefield,Tx.
Just put the first coat of paint on my grill guard. It has expanded metal across it to help reduce the chance of a limb making it to the radiator. Came in to get the phone to take a picture, started pouring down rain, so picture will wait.
Nice job,I need to do mine soon.
 

GaltsGulch

New member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3800 and BX2380
Apr 14, 2015
34
0
0
Ranger, Ga
I feel your pain. Limb just smashed out the headlight housing on my L3800 Thursday while moving some debris from a storm that rolled through. Should have thought about this sooner. I have probably only ever turned on the headlights 2 or 3 times since I have owed it but it still kinda hurts to hear that crunch. Now to add some mesh to the new BX2380 I picked up last weekend also. Good luck with your grill guard.
 

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
Ok im ressurecting my thread here from a couple months ago because Im finally doing something about this issue tomorrow. This past weekend I once again poked the front grill of m ytractor, again a tiny tear on the plastic guard that is largely unoticable, but that was the final straw. I had been trying to be super careful too, but doing the land clearing work Im doing now its just hard to push piles of tree tops without making a little booboo that you cant see. Dont even know when I did it this 2nd time - I recall nothing bad happening all weekend, it was a smooth weekend, got lots of work done, then when inspecting the tractor after parking it saw the new hole I had poked. Grrr!

Ive taken inspiration from the pictures shared on the forums here. Ive decided to buy a little 100amp flux wire welder and tackle the job myself. Ive been watching videos on welding basics, and what to expect from the little welder Im looking at. It should do the job nicely. It will be good to have a little welder around the place for future little jobs like this. I will try to take some pictures when done and post here. This will be my first time ever welding though, so I need to practice a little before I begin. I have done soldering with electronic boards and contacts before, but this is a whole different animal. Thankfully the job is fairly simple I feel. Just some basic tack welds.

Im only going with 13 gauge expanded metal, as that was all I could find here locally without ordering online. I think 9 gauge would be better but we will see how this goes for now.
 

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
A picture of mine on the tractor protecting the grill

Thanks for that Bmyers! It looks like you added a little bar across the bottom to weld to, am I seeing that correct? Id love to see a more up close picture of how you welded yours. Im trying to decide how I want to approach the weld. Weither I should sit it inside the front a little so it kinda sits on the middle plate, which is inset just a little, or whether I should just weld to the outside rim of the grill. If I weld to the outside rim the whole middle of the expanded metal sheet will have no real support except around the outside edges. That may work fine.....Just trying to figure out how I want to approach it. Would love to see an up close shot of how you did yours if you have one, so I can see how you molded the expanded metal and where you welded it.
 

Bmyers

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Grand L3560 with LA805 loader
May 27, 2019
568
58
28
Southern Illinois
Thanks for that Bmyers! It looks like you added a little bar across the bottom to weld to, am I seeing that correct? Id love to see a more up close picture of how you welded yours. Im trying to decide how I want to approach the weld. Weither I should sit it inside the front a little so it kinda sits on the middle plate, which is inset just a little, or whether I should just weld to the outside rim of the grill. If I weld to the outside rim the whole middle of the expanded metal sheet will have no real support except around the outside edges. That may work fine.....Just trying to figure out how I want to approach it. Would love to see an up close shot of how you did yours if you have one, so I can see how you molded the expanded metal and where you welded it.
I would love to take credit for how it looks, but I don't weld. I work for Mechanical Contractor Company and we have a fab shop, so I gave it to them and an hour later I had it back. Do not weld the bar on the inside at the bottom because you need the room for it to swing open.

They welded a bar on top and on bottom to give them spots to weld to. The reason I know you can't weld it on the inside, because they did and I had to cut the bar on each side to allow it to swing open. I have had it on the tractor since August and it has held up well and taken a few good hits from branches.
 

Tornado

Active member
May 7, 2019
517
62
28
usa
I would love to take credit for how it looks, but I don't weld. I work for Mechanical Contractor Company and we have a fab shop, so I gave it to them and an hour later I had it back. Do not weld the bar on the inside at the bottom because you need the room for it to swing open.

They welded a bar on top and on bottom to give them spots to weld to. The reason I know you can't weld it on the inside, because they did and I had to cut the bar on each side to allow it to swing open. I have had it on the tractor since August and it has held up well and taken a few good hits from branches.
Oh I see. It appears that it is welded along the thin rim of the grill, which faces toward the bucket, is that correct? Or is it welded just on the inside of the grill rim plates? Also, it appears you have used 13 gauge metal here can you confirm? I need to figure out how to weld this, as the horizontal bars both at the top and in the middle are inset in such a way that you cant weld to them and to the outside rim. If I weld to the inside of the grill frame, I could tac weld the middle to the support beam, but then I will have to do something funny at the bottom. The easiest approach would be to just weld it to the rim, but then that leavs no other support except from the sides. No support in the top or bottom, and no support through the middle anywhere.