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  1. #21
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    Thanks for all the input and information. I am planning on thinking about this and checking things out at the farm show and talking with people that have experience in this area. However, eden shale is a pretty formidable soil project. I will post some pictures of what I am dealing with. These are large rocks that would most likely make short work of a power rake. some of them are large enough that I back the dump trailer up to where the rock is and work it into the trailer with the loader bucket being assisted by leveraging the rock against the dump trailer (twin cylinder) and using both the tractor loader hydraulics and the trailer hydraulics to get the rock loaded into the trailer. Of course not of all them are this large. I have already moved a lot of rocks weighing between 50-500 lbs., however some of the larger ones are probable in the 3,000 lb. + range. I also plan to use the rock bucket as a brush rake for clearing projects. I can reduce the rock bucket size, but 72" works for the Q A system and I can limit the load as I have a pretty good feel for that already. Transport distances will be short as I will have the dump trailer close by. I am not concerned with the smaller stones, saucer sized rocks and larger are the primary focus. I like the idea of a rear rock rake like the modified tiller, but that would only be practical after moving the larger rocks. These are not boulders as I would define boulders but large flat rocks about 6" to 10" thick in varying circumferences. Some of them are quite large 6' X 8' by 8-10" thick. I have to deal with all of them. Most are smaller in the 3-4' range and smaller. There are rock pickers and rock windrowers for large tractors 100 + HP, but not much for the 50 HP range. Also, I have to consider my budget. This is a retirement project that I can spend considerable time on and there is no rush to complete it at some set time schedule. Any implement that I can use for double duty is a big plus. I realize that specialized single purpose equipment will always be better for a single task, but general purpose or multi-purpose equipment can perform the same task, just not as efficiently or effectively. Trade offs are a part of the small tractor genre. Another purpose for the rock bucket is also to sift the rocks from the composted pond muck that I will use for the topsoil on this project. I am not discounting anything and really do appreciate the input and keep it coming. I have gotten an abundance of good information from this thread and a lot of the other threads on this very interesting and information forum. This is a fun project that will keep my busy for years!

  2. #22
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    Dan, I'm firmly on the 'team' with Steve when he says using a rock bucket is really hard on hydraulics and the loader. The rock bucket you are considering is going to work only for softball/grapefruit sized rocks that can be picked up in loose soil. Even then, the solid cutting edge at the front of the tines is going to be a hindrance to picking up stones. It will collect and push a solid ridge of dirt that will tumble the rocks forward in front of the bucket until you have a mound of material big enough so that the blade undercuts the mound. Any kind of irregular surface will compound the difficulty. Unless you have a flat plowed field with dry sandy loam soil and baseball sized rocks on the surface, I'd look for another rock bucket. You just cannot use a rock bucket like a regular loader bucket. You HAVE to think of the rock bucket in terms of one or two rocks at a time that get collected in a basket.

    Rock buckets like the Bradco have pointed tines for digging under imbedded rocks. They also have a "basket" behind the tines so that you can keep rocks from rolling out of the bucket while you tilt the tines downward enough to undercut more rocks. Unless I have a pile of rocks, I almost never get my rock bucket anymore than 1/4 full before transporting and dumping its contents. The size of the bucket just allows you to repeatedly curl the bucket and have the rocks roll around and shed dirt. Think of it like putting a shovel full of gravel and sand into a sieve and then shaking the sieve to let the sand drop through. It's completely different from handling dirt with a loader bucket. Because of that, I have rock bucket that's 60" wide and I'd be plenty happy if it were actually 48" wide or less. The extra depth of the buckets is also a big advantage. You can easily see the tips of your tines for the best placement under rocks to pry them up. The only advantage to a larger/wider rock bucket is to be able to handle boulders.

    Its your decision, but based on my experience, I would not recommend the bucket you are thinking about. I believe you'll be frustrated with it as a rock bucket. With an added grapple, it would make a great brush/cleanup bucket, but I don't see it being a good rock bucket except for the most limited conditions.

    EDIT: Don't be fooled by photos like my attachments. It looks like the rock bucket is a great tool in those photos, but the truth is that I loaded 1/3 of the bucket with the tractor and the rest of them I hand loaded. If someone shows you pictures like this and says they loaded the rock bucket using only the tractor, ask them what turnip truck they think you fell off of.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jim


  3. #23
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Kubota MX5100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    Dan, I'm firmly on the 'team' with Steve when he says using a rock bucket is really hard on hydraulics and the loader. The rock bucket you are considering is going to work only for softball/grapefruit sized rocks that can be picked up in loose soil. Even then, the solid cutting edge at the front of the tines is going to be a hindrance to picking up stones. It will collect and push a solid ridge of dirt that will tumble the rocks forward in front of the bucket until you have a mound of material big enough so that the blade undercuts the mound. Any kind of irregular surface will compound the difficulty. Unless you have a flat plowed field with dry sandy loam soil and baseball sized rocks on the surface, I'd look for another rock bucket. You just cannot use a rock bucket like a regular loader bucket. You HAVE to think of the rock bucket in terms of one or two rocks at a time that get collected in a basket.

    Rock buckets like the Bradco have pointed tines for digging under imbedded rocks. They also have a "basket" behind the tines so that you can keep rocks from rolling out of the bucket while you tilt the tines downward enough to undercut more rocks. Unless I have a pile of rocks, I almost never get my rock bucket anymore than 1/4 full before transporting and dumping its contents. The size of the bucket just allows you to repeatedly curl the bucket and have the rocks roll around and shed dirt. Think of it like putting a shovel full of gravel and sand into a sieve and then shaking the sieve to let the sand drop through. It's completely different from handling dirt with a loader bucket. Because of that, I have rock bucket that's 60" wide and I'd be plenty happy if it were actually 48" wide or less. The extra depth of the buckets is also a big advantage. You can easily see the tips of your tines for the best placement under rocks to pry them up. The only advantage to a larger/wider rock bucket is to be able to handle boulders.

    Its your decision, but based on my experience, I would not recommend the bucket you are thinking about. I believe you'll be frustrated with it as a rock bucket. With an added grapple, it would make a great brush/cleanup bucket, but I don't see it being a good rock bucket except for the most limited conditions.

    EDIT: Don't be fooled by photos like my attachments. It looks like the rock bucket is a great tool in those photos, but the truth is that I loaded 1/3 of the bucket with the tractor and the rest of them I hand loaded. If someone shows you pictures like this and says they loaded the rock bucket using only the tractor, ask them what turnip truck they think you fell off of.
    Thank you very much, this is the kind of information that I have been searching for! What tractor is pictured here and what is its horsepower and weight? I was going with the 72" bucket simply because I wanted to use the QA on my Kubota MX5100. Kubota uses a skid steer type QA on this series and I can use a smaller bucket if it will allow enough space to utilize the QA. I assume Bradco or anyone else for that matter can accommodate this setup. I am off to check out their website now.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    I checked out the Bradco bucket and I am impressed and it is a better design for my needs. I think it will fit the LA 844 QA system with ease as it is the same system if the distances are the same between the QA plates. I shopped around some looking for the Bradco and others and so far I like the Bradco the best. I did find the RBX series Dirt Dog boxes that Bruce McGee has are physically identical to the Bush Hog brand and exactly the same weight, but considerably less expensive. This appears to be a no brainer for the box blades. I don't know if either of them, BH or DG will be at the Farm Show with the box blades or not. Bush Hog is always there, but usually it's mostly their mowers.

  5. #25
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    Frozen part of WI
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    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    I am day dreaming about building a "rock tooth bar" for my FEL.
    When nice weather comes back. Just doing measuring and blueprints now.

    Kind of bolt on, like the tooth bars do, only more and longer teeth. I am thinking about 19 teeth 1" wide (60" bucket) and having them extend about 6" out from the front and about 6" back into the bucket, by 2" high. So there will be about 2" opening between teeth.

    May not be perfect, but less than 1/3 $ of a tooth bar and way cheaper than a rock bucket.............


    Good luck

  6. #26
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    I contacted Dirt Dog and they advised me that they sell their box blades to Bush Hog. They will not be at the show, but Bush Hog will, however, I don't know if they will have box blades at their exhibit. I filled out a question form on their website, but they have not answered yet. Dirt Dog got back to me in minutes! I also noticed that Dirt Dog has some pretty healthy looking lift disc harrows, I am contemplating a set of those later. I would really like to find a good set of old Massey 25's with scrapers though.

  7. #27
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    Dan, my tractor is a 45 hp New Holland with HST transmission. I don't think Bradco makes a 60" rock bucket like mine. My bucket with QA adapter and grapple weighs about 700 lb. I can lift about a half-ton of rocks or less. The grapple thumb is especially useful for large rocks where I can clamp down on them with the thumb and curl up to transport. Many large flat rocks are so big that they don't fit well in my bucket.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jim


  8. #28
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    It sounds like we have similar issues and tractors. I checked with Everything Attachments and Iowa Farm Equipment Sales (They also sell the Bradco among other brands.) The 66' Bradco should fit my Kubota QA system perfectly. I use my loader bucket (HD round back) to flip the big flat rocks end-over-end until I can access them with my dump trailer. I then raise the bed until its maximum and then flip the rock onto it, lowering the trailer and pushing the rock onto it with the loader simultaneously. It works pretty well that way and I have loaded rocks as heavy as 3,000 + pounds. I use these rocks to line steep banks in the creeks and cuts I have made for driveways and then plant ground cover such as phlox between the rocks. Works well to hold backs and looks pretty good once it's all completed. Have you used your rock bucket for much brush work?

  9. #29
    Epic Contributor
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    Yes, I've done tons of brush grappling. The sides of the bucket are somewhat limiting, but I can move a bunch of brush in a short time. I also use the bucket and grapple to hold trees while I buck them to size with my chainsaw. The uses are just as many as my creativity. I love it! You do have to be careful that you don't push a 3"-4" limb between the tines. You can bend them fairly easy. I keep a 3' section of 2" pipe handy. I slip it over the bent tine and use a tree to push the tine back in place.
    Jim


  10. #30
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rock & debris bucket

    The removable sides of the bucket that I was initially contemplating were the primary reason I was leaning towards it. However, after the posts of you members that have been there and done that I saw the rationale of the true rock bucket and decided that was the priority. I wonder if the sides of the Bradco could be rigged to be removable?

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