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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    210
    Location
    Hawaii - Big Island
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800 / also Scag Turf Tiger

    Default Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    The boss says she wants to be able to move pallets, building materials, and a whole lotta what-not. Since she insists, it seems that we must get something to do this. Alternatives which present themselves are a KingKutter pallet mover for the 3PH, in stock locally for $240, or clamp-on pallet forks for about $400 + shipping, or hang-on pallet forks, unpriced.

    Pros on the pallet mover seem to be price, easy to see where the forks are going, price, lifting capacity, price, an easy mounting option for a sprayer yet-to-be-built, and, most importantly, price.

    Cons on the pallet mover include limited lift height, doing everything backwards, and ugly yellow.

    I have resisted clamp on forks because I worry about bending the bucket, and I might approach the limits of the lifting capacity that far forward on a kubota B7800.

    I note other posts of creative things done with the KK pallet mover including mounted KingKutter pallet mover to FEL bucket allowing it to be used either fore or aft.

    For those of you who have a pallet mover (or other 3PH forks) or pallet forks, what do you see as the pros and cons? Do you ever wish you had gone the other way? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member Henro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    5,294
    Location
    Few miles north of Pgh, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, BX2200, Yardman 20HP pos...

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    A pallet hookup on the 3PH will only lift so high...and that is not very high compared to what clamp on forks on the front bucket can do.

    The 3PH set up will lift more than the loader will I think.

    I have palet forks for my B2910 bucket and they work pretty well. I guess I am glad I have them. But with the weight way out there it sure make the back feel light sometimes.

    Having 3PH set up that you can also clamp onto the front bucket might work pretty good and give you the front/back advantage.

    Clamp on forks can be set to whatever width you want though...

    Personally I guess I am happy with my clamp on forks...even though I have to take my toothbar off when I want to use them. But that is only a 2 minute job, so I don't mind really.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,214
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    What I find real frustrating with the forks and pallet moving is not being able to tilt the forks (right and/or left, up and/or down) to line up with a pallet. Same would go with the 3pt, unless the topntilt package is used. I am pallatizing my firewood now, and almost have to use a ramp system to elevate a rear wheel, when the ground is not level. The rear tires are quite a distance from the ground the pallet sets on when using the forks on the FEL, but that distance would be less critical if the forks were on the 3pt. Thinking in advance to when I might get topntilt capability and get forks on the 3pt to move firewood.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member GregJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    703
    Location
    Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500/LA302FEL/4672BH ; John Deere LX277

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    Aloha,
    I have 3pt. pallet forks. I use them to move palletized firewood. The 3pt. is the only way I could move a load like this. My B7500 has a 3pt. lift capacity of a little over 1000lbs. My FEL is rated a little less than 700lbs. and I am sure with the load that far out front it would be significantly less than that, not to mention a safety issue with heavy loads. So, from my perspective, if you are planning to move fairly light loads, the FEL forks would work very well, but if you are planning to move heavy loads, the 3pt. has more capacity and is safer.

    Just my opinion,
    Greg

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,129
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Tractor
    Deere 855 (24hp/19@PTO)

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    I've had clamp-on bucket forks for a couple years now. Memorial Day, a month ago, I built a 3PH fork frame Please Post Pictures of Your 3PH Forks!.



    My experience for comparison is small, but here are some preliminary impressions. Surpirsingly, on my tractor the FEL lifts a bit more than the 3PH, even with the side links in the "power" position on the lift arms! My 3PH is also rated higher (at 2' behind the lift arms) than the FEL...go figure!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] If I could drop the bucket and mount the fork frame up front, the better leverage would allow even heavier loads to be lifted...that's project for some other time.

    The clamp-ons are more versatile (will raise a load higher), but, they put a lot of weight on the weakly front axle and smallish front tires. That's what motivated me to build a 3PH version in the first place. Both will work for you.... By the way, the hyd. toplink really shines in this application (3PH forks). It makes engaging and disengaging pallets as easy as using the FEL clamp-ons. In fact, I would say without a hyd. toplink, I would be inclined to recommend the clamp-ons for anything more than rare use. The 3PH forks would be easier on your tractor, but they might not be pleasant to use without a powered toplink.

    OkieG

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    227
    Location
    near Wickenburg AZ
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    Since you have the B7800, another but a bit pricier option is the kubota quick attach setup for the LA402 FEL. It will only accept Kubota attachments, and there are only two, the bucket and the pallet fork frame w/forks. It is very easy to switch (two pins), and it brings the weight on the pallet forks further back than if they were clamped to a bucket, so you can lift more. Attached is a pic with the pallet fork on the quick attach.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    522
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    I have clamp-on pallet forks that I bought for about $290 including freight from Payne. Mine fit on over my toothbar, whcih is one reason that I don't worry much about bending the blade on my FEL.

    I find that they work very well for a variety of applications, including pallets of firewood. This past weekend, I moved loads of 7"x9"x8' used railroad ties (about #250 apiece) 4 at a time to the site of the compost bins I was building. they were no problem at all, and I probably could have moved 6 at a time, but I only had the boxblade on the rear and didn't want to outlift my ballast. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    581
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Tractor
    1998 JD 770 & 2004 Toro LX417

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    I purchased a 3 PT "PAK FORK" from REAR'S MANUFACTURING CO, Eugene, OREGON through my local (Central Coast of CA) John Deere dealer for something around $180.00 if my memory serves me. It has a 1,000 lb capacity which is fine since my 3 PT capacity is 820# at 24 inches. (You;d like it, it's Orange) and appears to be well made.

    I've carried ~ 780 lbs on it with an empty FEL up front. The weight could be felt, but worked fine. I didn't envision having to stack pallets or have a really high lift, so the 3 pt works for me. Also, I wanted a 3 PT Fork rather than an FEL fork because I wanted to rig a sprayer to it and didn't want to spray where I was going. So far, the home made 25 gallon sprayer seems to work fine on the 3 PT.The 3 PT is limited to about 24 inches max lift with about a 5+ degree up angle available which is adjustable to more with the top link adjustment.

    Since the fork is 42" long, I had to have my spray rig stick out beyond that. Not a problem. While it has it's limitations as others have stated, I can see where it is (even if it's behind me) which is nice, and the sprayer is behind the tractor.

    For the sprayer, I pulled the dash and wired a weatherproof marine on/off switch through a fused dedicated circuit to the battery and ran the pigtail out to the rear fender.

    I wanted the 3 PT also so I can use it on other tractors. I also made a "jumper" cable with battery clamps, a fuse and an on/off switch so I can have control in the seat on any tractor. The sprayer came with a switch on the pump and a fuse, but it works great being able to switch it on and off in the seat. I could also use the installed circuit without the sprayer for aulilliary lights.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,129
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Tractor
    Deere 855 (24hp/19@PTO)

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    <font color="blue"> I didn't envision having to stack pallets... </font>

    Joe,
    That brings up a point I so eloquently under-described in my post. When I equated "more versatile" with "will raise a load higher", what I meant was that loader forks will allow you to load and unload the back of your pick-up truck, unload the delivery truck coming to your house, stack brush, and even push brush (forks pointed down), etc. All are tasks that rely on higher lift, or a severe fork angle. Your best choice depends on your needs and requirements.

    Whenever I can use 3PH forks I will...easier on the tractor. But for some jobs,...

    OkieG

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    445
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 855

    Default Re: Pallet Mover vs. Pallet Forks?

    I've been happy with my Paynes forks as well, given the relatively light usage they'll get. If it's convenient, they're just down the road from me, you can pick them up at the factory and save freight.

    I'll be building a 3 PT pallet carrier as well, not so much for capacity as for convenience. I plan to build a few pallet based attachments, like a 55 gal drum spot sprayer, that I can just back up to and run away with.

    The clamp-on front forks allow me to stack stuff higher, but with the bucket on my JD855, the visibility of the forks is bad.

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