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  1. #21
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2000
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    3,239
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    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Wen - I'm a nut about chain (well, more accurately, just a nut). Almost all my chain is 3/8". I've got 7 or 8 20' lengths of grade 80 that's my normal stuff, two of which I use for tying the tractor down on the trailer. Then I've got 4 10' lengths of grade 100 that I use when I want an extra margin of safety, plus 4 10' lengths of grade 100 square-link choker chain for log skidding. Most of them have grab hooks on each end, but some of them have a slip hook on one end. And I've got a box with an assortment of "chain shorteners" and "instant slip hooks". Then, just to satisfy my paranoia, I keep an ammo box (which reminds me that I'm trying to find a source for some more ammo boxes, so I need to post a message on the Attachments discussion) on my truck with a 20,000 lb. tow strap, 2 20' grade 100 chains, and several of the aforementioned chain shorteners and instant slip hooks.

    I do have 50' or so total of 1/4" on the trailer, but I rarely use it. One piece of it is broken from the last time I tried to use it for pulling a tree over. It wasn't a very big tree, either. In fact, the reason I was using the 1/4" stuff is that the 3/8" wouldn't grab because the tree was so small, and I hadn't gotten the square-link chain or the grubbing tongs yet. The 1/4" broke the first time I pulled on it - and it was grade 80, too.

    Mark


  2. #22
    Veteran Member wen's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,513
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Thanks Mark,

    My experience has been much better with the 3/8 inch also. The 1/4 inch pulls fence pretty well, though.


  3. #23

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    120
    Location
    SW MI
    Tractor
    TC33D 7308 loader 757C backhoe

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Mark: could you further my education on chain? I'm sold. I spent about 12 hours last weekend pulling fence posts and moving some trees using what I believe to be a 20' 3/8" logging chain. I say believe because it was a "gift" to me. My wife and kids went to a beach along Lake Michigan 2 years ago and brought me this! They dug it out of the sand!

    Some questions: Do you just buy the chain and add the hooks (or buy them complete)? I've checked out chain at various hardware stores - I'm not sure it's really that good (I'm familiar with imitation bolts, does this hit chain too?). Do you think I need to be careful where I get the chains from? I've found some internet sites that deal with logging equipment - every try them (not exactly lite to ship!)? How about nylon lifting straps, do they fit into your toolbox? Sounds like Grade 80 is the minimum you would touch?


  4. #24
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    38,515
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    Texas

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    MikeH, do you have a Tractor Supply Co. store near you. That's a pretty good place to buy different types and sizes of chains. You can buy chains already made up in different sizes and lengths, with the hooks already on them, but except for the chains that have been given to me, I just buy the size and length I want, the kind of hooks I want, and put them on myself. And I've never learned about the different grades, but when you go to a hardware store or a place like Tractor Supply, they'll have that information along with the strength of the chain. I looked at some 3/16" chain at Tractor Supply yesterday that was rated for 800# and sells for $.79 a foot (probably going to buy a batch of it to build some new chain guards for a brush hog). I suspect that most of the 3/8" chain is strong enough for almost anything you and I will do with tractors the size of ours.

    Bird

  5. #25
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2000
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    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
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    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Mike H - I could tell you some stuff about chain, but I don't know that you'd be better off. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] I said earlier that I'm a nut, right? I'm one of those guys who can't stand it when I find out that something better than what I've got exists. Well, I'm not always that bad, but I often come pretty close. Hey, at least I know it and admit it...

    As Bird said, I expect that most any grade 3/8" chain would do just fine. However, considering the ease with which my L4310HST broke grade 80 1/4", I wouldn't use grade 43 3/8" if your tractor is anywhere near as strong as mine is. But grade 70 or better should be just fine.

    Now, if you're like I am and just have a desire to have the best you can afford, Labonville (http://www.labonville.com) is a very good place to start. They've got a good catalog, with strengths listed, and decent prices. Another reason I'd recommend them is that these days it's almost impossible to get hooks that aren't Chinese junk. I've broken two 3/8" grab hooks and both of them were made in China. At the time, I had 4 others on chains, and I took them off and threw them away. I don't have anything at all against the Chinese and I'll bet they make some good stuff, but they haven't let any of it that I know of leave the country bound for the U.S. I don't buy anything made in China anymore, unless there's absolutely no choice. I'll gladly pay double for something made somewhere else, even Taiwan - my experience with Chinese-made stuff has been that bad.

    I don't know how careful you need to be about where chain is made, but you should know what grade it is, at least. Labonville sells U.S.-made chain and hardware, and Russian-made versions, too. The Russian stuff is a lot less expensive, but I stick with the U.S. versions, except for the square-link choker chain, which is only made in Austria.

    My tow strap fits in normal-size tool box just fine.

    Again, as I said, my chain is overkill for what I really need, I'm sure, but, on the other hand, what's liable to be at stake if one breaks?


  6. #26
    Platinum Member
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    May 2000
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    731

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    I bought my chains at the local hardware store, and added the hooks on both ends. Both the hooks and the chains were rated for various capacities and were avaialable for many different sizes and ratings...if I remember, they were fairly inexpensive...I am probably going to pick up a few more next time I am there (I don't know how accurate they were in terms of ratings, no easy way to tell). They were also available at my JD dealer, but much more expensive if I remember right.

    When ever I am pulling/lifting something with a chain, I assume its going to break and try to figure out ahead of time what will happen....have only broken one once (and thats because I had actually pinched one of the links in between my loader frame and bucket and that weakened the link). I think the important thing is to always think about what could go wrong and plan for it ahead of time. Don't put yourself in a situation where if the chain breaks you get injured or worse.

    Good luck.



  7. #27
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Mark, your comments about things made in China was interesting. I'm inclined to agree, but . . .. 5 years ago I bought a cheap bench grinder (made in China) and it lasted about 2 weeks. So, I went looking for another bench grinder at Sears, hardware stores, tool stores, etc. Now I'm sure there are some made elsewhere, but I did not find a single one that didn't either say "Made in China" or "Made in Taiwan." Maybe I just didn't look in the right places, or look at expensive enough ones, but anyway I bought one that was made in China, it's used very frequently and still running fine after more than 5 years. It's kind of like trying to find an air tool that wasn't made in Japan. They do exist, but are seldom seen and the prices are unbelievable.

    Bird

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Quite a bit of the hardware in my farm equipment store in Ontario is made in India. I know Chinese steel doesn't always have the best reputation. I wonder if Indian steel has a similar reputation.

    I rediscovered a set of 1/2-inch cable hooks on 20' of cable that I've had for almost 30 years. The hooks say 'Made in US' and also say 'tempered.' I used the cable for a choker the other day. Don't suppose I'm going to break it.


  9. #29
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2000
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    Eastern Virginia
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    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    Bird - I've actually had very few bad experiences (total count) with stuff made in Taiwan, almost none, percentage-wise. So, I don't feel so bad about buy things made in Taiwan if I can't get US-made, or if it's not cost effective.

    But, as I say, I find that I have an inordinately high degree of dissatisfaction with Chinese-made products, so I steer clear whenever I can. I'm sure there's some good Chinese stuff, too, I just don't know how to tell the difference.

    Mark


  10. #30
    Elite Member
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    Eastern Virginia
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    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Hooks on buckets

    TomG - I don't think you'll ever have any trouble with those US-made hooks, not for the next 3 or 4 generations, anyway. Don't lose them, they're hard to come by these days.

    The India-made stuff seems to be ok for click pins, but it's a lot softer steel than the US-made Danuser ones. But you have to order them, usually.

    Mark


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