Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Whidbey Island, Wa
    Tractor
    JD 650 (sold) Kubota L45

    Default How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new kubota L45.

    The thumb kit adds $1900 to the total cost. I notice that most backhoes I see around don't seem to have them.

    I've rented a trackhoe a couple of time, and each time I used the trackhoe thumb. But I don't know if this is something that I used because it was there, and would not really have missed if it was not there.

    I have an enormous number of 3" - 6" DBH alder tree stumps to remove. Alder is pretty shallowly rooted, so I imagine based on that that this would be something that I would use every day?

    Thoughts and advice?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member dragoneggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,783
    Location
    Seabeck, Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota BX-25D, JD circa 1990 Lawn Tractor

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    All depends on your needs of course... I have gotten pretty decent usage with my mechanical thumb. It has been useful and saved my back some too. If I had a hydraulic one, I would be even happier and use even more. I suppose it could be considered a luxury and when you put a dollar amount on it weighing vs. benefit that could result in a tough call. All that said, in general (not limiting this to tractors) I have always liked going a little overboard on the options because I end up using them and am happy. The options are also a great selling point should you go another direction. If you can afford it, don't deprive yourself of a simple pleasure that isn't bad for you!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    627
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    Adjustable/retractable, manual thumbs/kits seem the alternative to a deluxe setup, priced accordingly, and one has the bucket's 'ripping' power either way, perhaps well beyond the gripping force of the add-on (get real numbers on both if you can). Back-hoe size/muscle, reach etc should matter, but IMO a thumb won't gouge/dig up gnarly stuff anywhere like say a ripper tooth, tho' it should easily grab onto more than your boom can lift once you've dug out ...

    To me, transporting one or several clunkers of any size seems so much easier with a grapple on a FEL than dragging them around on a BH stinger (tho' grapple's weight can reduce lift capacity on some compacts and may demand stability and a sturdy FEL frame/mount if one were to get 'rammy' at times.) Anyway, BTDT with autumn olive (jumbos!), poplar, and willow anchored in well settled sand with lots of gravel and grassy undergrowing roots. btw: for that reason my QA grapple awaits only an appointment to have front hydro lines/QDs installed.

    I suggest you look into a ripper tooth someday if your stuff doesn't come up easily with the std BH bucket, often easier to muscle up or bust one root at a time with what 'ripping power' you do have. Whether you'd prefer a manual or powered thumb might just be between your wallet and how often you might want to adjust the gap between the bucket if you go there. The extra reach vs a grapple might be handy in the thickest-grown spots. Pics to come when you get 'er rigged up, right?

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Whidbey Island, Wa
    Tractor
    JD 650 (sold) Kubota L45

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    Sorry, I should have added.

    some sort of ripper/root rake/skeleton grapple will be my first attachment. Still working out which one it will be.
    I feel that I should get some amount of drive time on this thing, before deciding that I need this additional stuff.

    however getting the whole tractor in place to pull out some of these stumps might not be very feasible. this attachment is one of the more cleared areas that I will get to deal with.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -dsc_0088-jpg  

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    257
    Location
    Norway
    Tractor
    Same Explorer 65, MF 135, MF 30, MF165, Volvo BM 55, Volvo BM 425, Volvo BM 2254, Terengmester skidder, Ford 3000, Fordson major, Derreng unknown model, IH B275, MAN 4R2, Gutbord sub compact.

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    See if you can get a quick coupler on the excavator you will soon get tired of whacking bolts with a hammer. I have a 14 t crawler excavator and I am very happy that I dont have to beat the bolts to change atatchment

  6. #6
    Silver Member KubotaToy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    137
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710HSD (hers) and L45 (mine), RTV1100 (mostly hers, but I get to drive it sometimes)

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    I have a hydraulic thumb on my L45, at first I did not think I wanted it but the dealer talked me into it and three rear remotes, best decision I ever made on a tractor. If you are clearing property, you want a thumb on your backhoe, if you want it to be easy and less time consuming get a hydraulic thumb. My thinking was on a $40k tractor I did not see a $1600 cost (my cost) as a significant cost delta in the end.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member Danny C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Porters Lake, Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    2014 LS U5020C w/ LL5100 Loader

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    A hydraulic thumb has its place, which is your intended purpose. I have operated excavator and backhoe professionally for over 25 years and normally, thumbs just get in my way, except for pulling and pill g stumps along with grabbing and piling brush. Well worth it for that. An inexperienced operator will love it for digging rocks too. Probably money well spent. I also concur on the backhoe bucket quick attach.
    2014 LS 5020 w/ LL5100 Loader, 84" HLA Hydraulic Angle Snow Plow, 84" Hardy Hydraulic Drop Spreader, 84" Land Pride Back Blade, 42" HLA Pallet Forks & Loaded Tires


  8. #8
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7,536
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    I have the little brother to the L45, my B26 with hydraulic thumb is amazing at what I can do with it clearing saplings, piling them with the hoe/thumb then pushing them into a pile with the FEL. A grapple would be a nice thing to have on a root / rock rake bucket but I manage ok with just the FEL. I am sure I can push much more than I could lift and carry.
    I can back into a thicket like you have (mine are sweet gum) and with the hoe, uproot then using the thumb pick up the tree and move it to the side piling them a bit. Just work a circle that I can reach then raise the stabs and with my extension rod, reach forward, hit the HST pedal and back up some more to get into a new circle and start over. After clearing out an area, I then use the FEL to push everything into a pile, sometimes setting up and using the hoe and thumb to pile the trees up a bit better on the burn pile. It works great for stumps and logs that I cant quite get to go into the pile the way I want them (remember I don't have a grapple).
    The thumb is great for lifting things like rocks also. I will pick up the heavier ones with the thumb and place them in my RTV to haul and dump rather than try to scoop them up in the FEL.

    Get the HST drive on your tractor as it is much easier to operate it from the backhoe position than a gear drive
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  9. #9
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7,536
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny C View Post
    I have operated excavator and backhoe professionally for over 25 years and normally, thumbs just get in my way.
    That is why I like the hydraulic thumb, with it folded back along the dipper, it is out of the way whereas a mechanical/manual thumb would sometimes interfere with digging or other activities OR would not be in the right position to pick up the size material that you are attempting and would need to be manually adjusted. Having not to do that many times is well worth the extra cost of a hydraulic thumb. When installed correctly, they have the same pressure of bite as the bucket so no danger of damage to either one when using the other and clamping/digging force is equal. I sometimes use the thumb to lift/sort out roots of saw briars so I get the roots and not much dirt as I would if digging them with the bucket. There is just so much more versatility of use on the backhoe when you have a hydraulic thumb.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Whidbey Island, Wa
    Tractor
    JD 650 (sold) Kubota L45

    Default Re: How important is a Backhoe Thumb?

    You guys rock. I post a question at near midnight my time, and before my morning coffee is ready, I have some answers.

    Based on this, I'm going with the thumb.
    Thanks all.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Backhoe Thumb on backhoe
    By Bully in forum Kioti Owning/Operating
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-05-2011, 05:57 PM
  2. Backhoe Thumb.
    By plowking in forum Attachments
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-21-2010, 06:28 AM
  3. Backhoe Backhoe Thumb
    By JoelD in forum Kioti Owning/Operating
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-15-2009, 09:45 PM
  4. Another backhoe thumb
    By Corm in forum Build-It Yourself
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-02-2005, 04:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.