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  1. #1
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    Default 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    I just took about 1/2 hour to drill a few holes in a piece of 12" x 3" channel-iron and mount it to the 400X loader, heavy-duty bucket on my JD 4120. The section is about 30" long and bolts to the bottom center of the bucket using (2) 1/2" bolts into the existing toothbar holes on the front edge, and I drilled another 7/16 hole thru the bottom of the bucket, 6" back for a 3/8" bolt to hold the back in place. It gives me a 12" wide by 20" long shovel, centered on my 6 ft wide bucket. I was easily able to dig a nice hole and go pop a 8 ft blue spruce out of the ground and move to the new location, even though the ground was very hard and dry. The heavy 4wd tractor makes easy work of pushing that little 12" shovel into the ground. I have about 20 more to move but am going to wait untill it gets a little colder and the ground gets a little wetter this fall before I do the rest. The tree I moved today was just to prove it would work. As easy as it pushed that shovel into the hard ground today, it will be like butter in a few weeks when it softens up some more. Sure beats the heck out of digging holes and digging the trees out with a shovel, and many times cheaper than a real tree spade. It is also great not to have to man-handle those prickely spruce trees. The heavy-duty bucket handles the center load of the little shovel very well with no signs of bending at all.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    It sounds nice but we need pictures to prove it works as described... LOL

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2005
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    618
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    3320 w/cab

    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    Like Speedfreak said, it sounds good and would also like to see pictures or a basic drawing with dementions. I'de like to have one and it sounds like it could be made from scraps I have laying around.

  4. #4
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    post proof (pictures) or retract
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

  5. #5
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    I also would be very interested in your project. I have thought about building something like that, but a look at yours would be great.
    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    I have to apologize to you folks from Missouri, as I lack both the know-how and the equipment to post pictures. We have had several inches of rain here in upstate NY over the last week so the ground moisture content is much better than it was a week ago. I just finished moving (10) more 5-10 ft tall blue spruce about 1500 feet and it took me under (2) hours. I take 3-4 scoops with the spade to make a hole then go fetch a tree. I wrap a chain around the trunk so I dont loose it during high-speed transport. Now that the ground has softened up, pushing that little 12" wide spade with my Super-Sized CUT is like pushing a hot knife into a stick of butter. It is mounted on center, and held to the bottom of the bucket with (2) 1/2" bolts across the front (using the tooth-bar holes - I dont have one of them) and a single 3/8" at the rear center (drilled a hole thru bucket here). It sticks out 20" from the front, and overlaps 10" under the bucket. The flat side is against the bucket and the ribs are down. The channel is fairly heavy, made from 1/2" thick steel with 3" wide ribs. The smaller trees were no problem at all, but for some of the larger ones, a pretty big root-ball came up with them when I raised and tilted the scoop, making me thankfull for my loaded rear tires and heavy blade on the 3-point. I am sure glad I didnt waste any money on a "real" tree spade (a nieghbor had one out by the road for sale), or a backhoe. I am also thankfull that 5 years ago, when I got my 4120, I opted for the heavy-duty bucket on the 400X loader. I am fairly sure that this operation would have bent the standerd light-duty bucket. I have also been able to move and load some very heavy logs by simply bolting a couple pieces of heavy angle iron to the bottom of this bucket, which I mounted with a 1/2" bolt in a tooth bar hole that lined up with the loader arms, and drilled (2) more 7/16" holes in the bucket for a second 3/8" bolt (again, saved dollars on a seperate fork attachment). This too, would never be possible with the stock, light-duty bucket. To you skepics, no big deal if you dont believe me, as the economy could use some stimulation in the form of tree-spade and backhoe sales and manufacture. Also, I would not recommend these money saving ideas unless you have a heavy-duty bucket. I am sure glad to have the rest of the week to do fun things now that I dont have to move all them trees with a shovel and ball-cart.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    central Wisconsin
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    Kubota B7800, B26 TLB

    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    Are you telling us that you made one of these yourself? Well done! Pictures would help. One thing to note on the video is to look at the size tractor it is mounted on and do the math!
    I bet you are glad you have the 400X loader and not the 400CX version. Self leveling in an other than plain lifting mode is IMHO a waste of money.
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    That fella obviously has way more than 1/2 hour in his. With a heavy-duty, JD-green loader bucket, that extra cross-braceing is not needed. You are right that the 400CX would not work as well for this, but it probably would work better with the forks. I also made some wood extensions to mount on my forks that I use to lift the cap on and off my pickup. Self-leveling would be very nice for that.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    Looking at that video, a piece of 12" dia. schedule 80 pipe would be about the right size to make a spade.
    John

    Ford 4610 w/ Woods DUal 195 FEL

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1/2 hour - homemade tree spade

    That would work, attached like in the video, but the channel iron, bolted up to the bottom of the bucket, is simpilar and takes less time to construct. There is really no need for the "scoop" shape, as the channel with the sides on the down-side works very well.

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