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  1. #1
    Bronze Member davel8257's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    odon, IN
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    kioti DS4510HST

    Default Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Hi,

    I've been looking at clamp-on pallet forks. I'm not sure that I'm crazy about the clamp design and the pressure that it puts out on the front of the loader. My Kioti loader has 7 holes pre-drilled in the front already (double-thick steel lip). I'm thinking that the holes on either side of center would be about the right distance for pallet forks.

    Why couldn't I drill 2 matching holes into the bottom of the loader, toward the back. Then, to create a set of (non-adjustable) pallet forks, I could buy some heavy "C" Channel, and drill 2 matching holes in 2 pieces and bolt them up underneath of the bucket.

    Granted, they would not have any adjustment to the width -- they either work or wouldn't work going into a pallet, but for cutting wood, general lifting, etc... I could live with that design. I'm pretty sure I could live with the price tag (aka 'cheap').

    If the loader seemed 'thin', I could run a piece of heavy angle steel inside the bucket between the bolts for added reinforcement. When I'm not using the forks, I could 'fill in' the holes with a stubby carriage bolt and nut and just live with the intrusion inside my bucket.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2012
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    636
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Tractor
    Kubota L285

    Default

    I believe your talking about drilling the hardened tool steel cutting edge. Hard to do, probably take several bits to get though, making small pilot hole and working up to 1/2". Should not torch cut the cutting edge, will ruin its temper.
    Last edited by paulharvey; 04-23-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member davel8257's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    odon, IN
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    kioti DS4510HST

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulharvey View Post
    I believe your talking about drilling the hardened tool steel cutting edge. Hard to do, probably take several bits to get though, making small pilot hole and working up to 1/2". Should not torch cut the cutting edge, will ruin its temper.
    The front edge has factory holes already in place. 7 of them. They start at each edge, 3 on a side and one in the middle. I've already increased the size of the middle hole (1/2" or 5/8") to accommodate a 2" trailer ball so that I can move a trailer around the yard if I already have something on the back.

    I'd be drilling into the bottom of the loader -- single layer of steel (probably 1/4" thick). I'd have to start pilot hole and step up. I might see what 3/8" looks like, perhaps use Grade 8 bolts. Since the bottom is flat, I would think that the "C" channel and flat plat would 'mate' and act as a single piece of thick steel (yes, I realize that's not scientifically accurate).

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    May 2011
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    759
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Sounds like a great idea to me, the rear holes won't affect anything. You may come to appreciate why pallet forks are thin at the tips, but if you add some boards to jack up your skids you can get some extra space to fit larger tips under. I've had the full capacity of the loaders curl function on one point in the middle of the bucket edge (lifting one end of a big rock)and it stayed pretty much straight so you should be fine with 2 points for the forks.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2009
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    1,398
    Location
    Douglas County, Oregon
    Tractor
    09' Kubota b3200HST

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    I've got holes all over mine but not the cutting edge.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member davel8257's Avatar
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    odon, IN
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    kioti DS4510HST

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Last summer during the drought, I used the loader to haul water out to the garden, (collect in rain barrels, then pour the barrel out into the loader). I'd want to plug up those holes once in a while when not using the forks. I have yet to move any sand or other fine material.

    The new Northern Tool catalogue has clamp on forks. The clamps with a simple receiver hitch is $119 -- that's 25-30% of the pallet fork cost right there.

    I'm leaning toward trying this. I might get some time this weekend to get started on it.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Dunrobin, Ont
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    2012 Kioti DK45 HST Cab

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    IMHO, clamp on forks are not the right way to go, especially for your tractor. Smaller FEL's with the load way in front of the bucket can't lift much weight, so they don't always destroy the bucket, but your loader is strong enough to bend your bucket fairly easily.

    You can get a good set of SSQA forks for around $400, cheaper if you watch equipment auctions (and still new). You'll get the full potential out of your loader more safely and without damaging your bucket. The drop in lift capacity is amazing the further out you go and that's a big deal when you're picking up a skid that's going to stick out another 4'.

    I'm not sure how much it would cost to convert your loader to SSQA, but you'll find it more than worth the cost. I'll often switch between forks and bucket several times in an afternoon, once you get the hang of it, it's a 30 second switch.

  8. #8
    Silver Member mj007's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Western Colorado
    Tractor
    2009 Kioti CK20S HST, 1937 Oliver 60 RC, 9 Case VA Series tractors, 222 Case & IHC Cub Cadet

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiotiken View Post
    .....The drop in lift capacity is amazing the further out you go and that's a big deal when you're picking up a skid that's going to stick out another 4'.....
    That is FOR sure!
    2009 CK20S HST - KIOTI Loader & backhoe, backblade, 3-point scoop, FEL/3-point forklift attachment, 5-ft. brushhog

    Other tractors: 8 CASE VA Series, 1 Oliver 60, CASE 222 & IH Cub Cadet + 2005 DODGE-CUMMINS w/NV5600 manual, Jake, B&W Goose, EZ tow & etc.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member davel8257's Avatar
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    odon, IN
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    kioti DS4510HST

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiotiken View Post
    I'll often switch between forks and bucket several times in an afternoon, once you get the hang of it, it's a 30 second switch.
    I've not had my bucket off -- I took off the entire framework just for practice. I wasn't sure how much the bucket would move after it was released and thereby require some 'jiggling' in order to get it lined up so that it would go back on the mount. If you are right, then making the investment in a good set of SSQA forks does sound very interesting to me (makes more sense than $400 for clamp on forks).

    I think I'd also want to weigh the merits of also having the bucket still on the tractor. If I'm working on firewood, then forks for lifting, cutting is good. But, also have an 8 cubic foot bucket for loading up firewood cut to length for transport back to the truck would be useful. (Capacity might be augmented by the addition of the forks sticking out in front.).

  10. #10
    Veteran Member kiotiken's Avatar
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    Dunrobin, Ont
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    2012 Kioti DK45 HST Cab

    Default Re: Drilling a hole or 2 in the loader: a good idea or not?

    Once I figured out exactly were to look while lining up for the switch, I can hit it first time every time now. What takes the longest is opening the door, jumping off the tractor, pulling the SSQA lever and getting back on the tractor. You then have to do it all again after the switch. Still a lot easier and faster than pulling out a wrench.

    I bought firewood bags this year. I block my wood then it goes on the spliter and then DIRECTLY into the bag that is sitting on a skid. When the bag is full, it is tied closed, the metal frame used to hold the bag open is removed and the tractor picks up the skid. The skids are also stackable which is great. Of course, if you're transporting the wood, you need the tractor at both ends, so that might not help you.

    There have been threads here about people trying to figure out what's wrong with their loader because they couldn't pick up a 1/4 cord of firewood with clamp on forks. I'm sure you could find the actual numbers but there is a HUGE loss of lift capacity for every foot you move away from the pivot point.

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