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  1. #1
    Gold Member lhansman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    315
    Location
    Alton, ON
    Tractor
    Kubota L45

    Default B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I upgraded from my 2003 B21 to a B26 last year and do a lot of backhoe work. A thumb was not an option on the B21 but my B26 has the hydraulics and the foot pedal for the thumb but not the cylinder and thumb. The dealer wants about CDN$1,400 for the thumb. I keep finding situations where I think the thumb would be an asset but I am a little leary about spending the money on something I'm not sure I'll use that much.

    Do those of you with thumbs on your backhoes think the thumb is worth the investment?

    Thanks in advance for your observations.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    2,032
    Location
    Windham, NH
    Tractor
    Kioti LK3054xs TLB, 2004

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I use my thumb all the time for bucking trees, moving rocks, etc.

    1400 sounds like a bunch of money.

    If you look on ebay (that is where I purchased by mechanical thumb), I would expect you could do better.

    The welding is simple and straight forward.

    A short answer to your question, I've not owned a backhoe without a thumb, I use my backhoe as much for lifting and moving as I do for digging.

    Joel
    Joel
    2004 Kioti LK3054XS TLB
    Woods Box Blade
    King Cutter Tiller
    Three Point Snow Blower
    York rake
    60 inch king kutter tiller
    1994 Ford F600 Dump Truck "Kioti Hauler"

  3. #3
    Gold Member Stonehaller's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    358
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    Case DX45, Kubota L39, Kubota RTV500

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    It all depends on what kind of work you do. I have a mechanical thumb on my L39 and find it very handy when I am clearing trails, downed trees and moving rocks. You can do all this without the thumb, but the thumb makes easier. A hydraulic thumb is an addition level of convenience as you do not have to get off the tractor to put it in place. I like the thumb and would do it again, but I have about $400 in mine. You just have to decide how much your time and the convenience is worth.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -thumb-jpg  
    Case DX45 with FEL, Kubota L39TLB, Kubota RTV500

  4. #4
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    3,078
    Location
    Catskills
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I have a JD 485 BH which I ordered with the thumb. It's mechanical and cost around $900.
    I think it's very handy for what I do but would have made my own if I had to do it again.

    I didn't have a thumb on my last tractor and I was always wedging limbs, rocks and tree trunks between the bucket and the BH itself. The arms got pretty chewed up. If you find yourself wedging stuff like I did then maybe a thumb is in order for you.

    Rob
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -thumb-max-jpg   -thumb-home-jpg  
    Rob

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    146
    Location
    Ontario and Quebec
    Tractor
    B26

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I have a B26 with a thumb. I bought my B26 used and had the thumb installed before delivery so I don't have any experience without the thumb. I don't use the thumb very often but when I do it's very handy to be able to grip rocks or trees.

    I guess it comes down to cost versus benefit. Is the $1400 worth what you'll do with it? I negotiated an all up price so I don't know how much the thumb came out to. Prices in the States are lower, but that's just the way it is. Unless you live near the border it just isn't cost effective to pay for shipping and duty to get it into Canada.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    2,006
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I have the B21 with the Brotek mechanical thumb and use it for rock walls, lifting and cutting log length wood and more. I did have Richard upgrade it to a Cat 2 1" pins and beefier materials.

    I have about $400 invested and in retrospect I would either go with the weld on like stonehaller and rob-D have or bite the bullet on the Hyd thumb. The Brotek is good, its the jaws of the others as shown here are better IMO for clamping material.

    Also, I find the mech thumb is used less than if I had a hyd one due to pinning and unpinning, and when you are multi tasking - digging and rooting out rocks/stumps a hyd thumb would be nice to have..

    Thats sort of the bottom line, the hyd thumb is "nice to have" versus a must have, and the mech one works fine - its a matter of convienence.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    347
    Location
    Waynesfield, OH
    Tractor
    Kubota B2920

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I had the mechanical thumb put on mine, I consider the BH to be as much for lifting/moving as for digging. But the total use mine will have wouldn't justify the hydraulic thumb...actually, I'm not even sure that's available on the 2920. Doesn't matter, if I had a lot of use I would go with the hydraulic, but for me the mechanical is just fine.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member nspec's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    606
    Location
    Southern Rhode Island
    Tractor
    Kubota B2630, '53 Farmall Super H, '47 Farmall AI, '44 Farmall A

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I wouldn't own a backhoe without a thumb. Mine is mechanical as well, but also half the price of a hydraulic unit. That being said, I would probably buy the hydraulic unit if I had it to do over. The convenience factor is worth it. Lots of times I won't use the thumb when I actually could, just because I don't want to get off the tractor and move it just for one quick thing. But when you need it, it sure is nice.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member irwin's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    1,279
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    SE Conn
    Tractor
    2004 Kubota L35TLB, '89' Cub Cadet 1541

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    You can start off with a mechanical thumb.. that can be easily converted to hydraulic.. then the $1400.00 cost factor can be reduced by a gand or so. If you find yourself wanting the extra convenience of hydraulics.. go the next step.

    I use my mechanical thumb a lot..wouldn't want to be without it.. but before I put it on, I still was able to do a lot with my backhoe. Do I want an hydraulic thumb?.. yes. Do I think (for me) it's worth the extra money right now? no.
    .....Tim

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: B26 Backhoe thumb - to buy or not to buy?

    I usually find that when people ask this question that they are just looking for someone to validate that they need to spend that much money on the option. They have already decided to buy it but are just looking for some backup. So I will tell you that you absolutely need to buy one and that a backhoe is really useless unless you have a thumb.

    This being said I don't even own a backhoe let alone one with a thumb

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