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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2006
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    138
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    Vermont
    Tractor
    Still looking...

    Default Digging with FEL

    I went to a local kubota dealer today to look at a bX2670. Nice machine. I mentioned a number of projects I plan to do including building a stone patio next to our deck. He told me I shouldn't try to dig with the FEL as it's not designed for that and will be hard on the tractor. Is this true? I was going to peel off the grass and chip away at the soil to obtain a depth of about 18", then dump in crushed stone and sand for the base. Can this kind of work be done with a FEL without excessive wear? If it's a problem, I may just have to get a BX25D!!

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    425
    Location
    Northern West Virginia
    Tractor
    JD

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    Unless the soil is quite soft, your best bet at digging would be to turn the loader to full dump position and "back blade" to scrape the dirt out while backing up. You can scrape a thin layer out, and then when you get a decent pile, scoop up the loose dirt.

    Eighteen inches is pretty deep to use this method, though. It all depends on how soft your soil is, and how many rocks you may encounter.

    Your dealer was correct. A front end loader is not intended to dig.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    3,357
    Location
    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
    Tractor
    MT180D

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    While not a kubota, I use toothbar equipped Mitsubishi to dig all the time. Without the toothbar however it would not be possible. At about 1400 hours, half with the bar installed, I don't see any adverse effects on my FEL.
    I do grease every 8 hrs or so of usage and never bash my way in.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,357
    Location
    Up State S.C.
    Tractor
    AC WD 34 hp/3500 lbs MF 261 60 hp/5380 lbs

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    VT and Ted,
    Are you saying that the BX2670 isn't designed to dig and the BX25D is designed to dig?

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2006
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    138
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    Vermont
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    Still looking...

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckmotor View Post
    VT and Ted,
    Are you saying that the BX2670 isn't designed to dig and the BX25D is designed to dig?
    I'd use the back hoe on the 25D to dig and loosen up the soil, then turn around and scoop with the FEL, rather than trying to scrape all the material with the FEL on the 2670.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,357
    Location
    Up State S.C.
    Tractor
    AC WD 34 hp/3500 lbs MF 261 60 hp/5380 lbs

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    VT,
    Thanks. I hadn't realized the 25D was a backhoe tractor.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,675
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    I have dug with the loader. Not a great tool for digging unless the ground is soft or sandy which mine is not.
    Alan L., TX
    South of Bugtussle
    North of Mustang
    On the banks of Buck Creek
    We don't rent pigs.

  8. #8
    Silver Member RBA50's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    178
    Location
    Goldendale, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    A toothbar makes all the difference in how well a loader digs. Still won't beat a backhoe though.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    425
    Location
    Northern West Virginia
    Tractor
    JD

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    A loader is best at scooping up loose material. If you try to dig with it, especially with rubber tires, it will bite into the dirt, squash down the tires, and then try to dig even deeper, which will stop your machine if the dirt is somewhat hard, or at best, will lead to a very uneven surface if you can dig out a few chunks at a time. Back blading (scraping backward with the bucket in a fully dumped position) will give you a little more control, but it is still not easy if you have hard or rocky ground.

    PILOON amd RBA50 mentioned using teeth, and those would make a huge difference. A toothed box blade might work better than a loader alone for your application, and would be cheaper than a backhoe.

    On the other hand, if your future patio isn't too large, say 12' x 20' or smaller, and your soil isn't rock hard clay with a lot of rocks in it, I'd say go for it. If you're not sure, take a shovel and dig a hole. See what you get into. I have a backhoe, but for an area that size I'd probably first try to use the loader rather than mounting the backhoe. You should be able to get the first 8 or 9 inches of turf off without much trouble. Don't know your soil, so I can't speculate about the next 9 inches!

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    2,442
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Digging with FEL

    Vermont soil can contain good size rocks.

    As capable as they are, the BX series are small, light tractors.

    Once I get into a project it is difficult for me to stop. Perhaps you are the same way.......

    If you can't prevent yourself from prying out rock with one corner of the bucket you may "spring" the bucket or worse.

    A tooth bar will decrease potential of springing. Toothbars are cheap relative to repairs. Go slow, even with a tooth bar.

    Try to have some implement on the three-point hitch when doing FEL work. Weight behind the rear axle unloads stress from the front axle and keeps the tractor from "kneeing".

    Backhoes are OK but expensive and dificult to remove; you cannot use the three-point hitch with a backhoe in place. Tractors are fundamentally PULLING machines and the three-point hitch is where the implements attach that make tractors so versatile. With a backhoe mounted the three-point is unavailable. In theory backhoes can be removed but they are heavy and awkward. Few get removed/replaced more than a few times, then the backhoe sits in the garage or it ties up the three-point hitch.

    If you do not need to trench regularly, you do not need a backhoe.

    Bucket Spades are an alternative to both backhoes and toolbars but require a tractor with a heavier FEL to be effective.

    Consider a box blade for your patio prep work.
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    Last edited by jeff9366; 06-25-2013 at 08:19 AM.
    The word tractor was taken from Medieval Latin, being the agent noun of trahere "to pull, draw".




    Kubota B3300SU; no longer with me but still pulling in the community.

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