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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    34
    Location
    Pacific NorthWest
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800, LA402 FEL

    Default Advice for FEL newbie

    Hello folks,

    I am the shy new owner of a used kubota B7800 with a FEL and a 58" tiller. We have piles and piles of excavated dirt to be pushed back around a foundation and a drainage ditch. Ditch varies from 2' to 5' in depth, while the foundation is from 5' to 10'. Never really used a FEL before, except I cleared snow from our driveway a bit, although fairly incompetently.

    I am wondering if you all have any advice for this newbie. I don't want to do anything stupid, and wish I could find FEL lessons on the internet, something that would say "First try this for 30 minutes. Then progress to that."

    Any advice is welcome from those of you who've got experience.

    PCP

  2. #2
    Veteran Member RaydaKub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,890
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2230

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    I've never heard of an lessons out there like that.
    So...

    First, GO SLOW!

    Second, carry it as low as you can. Especially around a construction site, there are often ruts. You hit a rut with a front wheel and the loader is up high, it'll roll you over before you can hit the lever to lower it. Even a few guys here that have been running their FEL for years get bit by this once in a while.

    Third, if any hillsides are present go up and down, never sideways if you can help it, especially if there is a load in the bucket.

    Fourth, get enough ballast. You can load the tires with fluid (and there are lots of references here on how to do that), add wheel weights, or add ballast on the rear end. The further back, the better. Loading the wheels with either fluid or weights keeps the rear end down. Mounting it further back keeps the rear end down AND transfers weight to the rear end from the front. Keeping the tiller mounted while doing this would be great if it isn't too big and cumbersome to move around; much better than an empty 3ph.

    Don't worry about your inexperience. When moving dirt, a few mistakes doesn't matter. You just get to do it again, and that's more seat time.

    Oh, did I mention GO SLOW? Speed is not your concern here. You'll get it done and you'll get faster at it as you go. Above all, ENJOY yourself!

    And to TBN. Great group of guys here!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    18,239
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M8540HDC, L5740HSTC, BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 425&1025R, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    Pretty much what Ray says and I can't over emphasize the necessity of proper ballast and keeping the bucket low. It doesn't need to be dragging the ground or just a few inches, but as low as practical. While you are in the initial phases, you might want to carry less than optimal volume/weight in your bucket to get acclimated.

    I would strongly recommend buying Operator Manuals for the tractor and loader as there will be information in there on the proper use and maintenance.

    Follow Ray's advice and with practice comes skill. I have been doing this a long time and I'm still not as good as I would like to be.
    "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it." - Jef Mallett

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    20,627
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    I'll add to check your front tire pressures...increase it to the maximum. Soft sidewalls (low pressure) can result in the tires running off the rim.
    Last edited by RoyJackson; 01-23-2012 at 11:49 AM.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  5. #5
    Elite Member teg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4,791
    Location
    Raleigh, NC Hillsville, VA
    Tractor
    L2800 - HST

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    Don't ram the dirt pile, start out with the bucket flat/level (on level ground, too) then push in and carve up (lift and curl at the same time). Get the motion down by going slow... speed is after you get the hang of it.

    FEL for clearing snow is not the greatest (even after you know what you are doing) so don't worry about that.

  6. #6
    Elite Member bigtiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,826
    Location
    central Iowa
    Tractor
    JD 2720

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Post Carbon View Post
    Hello folks,

    I am the shy new owner of a used kubota B7800 with a FEL and a 58" tiller. We have piles and piles of excavated dirt to be pushed back around a foundation and a drainage ditch. Ditch varies from 2' to 5' in depth, while the foundation is from 5' to 10'. Never really used a FEL before, except I cleared snow from our driveway a bit, although fairly incompetently.

    I am wondering if you all have any advice for this newbie. I don't want to do anything stupid, and wish I could find FEL lessons on the internet, something that would say "First try this for 30 minutes. Then progress to that."

    Any advice is welcome from those of you who've got experience.

    PCP

    Pushing dirt back around a foundation can be an expencive lesson. It is very easy to get the front wheels to close to the edge and fall in. That will force the bucket into the basement wall. At the very best, that will cause a hairline crack that water will seep into. Or it could knock the wall over. I have heard of this happening 3 times in my little town over the years and it isn't to often a new house gets built around here.
    HAVE FUN

    Life is easier when you plow around the stumps.


    2720

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    141
    Location
    Churchville NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    Looks like you've been given some good advice from everyone above. I was in the same situation with the same equipment 2yrs ago. You'll get very comfortable with the FEL after a couple hours. The tiller should be a pretty effective counterweight. I found that by throwing a couple bags of seed on mine it was even better. Have fun and go slow!
    Kubota B-7800, LA402 FEL, 6' KK back blade, 5' Sevona tiller, Taylor-Way BB, BMB 5' Rotary Cutter,Arps 8' Rake, Landpride RFM, 16' ProTech 6 ton trailer

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    34
    Location
    Pacific NorthWest
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800, LA402 FEL

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    OK, great advice so far ! I do have the operator's manual for both the tractor and the front loader, so I will read those first before I go out to play in the dirt. Thanks for the pointers on not ramming the dirt pile, and to keep everything low. I don't have hills here, but there is a bit of a slope, maybe 5 degrees-ish.

    I know the FEL isn't great for snow, but we so seldom get a snowfall here that's more than a fast-melting inch, it's pointless for me to get a blade just for that.

    My tires have been loaded--I checked that out--so I do have some ballast there, plus I'll try leaving the tiller on for now for its weight.

    The guy at the equipment place taught me how to "float" the bucket down so it rides across the ground, but I think I forgot the technique. It didn't seem to work the same when I tried it here on the place.

    PCP

  9. #9
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,073
    Location
    Western MA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    PCP- There's probably an "indent spot" point when you move your FEL joystick forward that will put you into "float".

    The best teacher is experience.

    Use your new tractor often and safely and enjoy the seat time.
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  10. #10
    Elite Member teg's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    4,791
    Location
    Raleigh, NC Hillsville, VA
    Tractor
    L2800 - HST

    Default Re: Advice for FEL newbie

    "float" is using the back heal of the bucket to drag backwards to flatten an uneven area, works better with a load of dirt in the bucket The joy stick should lock into place pushing it all the way forward.

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