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  1. #1
    Bronze Member PandDLong's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    76
    Location
    Southern Alberta
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540

    Default How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    I've recently read through many threads on top-links - the options and advantages. I have pulled together what I read into this single new thread and I am looking for more data - I hope it becomes a useful reference for those considering their options and a source of ideas for those with a hydraulic top-link.

    I see 3 basic ways in which a top-link is used:

    Fixed - the length is set and the intent is to have it stay at that length when using the attachment. This is the usage of the mechanical screw-type top-link. With hydraulics - a top-link with double-pilot check valves (DPCV) would work the best, a regular cylinder (without DPCV) will have some drift over time but reportedly it is minor.

    Float - the length changes based upon the push-pull of the attachment during usage. A mechanical top-link can't float but operators can mimic a float in these situations by replacing the top-link with a chain. With hydraulics, a valve with a float position and a top-link cylinder without DPCV are required.

    Adjustable - the length is adjusted during usage by the operator in the seat. This requires a hydraulic top-link (or a very creative hand-crank).


    What follows is a list of attachments and how the top-link could best be used. Of course, practically all attachments can be used with a fixed top-link as that is the default standard typically supplied with every tractor -- the methods of usage listed below provide additional advantanges for the situation. (Of course this all just opinion).

    Blade (Cutting Edge) Fixed
    Blade (Back Side) Float
    Boom Pole Adjustable
    Bush-Hog Float
    Carry-All Adjustable
    Disc Harrow Float
    Mower Float
    Pallet Forks Adjustable
    Rototiller Fixed
    Snow Blower (Reg.) Fixed
    Snow Blower (Drifts) Adjustable

    In addition, for hook-up, Float is useful.

    That's all I remember from my reading, What about:

    Grader/Scaper
    Land Plane
    Middle-Buster
    Rake
    Sub-soiler
    ???
    ???

    How do you use your top-link? What do you recommend against? Why and why not.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    1,701
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    I am experimenting with a Category-1 Hydraulink.

    HydrauLink - a self-contained air over hydraulic top link

    As of 12/10/2012: 473 posts, lots of bitching, not many operating experiences.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...-air-over.html


    Used with my 60"/630 pound Bush Hog (brand) Rollover Box Blade Hydraulink is an asset. The piston works in-and-out 1"-2" reducing hobby-horsing; hence frequency of minor top link adjustments. And, yes, theoretically it is adjustable from the tractor seat, however my Hydraulink, manufactured in China, does not maintain the control valve wheel in the "up" position. It is usually works "down" by gravity. "Down" is notably inconvenient.

    Used with my 60"/323 pound King Kutter Rotary Harrow, Hydraulink is NOT as good as the factory kubota screw top link. The Cat-1 Hydraulink is just a bit longer than the Kubota link, because the Hydraulink piston will not screw into the body for about the final 3/4". This translates into a considerable reduction in useful adjustment range on the harrow, over its 60" diameter. With the longer Hydraulink I cannot quite get the Rotary Harrow flat, the rear is often lower than I want and I cannot adjust the front lower than the rear....so I usually use the Kubota factory screw top link with the Rotary Harrow, which provides full range of adjustment. With a Rotary Harrow top link length is often critical to the task, however top link is NOT adjusted frequently.

    (( It is easy to switch top links, although inconvenient. ))

    I have not used Hydraulink with my King Kutter 48" rotary mower, yet. I expect the Hydraulink will be a good shock absorber.

    Neutral when supporting Wallenstein BX42 PTO chipper which is flat on the ground, on its skids, before the PTO is engaged. Transporting chipper on the 3-Pt. is a "dumb" top link application.

    When I have more experience I will post a thorough Hydraulink review.

    My tentative conclusion is that for what this device costs, $250, and its imperfect factory execution, I should have put the money toward an "regular" hydraulic top link. Tractor has one Kubota (optional) hydraulic port at the rear.

    Tractor is a Kubota B3300SU; 33-hp/1,800 pounds.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0439-jpg   -img_0440-jpg   -img_0450-jpg  
    Last edited by jeff9366; 12-11-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member phiferpharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    812
    Location
    Fort McCoy, Florida
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45se HST - Rhino 660 4X4 - Snapper Pro ZTR - Craftsmen mower

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    I went from Standard screw-style top link to Hydraulink to Fit Rite hydraulic from Brian (MtnViewRanch). The Screw type is a pain in the rear, the Hydraulink was okay, but not worth the money.

    For everything from ease of attaching implements to carrying my back work platform level, and use of my implements - Rake, Box Blade, Scraper, the hydraulic top link is worth it's cost.
    Doug P

  4. #4
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,171
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    I have used a double-pilot check valves cylinder for several hundred hours. In the past have used regular top link as well as non-DPCV cylinders. I much prefer the DPCV cylinder for everything except my rotary cutter. I use a chain on the rotary cutter to allow the rough terrain without damaging the top link. With a DPCV, you know without a thought that adjustments will stay the way you put them.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2,625
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    On my two mowers(woods rotary and woods finish), it is built into the linkage to "float". I have a fixed screw-type top link and the mower will still float. I assumed that they all did this, but reading your posts it seems that is not the case. I would think that a dpcv cylinder would work ok for them, right? I have been tossing around the idea of adding auxillary ports to the tractor and was kind of undecided about the cylinder. I am leaning more towards the dpcv cylinder. I may even go with the top n tilt kit from mtviewranch, though I can't remember what kind of cylinder he offers- perhaps either.

    Maybe a non-dpcv cylinder with a valve with float position would be advantageous? Besides a mower, is there another reason to want to float? I guess in all reality, getting the hydraulics back there is most of the battle. I can always change my mind in the future and it's only a matter of getting a new cylinder.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,002
    Location
    Erie Pa.
    Tractor
    Montana R4944, Ford Jubilee, Ford 621, Ford 841

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    I have used a screw type for most of my life, I now have a hydraulic top link and I can't for the life of me figure out how I made is to this point without one! Hydraulic is the way to go, I don't have the double check valve and I think it would be very useful because new or not there is some movement. Never have used a chain or any other type of a floating setup and I personally don't see any need for it, as a matter of fact just the thought of it scares me a lot. Just not the way I way taught how to do things, and you know what they say about an old dog! IMHO only!
    Montana R4944
    Ford Jubliee, Ford 841, Ford 621 industrial with FEL & BH

  7. #7
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    7,147
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    Quote Originally Posted by PandDLong View Post
    I've recently read through many threads on top-links - the options and advantages. I have pulled together what I read into this single new thread and I am looking for more data - I hope it becomes a useful reference for those considering their options and a source of ideas for those with a hydraulic top-link.

    I see 3 basic ways in which a top-link is used:

    Fixed - the length is set and the intent is to have it stay at that length when using the attachment. This is the usage of the mechanical screw-type top-link. With hydraulics - a top-link with double-pilot check valves (DPCV) would work the best, a regular cylinder (without DPCV) will have some drift over time but reportedly it is minor.

    Float - the length changes based upon the push-pull of the attachment during usage. A mechanical top-link can't float but operators can mimic a float in these situations by replacing the top-link with a chain. With hydraulics, a valve with a float position and a top-link cylinder without DPCV are required.

    Adjustable - the length is adjusted during usage by the operator in the seat. This requires a hydraulic top-link (or a very creative hand-crank).


    What follows is a list of attachments and how the top-link could best be used. Of course, practically all attachments can be used with a fixed top-link as that is the default standard typically supplied with every tractor -- the methods of usage listed below provide additional advantanges for the situation. (Of course this all just opinion).

    Blade (Cutting Edge) Fixed
    Blade (Back Side) Float
    Boom Pole Adjustable
    Bush-Hog Float
    Carry-All Adjustable
    Disc Harrow Float
    Mower Float
    Pallet Forks Adjustable
    Rototiller Fixed
    Snow Blower (Reg.) Fixed
    Snow Blower (Drifts) Adjustable

    In addition, for hook-up, Float is useful.

    That's all I remember from my reading, What about:

    Grader/Scaper
    Land Plane
    Middle-Buster
    Rake
    Sub-soiler
    ???
    ???

    How do you use your top-link? What do you recommend against? Why and why not.
    When in the field working over the last 50+ yrs, dozens of times a fixed top link has kept my tractor front end on the ground while going up a steep hill that I should not have been on anyway, thus preventing several farm accidents. I am not a fan of flexible unless using one with a light tool on level ground and still, If you hang the front and bottom side of that 3 point implement, the implement may be coming up into your back. Yes, I have done that also. LOL. Ken Sweet
    http://www.sweetfarms.com/

    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC (Internet Sales, Shipping All States)
    Shipping Facility
    1815 Defries Rd., Canmer, Ky 42722 Toll Free 1-866-528-3323
    Ken Sweet sweet@scrtc.com

    Shipping Example: Can ship 800 lbs from Ky. to Dallas for $165
    The Northeast shipping corridor is a little more expensive.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    Please explain double-pilot check valve cylinder.

    Animal, vegetable or mineral?

    I try to get smarter about tractor stuff each day.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Advertiser
    MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Location
    4000\' mountains of Southern California
    Tractor
    Mahindra 7520, Mahindra 3215HST, Case 580 extendahoe, Case 310 dozer, Parsons trencher, Cat D6,

    Default Re: How do you use your Top-Link: Fixed, Float or Adjustable

    Quote Originally Posted by Guesseral View Post
    I have used a screw type for most of my life, I now have a hydraulic top link and I can't for the life of me figure out how I made is to this point without one! Hydraulic is the way to go, I don't have the double check valve and I think it would be very useful because new or not there is some movement. Never have used a chain or any other type of a floating setup and I personally don't see any need for it, as a matter of fact just the thought of it scares me a lot. Just not the way I way taught how to do things, and you know what they say about an old dog! IMHO only!
    When you say that there is some movement, just how much is "some" ?
    Brian
    Top and Tilt Kits by Fit Rite Hydraulics

  10. #10
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    6,531
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sweettractors View Post

    I am not a fan of flexible unless using one with a light tool on level ground and still, If you hang the front and bottom side of that 3 point implement, the implement may be coming up into your back. Yes, I have done that also. LOL. Ken Sweet
    I agree a chain for a toplink is dangerous.
    Roger

    Kubota BX2360 & Kubota L4240 with paddle shifter, suicide doors and 24's
    Past Stuff: Ford 8N, Cub Cadet 2206, Bobcat CT235

    My Threads

    EA Wicked Grapple Build - 3PH Pallet Mover - Harbor Freight QH Mods - L4240 Upgrades - BX2360 Upgrades- How Add a Switch to a Worklight

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