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  1. #1
    Gold Member knute_m's Avatar
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    Rehab of modern wrecks, now ranging from a 20 HP tractor, to a little Cat 320, to a really fun Cat 953 dirt mover.

    Default 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    This may seem like a silly question. But, I've got some rather long, heavy, and very awkward things I'd like to move with my FEL. Because they are in a loft in an old shed, they are about 6-7 feet off the ground. I know I'll need a lot of counter-balancing (I've got loaded rear tires) on the tractor. I've picked up and moved some that were already on the ground, and I believe they weigh close to the lifting/curling capacity of my FEL. I used my brush hog mower as my counterweight without any real issues.

    Trying to grab them at their center of gravity is also not going to be easy due to their location, plus their height above ground, means I'm going to need several hundred more pounds of counterweight. I don't trust the roof, so a chain hoist isn't a good alternative.

    Once I get them to the ground, I don't have a problem. I have an excavator. But I can't get the excavator, or it's arm, in the building.

    So, if I have a heavy counterweight on my 3-point hitch that is not resting on the ground, does that weight reduce the hydraulic lift/hold capacity of my FEL? And vice versa, if I've got a near-capacity weight load in the FEL that is several inches off the ground, does it affect how much I can lift with the 3-pt hitch?

    What I don't know is how the original owner got them where they are!

    Thanks,
    Knute

  2. #2
    Gold Member knute_m's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    Bump.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    Any chance you can lower them one end at a time? That way the FEL is only lifting 1/2 the weight. The longer the object, the easier that should be. You would want to secure the end that remains elevated so it doesn't slip while you lower the other end. If the object is only 6-7 ft in length, obviously that wouldn't work.

  4. #4
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    I believe the lift capacities of FEL and 3ph are independent. Speed of movement likely is reduced if you try to do both at same time but Max lift will be same.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

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  5. #5
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by knute_m View Post

    So, if I have a heavy counterweight on my 3-point hitch that is not resting on the ground, does that weight reduce the hydraulic lift/hold capacity of my FEL? And vice versa, if I've got a near-capacity weight load in the FEL that is several inches off the ground, does it affect how much I can lift with the 3-pt hitch?
    On my tractor the lift capacity of the FEL and 3-pt are independent. Dunno if that's true for your tractor? Do you have any owner's manual to answer that question and/or tell you the capacity of your FEL and 3-pt with ballast requirements? The main thing you want to be careful of is having your FEL up high on sloped ground since that can flip your tractor. Would using some 10 foot 2X10 lumber (or 4X4) as a ramp from the loft be feasible? That way you could slid the objects down and your FEL wouldn't need to support the whole weight.

  6. #6
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    You can load the 3 PH up with as much counterweight as the manufacturer allows for lift capacity and it wont affect the lift of the FEL, it WILL remove a substantial amount of weight from the front tires and make the lift more stable. Think of the tractor just like a crane, put on more counterweight on the back to increase lift capacity on the boom (FEL in this case) You could stack concrete blocks, or other heavy object, on the bush hog for even more weight to increase you safe lift capacity on the FEL.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    The FEL & rear 3PL capacities are usually independent ratings, suggest though you check the overall capacity of your tractor first & critically also the rating of the tyres it may have fitted (the last thing you wish for in the middle of a heavy lift is a tyre letting go......).
    Whilst loading up your brush hog as a counter weight might be an option be cautious not to overload the implement mounting points excessively, I've successfully used 4x water filled c.40gal plastic drums chained on their side on a brush hog as a counterweight only to find cracks in the implement mounting welds post the "lift"....in future if I'm running that close to the wind I'll use a truck mounted hyd crane.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member RaydaKub's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    You can load the 3 PH up with as much counterweight as the manufacturer allows for lift capacity and it wont affect the lift of the FEL, it WILL remove a substantial amount of weight from the front tires and make the lift more stable. Think of the tractor just like a crane, put on more counterweight on the back to increase lift capacity on the boom (FEL in this case) You could stack concrete blocks, or other heavy object, on the bush hog for even more weight to increase you safe lift capacity on the FEL.
    I'd offer a slight clarification to what Gary said. I'm not sure how they are rating the lift capacity of a given FEL. You aren't going to increase the amount your cylinders will push up by any amount of ballast. But whatever they can lift, you'll do it much more safely. So I suppose that if the rating isn't necessarily as high as what the cylinders will push, yes, you'll increase the capacity by transferring weight off the front axle.

  9. #9
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-pt Counterweight vs. FEL Lift Capacity

    Just operate one function at a time - the FEL or the 3PH. Once the ballast is off of the ground it is locked in position and allows the full capacity of the pump to be used with the FEL.

    You can test it out by lifting the loads that you already have on the ground. Try to lift the 3PH and use the loader at the same time to see the effect.

    Not sure about the use of a Bush Hog as a ballast when working in a shed. You must be really good at tractor maneuvering. A small pallet loaded with weight of some sort (bags of sand, rocks, water containers, etc.) on a Carry All would let you get around a bit easier.

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