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  1. #1
    Veteran Member jlgurr's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
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    1,253
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    Bostic, NC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC1705, John Deere STX46

    Default Level Bucket Indicator

    Ok, for some this may be a silly question but curiosity is getting the best of me... Came up on it again this weekend with a small project. My FEL is narrow enough that I can usually lean to the side and be sure the bucket is level with the ground. Noticed some have installed their own indicators and also that some tractors even come with one from the factory. What I have not seen is an explanation as to how they indicate level.

    The reason it nags at me is because the "angle" of my bucket to make it level with the ground changes depending on the height of the ground relative to the tractor as well as the forward/rearward tilt of the tractor. Another way to say this might be that if I was working on a raised ledge in front of the tractor then my loader bucket will be closer to full tilt but still level with the work because the loader is already up in the air a bit.

    So does the bucket level indicator take into consideration the height of the work? If it doesn't does that mean it is only accurate when the working height is in the same plane as the tractor tires.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Gem99ultra's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    877
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    Warm Springs, GA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400HST

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    You're exactly right. The level indicator only indicates that the buck is level with the tractor - not with the ground.

    I'm sorry to say, while I was originally excited to hear about them and couldn't wait to get one, I find that they're next to useless as far as helping level the bucket. The rod has a bend in it and is exactly at the bend when the bucket is level. That's pretty much the same no-help as the white piece of tape that came on my bucket.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Oct 2009
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    12
    Location
    Millheim, PA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20HST, JD GT235, Scag

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    I find the level bucket indicator to be quite useful. It is especially useful in the winter when I am clearing snow from dirt driveways or dirt roads. I can tip the bucket slightly up from level and this allows me to clear most of the snow and I am not digging up stone or dirt from the drive or roadway. I have a neighbor who does not have this feature and he always has to clear stones from his yard in the spring. I have done his drive so his wife can get home during a snow storm when he is working. He is always commenting about how nice my tractor works compared to his. It does take some experience to know the best angle, but once you are dialed in, I think it works great.
    Dave G

    CK 20HST
    JD GT235
    Lawnboys

  4. #4
    Veteran Member WaxMan's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    USA CT
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    Kubota Grand L 3240 cab BH 92 backhoe

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    I have 150 hrs on my tractor, with over 1 hundred hours on using my Electronic Fel indicator. Never ever a failure.
    It is truly amazing how much I rely on the green light, its like second nature to me now, green light, good to go no matter where the bucket is.
    The bad side, I think if I use another tractor without one I wouldn't know how to operate it.


    Quick Links to my other Modifications

    Stack.......... Inclinometer.........FEL Indicator........... ICC Lights............Tilt Wheel ...............
    Fel Knob....... Bucket Cam........ Double Step..........Auto Level .........Snow Video..........

    WaxMan
    to preserve and protect

  5. #5
    Veteran Member WaxMan's Avatar
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    Kubota Grand L 3240 cab BH 92 backhoe

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem99ultra View Post
    You're exactly right. The level indicator only indicates that the buck is level with the tractor - not with the ground.

    I'm sorry to say, while I was originally excited to hear about them and couldn't wait to get one, I find that they're next to useless as far as helping level the bucket. The rod has a bend in it and is exactly at the bend when the bucket is level. That's pretty much the same no-help as the white piece of tape that came on my bucket.
    You should give it another try. You want the bucket at the same plane as the tractor. (which is on the ground) I see no purpose at all to have the tractor all cockeyed and the bucket level.
    Quick Links to my other Modifications

    Stack.......... Inclinometer.........FEL Indicator........... ICC Lights............Tilt Wheel ...............
    Fel Knob....... Bucket Cam........ Double Step..........Auto Level .........Snow Video..........

    WaxMan
    to preserve and protect

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2014
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    967
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    PA
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    Kioti DK40

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    Quote Originally Posted by WaxMan View Post
    You should give it another try. You want the bucket at the same plane as the tractor. (which is on the ground) I see no purpose at all to have the tractor all cockeyed and the bucket level.
    This would be good only if all the earth was level. Some of us have ground that is not completely level and never will be so our buckets need to be at differing angles compared to the tractor.
    My ground isn't all level and never will be but I still find the indicator a help in always getting the right starting point.

  7. #7
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Northern CA

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    One simple option is to weld a 2" x 4" piece of flat plate on the top of your bucket in a place that can always, and easily, be seen from the tractor's seat.

    Use a carpenter's level to figure when the bucket's bottom is perfectly flat. Then use the level to place the flat plate on the top edge and weld it in place. The flat plate will always be parallel to the bottom of the bucket.

    This is not an original idea at all. Smaller kubota tractors had this feature until just recently. Wish I had a photo of it. OOOH...found a couple.

    Look at the top right side of this bucket:
    2009 Kubota M7040, R1s, LA1153 FEL, fork lift, 3 rear remotes, T&T
    2002 Kubota L48 TLB, 12", 18", 24" HD buckets
    2001 Kubota BX2200, Turf, LA211 FEL
    7.5' Howse 3PT disc, 88" Gearmore 4G4 box scraper, 4' box scraper, Gearmore GB85 blade, LandPride RCR2596 cutter, 6', 4' flail mowers, 6', 4' rototiller, 4' Bush Hog cutter, HD subsoiler, Bearcat 70554 chipper, Bush Hog PHD w/ 12", 6" augers, Ford 101 3-bottom plow, 8' land leveler, 6' rake, lots of misc.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    May 2012
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    Buffalo, MN
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    AC C, AC 170 gas, AC 180 diesel, Agco Allis 8630 FWA diesel, Farmall H, Farmall M

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    WaxMan, you have a really good idea there. I can see how it would work well for grading. However, for my application, I could use something different. When picking up round bales off the ground, I can't see the spear in front of me, and when unloading off of a truck or wagon, sometimes the spear is out of view. Also, when feeding silage from a bag or bunker, I want the bucket level, so I don't dig into the dirt. What I'm getting at, is that I need some way to know when the spear or bucket is level with the earth no matter what position the loader arms or tractor is in. I like your electric light idea. I'm wondering if there might be a way to implement some tilt switches in a safe place, like behind the bucket frame. Maybe 3 switches, 1 for level, 1 for 5 degrees above, and 1 for 5 degrees below. I know that mercury switches aren't available anymore, but there should be suitable replacements.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Jul 2009
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    6,948
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    SW WA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    Somewhere out there is a digital angle gauge with a remote sensor or display.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=remo...icial&tbm=isch

    Bruce

  10. #10
    Veteran Member WaxMan's Avatar
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    Kubota Grand L 3240 cab BH 92 backhoe

    Default Re: Level Bucket Indicator

    Quote Originally Posted by paulfun9 View Post
    This would be good only if all the earth was level. Some of us have ground that is not completely level and never will be so our buckets need to be at differing angles compared to the tractor.
    My ground isn't all level and never will be but I still find the indicator a help in always getting the right starting point.

    I'm not talking here about people who use a level indicator and those that don't.
    And I'm not talking about my electronic indicator either.
    Everyone has there way of doing it. Everyone needs to know the level of their bucket, that is a fact.

    No matter how you use your tractor everyone has some means they use to level the bucket. Whether by eye, feel, rod indicator, or bent piece of metal on top the bucket.
    Everyone uses some method or they just can't use the tractor if they can't get the bucket somewhat level.

    Its when people say it's only level once on the ground that bugs me. Everyone needs to know the bucket is level on the ground one way or another.
    We can all agree on that right.

    Paulfun9 Please give me a detailed situation where you need your bucket level on the ground where your tractor is going up or down a hill, where the bucket has to be different then where the six feet of ground the four wheels of the tractor are sitting. And how many times would you be in that situation?

    I'm not being a wise guy, I just don't know the answer.
    I only have about a 1,000 hrs as a tractor operator and have not been in that situation where I was completely bewildered, and wish I had some other means of leveling my bucket while my tractor was off level. I just don't know the answer.

    I do know I have been scooping things up and grading while on a hill , (up or down) and I always wanted the bucket at the same plane as the tractor once on the ground.
    Because the tractor was also on the hill or uneven ground. Level was only important to me once the bucket was on the ground.

    I have wanted to tip the bucket up or down "off level" many, many times and do it all the time, the best guide to do that with certainly is a level indicator of some sort.

    The only other option is a self leveling bucket that keeps the bucket level at any height the fel arms are. They have that, it's an expensive series of complicated arms, levers and hydraulics that will keep your pallet or bucket level as you lift it high loading a truck or something. It has absolutely nothing to do with ground level. And is not available for tractors our size.
    This would be good for loading truck with bails of hay or pallets all day long. Neither is what I do many times over.
    So as you say the earth is not level?o if you would explain the situation that you find yourself in.
    Quick Links to my other Modifications

    Stack.......... Inclinometer.........FEL Indicator........... ICC Lights............Tilt Wheel ...............
    Fel Knob....... Bucket Cam........ Double Step..........Auto Level .........Snow Video..........

    WaxMan
    to preserve and protect

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