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  1. #1
    Silver Member bam747's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    200
    Location
    Palmer Divide in El Paso County, Colorado
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720 (2007)

    Default FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    I need some advice on choosing a FEL bucket width versus the total width of the rear tires on a tractor.

    I have a 1973 vintage 2WD John Deere 1020 utility tractor with a John Deere model 48 FEL rated in its manual at 2,200 lbs of lift capacity. It came with a 60" wide bucket although the manual does list both 72" and 84" wide buckets as options.

    The tractor has 16.9-24 tires and I have the rear tire tread width set at its practical minimum. Even so, the outside width of the rear tires is about 76".

    This combination has worked OK with the exception of having to dig through very deep wet snow drifts that can't be bladed out of the way with the rear blade. In this situation, the rear tires end up digging through unplowed snow.

    Realistically, with a set of chains on the rear tires, I've always been able to bash my way through this situation using he "push, turn, lift, and pile to the side" technique when needed. The problem with the chains is that they will severely mark up asphalt or concrete driveways whenever the tires spin.

    I am contemplating replacing the 60" bucket with a new 78" replacement bucket. The reason I'm looking at a 78" bucket rather than the more common 72" bucket is that I want the new bucket width to completely cover the total width of the rear tires in a straight ahead situation.

    I believe this will be a big improvement when digging in snow since the rear tires will not be digging through unplowed snow and this will provide enough of an improvement in traction that I will not have to use chains and therefore will not do as much damage to asphalt or concrete.

    I know that if I bought a new tractor with FEL today, I'd be dang sure to get a bucket that covers the tires on the tractor at a reasonable tread width setting. Well, that, and it'd for sure have 4WD! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Since it appears I'll have to spend around $1500 for a replacement bucket, I'm hoping to get a real warm fuzzy feeling that it will make a significant improvement in my snow handling situation before making the commitment.

    Does anyone have any experience or recomendations for this situation?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member EquipmentJunkie's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    534
    Location
    SE PA
    Tractor
    Ford 1520

    Default Re: FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    I think that the choice of a 78" bucket is a good one. It is important to get a bucket wide enough to cover your tractor's width if it has enough capacity to lift the desired material.

    The Deere 48 loader has enough capacity to handle a 78"-wide bucket. I say go for it.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    frank_f15's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
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    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I know that if I bought a new tractor with FEL today, I'd be dang sure to get a bucket that covers the tires on the tractor at a reasonable tread width setting. Well, that, and it'd for sure have 4WD!
    )</font>
    I had the same problem when i had the ford 2n, a larger buct was not an option, so i chose the above quotation. I do think your tractor will handel the 78" bucket with no problem.

  4. #4
    MMM
    MMM is offline
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    Nov 2003
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    800
    Location
    Winn Parish, LA
    Tractor
    Case 380B, Super C

    Default Re: FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    I think there are also different variations for capacity also. I know for my loader there is a "Light Material" bucket that has extra 3/8 yard capacity over HD dirt bucket I have.

  5. #5
    Silver Member willfick's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    195
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Tractor
    1946 Farmall H, !967 Ford 3500D TLB

    Default Re: FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    I couldn't agree more.
    I have no experience whatsoever with plowing snow, but I've many times dug through embankments for drainage and having the bucket slightly wider than the wheels isn't just a convenience, it's a necessity.
    There's three of the words I find hardest to spell and I'm not looking back.
    Good luck,
    Wm

  6. #6
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
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    Sep 2000
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    7,038
    Location
    Eastern NY
    Tractor
    Case 885, JD 730D, Ford 4000

    Default Re: FEL bucket width vs total rear tire width?

    That is all well and good for lifting a light material. Too many tractors are sold with buckets too wide (too much cu/ft capacity) for lifting dense materials. I am reminded of the typical NH TN tractor owner with a 84" bucket and loaded 30" rears complaining that he can't keep the rear wheels on the ground with a full bucket of crushed stone. My theory is this; every tractor/loader suffers from one of two problems. Either it lifts the rear wheels off the ground with a full bucket, or it won't lift enough. Also consider the width of the bucket when maneuvering NOT doing loader work., as the 48 loader probably does not have a QT bucket feature. We had a 72" bucket on a 48 loader on a Deere 3020 back in the day. I seldom thought we should have had an 84". But we didn't push snow with it, either.

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