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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Attacked by a branch

    So there I was this last weekend killing a little time brush hogging thickets, taking out a few juniper trees (AKA cedar in Oklahoma) the odd oak sapling etc, when I noticed the temp gauge starting to climb significantly above its normal reading. Not over heating just beginning to run hotter and hotter. I stopped to clean out the screens in front of the radiator and A/C condensor as weed seeds/fluff/junk accumulates and the temp begins to rise and the A/C begins to get mediocre. After cleaning the temp ordinarily returns to "Normal" immediately. However, this time the lil kubota wouldn't start, wouldn't even turn over, wouldn't engage the starter... I was more upset than just having to walk a half mile back to the house, I needed the tractor for a fork lift to unload the steel trusses Monday (today) from a 18 wheeler. Eventually I notice a 3 1/2 foot long by
    1 3/4 inch thick branch impaled in the engine compartment where the clutch pedal arm is, next to , dare I say it, the starter!

    Try as I might I couldn't pull the stick out so I walked the half mile back to the shop for a comealong and a rope and a wife to drive the pickup when I got the tractor running (note confidence). The comealong broke the rope that I tied to the branch. I doubled the rope and broke it again. Changed ropes and pulled the stick out. I thought maybe the clutch-has-to-be-down-to-start switch had been interfered with and it would now start... NO JOY. I felt around the starter with my fingers and found a loose wire and when I pressed it into the side of the starter it went "SNAP" and seemed to hold there. The tractor cranked right up and I unloaded the steel trusses this evening, mostly after dark (love Kubota's work lights).

    Anyone use skid pans or other "Armor" added to their tractor?

    Patrick

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,129
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Tractor
    Deere 855 (24hp/19@PTO)

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    <font color=blue>Anyone use skid pans or other "Armor" added to their tractor?</font color=blue>

    There is more than one thread that addresses this topic. One I was just looking at is <font color=red>Bullet proof BX</font color=red>.

    I haven't "bullet proofed" my tractor, but after reading about your experience, I'm a little more inclined to try.

    OkieG

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,070
    Location
    Western Washington
    Tractor
    5300 JD 4X4

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    You bet. I do a lot of brush hogging and I have armored mine from the front axle to the draw bar. It protects the driveline and all the hoses and linkages.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    214
    Location
    Burlington, Kansas
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    Those branchs are sneeky, I was out last year doing basicly the same thing when one snuck up into the engine and took a bite out of the fan belt. Made it back to the house with the engine just starting to get really hot. New belt and everything was fine.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    51
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 7305

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    It can be much worse. When I first bought my property, it was covered with sumac and small saplings. So my stepdad brought his tractor and brushhog out. The tractor, a Massey 65 I think, had an oil filter mounted low. One of the saplings managed to catch the oil filter ,break the seal and dump all the oil. Next thing I know the tractor quits. The short story was about $1200 damage to the engine.
    One thing I specifically looked for when I bought my tractor was how low the oil filter was.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    48,591
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    While mowing my way overgrown pasture this year I became worried about all of the 1/2" and 3/4" weeds I was cutting finding the radiator, so I made a bumper / grill gard using perferated metal... It is smaller than expanded metal.. the holes are about the size of bb's. Worked great...I used to pull sticks out that made it dangerously close to the radiator.. but no I would have to head on a spike to get a puncture.

    Soundguy

  7. #7
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    2,335
    Location
    Paige Texas
    Tractor
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    I busted my power steering hyd lines twice - then put on a skid plate -it helps but you still gotta watch - particularly when backing -- I had one come over the back of the skid plate - all the way forward and depress my clutch pedal for me - I was stuck right there til I could get it out and straighten the clutch linkage.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences!

    Mike, That sounded like a devious branch.

    A real weak point in the kubota L-4610 is the guards in front of the rubber boots over the steering component thingies near the left and right ends of the front axle. They don't protect the rubber boots hardly at all and they get bent all too easily. I bought a set of new ones and they are bent worse than the originals. I am going to weld the old ones and new ones together to get more thickness/strength and to make them longer to cover the rubber boots better. I might weld some reinforcement ridges on them as well. My Kubota tech tells me several users have had them get bent so they destroyed the rubber boots. Seems like a weak point.


    Did I mention that I routinely brush hog stuff over 2 inches in diameter? For safety sake I back into the big stuff. I do some stuff up to about 3 1/2 inches but for that I raise the brush hog way up and lower it down on the target, eating it as the implement lowers.

    Again, thanks for the comments, guys. I will be looking at how to mount some skid plates/armor. I want to make it bolt on in a way that doesn't expopse the bolts to much destructive action (easier to R&amp;R to do maint if required.)

    Patrick

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    I have used perf metal for security screens before. The stuff I used wouldn't begin to pass a BB. The holes were just big enough to stick a round toothpick in about a quarter inch. Doesn't it cut down cooling airflow to the radiator?

    I was thinking of two thicknesses of expanded metal running at right angles to one another.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    48,591
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Attacked by a branch

    Have had no air flow problems. My bumper guard actually helped the situation. Before i was stopping every 20 minutes to clean the pre-filter, after, I got 30+- minutes. The bumper guard is about 3" forward of the hood, and is measured out so that the hood will just clear it when open.

    Soundguy

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