The Best Home-Built Tractor Add-Ons of 2018, Ranked

By TBN July 25, 2018 16:06

The Best Home-Built Tractor Add-Ons of 2018, Ranked

The year is barely half over, but TractorByNet members have been busy in the shop fabricating home-built add-ons for compact tractors. Usually these customized accessories arise either out of necessity or are made to save a buck—both great things. So we’re bringing you a mid-year update with the top 15 ranked home-built add-ons of 2018. If our members keep busy, this should turn into a top-30 list by year’s end.

Each photo in this gallery is clickable and takes you to the discussion thread where the item was shared, including details on the build, if posted. If you’ve built an add-on and think it belongs on this list, be sure to post it in our Build-It Yourself forum for consideration.

Don’t forget to go all the way to #1 when you can vote for your favorite from this list!

Note: These add-ons have not been evaluated for safety or for possible changes in tractor performance.  Consult your tractor owner’s manual or dealer before installing custom modifications which could change the performance of your tractor.

#15. ROPS-Mounted Grab Bar

ROPS Mounted Grab Bar

This useful add-on was made by downsizingnow48 in Sacramento. He kept getting his hand caught between the ROPS and shrubs and trees, so he added a grab bar. Nice idea! More info here.


#14 Super Simple Attachment Dolly

Attachment Dolly

This wooden attachment dolly is probably the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to move your attachments around the barn or garage. Four casters and some 2×4 lumber, a few bolts, and a whole lotta pride. Thanks to Xfaxman for this one. More info here.


#13. Loader-Mounted Rear-View Mirrors

Tractor rear view mirror

Member bdhsfz6 does a lot of work on a private gravel road with considerable neighborhood traffic. That means rear view mirrors are a must. He fabricated these functional and good-looking mirrors for his Kubota and mounted them to the FEL. Click here for more info on this add-on.

Note: This add-on has not been evaluated for safety or for possible damage to your tractor.  Consult your tractor owner’s manual or dealer before installing custom modifications which could change the performance of your tractor.

#12. 1-Ton Rear Ballast

Cheap rear ballast

If you’ve got a heavy rig and need a lot of ballast like member JerryK, perhaps a home-built ballast like this one would do the trick. Sure doesn’t look like 2,000lbs sitting there but don’t let the looks fool you. That’s solid concrete. More info here.


#11. Log Splitter Caddy

Log Splitter Caddy

Where to put your gas cans, gloves, goggles, and lunch box when your splitter is in transport mode? Right here in this clever Log Splitter Caddy. Member flingwing1969 was inspired by a product he saw online and decided DIY was the way to go—saved a few bucks in the process. Click here for more info.


#10. 3-Point Hitch Platform

3-point hitch platform

This may look simple but it’s actually a pretty good idea for anybody who needs a work platform out in the field, or a flat surface to transport stuff on. Kind of like a carry-all without the sides. Many variations on this design could be done to fit your specific needs. Good job, GCTucson. See more info on this design here.


#9. Cheap Tractor Canopy

cheap tractor canopy

Member davidj knew he needed a canopy for his tractor. When he got to thinking, he came up with the idea to repurpose a $75 pickup truck bed cover he bought used. Only problem was the size. So began some cutting, fiberglass molding, sanding, and painting. The end result is a pretty nice canopy for $75 (plus time and materials!). More info here.


#8. Loader Rake

loader rake

For $300-$400 (including shipping) you can buy a Ratchet Rake, which is a very popular and useful FEL attachment. Or you could just build a loader rake yourself like member Chim did. Looks good! More info here.


#7. Used Pallet Carry-All

garbage cans in loader

This one comes in pretty high on our list because if you’ve got a pallet, a couple of 2x4s, and a few wood screws lying around, this is a free light-duty carry-all. So we’ll give member MFer1705 credit on this one for repurposing a used pallet in a clever way. More info here.

Next up is the top 5 so keep clicking…


#6. Tool Box + Skid Plate + Ballast Customized + Step

kubota tool box

This one is more than meets the eye. Yes, it’s a tool box. But it’s also removable. And a skid plate. And ballast. And a step. Wow. This is a great example of a fully custom add-on that was designed to fit an owner’s specific needs, but also looks as good as an OEM option. Credit goes to bbirdie. Click here to see more photos.

How is this only #5? Well, we’ve got some good stuff coming in the top 4, for sure.

Note: This add-on has not been evaluated for safety or for possible changes in tractor performance.  Consult your tractor owner’s manual or dealer before installing custom modifications which could change the performance of your tractor.

#5. Five-Minute Backhoe Thumb

backhoe thumb

While some of the home-built add-ons on our list have been inexpensive, this one is both inexpensive and shockingly simple. Member davel8257 from Indiana used two King Kutter Grader Box blade knives, two Grade 8 1/2″ x 6″ bolts, some nuts and washers, and assembled this backhoe bucket thumb by attaching the box blade knives with the bolts, tightening, and checking for clearance (his Kioti KB2485 cylinder just clears the 1/2″ bolt). Dave mentions that there’s no adjustment, but it works if you can get the bucket into position for a good grab. We love the ingenuity on this one, and the fact that he threw it together in five minutes with inexpensive parts. Awesome job! More info here.


#4. Spare Parts + Dave = Bucket Grapple

We’ve all got a bunch of spare parts and scrap lying around the shop, but not many of us turn what would be one man’s trash into a bucket grapple. But that’s exactly what davedj1 from NY did. His bad back led him to build this grapple to assist in cutting felled trees. Seeing as grapple buckets are a 4-figure investment, this is pretty great that he was able to put it all together into a functioning grapple that gets the job done, without spending anything extra out of pocket. More photos here.


#3. Electric Pole Saw on Adjustable Boom Pole

Some of the best ideas are when you put two useful things together and team them up to make one really useful thing. That’s exactly what downsizingnow48 did when he married his handy electric pole saw with an adjustable boom pole. The saw is controlled with a switch mounted to the ROPS, and you could get power from a generator mounted on a carry-all (or platform). Overall, a genius little attachment that allows for trimming small tree branches from the tractor seat. Click here for more info.

Note: This add-on has not been evaluated for safety or for possible changes in tractor performance.  Consult your tractor owner’s manual or dealer before installing custom modifications which could change the performance of your tractor.

#2. Rear Ballast and Tool Carrier

Rear Ballast and Tool Carrier

This fully custom rear ballast/tool holder/tool box add-on by MatHass is flat-out awesome. He really thought of everything and put together a beautiful piece that most tractor owners would love to have. It’s definitely worth checking out his full thread here for more photos and information.


#1. Chainsaw Holder With Style

chainsaw holder

Chainsaw holders are a popular add-on for tractors, but for the most part they are all custom because few are available on the market. Some owners mount the saw on the ROPS, or keep it in a carry-all on the 3-point hitch. Or let’s be honest, they just throw it in the loader and head on out. But if you’re looking to step it up a few notches, you’ll customize your own chainsaw holder and give your favorite saw a safe and logical spot on your tractor. So that’s what makes this saw holder rank so high on our list; it’s in a great location, is designed well, and has the coolest cutout we’ve seen! Definitely one of the best saw holders on TBN. Great job, Stranger! More info here.

So, did we get it right? Let us know by voting for your favorite item on this list. Click the next screen to vote!


Vote For Your Favorite Home-Built Tractor Add-On of 2018

Let’s see which home-bult add-on gets the most votes:

[totalpoll id=”13830″]

By TBN July 25, 2018 16:06
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17 Comments

  1. Gord Baker July 27, 11:00

    Good design. Ball hitch at the back?

  2. Christopher Hawkins July 27, 11:10

    Good idea. I might consider using epoxy to attach the mirror to the loader to eliminate drilling holes in the loader.

  3. kthompson July 27, 12:06

    Would like pictures showing it in relationship to the step and operators seat. Without that have no way to really understand it possible full value.
    But as to what is shown here very neat workmanship. Depending on how easy to reach and from where could be a very very useful attachment.

  4. kthompson July 27, 12:12

    Unless you have added review mirrors you probably have no idea how valuable they are or can be. See very little risk to the structure from the two holes he drill due to location and the placement of the holes to mount the mirrors. Possible negative is mirrors are moving as loader does so eyes have to be use to hunting for their location in a hurry and also they are very open to limbs if working around trees or large shrubs. However not sure there is a true option to have mirrors totally safe from limbs and be in needed location to me which is on the side of the tractor but if you have a canopy might be better mount to the front corners. Still I think great addition.

  5. kthompson July 27, 12:20

    Neat idea. Might would want little taller sides depending on what you plan to haul but to work on lower sides are very good. Could see using something like milk crates to hold items for hauling with bungee cord holding the crates in place and easy to remove for using it as for say work platform to fill saw, adjust or replace chain or other such jobs. Without seeing braces no idea how strong it is for really adding heavy weight to for ballast. One thing that came to my mind in looking at this, could you add a receiver hitch tube to bottom of it even using suitable tubing for the support to have trailer hitch handy also.

  6. Jgmo July 27, 13:39

    I only counted 15 ???

  7. Longnkrnch July 27, 14:30

    I can see where I could benefit from some of these mods. It would be really nice if there was additional info on how they were built and attached.

  8. Batty July 27, 16:22

    I have seen people put vertices PVC so they can put shovels, racks or other tools to carry.

  9. mark kram July 27, 17:31

    Platforms like this are great for home built sprayers. Adding a 55-gallon drum, a pump, tubing and a homemade PCV pipe spray boom is all it takes. I use a 10 gpm roller pump.

  10. Johnsgreenacres July 27, 18:01

    That custom ballast box tool carrier! Yes! I would have settled simply for the integrated trailer hitch receiver, but when I saw the chainsaw sheath embedded in concrete… Well, that was just magical! Brilliant stuff! Love these roundup features!

  11. Mike July 27, 23:38

    Y’all please look closer at the photograph. The drilled holes are NOT in the ROPS. The bolts used to mount the grab handle are clamp style bolts selected for width and depth to go around the ROPS and go through the mounting bars for the grab handle. NO Structural strength lost in the ROPS.

    Nice, clean design, and done simply. Obeying the primary rule of DIY (KISS) (Keep It Simple Sweetie).

  12. Oldawg August 31, 16:39

    About the mirrors – far as I can see, the mirrors do NOT move with the loader. Nice installation!

  13. Bryan September 28, 06:31

    Honestly, ALL of these are very good and it’s hard to vote for just one. I wanted to pick one based on craftsmanship and one based on simplicity. Neat job to everyone mentioned here! I love seeing what other folks come up with and how I might incorporate it into something I may do.

  14. GCTucson October 15, 03:36

    I liked the comment about adding a hitch to the back. I welded on a 6″ long steel tube as a receiver and matched the holes to my hitch. Now I can quickly and easily move my trailer around. Thanks for the idea!

  15. Done November 15, 16:18

    Concrete ballist inside a steel box is a mistake. Too permanet. Fill with sand instead.

  16. Captain Kimshee March 8, 12:04

    Rear view mirrors are a super idea. I have done much damage forgetting what is behind me. Thanks very much, for improving the safety of my Kubota. Tim in NJ.

  17. piloon February 15, 19:34

    cool, safe and well located

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