There are probably 10,000 different things you can use a front-end loader for. They are the most popular attachments for tractors, and for good reason. But whether you’re new to tractors or seasoned vet, it’s possible to abuse a front-end loader if you misuse it. Fortunately, our members have put together a long list of things you should NOT do with your front-end loader (unless of course you want to damage it).
- Don’t use it as a bulldozer or to ram things. They’re loaders, not bulldozers and not excavators. Plowing with blades attached to loaders should be done with springs to soften the impact on the loader arms.
- Don’t push or pull tree branches or tree trunks that can act as a huge spring and damage your machine (or cause injury to the operator) when they snap back.
- Don’t push over trees which can break off high up and crash down on you.
- Don’t use a loader without adequate rear ballast. Your rear end can lift up, or on hills, your entire machine can tip over.
- Don’t transport weight in the loader when the bucket is elevated. It is easy to dump objects and material back on yourself and the tractor if you are curled ALL the way back and raise to MAX height so be mindful of bucket position when lifting high.
- Don’t raise the loader any higher than you need to. Keep your loaded bucket close to the ground.
- Don’t lift heavy objects when on a surface inclined perpendicular to the tractor.
- Don’t let people people in the loader. It’s too risky and if somebody falls out, they’re going to be under the tractor before you know it.
- Don’t lift or push anything with the corner of the bucket. That can twist the loader frame.
- Don’t back drag with the bucket tilted forward beyond 15 degrees. Do not back drag with front wheels off the ground. This can cause the cylinders to break.
- Don’t drive recklessly with a loaded bucket (or any time for that matter). Especially on uneven ground, that load will change the performance dynamics of your tractor significantly.
- Don’t use your bucket as an extension ladder! We’ve seen this done so many times but it’s still dangerous and if something goes wrong, somebody could get seriously injured.
- Don’t forget to read the manual and stay within your loader’s operating capacity/limits. Two trips with the loader is better than one broken loader.
Anything we missed? Add it in the comments below.