DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good

   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #11  
I also started out using lumber as a simple fork, works decent enough. Eventually though I wanted to pick up pallets and that means thinner forks so time to upgrade! Given you've got hooks on your bucket already you can consider the route I took. (which was an idea I got from another member on here!)
I don't honestly remember the total cost but even buying new steel it wasn't much at all. I used c-channel to make the forks, and then found a steel tube that was a close fit inside the hooks, and another chunk of steel tube that slides loosely over that first steel tube. Makes the forks adjustable between the hooks. I was worried about the forks bending where the vertical c-channel meets the horizontal hence that rear extension with the triangular chunk of steel to give it extra strength.
These have taken a serious beating but can handle more than the lift capacity of my tractor. Plus they are light so don't rob much from the lifting capacity either. Well till you consider you're lifting in front of the bucket which is a limit in itself.
That became my next problem as I wanted to lift more so I made a pin-on frame to replace the bucket that the forks can attach to. So now I can either use the forks on the bucket (quick on/off) or for more lifting power I pin-off the bucket and pin on the frame for the forks. Btw after taking the bucket on and off a number of times I've realised its easy and doesn't take more than a couple min to do. (Keep in mind a smaller tractor means the bucket itself isn't crazy heavy so I can move it by hand. makes pinning it back on easy.)

   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good
  • Thread Starter
Really nice job, Everhard. Nice and simple, but looks very stout. If I ever need more capacity and go this route, I would also probably make a pin-on frame like you did. Thanks for the ideas.
   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good
  • Thread Starter
Great idea! I have a bigger tractor but I need something for moving limbs and brush around. I'm going to give this a try for lighter work.


Amazing how much forks add to the capacity of the bucket when moving bulky or awkward loads. Wooden forks worked well for cleaning up debris after cutting a couple of scraggly pine trees.

   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #14  
I made mine out of scrap 2x4 hickory I had left over from a butcher block project. I used the rolled edge on the top of the bucket to hold the plywood and internal framing in place. Had 8 12 foot 4x4 on them today without issue. Sure is nice to pick up material from a tractor seat.
   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #15  
Everhard, do you mind posting pictures of the pin on fork frame you built? I am considering doing just that.
   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #16  
I'll have to snap a couple better pic's all I could find was the one below. I'm assuming since you have a Bobcat your loader and the pins are identical to mine - the trickiest part of making the pin on fork frame was accommodating the pins since the one side fits into a slot which keeps them from rotating. (not sure what the value is in that? But Kioti did it for a reason I guess!) So For that I found a length of pipe that was the perfect diameter to slide over the stock pins, then I cut them to length and then I cut out 2 slots with a grinder to allow the pin head to seat in them. Happily you only need 8 of them lol.
Anyway, for the rest I used 3/8th steel plate if I remember right which the pins go thru, used a drill press and drilled them in pairs so that the holes lined up properly. And lastly using 2" square tube I welded up a frame. I used a similar concept to the tube that holds the forks to the bucket, but for the pin on frame I welded a short chunk of steel rod and then on the pin on frame there are 2 "fingers" per fork that hold the fork.
I'd actually like to redesign that as it doesn't allow me to adjust the width setting of the forks like I can on the bucket. I've got it set up to a standard pallet opening width.
It's amazing how much more it can lift vs on the bucket, and it's easier to see what you're doing, and the load is so much closer, makes moving around so much easier with a load on.

If I remember I'll take some better shots tomorrow.

   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #18  
I might try this to move my dumpster, thanks!
   / DIY FEL forks are surprisingly good #20  
Here's the pin on attachment. not the greatest shots but hey it's pretty simple you'll get the idea. Really the only annoying part is making the bit with the "ears" that holds the Kioti Pin in place from turning.

pin on mount 2.jpg
pin on mount1.jpg