Micro Hoe Digging
here i am back in 2008 digging eight 5 ft deep holes for some 24" x 24" "bigfoot" post base and 10" sono tubes that will become the foundation for a new 20' x 30' workshop.the Micro Hoe plans currently include the original size 350 lb backhoe that can dig up to 5.5 ft deep for garden tractors, andi am also including a page that shows how the crowd arm can be lengthened 12" for a digging depth of 6.5 ft. this includes increased leverage required for the longer arm and a 2" longer crowd arm cylinder.the extend-a-hoe prototype you see in this video is able to dig about 7 to 7.5 ft. deep or so (for compact tractors) and weighs about 425 lbs. the extend cylinder runs off a foot controlled single spool valve (under my right foot) via the power beyond port on the main backhoe controls.the extend-a-hoe option requires a fair amount of work (and cost) to add the additional 20" reach above stock, which is why most folks end up simply creating a 12" longer single piece crowd arm with thicker wall than the stock unit for larger tractors that can take the additional weight.thanks for watching! ~ P.F.
Cub Cadet 149 Transformation TLB Part 5 - Spindle Upgrade
Cub Cadet 149 Tractor Loader Backhoe - 20 Hour Update
P.F.Engineering log splitter demo - Part 1
the wood i'm using is 2 year seasoned maple. some of the logs were 24" in diameter.
P.F. Engineering log splitter - first look
the P.F. Engineering log splitter first look. dual split design, 13 GPM two stage, 6.5 HP Kohler sh265 engine, Prince RD5000 valve, 5" x 24" cylinder, 10 second cycle time it has a log lift and the table is 34" wide by 72" long. i have split at least 5 cords with it so far and i know, it needs taller end stops to match the 10" tall wedge. coming soon.
believe it or not, this is a budget splitter built for the same cost as a big box store 25 ton unit. my goals were to have something i didn't have to bend down to use all day long, or waste a lot of steps picking up what i just split. the table stores quite a few logs for splitting and i can load up the log lift as well. the table height is the same as my pickup truck tailgate for easy split and load operation. i also wanted to protect the engine/pump from those stray logs that end up breaking something. the controls are below table height for the same reason and the log lift control is out front for easy access from either side.
thanks for watching! plans will be available soon.
~ Paul @ P.F. Engineering
Front End Loaders
Q. how much does it cost to build one of these Front End Loaders?
A.figure around $1000 to $1200 complete for steel and all hydraulics, a little less if you can use your tractor's on-board figure around $1000 to $1200 complete for steel and all hydraulics, a little less if you can use your tractor's on-board hydraulic system to power the unit, and even less if your tractor has dash mounted control levers as some garden tractors do. buying local steel should cost you close to $300 and the remaining cost would be in hydraulics and for having parts shipped in.
Q. how much hydraulic flow (GPM) and PSI is required to run this Loader?
A. the Loader can be run with as little as 2 or 3 Gallons Per Minute hydraulic flow and with as low as 750 PSI. the Loader can be run with as little as 2 or 3 Gallons Per Minute hydraulic flow and with as low as 750 PSI. for tractors with low GPM on-board hydraulic capabilities we suggest using 1.5" bore hydraulic cylnders to maintain good operating speed, but if your tractor generates 4 GPM or more on-board you can go with the more economical 2" bore hydraulic cylinders. for tractors without on-board hydraulics, the most economical way to go would be to belt drive a 4 to 8 GPM hydraulic pump from the same pulley that runs your mower deck and use the 2" bore hydraulic cylinders
Q. how much can this loader lift?
A. this front end loader can easily lift 500 lbs and more if your tractor has sufficient vehicle weight to offset the weight on the front end. a pair of 2" bore cylinders running at 1000 PSI system pressure can easily lift in excess of 1000 lbs and likewise a pair of 1.5" bore hydraulic cylinders @ 1000 PSI system pressure will lift as much as a garden tractor can safely handle and then some. the hydraulic system i spec in the plans is overkill for a garden tractor and very sufficient for compact 4WD diesel tractors. smaller tractors have the option of running a lower system pressure with the 2" bore cylinders and extending the life of their hydraulic components while still being able to lift as much as safe operation allows.
Q. do i need any special tools to build the Front End Loader?
A. not really, i was able to build my prototype loader (above top) with what i consider basic tools. for cutting steel i had a Makita 10" chop saw with composite metal cutting blade and a sawzall. my drilling was done with a small bench top drill press and bi-metal hole saws. my welder is a Lincoln SP-100T, 100 amp wire feed mig using .035" flux core wire, running on a dedicated 20 amp household circuit. i would suggest having a bench grinder, disk grinder, assorted clamps, bench vise, etc. just the basic stuff for garage steel fabrication projects.
Q. how long does it take to build one of these Front End Loaders?
A. this would depend on your steel fabrication skills, however an average mechanically inclined person with basic tools and all this would depend on your steel fabrication skills, however an average mechanically inclined person with basic tools and all the necessary materials on hand should be able to construct one of these loaders in 4 weeks of spare time evenings and weekends. i've noticed that when you have one of these projects on the bench, you seem to suddenly find more spare time than you thought you had! i have had one customer build the loader in one weekend, others take less than a month, and some quite a bit longer. my original Loader took me a few months of spare time, but that was designing, searching for suppliers, purchasing parts, working out conflicts, building, testing, etc, etc.
Q. will this Loader fit my tractor? how does it attach to my tractor?
A. the Loader can be mounted on any tractor that has a strong enough frame and front end to handle the weight. we suggest the Loader can be mounted on any tractor that has a strong enough frame and front end to handle the weight. we suggest using a tractor with at least a 1/8" thick twin rail frame running the length of the tractor, a cast iron front axle with minimum 3/4" front spindles and greasable bearings in the front rims. for engine HP we suggest 10 or 12 HP and up. hydrostatic transmissions are preferred because they transfer the power more smoothly to the ground which saves stress on major drive line components when compared to a gear and clutch drive.
the attachment system is made up of a simple sub frame member that runs across under your tractors frame and bolts to the underside of the frame. this provides the foundation for your tower uprights. the towers are stabilized by a diagonal brace running down to the nose of your tractor. this brace is the most important component of the design since it transfers the weight of the bucket to the front of your tractor and is responsible for taking the brunt of the forces when you are pushing the bucket into a pile of material, digging below grade or back dragging with the loader bucket. we provide an example for mounting the pump under a front engine PTO pulley, with belt tension adjustment. this mounting design can be adjusted according to your available PTO pulley location.
Q. i am not able to weld or build one of these Front End Loaders myself. how can i get one for my tractor?
A. there are a few ways to accomplish this. the most expensive would be to take our plans to a welding shop and have it built, however there are less expensive alternatives to this. we suggest looking into the vocational schools or community colleges in your area to find out if they have any steel fabrication or welding courses available. usually the instructors of these classes would welcome the thought of someone with well drawn CAD plans offering to sponsor the class with a welding project of this type. you would pay for all of the steel and hydraulics required and they would provide the labor to cut and weld it all together, free of charge.
this benefits all parties involved, the students are given the experience of working with CAD plans, steel and hydraulics, the school system benefits by having someone sponsor the project and of course, you benefit by getting to keep the Front End Loader when they are finished!
More FAQ to come...... we invite you to have a look around, check out some of our customers machines and compare our design specifications and pricing to other offerings you may have seen on the web.
** To order plans by PHONE using a credit or debit card, or if you have any questions, please call Paul at either 413-256-4960 (office) or 413-835-5801 (cel)
** To order plans from this page, please click on the "BUY NOW" button below the menu item to select plans shipping either INSIDE or OUTSIDE the U.S.
these links will take you to a page we have setup to receive your payment information.
once there, you may click the button "Pay with Debit or Credit Card", or use your PayPal account to pay for the plans.
** All shipping costs are included in the prices listed below.
single sets of plans shipping INSIDE the U.S. go by U.S. First Class Mail with a 3 to 5 day estimated arrival time.
the combination set of Front End Loader & Micro Hoe plans shipping INSIDE the U.S. goes by U.S. Priority Mail with a 2 to 3 day arrival time.
all plans shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. go by Air Mail with varying delivery estimates depending on your location.
Front End Loader Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 60
Micro Hoe Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 85
Front End Loader & Micro Hoe Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 145
Front End Loader Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 65
Micro Hoe Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 90
Front End Loader & Micro Hoe Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 155
** To order plans by MONEY ORDER, please send to the address below using the prices listed on this page:
47 Pomeroy Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
If you provide your phone number or email address we will contact you to confirm receipt of your payment and shipping time.
The 1000 lb. front spindle upgrade
northern tool 4 bolt hub
northern tool 1" spindle for above hub
4 bolt wheel for the above hub
original 3/4" spindle
1. start by cutting off the old spindle then grind the surface of the spindle bracket smooth.
2. with a 1-1/4" bi-metal hole saw, provide a hole to accept the new stub axle shoulder. remember to put a large chamfer on the outside of the spindle bracket for welding. weld inside and out.
3. box in the spindle bracket with 1/4" plate steel and weld inside and out.
4. make sure your outer weld is contained within the chamfer because you only have 1/8" between the spindle bracket and the new hub assembly.
5. install the hub, pack with grease and check clearances.
the Cub 1000lb. front alxe... now you won't have to wonder if the front end can take it.
6. install your tires on the new rims and you're all set.
What if you should have the "L" shaped spindles like on this 1968 Gilson 12HP??
here is an idea from Doug H. he kept his existing 3/4" L-shaped spindles on the tractor and just bored out the Northern Tool spindle to fit over it.
Here is a real nice fix sent in by one of our customers in Medford, OR. he reused the stock steering arms and incorporated them into a completely new "C" shaped spindle carrier, then used the 1" spindles, etc from Northern Equipment.
the bored out spindle slips over your existing spindle....
this is the finished product complete with 4 bolt hubs and tapered roller bearings, you can't get much stronger than this.
thank you Stan C.
and is held in place by the cotter pin at the end running through both spindles. this allows you to upgrade to the tapered roller bearings and a 4 bolt hub without changing your current "L-shaped" spindle configuration
here is another idea of how to upgrade spindles on an older sears craftsman garden tractor. Jon L. from East Greenwich, Rhode Island sent these in. nice work Jon!
and if for some reason you want to go back to your original setup, just pull the cotter pin at the end of the spindle and slide on your original wheels and hubs
Jon bored the new spindle through at a 12 degree angle to keep the alignment straight with the axle, then welded in a new pivot pin.
this is the finished product using the original steering arms on the linkage.
P.F. Engineering specializes in Backhoe plans and Front End Loader plans developed for use on garden tractors and compact tractors. The loaders and backhoes illustrated here are the perfect tools for the care and maintenance of your property and landscaping. Light and powerful, they are great for those hard to get at locations where a larger machine won't fit and are able to travel over lawn and landscaped areas with minimum ground compaction and surface damage.
Our customers have been using their loaders to carry mulch, transfer stone and topsoil, clean out their barns, remove snow, and to lift and load heavy objects of all sorts onto their pick up trucks and trailers.
Likewise, the Micro Hoe can be used to dig trenches for electrical and water lines, irrigation and drainage systems, planting bushes and trees and for digging small ponds and water features, to name just a few of it's possible uses.
If you would like to build your own loader or backhoe, you've come to the right place. our plans are professionally drawn, do-it-yourself friendly and priced right for your construction budget.
Head over to our picture gallery page where we have over 600 of our customers machines on display and use the search box at the top to locate a particular make or model tractor you are interested in seeing with the loader or backhoe attachments.
see videos of the loader and backhoe operating on our Videos page. i also have some videos of the log splitter i am creating plans for and will be selling soon.
in our Order Plans page you can order either a single loader or backhoe plan or combination set of both loader and backhoe. there are ordering links for plans shipping WITHIN the U.S. and OUTSIDE the U.S.
Contact Us ask the original designer and builder any questions about these projects before you purchase plans.
the Spindle Upgrade page has some nice ideas about beefing up your garden tractors front spindles to take the weight of the front end loader. i have links to parts i have used myself, spindles, hubs and 4 bolt rims and suppliers you can check for current prices.
the FAQ page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear about building the loader and backhoe. your question may be answered there, if not please feel free to contact us by email or phone.
Front End Loader Specifications
- est. cost to build $ 1200
- weight: 325 pounds
- lift capacity: well over 500 pounds
- lift height to level bucket: 73 inches
- bucket width: 42 to 54 inches
- bucket capacity: .21 to .27 cubic yards
- bucket roll down: 50 degrees at maximum lift
- built in oil reservoir
- spin on oil strainer element
- joystick control option
Micro Hoe Specifications
- est. cost to build $ 1700
- weight: 350 pounds
- digging depth: 5-1/2 feet
- reach: 8 feet
- hydraulic stabilizer spread: 7-1/2 feet
- boom swing: 170 degrees
- bucket width: 10 inches
- built in oil reservoir
- spin on oil strainer element
- proportioned hydraulics for simultaneous cylinder movements without a pressure drop