Do-It-Yourself Plans: Backhoes, Loaders & More

Front-end Loader Plans

Turn an ordinary tractor into a portable loader

A SOLID PLAN and some ingenuity can save you thousands of dollars, simplify long-term maintenance, and transform a “dated” piece of equipment into a go-to solution for landscaping and maintenance done on your property. P.F. Engineering’s Front-end Loader Build Plans have enabled hundreds of customers to upgrade their ordinary tractors.

Front-end Loader Build Plans demystify the construction of a loader attachment for your tractor. They break down the project into doable steps that can be carried out by you or someone you employ. Equipped with our experience and detailed information, you control your project’s budget and schedule. And, you know what maintenance and repairs will cost in the years to come.

Take a look at this video that one father-and-son team sent to us after building a front-end loader using our plans. Pride for their weather-tested Cub Cadet 1650 and its new capabilities are evident.

P.F. Engineering’s founder, Paul, still uses the original loader attachment that he built more than 20 years ago. The loader originally girded a 1974 Cub Cadet 149, which was a large-frame garden tractor that weighed 750 pounds. Eventually, he swapped tractors, but kept the loader.

Front-end Loader Build Plans include:
  • Complete build instructions
  • Schematics for hydraulics
  • 3D line-drawings
  • A materials list for all steel, hydraulics and hardware
  • A list of online suppliers
Paul's Cub Cadet 149 with front-end loader attachment.

Paul’s former Cub Cadet 149 with front-end loader attachment.

Paul’s loader now outfits a 1986 Ford 1110 compact tractor, which is a 4-wheel drive, diesel model that weighs 1,400 pounds.

Paul's Ford 1110 with outfitted with his original front-end loader

Paul’s Ford 1110 with his original front-end loader build.

Picture of P.F. Engineering's Front-end Loader Plans

Estimates and Specifications

Imperial Metric
Overall weight: 325 pounds 148 kg
Lift capacity: well over 500 pounds well over 226 kg
Lift height to level bucket: 73 inches 1854 mm
Bucket width: 42 to 54 inches 1067 to 1372 mm
Bucket capacity: 0.21 to 0.27 cubic yards (yd³) 161 to 206 liters (L)
Bucket roll down: 50 degrees at maximum lift 50 degrees at maximum lift
Built-in oil reservoir
Spin on oil strainer element
Joystick control option
Estimated cost to build: $1200 (Before COVID*)

* Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for steel vary considerably from one place to another place.

More Plans

What Next?

  • Head over to our picture gallery where we have 1002 images of our customers’ machines on display. Use the search box at the top of that page to locate a particular make or model tractor that you are interested in seeing with a loader or backhoe attachment.

  • View Videos

    On our videos page, see customers operating their DIY loaders, backhoes and log splitters — all built using our plans.

  • Order Plans

    Go to our orders page and find out how to order one or more of our products, such as plans for a front-end loader or a backhoe. There are ordering links for shipping plans within the U.S. and internationally.

  • Contact Us

    Perhaps you have questions about hydraulics, a particular tractor application, or something else. Ask the original designer and builder about your project before you purchase plans. Feel free to contact Paul by email at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also call Paul’s cell at 413-835-5801.

  • Read More

    The FAQ page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear about building loaders and backhoes. Your question may be answered there, if not please feel free to contact us by email or phone.

Questions? Contact Paul at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also reach Paul on his cell at 413-835-5801.