Saturday, January 14, 2012


The problem was how do I move my trailer around without having to hook up to my pickup all the time. I need a trailer ball attached in some way to my tractor, this makes the likeliest choice.. After looking around I found parts for an old bolt on trailer hitch, which will do nicely for holding the ball, already has the correct size hole in one end.
I have decided to make the trailer moving easier by mounting the ball to the loader buck on the front of the tractor, thus I will be able to see where the trailer is going all the time. OK, I have the ball attached to a steel flat bar about a foot and a half long by about five eights inch thick, by about two inches wide, how am I going to attach this to my tractor's loader bucket? What ever I come up with is going to have to be strong enough to handle at least a small load.
The flat bar will lay flat in the bottom of the bucket, OK, I need some measurements. The front cutting edge of my bucket is set about one eighth inch low for about 4 inches, along the front edge of the bucket, that shouldn't be a major problem. The underside of the bucket has the cutting edge lower than the main body of the bucket by about the same one eighth inch. If I can put three pieces of steel bar together in a sandwich, leaving about one half inch between the top bar holding the trailer ball, and the bottom bar, OK this means that if I place a piece of flat bar between the top and bottom with enough meat to hold the two when connected, thus being the meat in the sandwich.
The bottom bar does not need to be as long as the top or it will be in the way of the  ball installation. So the top bar is about eighteen inches, the bottom bar should be roughly one foot, with the half inch by four inch middle piece in between. The picture below is some of the raw scrap metal I used for the bottom and middle peices.
 Now how do I connect all of this together with the strength I need to attach it to the bucket of the tractor. I could drill and bolt them together. I really don't like that method as there will be too many bolt heads sticking out. I think I should weld these pieces.
OK, I will grind the edges of all the pieces and weld beads two to each side of the three pieces, will this be enough? I think to ensure the strength I will drill two holes in the top bar and two in the bottom bar and weld these to the middle piece, that should work,
Now, how is this unit going to be held in place? It's already decided to have a flat bar on top and a flat bar on bottom of the bottom edge of the loader bucket with another piece used as a spacer  to hold the needed distance, so how should this be fastened in place? Two set screws, majorly large set screws, yep that should work. OK two more holes. Looking at the top bar, there are already a few holes in this bar. So more will need to be drilled, the location of one hole is right for one of the set screws, except that the hole is already too big. OK I'll just weld a nut over that hole and tap out the other hole for the set screws.

OK I think this is going to work, now all I have to do is drill, tap, weld etc, we'll see how this comes out.
Well this looks as thought it will work so far, just to finish taping the last hole and getting set bolts (5/8) in both holes, and maybe a little paint. Then the big test.

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