Hey everyone, Been awhile since I’ve posted anything on my blog but I finally have taken the time to get some info put together.
At Ai2 Products we try not to sit idle when it comes to new products and we have been working on our all new designed 36″ pallet forks for the new Kubota BX 80-series tractors with the new factory skid loader quick hitch. I know most people out there feel this new hitch will give you an unlimited amount of attachment options for the BX. But in all reality there isn’t much that will work for this tractor. Yes you will be able the hook up to all of the skid loader attachments out there but you won’t be able to lift the majority of attachments available for the average skid loader. You have to keep in mind the the lift capacity of the BX and the lift capacity of what the average skid loader is.
The BX as we all know has a lift capacity of between 500-600Lbs and does a great job for it’s size. The BX also weighs in at 2000 plus Lbs depending on how it’s equipped. The factory bucket on the BX weighs in at 140Lbs so not a big deal for the BX to handle. Now let’s look at what the average skid loader can pick up. The vast majority of the skid loaders sold today can lift 2500 Lbs plus and this is what all of the skid loader attachments builders design there attachments for. The average skid loader dirt bucket weighs in at 400-600Lbs depending on the width and how heavy duty it is. A 2500 Lbs lift capacity skid loader weighs in at a minimum of 8500 Lbs up to over 10,000 Lbs on the biggest machines.
So now you can get a better understanding of what I talking about between your average skid loader and the BX tractors. Your average skid loader attachments is designed to be a machine that can handle 2500 Lbs of lift and also designed to have a 10,000 Lbs machine pushing it around. So the attachments are built extremely tuff and out of pretty thick material in most cases. I was partnered with a Gentleman that builds Skidloader attachments and I have designed several large skid loader attachments so I understand what’s going into building these things. An 84″ rock bucket grapple can weigh in at a 1000 Lbs. A tree post puller weighed in at over 500 Lbs, a 102″ light material bucket weighed in at 800 Lbs. These are the types of attachments you have available to you at your standard rental place. So hopefully your now your seeing where I’m going with this. The vast majority of skid loader attachments that are available out there are just way too big and heavy for the BX tractor to handle and in all reality I was surprised to see Kubota even offer this hitch on the BX. The skid loader hitch work fine on the large B-series tractor and the Grand L’s have no problem handling the large skid loader attachments but the BX just isn’t ( I hate to say it) big enough for this hitch. You also have to keep in mind that the Skid loader quick hitch for the BX weighs in by itself at around 70 Lbs. So on a 500 Lbs lift capacity machine you’ll lose 70 Lbs of lift just picking up your skid loader quick hitch. Also let’s say you buy the 80-series without the skid loader hitch and decide after a few months you want the hitch on your BX now. Now you have to order the quick hitch and a new bucket to go with it. The new BX bucket had to be made taller for the skid loader hitch to even work. So now you have your old BX bucket that is now no good to you.
So I know I’ve been rambling on a bit about this but I am getting to the part I talked about in the beginning of all this. Since I know Kubota is probably going to sell a lot of these machines with this quick hitch, I’m going to do my best to accommodate that niche market.
So this is what Ai2 Products has been working on for the BX with the skid loader hitch. We have designed all new lightweight carriage for the BX 80-series tractors. This carriage is based off of our standard carriage used on the 50-60-and 70 series BX tractors. This new fork carriage will use the same tried and true 36″ fork tines we use on our current BX forks as well. The carriage had to be widened for 36″ to 45.5″ to accommodate the skid loader hitch. I don’t have any numbers for weight yet but it should still be under 200 Lbs. Our current Pallet forks weigh in at 162 Lbs so I’m hoping to only add less than 20 Lbs of weight to this new carriage. Once I get a set together and throw it on the scale will find out.
We also plan to do this same conversion to all of our attachments this summer so we can be ready for the arrival of the new 80-series BX this spring. We’d like to have everything adapted to the skid loader hitch by the time the 80-series gets here but will probably take till this summer to have them all done.
So check out the model of this new Pallet fork and stay tuned for more attachments to come for both the old design and the new skid loader design!!!