SnowTractor

We’ve been having trouble with the quick-attach loader on our New Holland TC30. The front bracket starts to slide over time, and eventually the loader bucket starts to flop all over, and “buck” off the mounting tubes. In this photo from last winter’s snow, you can see how the brackets have come loose, again.

We kept tightening them with as much force as we could muster (even putting a 5’ long pipe on the end of the wrench to get extra torque), but it wasn’t enough. I think the general design is poor- the bracket doesn’t fit very snugly around the tube, no matter how you adjust it, and then there is constant un-tightening forces put on it whenever you work the loader hard.

Bracket A few months ago, I asked the (now-closed) Everett dealership for advice. They weren’t familiar with the problem, but suggested perhaps the bolts had worn out, so they gave us a new set. Dubious that this would be a solution, we did try putting them on, even though they seemed identical to our nearly-new old ones. That didn’t solve the problem either.

So, when the tractor was in the Mt. Vernon shop for warranty repair on the transfer case seal, I asked them about it. First they tried to tell me it had the wrong bolts, but I don’t understand that, since they were the same as the ones that came from the manufacturer, and were given to us by the Everett shop. Then they suggested welding the brackets in place, which was what we had always wondered about. I’m not even sure why they made them bolt-able at all, it seems that a fixed bracket would work, and be much more reliable.

Welds So, here are the spot-welds they put on it. We haven’t used it long enough to know if this will be a solution or not. Considering that we will rarely, if ever, need to remove the loader, I’m regretting getting a quick attach version. It seems they are more trouble than they’re worth!

And on the subject of tractor woes: right after getting the tractor back from the transfer case repair, I kid you not, I drove it not ten minutes before the clutch started to misbehave! All I did was drive a roll of fencing down to the pasture, and back up to unroll 300’ of it. The first problem I noticed was when I had the clutch pushed all the way in, and I was just sitting there, all of a sudden the tractor would start to go into gear and roll! It freaked me out.

The problem went rapidly downhill. I started having trouble shifting as I drove it back up to the house. Kirk took it out to mow, and basically had to jam it into gear. So, he just kept it in the same gear and finished up an hour or so of mowing. When he got it back up to the house, it was completely undrive-able, we could  not shift it at all. So, <sigh> back to the dealership in Mt. Vernon.

Thankfully, they picked it up right away on Monday, and got it back to us on Thursday, and were kind enough not to charge us for another trip. This time, it was a clutch bearing, which they felt was unrelated to the repair they had just done to the transfer case. But, fortunately, it was also covered by warranty. So, we’re back in business for the time being. I hope it stays that way!

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