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8N with Backhoe

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04-10-2000 18:19:28

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Would anyone out there care to comment on their first hand experience with the Woods 6500 or 7500 or Kelley 600 or 750 backhoes on a Ford 8N?

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Larry 8N75381

04-11-2000 14:06:32

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 Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-10-2000 18:19:28  

I have a Woods 750 that I bought in 1991. It is now the 7500. It uses heavier buckets and has some other minor changes. I use it on a Ford 3000. That is 1000 lb heavier than an 8N, with 10 more hp. It seems like a good match.

Do not think I would use it on my 8N. For one thing, it will not mount to the 8N top link rocker. I had to replace the top link rocker on my 3000 after the back hoe broke it. The cast iron top link rocker is just not strong enough. You probably don't know this, but the whole back hoe hangs on the top link rocker. The lift arms do not hold any of the weight, they just stabilize the hoe.

The reason for this, is that Woods has a patented frame on the hoe that keeps the hoe from lifting up under load. This is a safety issue. If the hoe could lift up under load, it would push the operator into the tractor, RPOS or steering wheel/dash, with nasty results.

I think that the 6500 might be OK on an 8N. Would want to check the weight. I have the 750 weight written on my manual - out in country, so can't get it for you until this weekend. You would need to find a way to attach it to the tractor, other than the original top link rocker. I suspect that Woods does not have a replacement for the 8N rocker like they do for the 3000. Even if they did, GOOD LUCK on getting the old rocker off. After I broke mine, it took heating the begebers out of the rear axle mount and a 10 ton hydro. jack to get the pin holding the rocker to the axle housing to come out. WHEW!!

I would look at using the "ears" on each side of the 8N rear axle housing. I would want the Woods engineers to approve any change in the Woods mounting bracket. SAFETY First!! I do not think it would be very hard to design an acceptable bracket, so it should not be a big deal for Woods to do it.

I winced when I paid the bill for my NEW 750. But I sure am GLAD I have it. It is a great tool for using around my farm. I've dug a 300' trench to replace an old iron well line with new PVC plastic. Dug for culverts across the logging road into my woods. Dug out stumps and even trees up to about 10" across. Dug out some BIG rocks in my hay field. And several other tasks that either would not have been done or would have been MUCH harder to do. Not sure it has yet paid for itself interms of cost per hour for a rental unit with operator. BUT it is there when "I" need it so I don't have to call someone, wait for them to get free from their current job, etc., etc., etc. :-)

If you get a Woods unit, let me know. I can give you some pointers on mounting/unmounting it. It is not as easy as other three point hitch implements. That is because you have to work with a FIXED relationship between the lift arm pins and top link pin - top link does NOT adjust like you can do on, say, your mower.


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04-11-2000 16:28:33

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 Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Larry 8N75381, 04-11-2000 14:06:32  
Thanks Larry,

My first thought in this process was to spend the small extra money and get the extra capacity of the 7500 or 750. After several replies and a call to Kelley, it sounds like I better pay attention to balance. Woods doesn't make it clear what the weight includes but I'll guess for the moment that there is no bucket. The 6500 is 950 pounds and the 7500 is 1000 pounds. Not much difference. A 12 inch bucket adds 200 to 350 pounds to that weight assuming it's one of their catalog buckets with 1.8 or so cubic foot heaped capacity.

In contrast, the Kelley 600 weighs 565 less bucket. The 750 weighs 860 pounds and their 12 inch bucket weighs 65 pounds.

Lots of issues here. I have to be sure what's included in the Woods weight. It's listed as approximate - so it might include a mid size bucket. The Kelley units seem a lot lighter but that may not be something to get excited about if that translates in to a less rugged design. The Kelley 600 swing arc is only 140 degrees. Both Woods units swing 180. Its not always easy to tell from pictures, but the weights and pictures for the buckets suggest the Kelley unit is welded sheet metal with fixed teeth. The Woods bucket our local dealer described sounded a bit more substantial.

So if the weights are correct, the Kelley 600 is less of a load and with a shorter reach probably is - along with the smaller Woods - less likely to get out of hand.

I already have some work planned - septic systems and trenching for utilities. I have stumps too. I'm guessing it won't see quite as much or as heavy a load as you have. I can justify the cost based on just the first years jobs. The septic alone says go for it. Its just under a thousand for materials delivered to the site. My lowest quote on the system is $3500. That's about half way there.

I appreciate your comments on the rocker. I figured it must hook in there. The local dealer briefly described the way the Woods ties in to the tractor. He said it was the same for both models. It sounds like I better contact Woods and ask them about the 6500 on the 8N.

The way I picture it, the whole tractor is a counter weight for the backhoe with the hoe stabilizing arms acting as the fulcrum. So when the digger arm is way out and your working at something, if you get in to it too much - generate too much force out at the bucket (and some of the bucket force numbers look big enough) - the tendency will be to lift the whole tractor up. I can imagine that if your backed up too close to a larger hole your working on and get all the weight on the hoe stabilizer arms you could tip in to the hole or crumble the bank and squat down on the belly or slide in to the hole. Now I'm not really familiar with the attachment to the tractor but I'm guessing that these nasty forces that want to tip the tractor are transmitted through the rocker.

I'm also getting the comment back from some people with bigger tractors that they can't or don't feel safe using their backhoes without a front loader mounted. Now I'm guessing that this all depends on how far you push it. But I can see that you could get in trouble even on simple things. I can picture myself working on a utility trench. Its not very deep or wide but you want to get as much done as possible before you have to move to the next spot. So when you are digging out near maximum reach you are more likely to tip the tractor up. It has to be a bit unnerving - even if you can't go very far.

Your comment about being crushed between the hoe and tractor had me confused for a moment. Does this come from the reaction if there is a sudden unloading of force on the bucket (when the tree stump finally lets go) or if the bucket is used to push down on something?

Well I have a lot to learn and appreciate your inputs. I better spend some time on this to make sure I don't wind up in the hole!!


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Larry 8N75381 - email me, Pete.

04-12-2000 08:02:31

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 Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-11-2000 16:28:33  

I'm surprised that the weight difference is so little between the 6500 and 7500. I use my 750 with nothing on the front. Never had any hint that I could pull up the front end with the hoe. I did a quick calculation that says you would have to put 1200lb load out at 84" to get close to lifting even an 8N, but I don't think the hoe boom will lift that much. Even if it was close, just adding a 100lb out on your front bumper would help a lot, remember it is the distance from the fulcrum times the weight.

I have pulled on rocks and tree roots that the hoe would not handle. You can hear the safty valve complaining. And in some instances you can feel the tractor pull down, but not to the point I felt lite the tractor front was comming up. I wonder how big the hoe is that people say they want a front end loader on to feel safe. I'd guess a LOT bigger than you can get on your 8N.

Sounds like you might as well think in terms of the 7500, IF you can get an acceptable hook up. When you are using the hoe you should be lifting the rear axle of the tractor off the ground. That means that the top attachment point is holding the whole rear of the tractor, not a job the top link rocker was meant to take. ALSO using the top link rocker transmits froces into the hydraulic control stuff inside the tractor. I have somehow managed to mess up (bend I think) something inside so my hydraulic control does not work right. So if you can use the "ears" on the 8N that would be the way to go.

I'm not sure I'd be happy with only 140 degrees of turning motion. I often go the full 90 degrees to each side. Do you have the "specs" on the Woods and Kelly hoes?? I can scan the Woods and post it on Photopoint if you'd like me to. They have the break out force that the bucket can exert, which is a valuable point of comparison.

Gott'a run - email me so I can give you more info.

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04-12-2000 10:39:22

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Larry 8N75381 - email me, Pete., 04-12-2000 08:02:31  
Hi Larry,

I wrote to Woods last night with the questions I had - including the ones about weight and mounting. Their Kevin Smith wrote back:

""The Woods backhoe is not compatible with the FORD 8n tractor. It will not fit the top link on the tractor and there is not a way to lock out the draft control on the tractor.""

I replied to ask what if any Ford tractors of the '50s and '60s would work with his hoes.

I can't remember what backhoes but the Tractors were 9Ns and the owners were concerned about balance. I had called a local dealer who handled both Woods and Kelley - he knew I had an 8N and had stated his preference for the Woods - and never mentioned any problems with attaching the unit or issues with the draft control. That surprises me as he restores and sells a lot of vintage stuff. I'll have to call him back.

Check out under construction equipment / backhoes for the specs on the 6500 and 7500. Check under attachments for specs on the buckets. Check out for the 600 and 750 . Bush Hog is also in the business :

This data is copied from the Kelley 600 specs:

""Bucket Pry-out power: in excess of 4076 lbs.
Bucket curl power at cutting edge: 1870 lbs.
Crowd power at end of dipper stick: 1728 lbs.
Lift at end of boom: 640 lbs.
Lift at end of stick with boom and dipper stick extended: 375 lbs.

Specifications may vary depending on tractor model and are based on boom pivot 11" above ground level.""

They have some diagrams to go along with the specs. The info from Woods is not quite as complete but similar. I'm not excited about the limited swing of the 600 either but so far it's the only one that is "officially" listed as working with the 8N. I think I can appreciate the forces involved and be careful not to kill myself or someone else by overdoing it. I just need to make sure I donít get in to some situation thatís unworkable or will wreck the tractor.

Looks like I have some more homework to do. Thanks for all your advice. Iíll drop you an e-mail when I have a better idea of what I can do.


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Ken (MO)

04-12-2000 06:41:22

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 Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-11-2000 16:28:33  
Pete - You mentioned in your post that you had called Kelley. Do you still have the phone number for them? My Ford 2000 I recently acquired came with Kelley 600 front loader that I mounted over the weekend. I have some questions about the installation and have not been able to find any info on the manufacturer.
Thanks for the help,

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04-12-2000 09:47:59

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Ken (MO), 04-12-2000 06:41:22  

I called Kelley at 219 255 4746. Both Kelley and Woods have WEB sites:

BushHog is also in the Backhoe business:

Good luck with your installation.


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Ken (MO)

04-13-2000 05:21:42

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-12-2000 09:47:59  
Pete - Thanks for the info.


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Dave K

04-10-2000 20:00:47

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 Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-10-2000 18:19:28  
I have just finished mounting a old sargent backhoe 3pt set up to my 9N. It is a bigger unit than I wanted but I came home with it from a farm swap meet and It has a 2ft bucket and I have just one cyclinder to fix and it is reaty had to make a bigger mount one the bottom of the tractor to keep the 3pt setup Had to add a old dearborn loader to help with the weight problem changing the cyclinders and making the bucket bigger to help out good luck with yours Dave

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04-10-2000 20:08:03

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 Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Dave K, 04-10-2000 20:00:47  

I've heard too large a unit can cause a lot of balance problems. Any idea how much your backhoe weighs?


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Dave K

04-13-2000 10:10:00

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 Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-10-2000 20:08:03  
Pete it weighs about15oo-1800lbs It is modified to a slide in 4 way mounting system and the pump also slides to the pto at the same time It is all suppended from the rear axle I didnt want to use the 3pt system cause of possibly damage I have been working on the over weight problem by adding a bigger bucket added to the dearborn loader

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04-13-2000 12:22:11

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Dave K, 04-13-2000 10:10:00  
Thanks Dave,

I appreciate this information as it helps calibrate me as to what I might expect with other hoes and also suggests other options.

Woods was adamant that neither the 6500 or 7500 were suitable for the 8N. This was their final response:

""Pete, as much as I would for you to own a Woods backhoe, sorry to say I have had too many complaints of problems that could not be resolved in attaching a backhoe to an 8N Ford. I advise not mounting this unit to an 8N Ford.""

Their units weigh about 1000 pounds without the bucket and their buckets are about another 200 pounds.

The one recommended Kelley (600) weighs 565 pounds with another 40 pounds for the bucket. Quite a difference - almost alarmingly light. But it doesn't swing a full 180. The Kelley 750 weighs 860 pounds with another 60 for the bucket. Kelley didn't recommend the larger unit for the 8N - based on balance - but it would mount.

Recently I've talked with Bush Hog - both the factory and a local dealer. They market units made by Amerequip. Their units size and price pretty much like the Woods and Kelley. Their 600 equivalent weighs 100 pounds more then the Kelley and swings 180. Their 750 equivalent weighs in the same as the Kelley.

The local dealer has installed both on the 8N using the three point hitch. He claims the smaller is no problem to handle. The larger one requires some care when driving along (tipping) and needs some counterweight in the front. He suggests it though as the more robust of the two and only $500 more ready to go with bucket and pump. Better yet, he has both in stock so I can see them first hand and how they mount. At that time I can ask about mounting to the axle. I have the feeling though that either of those weights are in line with what the hitch can handle and even if I go with the smaller unit I won't have to give up swing range.


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04-11-2000 09:00:47

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 Re: Re: Re: 8N with Backhoe in reply to Pete, 04-10-2000 20:08:03  
I've got an old backhoe on my 9N. It is medium-size, but probably large for an N--it has a 16" bucket and handles it just fine. However, I cannot use it without the frontloader attached--totally unsafe, way too much weight on the rear. The fellow I purchased it from used several large steel plates attached to his front axle for counterweight. Even those small Woods backhoes should probably not be used without counterweight on the front.

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