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Little Wonder Blower: 3-point mount

Post in 'The Gear' started by Joful, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Wasn't sure if this was "Gear" or "DIY", but here goes...

    I bought a new Little Wonder LB-270S leaf blower two years ago, and immediately (after first day!) regretted not buying the self-propelled model. The dealer wouldn't make good on an exchange (used once!!!), even after charging me $100 more than originally quoted on the machine, but that's a whole other bitter story.

    Last fall, I experimented with strapping the thing into the bucket on my front-end loader, and blowing leaves was a dream! Just drive the tractor around the lawn, and watch the debris fly. Life almost couldn't get better... except I was digging the hell of my lawn every time the bucket inadvertently bumped the ground. It was an experiment to prove a point...

    I figured, "someone must make a 3-point kit for these things," and began searching Gore's web for it... but turned up nothing. Amazing. So, I guess I'll be making my own. Wondering (a "Little" :p) if anyone else has done similar. I've seen folks put these on three-point platforms, but with as hilly as my yard is, I'd have to put casters on the bottom of the platform. I also would like to keep this as close as possible to the ground, maybe using the factory wheels as float/draft control.

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  2. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

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    I've put them on the back of golf carts before with good results but have never made or seen a 3 point hitch for a little wonder. I have seen many PTO blowers over the years and if you need pics to help with your build look at Agrimetal, Olathe, Goosen, and the like.

    If it were me doing the fab work I would stick with using the loader and extend the blower chute so you can keep the bucket up a bit higher. That way you won't run over the debris you're trying to move ( sticks,leaves,grass clippings) and stick them to the ground from the tires. Just a thought.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... not an entirely bad thought. The primary difficulty there would be coming up with a better way to fasten the machine into the loader bucket (I just used ratchet straps for my temporary experiment... worked in a pinch, but not something I'd want to repeat yearly), and redirecting the air without too much in the way of losses / turbulence.

    Whether it goes on front or back, though... same problems exist. My tractor goes in reverse just as well as it goes forward, and vice versa.
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Thinking out loud here, but might be worth considering building a platform that hangs off to the side of the loader bucket. Build a table for the blower to sit on, drive the tractor up to it (the table) and lift the bucket to engage some brackets....gravity will do most of the work to hold it in place, but a couple threaded bolts to clamp it down to the bucket (think C-clamp) would be good if you have a lot of bumps.

    Nothing says it has to be "in" the bucket...widen the thinking a little and you might come up with an easier solution. The closer it is to the leaves, the better it will blow them. Offsetting is to your advantage.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Why not build a purpose built trailer? You could tow it with anything, including a lawnmower. Always follows the ground contour.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, I wouldn't really need a trailer, as it's already on wheels. A tow bar would do the trick, but any trailer is much less maneuverable than just picking something up with the 3-point.

    The idea to put it off to the side of the bucket is intriguing, but makes my footprint much larger, weaving between trees. I might actually remove the entire front-end loader (only takes 2 minutes) when I'm using the blower, for this very reason.

    http://littlewonder.com/global/assets/optimax-self-propelled/LW_Optimax LB270H SS.pdf

    I'm thinking maybe just remove a c-clip, and pull the rear axle off the blower, replacing it with a pair of pins for the lower link of the 3-point. Then I just need to find a place to attach the top link, and I might be able to weld something to the lower cross-bar on the handle assembly (right behind motor) for that purpose, and just use a shorter top link. I could buy the front swivel wheel kit from Little Wonder, and that would be what the blower rides on in the lowered position.

    The primary trouble there is that my lower links are too short, or the blower's handle bar assembly on the blower is too long, such that the handle bar will hit the back of my seat or rops. I could remove the handle assembly, but that's where all the blower controls reside. I wonder if anyone makes some lower link extensions for my tractor's 3-point hitch?

    The other potential danger is having the front wheel of the blower hit something (a gopher hole?) that causes it to stop, while operating the tractor in reverse. Things can break real quick, pushing a 140 lb. machine with a 2000 lb. machine.
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    If you're taking off the FEL, my next best idea would be build/buy a set of pallet forks for the 3pt. Then just set the blower on a pallet. Those forks are handy even if you already have a FEL, if nothing else for picking up some extra ballast.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Again... got some seriously steep/abrupt hills. The forks WILL be impaled into a hill-side when backing up, unless they have casters on the bottom. That may be an option, though.

    Thinking thru my above plan some more, having the swivel wheel out front is the weak point. Float control wheels should be located at the 3-point connection to the machine, and it would be easy enough to make the axle/pins so that it's both an axle for the wheels and a connection point for my lower links, but they should be swivel wheels to prevent tearing up turf in a turn. That's a little more challenging.
  9. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

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    Joful likes this.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You also have a Deere 757 Z-trak right? 39JDW is your mount bar part #.

    http://www.jrcoinc.com/product.asp?id=5

    I could see that being easily modified to connect to a 3pt as well.

    Little Wonder? Eat your heart out.

    http://www.buffaloturbine.com/cyclone pto.html

    Have one of their self-powered models (on the golf course, Similar to the KB4) and it flat out rips. We sold all the little wonders after this thing landed. So much power, and yet so much utility as well. 3 hrs and I can cover all 20 greens, every tee box, and a few fairway spots with ease. I can only imagine how much more power is available with their Cyclone PTO model.

    No, they aren't cheap. IIRC the KB4 was about $8K. Knock a $2500 engine off it and make the blower a bit bigger, my SWAG for the Cyclone PTO would be about $6K.
  11. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Wouldn't it just be easier to suck up all the leaves with the mower and a grass catcher?
    smokinj likes this.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    AWESOME! That is so cool. That's a smaller blower than mine in the demo, but I think it will still fit mine just fine. I wonder how well the mower keeps traction on hills, with that heavy attachment sticking way out front.

    Believe me... I've been looking and drooling. Hard to justify $6k - $8k for a once-per-year use, though. The Little Wonder actually gets used more frequently for blowing grass clippings or light dusty snow off my driveway, than it gets used for moving leaves, and for that purpose it is more versatile as a walk-behind than a dedicated 3-point blower.

    Think big mower, very big lawn. The grass catcher attachment for my machine is very large and very expensive ($2300 - $3100, depending on option), more expensive than a Little Wonder blower ($1100). Also, bagging this amount of grass this time of year would require me to keep a dump truck on hand to haul away the clippings, and removing the grass catcher this time of year would mean storing another very large piece of equipment, until I needed it in the fall. It's a possible solution, but likely not the cheapest or easiest.
  13. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Up and down I think you'd be fine, but when going sideways (perpendicular to the slope) I think it would want to pull the nose of the mower downhill...and you always want it pointed up hill on a ZTR. Looks awesome for flat ground...not so sure about hills.
  14. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Wasn't figuring anyone in Philly would have a few hundred acres of lawn!
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I suspect no one does... but I have a few acres. Just enough to keep me busy!
    MasterMech likes this.

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