Idea of the Month: Skid Loader Rear Attachment
When he worked part time at a dairy farm during college, Brent Svoboda would bed calves and move big bales. “It seemed to take forever,” he says. “I remember looking at the skid loader and thinking it would be nice to have an attachment on the back to get more done.
“But it wasn’t until five years later – when I bought my own skid steer – that I could implement the idea,” he says.
That’s when Svoboda took his design to good friend and mechanical engineer Adam Rief, who owns a machine shop (Rief Design and Manufacturing in Bancroft, Nebraska, 402/372-1951). Rief used engineering software to determine the necessary specifications.
Designed to fit a John Deere 328D, Svoboda’s device has a 6,000-pound lift capacity. Two hydraulic cylinders are plumbed into an auxiliary line on the skid loader.
Easy to install, the attachment bolts onto the weight bracket. This leaves access to the engine compartment. “Then it comes off again in five minutes if I need to get into a tight place,” he says.
Svoboda and Rief incorporated a Category II three-point quick-attach hitch for switching out implements with ease.
There is a selector valve inline for the hydraulics, leaving open the front auxiliary outlets to run an implement up front.
“I also mounted a cab cam on the back of the skid loader with the monitor in the cab so I can see what’s going on back there without having to turn around.” He explains that in its down position, the attachment is at ground level; in the up position, it’s 3 feet high.
“Since it has positive downpressure, I can force a ripper or a box blade, for example, into the ground. I can dump dirt out the front and level it off in the back.
Skid steer becomes even more useful and productive
“A skid loader is versatile, but it’s not cheap. So this attachment makes it easier to justify to the banker,” he says.
He further notes the safety function of his attachment. When it’s installed, a skid steer cannot tip over backwards.