Home' Smart Farmer : November 2009 Contents IF A tractor is the most useful
tool around the small
acreage farm then the 4-in-1
bucket would arguably be the
most versatile attachment.
Standard front end loaders have
been available on small acreage
tractors for many years. In
recent years, 4-in-1 buckets have
become more accessible on
small tractors as the affordabili-
ty and quality has improved.
This article provides a brief
description of the functions of a
4-in-1 bucket, some dos and
don'ts in operation and what to
look out for when buying one.
As the name suggests a 4-in-1
bucket enables you to perform
The most basic function is
scooping. With the bucket
closed, it scoops as per a
standard bucket.This is great for
shifting all kinds of material
from soil to gravel to garden
With all bucket work it is
important to only lift loads
within the safe working loads of
the machine, use a low gear and
travel with the bucket as low as
Opening the bucket up
exposes the blades for a variety
of applications.The rear jaw has
a blade with a cutting edge
facing to the rear of the bucket.
This is designed for levelling
such as spreading out gravel on
a driveway.The tractor is driven
in reverse to perform this
Another way to spread out
gravel is to scoop a bucket of
material, then slightly open the
bucket and drive the tractor
along.This 'sprinkles' the gravel
in a thinner layer than simply
dumping the pile.The depth
can be altered by varying
travelling speed or how wide
the bucket is opened.
With the bucket open, the
front jaw has a cutting edge
facing to the front of the
bucket.This is used for light
grading and pushing of loose
material.The tractor is driven
forward to use this cutting
Remember this is not a
bulldozer. It is designed for
NOVEMBER, 2009 smartfarmer
12Four-in-one bucket proves to be the
SCOOP: Easy to operate for moving a range of materials.
John Hughes has a test drive and explores the huge range of uses for the 4-in-1
bucket around the farm.
LEVELLER: Work in reverse gear to spread and level.
pushing or spreading material
that has already been
excavated. If you need to break
soil up use a ripper or backhoe
on the rear of the tractor.
Being able to clamp the
bucket over an object makes it
very useful for picking up
objects. It is ideal for picking up
fallen branches after a storm.
It also enables attachments to
be fitted in seconds.The
levelling bar is simply grabbed
by the bucket and ready to go.
When grabbing an object
vertically, position it in the
middle of the bucket.This will
enable even clamping force so
that you are less likely to drop
the object or twist the bucket.
Don't try to lift tree stumps
out of the ground roots and all.
This is beyond the design intent
of a small acreage tractor -- you
will end up damaging the
Another aspect of the
versatility of a 4-in-1 bucket is
that you can take it off.This has
several advantages. When
slashing the tractor is more
manoeuvrable in tight spaces
without a bucket on the front.
• more on next page
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