We want to help you understand quick attach systems and how you use them to attach implements to your tractor’s loader.
Let’s get started.
Expanded Uses for Loaders
Most tractors in North America are equipped with front end loaders.
Many loaders are already installed at the factory.
When you look closely at how tractor owners are putting front end loaders to work --- you will see that manufacturers are taking many steps to make the front loader more versatile and easier to use.
Scooping stuff with the loader bucket is not enough anymore. Tractor owners want pallet forks, bale spears, grapples, and a host of other loader attachments.
Quick Attach Systems
To create the ease of use and versatility --- manufacturers have been building loaders with quick attach systems that make changing loader attachments fast and easy.
Quick attach systems are standard on all Yanmar loaders. For the subcompact SA Series tractors --- it is a Yanmar quick attach sized to the capabilities of the subcompact tractors. On the loaders for the larger YT2 and YT3 Series tractors --- the loaders have an industry-standard, skid-steer style loader quick attach as standard equipment. That opens the universe of loader attachments for skid-steers and tractors that all use the skid-steer style quick attachment.
Some tractor brands use a proprietary quick attach design that does not allow “open sourcing” for your loader attachments.
Versatility and Power
Let’s look closer at what is being done to make front end loaders more versatile and powerful tools.
Loaders have been about hydraulics to lift the loader and dump and return the bucket or other attachment. But when you move into the wider world of loader attachments --- you will find implements like the increasingly popular grapples that need a 3rd function hydraulic circuit to operate the opening and closing of the grapple.
3rd Function Hydraulics
Another example would be attaching a hydraulic-turn snow blade to the loader. Still another example is using a 4-in-1 bucket that provides an attachment that can scoop, grapple, and more --- in one attachment operated by the 3rd function hydraulic circuit. 3rd function circuits are usually an optional feature. They can be factory-installed or field-installed by tractor dealers.
Because the universe of loader attachments is large and diverse, there are attachments that demand more than what 3rd function hydraulic circuits are designed to supply. Now we enter the world of “power beyond” hydraulic systems.
Power Beyond Kits
What is a front-end loader power beyond kit and how is it different from a 3rd function valve?
Power beyond kits let you use any loader attachment that requires high-flow hydraulics to power the attachment. Examples are snowblowers and rotary brooms for snow removal and grounds care work. On compact tractors, this is often accomplished by attaching an auxiliary hydraulic power unit to the 3-point hitch which is powered by the tractor’s rear power take off (PTO).
The higher flow required to operate more demanding attachments like snowblowers or brooms is provided by this PTO-driven power pack that includes a hydraulic pump and a hydraulic oil reservoir large enough to power a blower or broom through a long work day. The high hydraulic flow is routed through larger dedicated tubes and hoses to the front of the loader where it is delivered to the high flow attachment.
Equipping your tractor with a front power beyond kit makes the tractor even more versatile. Owners can quickly change from a hydraulic snowblower to a snow blade or back to the loader bucket. The loader stays on the tractor.
Snowblowers, brooms, and other high-flow-required front attachments come in many sizes and specifications. Compare your loader lift capacity specifications, your hydraulic power pack specifications, and the total attachment weight and flow requirements before you take the plunge on assigning your tractor and loader to run one of these tools. Your tractor dealer can help you make a correct match among tractor, power pack, loader, and the attachments.
Adding a power beyond kit to your tractor/loader package is different from another popular front attachment solution for subcompact and compact tractors. This other solution requires removing the loader arms and installing a front hitch specifically designed to operate blades, snowblowers, and brooms.
Front attachments on dedicated front hitch kits are a highly effective and affordable way to add some attachment versatility to your tractor --- but you have more steps to follow to switch between front attachments and using your loader.
Selecting 3rd function and power beyond hydraulic kit options to your tractor and loader opens all these possibilities.
Hopefully, this brief article has helped you better understand quick attach systems and how to use them.
If you need any further help or have any questions about 3rd function, quick attach systems, tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.
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