At Dude Ranch DIY: Tractor Mount Log Splitter Install
Pick up some pointers on how to attach the RuggedMade 3-point hitch log splitter to a tractor.
All right, so, we're still here with Jake at Dude Ranch DIY and we brought something kind of special for him to check out. So, Jake, this is our new three-point, tractor-mount log splitter. This looks pretty cool. This is awesome. So, we've seen all, you know, Jake's videos. He's got this nice Kubota tractor and this is a new product that we've wanted to launch for a while and we thought what a great opportunity to come down and, you know, Jake knows his way around his machines, and he's got plenty of wood to split, so this would be fun chance to let him just sort of, you know, try it out and let us know what he thinks.
Absolutely. This looks like it could be pretty cool and very maneuverable especially on more difficult terrain and, yeah, bringing it right to the wood. I'm excited to try it out. Yeah. So, we'll get a hookup to his tractor. We're gonna show a couple different options about hooking it up and show where a tractor-mount splitter like this can be useful. It's not for everybody, but it does have a pretty good use when you've got a lot like this, so let's get her opened up and get it unloaded.
It is nose-heavy. Should we get your ballast box? Sure.
Okay, so, Jake's got a ballast bucket that we're gonna throw in the back of his tractor just to make sure, he maybe saw the back wheels lift up a little bit, so we'll get that mounted up and then we'll be able to get the splitter out of the back of the truck.
All right, so here we've got our TT-22 three-point tractor mount log splitter. It's a new product for RuggedMade and what we're going to be doing today is hooking it up on Jake's tractor here. And, we're going to do some interesting things with the hydraulics, as we'll discover. Let's get started. We'll get it cut off this pallet, get it mounted up to your three-point and go from there.
All right. All right, let's get these guys. So, Jake, it looks like you've got some cool upgrades on your three-point hitch. Maybe we can talk about that before we get this hooked up? Yeah, so I have the pat’s easy-change system here for category one on the back of the tractor and it's essentially a, you know, quick-hitch system, but it gives you a little bit more flexibility as opposed to having the rigid, you know, three-point hitch, quick hitch. If you have older implements, that might not be quick-hitch compatible. This still allows you to adjust the width of your three-point hitch arms and I've also upgraded these from the standard turnbuckle that come on the L-series tractors to these telescopic ones so it makes it a lot easier especially, you know, when I'm going from the ballast box to the chipper or to this unit. This category one part's easy-change, you know, have been a game changer. I can, what used to take two people to hook up the 800-pound ballast box, now I can do it by myself in, you know, 30 seconds. So. Yeah.
And, you probably saw - this doesn't weigh all that much, probably, he didn't need theballast box based on weight, but all the weight was way out. Yeah. So we went and hooked up the ballast box and that took just a couple of seconds. Better safe than sorry. I guess we're about to find out if RuggedMade's new TR-22 is quick-hitch compatible. Yeah. Definitely had it hooked up to a regular three-point hitch.
So, all right, let's see what adjustments we have to make here. All right, so this one, I guess, usually I pop this one out a little bit and that one can just stay in place and we'll just kind of eyeball it here, but I'm guessing that somewhere in that range will be good. Yeah. And, we'll just pop the cotter pin in. So, you're just basically not wanting to rub the tire? Exactly. Yeah, and there actually is like, if you have a brush hog or something where it does require a little bit of sway, there is this hole here where it will sway back and forth a little bit more, you know, if you hit a rock or something. God forbid. Okay. But, that looks good. We'll see how my driving skills are. Yeah.
I think the pallet put it to just the right height to grab it. Yeah, hopefully. Okay, so it looks like the left side might even want to come inward a little more. I think so. Might have gone a little too far. Let me pop this out and, yeah, we were just one hole too far. All right, so, now to secure those in place, I'm just gonna pop these little tabs out and lock them. Pop it and lock it. Pop, lock, and drop it. Excellent.
Now, we can do our top link, so we might want to lower it a little more to level it out. Yeah. You know, I think it's the weight of it, honestly. We might need to push down or take it off. Let's see. So the hydraulics can't force it down, they can only gravity-feed it? Yeah, I don't have down-pressure. Okay. That is something I could add but haven't done yet. So, what if I stand on it? Yeah, maybe. Watch your fingers. There we go. It’s coming down. Yep, little by little. Does that have much more throw in? I don't know. Let's see. The other thing we could probably do is block up the nose a little bit, take some of the weight off of the lower tube connections. Okay, why don't we try that? I don't think there's a shortage of blocks of wood here. No. Here’s this one. We can kind of span it, these blocks too. One, two, three. That didn't go too well. Let's try that. That looks more level. Now we're too long. That's good. There we go. Halfway. So close. One more time. All right. We got four blocks. We got this guy. One, two, all right. Maybe now if we step on it again, yeah, I think we could probably get it. There we go. All right, we’re in.
All right, so we got it hooked up. Definitely a little tough, I think, because the driveway’s on a hill. Yeah. The tractor's downhill, and this is obviously the heaviest part, I'd imagine, the splitter. Yeah. I think you get spoiled with Bobcats and the front-end load of a tractor. Yeah. Force stuff down. This is all gravity. They never said hooking up with three point was easy, they just made it a little bit easier. I think we made it harder than it had to be, but yeah.
So, now with the turnbuckle with the top link we can adjust our level. Right? Yeah. So, let's see. Why don't I pick it up a little bit? Yeah. That looks good, actually. Pretty close to level. Maybe once we get off the hill we'll adjust it a little more. Yeah. All right, but we're in the air, so, all right. Let's get this out of here. looks like it already split its first batch of wood. Yeah. Look at that. We didn't even have to break a sweat. Magic.
All right, so what's the next step here, Jared? Well, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about how we came up with this. Again, it's one of the reasons it's so great to come down and hang out with you and hear more about what kind of splitting you do and how you're using the other machine you have. We've had feedback from people who, you know, they maybe have a tractor and they maybe don't split all day, everyday. They're not heavy commercial users, but they won't have a splitter and they don't necessarily want to have another standalone machine with another engine, another pump, and hydraulic fluid, and all that. They just want to be able to utilize their tractor.
Now, as we get into it, we'll see what we're going to be using for the hydraulics because you may have auxiliary hydraulics, you may not, you may have a PTO-driven pump, we're going to do something kind of interesting today, as you'll see, where I think we're going to be hooking up to maybe your loader hydraulic circuit.
So, because I don't have a backhoe or any other hydraulically driven implements off the back of the tractor, I don't have any rear-remote reservoirs where you would typically hook up a backhoe or this machine to, so my chipper is hydraulically driven but it's off the PTO. It has its own pump. Gotcha. So, I kind of avoided that there, but today, I think our best option would be to hook up to one of the functions of the loader and while we're splitting, I'll just hold that loader valve or, you know, bungee cord it in the open position to allow, you know, constant flow for the splitter. And, fingers crossed, I think it should work. Yeah. We're going to have a little fun today. Kind of improvise a little bit, but I think this is somewhat realistic for some folks who, you know, they may end up with a PTO-driven pump if they don't already have the auxiliary hydraulics or they may end up doing what we're gonna be doing today and just, you know, when they're operating this maybe they're not running their loader and we'll make it work. Yeah. Definitely.
And, what we've got here are some extra hoses to make sure we can reach. The two hoses that come standard with the machine are really meant, ideally, to get to either remote hydraulics here or a PTO-driven pump. But, we brought some extensions that should get us all the way up front.
And then, a few other things: so, this is a TR-22. It is, essentially, if you've ever seen our 322, our 300-Series splitter, it's basically just that splitter minus the tank, the wheels, the pump, and the engine. So, it just comes as a more basic kit from, you know, the beam, the valve, the push plate, and the four-way blade. That's all standard part of the kit, and then this subframe is where the three-point connection comes in.
It's designed for cat one as we've hooked up to your tractor. You know, compact tractors have just taken over. I mean, why not have a compact tractor these days? Right. But, if you want something a little bigger, I think it goes 20 to 50 horses: cat one maybe, 50 to 90 horses, I think, is cat two, so it'll handle those two sizes. Yeah. I like how you have them staggered right here so it's nice and easy. Yeah. One thing I am noticing is, we should probably put these lynch pins. Yes. Safety first. Just for safety sake. All right, now that we know it's not going to go anywhere.
All right. So, now should we see how things are going to work out with the hydraulics? Yeah. So, I guess our first plan or option one would be to hook it up to the actual loader function. Yep. So, I'm going to take, or, release all of the pressure on the loader just so that it makes it easy. Yep, yeah now these are all pretty standard agricultural quick disconnects. Now, these don't come standard with the splitter because, I think, as we're seeing here, everyone's gonna have maybe a little different situation, and, not everybody's even gonna want to use quick disconnects. But, you know, for an implement that you might only use here and there, it does certainly make the connecting and disconnecting easy. Right. But, pretty much, we'll leave that to the folks to, you know, hook up as they see fit.
The standard connection is pretty much just a the hose and the JIC 37-degree fitting. We've got half inch on the high pressure inside and we've got 3/4"on the low pressure return side. But, for today, we've got agricultural connectors here and these are the extensions I rigged up. We actually got really close even without these. Yeah. I'm surprised at how far those those lines do travel. I guess, different tractors have different size arms and stuff like that. Yeah. So, these ends will just hook up as extensions to our existing hoses and then we did these as 90s the idea being they might connect up a little cleaner without having to make some crazy big loop. Absolutely. But, depending on what we hook it up to we may have a size issue. Yeah. So, let's get the camera over here we can see our options here and maybe you can walk us through the difference between these different connections.
So, essentially, on my tractor since I have a grapple attachment for the front of it, I've added the third function valve, which are these two and just looking, judging by the size, they look pretty comparable. Our initial plan was to hook up to one of the loader function valves - that's your lift arms or your bucket tilt - right, the curl or or lift arm, and these, just by looking at it, look to be a little bit smaller. But, I'm gonna go ahead and detach one of these. Yeah. That's on me. Jake did give me some dimensions before I came down and I guess I don't follow directions so well, so I came down with oversized connectors. Yeah, so those are a little bit too big. Yeah. We might have some leakage if we went with that one. I think so. But, now, I think I should be able to pop this. Now these are cone connectors so they should meet up pretty well with that style. There's also the ball style.
Okay, let me release the pressure in the third function and now, let's see if we're able to get this on. There we go. That's one. All right, so score one for industry standardization. Yes. As long as you get some wins.All right, so now, we got this and that's on there. All right, so just tell us again what kind of flow rate we might be able to expect here, approximately, compared to the other connections.
From what I was told by the dealer, the third function valve is probably the most restrictive flow on the tractor because all it's really designed to do is open and close the grapple so it doesn't take a lot of flow to do that, which is why I think we're aiming to try and hook up to the loader valves because they do require a little bit more flow to get all that pressure, you know, to be able to lift and and curl and stuff. So, I think they said we might be looking at about three to four gallons per minute out of this and we're going to have to hold the button open on the third function valve buttons here on my loader control lever, but I'm glad that they hooked up as easily as they did. Yeah. And, I'll be interested to see how it performs, you know, on the log splitter side of things.
Yeah, I think one most common questions we get is whether it's about, you know, this design because, again, this came from input from customers asking for this, but the people want to ask about flow rate. Now, if it's one of our machines that comes with a pump, we can tell folks exactly what the flow rate is. If this was a fully fleshed out 322 with its pump, it's a 13-gallon-per-minute pump. It's also available with a 16-gallon-per-minute pump, so people want to know cycle times. Well, this is going to be very tractor-dependent, what hydraulic system you got hooked up to, so I'm guessing since this isn't really meant for continuous use, we may not want to run it too long off of that circuit and we're probably not going to see blistering cycle times. And, so, maybe we'll come back later if we can get some different size connectors and hook it up to the higher flow connections. But, let's fire it up while we've got it hooked up. Okay. Let's see. We've got plenty of hose length here, so how do you want to route these? Yeah, why don't we give this a little slack and we can do - we could probably feed it through there a couple times to tighten it up. Go up and around. Get it out of the way. Yeah. And then something like this, yes, nothing's dragging. That looks good. Okay, grab this one.
Okay, this looks good. Those are hooked up and now I think I'll turn it on and we're going to have to hit one of the buttons and then maybe you can test the lever and see if we got any movement. I'm just going to grab some IPRO before we fire it up. Great.
Hello! What's up, buddy? Can you get your ball? Hey! Yes!
Boy, Bud, while you were gone, Louie took over and did a really good job so… New assistant? Yeah, pretty soon I’ll be having him stack the firewood for me, He loves picking up sticks.
Okay, so let's give this a shot. Yeah. All right, so yeah, we're going to hold that. I'm going to start out holding out both buttons, I guess, because both circuits would need to be open, I’m assuming? Right, open loop. Here we go. Nothing yet. Try that. Nope. There we go. There's probably some air in the line. Let me purge it a little bit. Go ahead. Yeah, that seems like air to me. Yeah, so, we'll see if your system is self-purging? Yeah, it should be. There. It's picking up the pace. Yeah. I hear the air. Oh, we’ve got a slight leak. I think that was just the air coming out. Yeah, now, the out and the back are both working with the lever forward, so I think it depends on which button you press. Okay. So, that's what I would say: reverse function as far as this valve is concerned because it really should be going back in this mode. Okay, so what did you switch? So, let me hit both of them. That's also backwards. There we go. So, you'll keep that button in. Okay, so that would be the typical extendward track orientation and the detent looks like it's working. Okay, cool.
Now, I'm curious if I rev it up, will it go any faster? Let's see. You know, that's not all that much slower than it would be with a two-stage lock splitter pump. A bit. So, I think to get the detent going, you'd probably need a little adjustment. Yeah. You want to show me which button you’re holding now? I’m holding down this top button right here. You want to give it a go? Sure. All right. This is pretty cool. Yeah! You can throw a log on there if you want. Yeah. Let's try it. Splits wood! It seems to work.
So, before we keep going, this is a brand new machine. It looks like we got a little bit of a leak we want to tidy up before we keep going. All right, so, we're gonna see if we got the couple of leaks that sprang up taken care of. Let's fire it up. Okay, I’ll run the solenoid, if you want to run the splitter?
Well, we should be good since we put a rubber band around there. Yeah. This is very high tech. Yeah, very high tech. Let's hope that the rubber band isn't too dry-rotten and doesn't snap off. Yeah. But, oh, we got a leak here. That’s a big leak. Our agriculture quick-connects on this side are not sealing well. The size seems to match, but it could be that two different manufacturers’ connections don't match up. It could be that they're not the same standard. Yeah, I guess this could be something, you know, if you were hooking it up to a tractor, kind of like this, without a rear remote valve, you could definitely potentially run into this issue. Yeah. You'd have to make sure that your, you know, couplers are the same. And, it definitely explains partly why the splitter by itself wouldn't normally come with connections. It's really up to the operator to figure out what's going to work on their machine.
So, what is weird… oh, it looks like it did chew up... It might have chewed up one of the inner seals. Yeah. I think that's what happened, because the other one is the second piece, right, and that's the second piece of rubber that I pulled out of there. I thought it was off of this black little lip here, but I think it's actually the O-ring that went bad. Yeah. Now, I did bring a goodie bag and I'm just gonna go check and see if I have one more of these.
All right, so, I don't think either of us are any stranger to, you know, improvising, so, I did bring an extra fitting in my goodie bag and didn't expect to need it but I think we're gonna need it. So, why don't we get this puppy taped up and I got seal tape, got some wrenches, and we'll get this leak sorted out. All right, let's do it.
All right, grab these, get some wrenches. It's a good thing you brought this. Always be prepared! Always be prepared. Extra fittings - who’da thunk? All right, so, we gotta relieve the pressure, right, before we take this puppy off? Yes, so let's hook this back up. Turn on the key. Okay, looks like this should be good. Yeah, okay. We've got some flow coming out, so I think the pressure should be released. So I think if you want to do this on the connector itself, I'll hold the elbow. Okay. Yes, all right, here we go. Nothing like a little field repair. Oh yeah. Happens all the time. Nothing staged here. Nope. Dude Ranch DIY: all about authenticity. That's where the do-it-yourself comes in. Absolutely. Jake's been around. Oh, that's the end of the tape, just enough. I’ve got more, if need be. Okay, that's the new fitting? Yep, the optional complete seal. I hear they charge more for that. Yeah.
All right. Now, let's give it a whirl. Let's see what we got here. Okay. Moment of truth. So, that’s on. Now, we can fire it up. Put our high-tech rubber band on here. Keep this open. Not every solution to every problem has to be high tech. Yeah, sometimes, keep it simple stupid. Here we go. So, let’s see if that solenoid is actually working. Yeah, I got flow. I’ve got travel here, so I think we solved our leak problem. Yeah. One of the two. Let me wrap it up a little bit. How's that looking over there? Looking good for now. Yeah, it's throttle up and split one.
Yep, I think we're good up here as well. All right. Seems to be good. We're leak-free. Yeah. I think we got it hooked up. I mean, I think that solenoid valve, you know, may not be a long-term solution but, you know, really the purpose of this was just to, you know, bring it down let Jake kind of try it out, mix up some of the splitting he's doing with the other machine and give us some feedback. As I said, we know it's a new product for us and I think it's going to work for a lot of people depending on their situation and, yeah, we just look forward to hearing what you think. Yeah, no, I'm excited to try it out. So, I think it's about time we head down to the wood yard and start cutting up some rounds and send them through. All right. See how it does. All right. Let’s do it.
All right, well, we had a couple hiccups getting it, you know, getting the hydraulics connected but, other than that, it seems like it, you know, handled the wood pretty well. Yeah. It absolutely did. I'm impressed with it, the way that we have it hooked up and everything. The fact that I don't have rear hydraulic remotes. I was anticipating it going much slower than it did. Yep. So that, you know, surprised me and it's a great, you know, machine. It split everything we put in front of it. We filled up, you know, maybe about a third of a tote here in a couple minutes and four-way wedge is obviously a big help, and, you know, speeds things up. But, I think all in all, this machine definitely has its place in the RuggedMade family. Yeah. You know, it's not for everybody, obviously, you need a tractor, but I think it definitely has its place in the lineup as far as productivity and ease and maneuverability and stuff like that. Yeah.
I mean, not everybody's got a machine like we're going to be using in a minute to split the rest of this, but they've got the tractor and that certainly makes getting it to the woodlot pretty easy and then bringing it back, maybe dropping it in a barn where it can stay out of the weather. And then, cycle times, again, they're really going to vary, so the way we've got it hooked up right now probably isn't a good long-term solution, but right it'll suffice for just kind of getting a feel for it and then down the road we'll probably try a few different things, you know, maybe we'll try a PTO pump, which is what a lot of people would use to power this, or we'll try a couple different connectors, maybe hook it up to one of the loader functions. Yeah. And, maybe get a little boost in flow rate and use a circuit that's meant for continuous use. Right. Yeah.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I was running the tractor RPM-wise, around 2500, which is like 540 PTO speed, so for those of you with tractors, I'm sure you're familiar with, you know, running it at 540. So just to give you like, I guess, a control almost of where we were with the RPMs and the speed that we got out of it. So, yeah.
You know, I'm not familiar with this tractor, so I don't know exactly what the pressure coming out of that particular circuit is. Right. So, we weren't using the detent as you probably noticed, so when we maybe try it on a different circuit, we can do, you know, it's an adjustable detent log-splitting valve, so we could probably just dial that in for that pressure and you can take advantage of that and then it would be pretty much good to go. Yeah. I think that would, you know, speed it up, too. The whole process. Yeah. If you didn't have to hold it, you know, going back. So, that was fun but I think we still have a lot of wood to split here, so we're going to move back to the big brother and power through the rest of this. Fill some totes and then call it a day. Yeah. Let's do it.