Tips & Tricks: How to choose the right ag attachment

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Buying the right ag attachments can turn an earthmover into a willing farm-hand. Buying the right ag attachments can turn an earthmover into a willing farm-hand. Buying the right ag attachments can turn an earthmover into a willing farm-hand.

Wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, backhoes, mini excavators and telehandlers are all useful machines in agriculture applications, and can be adapted to almost any use with the right attachments, writes Caterpillar agriculture application representative Ben Rice


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With performance abilities continuously improving it is helpful to stay on top of the latest advancements when considering your next agriculture attachment purchase.

 

Buckets

Buckets are commonly used in the agriculture industry. They can be used for mucking out barns, for moving silage and feed, and for the overall maintenance of the property.

Because versatility and cost of ownership is an important factor, many farmers choose a multi-purpose bucket over a general purpose bucket. These buckets are also known as a 4-in-1 bucket, and serve four main functions:

  • General bucket work
  • Grapple for picking up and moving materials, such as logs or debris
  • Dozer blade for pushing
  • Box blade for smoothing lose ground

Recent advancements in buckets, particularly for compact and small wheel loaders, are further increasing productivity and operator efficiency with a new, patented design that allows:

  • Easier, faster loading
  • Significantly increased fill factors – approaching 110 percent fill over older buckets
  • Improved material retention
  • Enhanced sight lines to the pile

 

Cat agricultural attachments
A Cat-branded landscape rake and auger.

 

Other attachments

Along with buckets, there are several other attachments that can make work around the farm easier and more productive:

Bale spears

Designed specifically for the agriculture marketplace, bale spears are made to load and carry bales of hay and straw. A particularly popular attachment.

Brushcutters

These help to keep the property manicured. They are especially popular in areas where grass and weeds can be an issue.

Rakes

Landscape and power box rakes are also used to shape and level terrain. Power box rakes are especially useful for preparing ground around buildings for seed and smoothing out gravel roads.

Augers

Commonly used for drilling holes for fence posts, augers can significantly reduce time spent on putting up large perimeters of fencing.

 

Performance matching

Without a doubt, you are going to get the greatest productivity out of your attachments if using them with a machine that can optimise their performance.

When speccing your next purchase, it’s important to consider features that are designed to increase efficiency and ease of use for the operator. For example:

Quick couplers

These allow operators to change out attachments quickly and allow the machine to earn its keep in doing several jobs around the farm.

Positioners

Return-to-dig and work tool positioners allow you to pre-set the attachment angle and automatically recall that setting when requested.

These attachments are very handy when trenching water or electric lines to barns or from ponds to watering troughs. They are also helpful for loading silage into feed bins or going back for another hay bale.

Creep mode

Check this out, because it gives you the ability to adjust ground speed in correlation to engine speed.

Travelling at a slow ground speed with full engine horsepower and hydraulic flow is especially useful for trenching operations, brush cutting or rolling barbed wire for cattle fences.


Ben Rice is a pre-field agriculture/product application representative with Caterpillar in the US. Growing up on a beef cattle farm, he has several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness."

 

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