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Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:07 pm
by odin
Has anyone a hand book for the above? Also, what is the difference between a MK1 & a Mk2 ? As in the title 'loader' , obviously the muck grab, how much can one lift in term of weight or the capacity of the large grab bucket ?

Regards.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:46 pm
by case-ih1594
Hi, hand books will be fairly scarce, but sales brochures will show the specification. The early ones were painted brown, later ones were white/'orange', of which there are a couple of versions - the later having an enclosed operator platform. There may be other versions.

We had a muck grab - and it was heavy to say the least !

The lifting capacity for independent (PTO) pump version or tractor (own) pump version will depend on the pump - I think the PTO ones used Dowty pumps.

I once saw one operated on a Nuffield tractor, possibly from the tractor's own supply and it threw the muck grab around, even loaded.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:19 pm
by Guest
There were a few variants, one being a fairly large framed machine that bolted to the tractor which employed a pair of rails that went under the tractor and forward and a lighter version that was 3-point-linkage mounted. Some were operated via the tractor gearbox/axle oil and the ones that had a PTO pump were fitted with their own oil tank, this variant was made for use on other makes of tractors. There were several attachments for them, the ditching bucket, which had drainage holes in it, a V bucket, trenching bucket and a grave digger bucket, a clam shell swivel bucket that could be adapted to a 'finger' grab by removing the clam shell halves and replacing with the grab halves.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:12 pm
by case-ih1594
Hi, the late 1970's brochure states the weight of the machine is 735KG (no buckets), buckets are stated to weigh 46-83Kg. The clamshell would be far heavier, and there were various settings for the machine. In the lifting position the lift capacity is stated as being 450-775kg. This would be with a pump in tip-top condition.

I have never heard or seen a 3-point linkage 'light' version, and this is not mentioned in any brochures I have seen. The tractor needed a sub-frame due to the huge force and weight involved. Some people may have 'bodged' them to fit the 3-point linkage but this is likely to be very dangerous - the size of the machine would greatly increase the force on the linkage.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:51 pm
by Guest
Believe me, there is a lighter 3-point-linkage one, they were popular with local Authorities such as BT, Councils and Water Authorities and were built for operating on the likes of the 885. The rams on the first and second arm sections could be moved to different holes to give the digger a shorter or longer reach.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:00 pm
by ollek
Connecting a digger to the 3-point hitch is by far the best way to destroy the back end of the tractor. The linkage is definitely not designed to cope with the forces, and the directions of these forces, created by a digger. I hope no one would ever try to do some work or drive on road with anything like that connected to the 3-point hitch. The setup is a dead duck from the start.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:29 pm
by odin
All the DB diggers I have seen so far have a four point mounting system for the frame that bolts to the engine/front loader casting and rear lower arms pin holes. There are also 2 more short frames that run from the bottom arm pins up to the digger main frame. I have heard of operators using the digger on the 3 point link from ex DB tractor mechanic who state that the bell housing bolts sheared snapping the tractors in half, in a days use.
So its about 750kg on a sub frame then, to glean my answer. Mk2s have a boxed in operator platform.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:41 pm
by JamesF
I might have a found the where abouts of the box section mounting frame to go with the digger/ditcher you were looking at the other Sunday Robert.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:12 pm
by case-ih1594
Hi, the DDL's would have modified as the years went on, to eliminate stress problems / issues. The weight is plus bucket, plus oil/PTO pump, hence they need to be situated near the tractor - on sub-frame. I have seen a frame made to put on a 3-point linkage but it would put immense pressure on the linkage, as stated. I have never heard of a Mk1/2. The latest ones, perhaps 90 series ones, had the platform boxed in. The early white ones and late brown ones are possibly otherwise identical.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:34 pm
by erkki
I have made a sub frame for a light digger which is now on a 995. It is essential to take care of that top link bracket is no good attachment for a digger. My sub frame has 5" high beams connected to the rear arm attachment brackets and the front end of the sub frame to the large (31 mm) hole in the front extension of the tractor. The main vertical load during transportation is taken to the hydraulic operated trailer hitch hook, which is bolted to the PTO box by 8 bolts. The connections to the rear arm pins are there to prevent the frame tilting sideways. When digging the tractor rear end is lifted off ground by hydraulic feet, so the tractor is more or less just a ballast laying on the sub frame. Just front wheels take support from the ground.

Next time when I build up a sub frame there are a few things which I shall make some different: Ground clearance under the digger is essential. On soft ground the tractor makes deep tracks and the front end tends to jump up. That causes easily the digger start pushing mud in front and soon jam the tractor. The original DB systems suffers of the same problem. When helping the tractor forward by helping by digger bucket, it easily causes the front wheels sink which also jams the tractor. In our conditions beefy tires are welcome, but on rear axle I prefer double mountings. The operating seat is a simple plate on the place of the original seat. It is slightly more on the right, so it is possible to turn sitting face rear by lifting boots over the three way valve lever. In spite of its very basic outlook, I have made several long working days there without getting badly tired butt.

W.B.R erkki

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:37 pm
by JimCochrane
David Brown never made a 3 point linkage version of the digger ditcher.

RE: Ditcher / Digger / Loader.

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:49 am
by odin
Interesting point that Erkki, " so the tractor is more or less just a ballast laying on the sub frame ". Makes sense, quite obvious once pointed out. Probably explains why there seems to be a love / hate reputation for the DDL because I am aware that operators have, and do adapt them to work off the 3 point linkage, probably with a bad result?

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:16 am
by Scooby
Actually I don't agree with some of the comments regarding diggers on the back of tractors. How many of you have owned one. As I have written before, I decided to buy one in my first year of contracting. I had bought a new 990S a few months before and the DB digger had just been announced. I looked at it and decided that it was a very well built machine, plus the fact that the boom ram could be mounted either above the boom or underneath it which as I have written before made a big difference. But it was more expensive than all the others and I couldn't afford it.

But it was on a sub-frame and I thought it would take longer to take on & off and so I looked at other stuff. McConnell's offering at the time was not very appealing, the Twose was on a sub-frame (I think) as was a Foster although the latter two also looked very good machines. The Twose was a 190 degree machine !

So I bought a Steelfab SF80, a linkage mounted machine and I opted for using the tractor hydraulics. And I used it for 12-18 months doing contract work, ditching, drainage, pipe work and some footings. BUT. I always drove it myself. I you had ever put an animal it I have no doubt that you could have ripped the back-end of the tractor off. The tractor had a loader on it and you wouldn't have wanted to use the digger without that.

But things moved on and I realised that I was never going to get the sort of work that I really was after and so I sold it and bought the first of many JCBs.

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:42 am
by erkki
A couple points more,

Selectamatic top link bracket will stand a lot of pulling and pushing but the flange which keeps the bracket inside the cast block may break. After reinforcing the flange, the next critical point is PTO box bolts on the rear axle housing.

When a digger is mounted on link arms, the tractors weight can not be taken on the diggers support wheels unless there is a ram or rigid bar preventing the arms raise. If the arms can raise, lifting from side causes all torque bending the lift arms, which will strain the lift rods heavily. If the tractors rear end is lifted off ground, the lift rods just keep the tractor level but do not experience hard extension because of digging.

The sub frame in my 995 is simple to remove: One pin in the front end extension and two pins in the rear arms brackets off and the wram drops on the yard and the tractor is ready for other duties.

W.B.R erkki

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:52 am
by case-ih1594
We have had several ditchers including DB, McConnell, Steelfab, with a McConnell Ditch King on a 1594 2WD currently - that fits on the linkage - although it is a fairly small 'digger'. Our McConnell PA8 was on a DB 880 linkage.

Someone once told us about a Yorkshire council who used (I think) DB 1390 with a rear mounted digger, possibly a Foster. The machine apparently ripped the PTO housing off the tractor after going over a bump whilst transporting on the road, shearing the casting where the ring of bolts goes. This sounds feasible and is probably more likely to occur with less careful operators !

I think the story went that the council then purchased the DB DDL (with the sub frame) and no problems were encountered again. The Foster does seem a fairly heavy machine. I have heard about DB reversible ploughs 'spanning' on the rotating shaft, but again this may be down to kangaroo driving !

UPDATE - the McConnell PA8 had (optional) hydraulic locking bars that prevented the machine from raising once locked in the digging position. The Ditch King connects to the linkage without the need for a toplink, again preventing the linkage from moving. We have a tractor comparison guide that compared the DB against other manufactures - once of which was the Webb 360 degree digger - which was a machine !