Back actor for a DB 996

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Tim Tindall
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:22 am
Location: Yorkshire

Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Tim Tindall » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:32 am

My friend has a DB 996 and has asked me if it can take a back actor as he needs to clear a few ditches and wants to dig holes for posts.

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ollek
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by ollek » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:07 pm

NO agricultural tractors are designed to have diggers fitted to the lower links and the top link. I know that there is diggers for connecting to the 3-point hitch on the market, but I wold not recommend any to be fitted. This has nothing to do with tractor brand or model, all 3-point hitches are designed to lift, hold and lower agricultural equipment's (plough, harrow and so on)

Scooby
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Scooby » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:53 pm

Shortly after buying my first new DB, a Selectamatic 990 in 1967 I decided to buy a digger for it because I knew that farmers did not have the labour to clean ditches out in the way that they had done in decades gone by and I thought it would add to my list of contracting services that I was offering to people. I would have liked a DB digger because, in my opinion, they were the best digger ever made for an agricultural tractor. They sat on a frame that bolted to the underside of the tractor and most importantly, the boom ram was mounted above the boom which gives mush more digging power than one mounted under the boom as most were. But the problem, for me, was that they were much more exoensive than the Steelfab SF800 that I eventually purchased.

This combination was good for my business. The digger sat on the 3 point linkage and I could take it on and off in a few moments. I found myself digging footings, pits for milking parlours, slurry pits, ditches, etc. I would never use one for digging fencing post holes, the hole would be too large and therefore would not allow the post to be backfilled and tamped properly. I have however dug plenty of holes for new shed stanchions where they were going to be filled with concrete.

My "excavation" work increased so much that after 2 years I bought my first JCB 180 degree machine (a JCB 3) and I have never been without one since. Diggers on the rear of tractors don't put anything like the stresses and strains on the linkage as a linkage mounted hedgecutter does and there are plenty of those around being used. At least when you are digging you have taken the weight of the digger on the hydraulic jacks.

It goes without saying that if you put an idiot on such a combination then you can expect trouble but that's the same with most agricultural machinery. If the OP's friend just has a few acres and he needs to dig a few ditches out etc. then a tractor mounted one would be fine but if he has a few hundred acres with lots of maintenance to do then he would be advised to either get a contractor in or buy an industrial machine. One point I haven't mentioned is that if he goes for a farm type of digger he must make sure he has some kind of counterweight on the front of the tractor. A front-end loader is ideal
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

Scooby
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Scooby » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:54 am

In addition to the above. There is a certain manufacturer whose tractor mounted diggers were the most popular. The name begins with M and personally I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole. They don't have hydraulic legs which means that you can never take the full weight of the machine off the tractor when digging, especially if it is wet and you are sinking in a bit. Twose made a reasonable machine and the Foster was a decent bit of kit. Anyone buying such a piece of kit must make sure that the chrome on the rams is in good condition. If the rams are rusty then the seals will soon start to leak.

Another option is a mini digger and although transport has to be considered if working away from home if itis just for home use then it would be a much better bet for the OP's friend. They are built to industrial standard, some have off-set capabilities, and it's handy when cleaning out a ditch just to keep tracking up the side of the ditch rather than having to leave the seat of the digger and get into the tractor just to keep moving along a couple of feet.
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

SteveCollett
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by SteveCollett » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:38 am

just be aware that a rear mounted ditcher with a seat has a very high potential to crush the operator if the tractor has a safety cab , this is particularly so for linkage mounted machines. This is why you very rarely see them about today there was little risk if the tractor had no frame or just a weather cab and they were a useful bit of kit. Of course a well used JCB type machine will do the job far quicker and better and may not be much more expensive

Scooby
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Scooby » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:21 pm

There was the well documented at the time fatal accident with a tractor mounted digger when someone was trying to push himself along and pushed himself up into the back of a rigid cab. Various hurried modifications were made on most of the makes after this happened. I had a Fritzmeir <sp> cab on the 990 and you could tilt that forward so it was never an issue for me. I would be very careful about buying a "well used JCB type machine" There are some really old nails out there which are money pits if you get unlucky. You do of course get another loader, possibly with pallet forks included, if you buy one of these. It's all down to how much work the OP's friend needs to do with such a machine.
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

Tim Tindall
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Tim Tindall » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:27 pm

You've all been very helpful, many thanks. Think I'll tell him it will not take a back actor and to hire someone in to do the posts and ditches. Thanks again.
Regards,
Tim.

philedge
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Location: Chester UK

Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by philedge » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Back of the 996 manual lists a rear digger as an option so fairly sure the 996 is designed and able to take a 3 point digger.
'66 880 Selectamatic rat.

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ollek
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by ollek » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:43 pm

Philedge, if you are talking about the David Brown digger, then I have to tell that this digger was not connected to the 3-point hitch , but had its own frame, bolted to the side of the engine and below the rear axle.

Scooby
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Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by Scooby » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:38 pm

Tim Tindall wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:27 pm
You've all been very helpful, many thanks. Think I'll tell him it will not take a back actor and to hire someone in to do the posts and ditches. Thanks again.
Regards,
Tim.
Tim. At the risk of repeating myself there is nothing wrong with putting a 3 point linkage mounted digger on the back of a 996. As I said before, I bought one for the back of a 990, solely to go contracting with it. Admittedly only for a couple of years because enough work came in to justify my first industrial machine, a JCB3 which was the forerunner of today's 3CX. There are 4 main considerations for your friend.

1. How much work has he got for this type of macine ? If he's got say up to a couple of hundred acres and has time on his hands then the tractor mounted machine will probably do the job. Remember that thse machines aren't as fast or as powerful as the indutrial macines but they will do the job, albeit slower.

2. Can he be sure that a responsible person is going to be driving a 996/digger combination ? If he puts a cowboy on it then he could quite easily do some damage. The same applies to linkage mounted hedgecutters. They put an enormous strain on the linkage when they are pushed right out and travelling along. As I said before, when you're actually using the digger then as long as you have one with hydraulic jack legs there is little strain on the tractor.

3. A very important consideration is what type of cab your friend has on the tractor. If it's a rigid one then he needs to consider carefully if the driver is ever exposed to the danger of pushing himself into the rear top of the cab when he trying to push himself along, say when he is cleaning a ditch out.

4. I wouldn't countenance digging fencing post holes out with any kind of digger. If you really must dig holes then get a borer. But much better, and I have had this done for me, is to get someone in with a decent post banger with a decent weight on it and bang them in unless your friend is on rock at post depth. I have had people bang hanging posts and clapping posts in for gates and as long as it's a decent machine with lots of hydraulic adjustment to keep the posts vertical and true that is by far the best way. You do put a slight point on your posts first of course.

Finally. There is nothing wrong with putting an appropriate digger on the rear linkage of a 996. May I respectfully suggest that those who have done it may know a little more about the subject than those who talk about it and think they know best.
Last edited by Scooby on Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Three is twee, four does snore, but 6 just clicks........Scooby

philedge
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Location: Chester UK

Re: Back actor for a DB 996

Post by philedge » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:14 pm

ollek wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:43 pm
Philedge, if you are talking about the David Brown digger, then I have to tell that this digger was not connected to the 3-point hitch , but had its own frame, bolted to the side of the engine and below the rear axle.
OP asked if a 996 can take a rear digger and the answer is yes. Whether its bespoke frame mounted or 3 point mounted depends on what the OPs friend can get his hands on.
'66 880 Selectamatic rat.

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