A front end loader for a garden tractor is a great new attachment and I'll share my expert buying tips to help you choose the best model for you & your equipment.
If you have a front end loader attachment, you won't strain your back from shoveling, lifting or hauling!
Buying this attachment is cheaper than renting a skid steer or buying a loader attachment for your full-sized tractor.
A standard loader attachment for a tractor averages about $4,000.00 but you can get a garden tractor loader for a small fraction of that amount.
And you'll be able to move quicker, and get into tighter spaces, than you could with a tractor or skid steer. Don't forget, tractors & skid steers are very heavy and they tear up a lot of grass, too.
This attachment is great for lifting, hauling, spreading, dumping, leveling, etc - and can be used a snow pusher or snow mover - during the winter. Yep, they're very handy.
(They're also known as scoops or dump buckets.)
In the past, many people chose to build a homemade bucket for their garden tractor. A good DIY project. And there were a few kits on the market too.
But, during the last few years, there have been many new models introduced by Kwikway, John Deere, Sears Craftsman, Johnny Buckets, etc.
If you're thinking about buying a loader unit remember that some are powered by built-in garden tractor hydraulics, some are powered by built-in garden tractor PTO and some are powered by an extra PTO engine that must be added.
Also, some units are powered manually, with an elongated handle control, like the Craftsman Front Tractor Scoop model.
Depending upon the garden tractor scoop model, there are varying load bearing capabilities. Generally, these loaders lift between 150 to 400+lbs.
MY TIP: you need to know that there is a danger of tipping over when the bucket or scoop on a garden tractor is raised. A major safety issue! To avoid this accident, you need to add counter weights so that your weight is balanced on your garden tractor. So make sure you match your garden tractor owners manual specs with the specs of the bucket you're going to use - and add the correct counter weights!