A lawn tractor front end loader is an increasingly popular attachment for mowers. If you're thinking about getting one, read my expert tips to learn what jobs it can do for you - and what to look for before buying:
If you attach a front end loader to your lawn tractor, you'll be able to quickly scoop, haul, dump, level or spread topsoil, gravel, rocks, mulch and sand. It really saves your back!
Buying a lawn tractor front end loader is much more economical than renting a skid steer. Or buying a loader for a full sized tractor.
What I really like about having a scoop on a lawn tractor is that you can really get into, and work in, tighter spaces than you could with a full sized tractor or skid steer.
And a lawn tractor scoop can be used as a snow pusher in the off-season. That's a bonus!
A loader attachment for a full-sized tractor averages about $4,000.00+ but you can get a lawn tractor front end loader, or scoop, for a just a fraction of that amount.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $600 - $2,800 for a lawn tractor front end bucket, depending on the size and weight capacity.
Up until a few years ago, many people chose to build a homemade bucket for their mower. And there were a few kits on the market too.
If you check on Google, you'll see a few websites selling CAD plans. I've never made my own homemade bucket, but from what I've seen, they all are electrically controlled and have a limited lifting capacity of around 100lbs. Might be a fun DIY project, though, if you're mechanically inclined.
But if you're not interested in building your own bucket, Craftsman Front Tractor Scoop, the Johnny Bucket, the Johnny Bucket Jr and the Husqvarna Front Scoop are solid & popular choices.
All of these models have a maximum lift capacity of approximately 200 lbs. and do not interfere with the mowing deck.
And all three have varying maximum lift heights - from 5-10". Make sure you check the maximum lift info of any bucket you're considering.
MY TIP: Pay attention to the maximum weight specs of any model you're thinking about buying. That is, the maximum amount of weight the bucket will lift.
Think about the outdoor jobs you want to tackle - and the weight of the material you want to move - to choose the best unit for you.
ALSO: If the manufacturer says that counter weights should be added to the back of your mower -- you should add them!
As you probably know, back counter weights help rebalance the weight of your lawn tractor when an attachment is added. Adding necessary counter weights will improve your traction and help prevent spinning or tipping over.
And make sure you match the front end loader maximum weight capacity with your owners manual specs. If your scoop can lift a maximum of 200lbs, make sure it agrees with your lawn tractor owners manual! You don't want to overload your mower.