Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Ken’s Bolt On Hooks

As soon as you get a utility tractor you realize that many projects which were difficult before are now easy, and projects which were totally impossible before are now even enjoyable.

Then, you realize that a few accessories and modifications would make your tractor even more useful.  Questions you might be having:

  • I know that some accessories would help, but I’m not sure exactly what I need?
  • Where can I get accessories which are specifically designed and sized for my tractor?
  • Can I install the necessary accessories myself, or do I have to pay an expert to do it?

Over the next few articles, we’ll evaluate some of Ken’s most popular products, showing how they can be used to make your tractor tasks easier.

Of course, the first product we need to consider is the “Bolt On Hook”.   This is the product which got it all started for Ken.

While the Bucket on the front-end loader is quite versatile, there are certain situations for which it is not perfectly suited.   For instance, it is hard to pick up something which won’t sit in the bucket.

For these situations, farmers have welded hooks to their loader buckets for many years.     They will purchase a hook much like these: Ken’s Weld On Hooks

5-16 WGH

Then, they simply weld them directly to the bucket.

For most sub-compact utility tractor owners, this is not feasible for a couple of reasons.  First, we are not typically equipped with the tools or skills to do the welding. Second, the buckets on our loaders are too thin/weak to handle a direct-welded hook.

Ken’s bolt on hook products solve both of these issues.  The hooks require only a drill and 1/2 inch metal cutting bit to install.   This might still be somewhat intimidating to new tractor owners, but it is a relatively easy process.

Additionally, Ken’s hook has a built in plate on the hook side, and a couple of options for ‘backing plates’ which solve the strength issue of these light weight buckets.

Greg1CM w-Bolts-1

Ken provides an excellent video showing how to install the hooks…

The hooks open up many new possibilities for using your loader bucket.  You can carry large objects, either IN the bucket, or hanging from the bucket.

Blower in RingSlings Dennis-1 (Small)

This is by far the biggest bang for the buck you can add to your front end loader.   For less than $100 including shipping, you add much more flexibility to your loader.   Once you get the hooks, you’ll find yourself using them to solve even challenges on your property, and make even more projects “fun”.

So, I would recommend that you make the Bolt On Hooks one of your first accessory purchases for your new compact utility tractor.

Get the hooks and many other accessories at http://boltonhooks.com/bolt-on.html


  1. I bought the hooks for the loader and the backhoe fro my 1025R. They are excellent and I use them all the time. Also got the HD springs for me (I am slim and trim and buff..Not!). Really the ride was difficult bottoming out on the “rough” side of the yard and these springs did the trick.

  2. I have a set on the top of my bucket and D Hooks inside the bucket. I also have the same double set on the frame for my forks. The hooks I painted JD green and the Ds are painted yellow so when I drop the pin in the grass, I will be able to find it. Well made. Quality hardware. Fast shipping. I use them more then I thought I would. A must add to your lifting attachments.

  3. I am looking at getting some hooks for my bucket but I’m concerned that the inside rind will get mashed up to much to use after using the loader in the dirt and rock. Tim I know you have had them for a while now how are they holding up

    • The inside top edge of the bucket doesn’t get much abuse. This is not something to be concerned about. Now, if they were on the bottom, that would be a different story.
      You’ll love Ken’s bolt on hooks. Easy to install, and they add nice versatility to the bucket. Be sure to tell him I sent you!

  4. Hi Tim, Thanks for such cool and informative videos. What type of chain would you recommend for use with the bolt on hooks? And then I’m also getting the Grab Hook/Clevis combo with Screw Pin Shackles and would like to know if there’s a preferred type of strapping you’d recommend? Seems like those oblong ring sling type straps would be a good idea, if not even sort of a requirement, for safety.

    • I use 1/4” chain. I would recommend grade 70. Get a better grade chain in smaller size (like above) so that it is lighter weight to drag around.
      The oblong ring slings are very well built. I find I don’t use mine as much as I thought I would. I usually use the chain.

  5. Hi Tim!

    Found your videos first on YouTube. My Thanks to you and your family for taking time to document all your trials and tribulations. Lessons learned are always hard won. It is great that you share them with us all.

    I am a long-time John Deere owner. I stepped up to a 1025R this April. I am just tickled with it’s performance and quality. My local dealer is just great to work with. They could not have made the process any easier as I traded in a well-cared for GX345 and multiple implements and made the move up.

    I took your advice and ordered from Heavy Hitch. Greg there was just wonderful to work with, he answered all my questions. BTW: If you are military, you get a discount with them – permanently! To my brothers & sisters of the Armed Forces take advantage of it. The shipping via Fastenal worked like clockwork and saved me over $500 on shipping vs. UPS! The more you buy, the more you save on shipping!

    Ken of Ken’s Bolt On Hooks was a real gentlemen to work with. His products are top-notch! He answered all my questions and steered me in the right direction. His accessories are super. The differential lock pedal is a must have accessory! No more fumbling around, no slipping, it just works!

    Purchased a used 47SB (snow blower) and new front “quick-hitch” from a distant John Deere dealer. That could have gone smoother. Not ordering up all the right parts was a pain in the butt. Made everything take longer than necessary. However, my local dealer came to the rescue and made it all right.

    I didn’t go to Harbor Freight for a Chinese quick-hitch. My local JD dealer offers a top-notch quick hitch made in Canada, powder coated in black and works like a dream! The quality was outstanding and North American steel! It was more than Harbor Freight, however, much less than the I-Match!

    Just picked up a used 54inch snow blade at an awesome price and is “like-new”. The hydraulic angling kit is available on E-Bay (new), which will give me a fully optioned front “Quick-Hitch”. I’ll have the complete snow fighting package!

    Lastly, we listened to all your advice on tillers. Our local dealer offers Brush Hog. However, it is much lighter than the King Kutter/County Line and is chain drive. So, we are going with the Sub-Compact Tiller from King Kutter that is sold at Tractor Supply. Beware, the other 4 ft tiller from Tractor Supply (yellow) is not for the 1 Series tractors!

    Thank you for sharing! All the best and continued success for you and your family!
    God Bless!

  6. I am working on getting my rig outfitted, so I ordered a set of three bolt on hooks and a pair of Clevis mounts for my tractor today……:)

  7. Just bought, mounted a set of grab/clevis hooks on my JD 3025. Ken’s bolt on hooks are quality made, excellent instructions for drilling and mounting. If you need a set of hooks don’t hesitate to purchase. It took less than one hour and they were installed.

  8. I have a clearance issue between the ROPS on my 1025R and my garage door opening. I am envisioning a PVC pipe that I could drop into some sort of holder mounted to the grill guard that would be the same height as the ROPS and act as a reminder of the clearance required. Does anyone make such a thing or have such a product?

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