We often need to move our trailer around in the yard, or put it into the shed for storage or maintenance. We have found that a front mounted hitch provides a few key benefits for these quick moves.
First, using the loader to hook up means that the trailer jack does not need to be raised and lowered. The loader can raise the trailer hitch, move it around and sit it back down again very quickly.
Second, it is easier to hook up when driving forward rather than backing up, as left/right adjustments can be more easily attained.
Third, and likely the biggest benefit is how the trailer can be precisely positioned when necessary. For instance, our shed is small, every inch counts. When we put the trailer in, we need it to be optimally placed. It is MUCH easier to control the trailer when hooked to the front of the tractor. The video below will demonstrate the ease of navigating the trailer when driving forward.
Front Hitch Options
I’ll focus on the loader mount versions rather than the frame mount versions because of the additional flexibility of lifting the trailer with the loader rather than raising/lower the jack.
However, if you have no loader, you can still claim the benefits of precise trailer navigation. One of our favorite vendors, Heavy Hitch offers a
2 inch receiver option for the front of 1-series Deere tractors. If you have no loader, this might be a great option for you.
Ken’s Bolt On Hooks
Let’s examine some of the loader options. Ken’s Bolt On Hooks offers a simple and effective bucket mounted receiver hitch. With this option, I would recommend getting the ‘backing plate’ option as the loader bucket is somewhat thin on the top where the receiver would be mounted.
This option is great as long as your trailer tongue weight is relatively light. The lightweight steel on the bucket cannot handle heavy forces applied to the top/center of the bucket.
I have this hitch on my bucket. Check out some videos, such as ‘Shirley’s creek bank’ to get a view of it.
Artillian offers two options for their pallet fork frames. If purchasing new forks, the latest generation of the 3000 lb capacity frame has a 2 inch receiver built in. If you already have the 2300 lb capacity frame (like me), you can add a 2 inch receiver hitch adapter to the frame. Either of these options will provide a
strong and flexible receiver hitch option. Christy calls this the ‘cadillac option’.
If you haven’t yet purchased Artillian forks, the receiver hitch may be a good reason to upgrade to the 3000lb capacity frame.
Another approach is to use a dedicated JD Quick attach receiver hitch. The ease of removing your bucket makes this option attractive. This plate would lay flat for storage, and could be easily picked up with the loader tilt feature. This approach might make it difficult to see the hitch ball as you are attempting to hook up the trailer, as the large plate will likely block your view. (Thanks to Christy for pointing this out)!
Titan also sells a skid steer attach version of this receiver plate.
Finally, the option we demonstrate (and modify) in this video. This option adds the 2 inch receiver directly onto one of the forks. This option is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to install. Christy’s least favorite part are the obnoxious Christmas colors!
The one I purchased also came with a safety chain. However, at the time of this writing, this version is not available. As you’ll see in the video, a safety chain IS necessary. Any high strength chain will do, and I do not think it needs to be as heavy as the one included with our package.
While this option worked very well for our older trailer, our newer trailer has much more tongue weight. As you’ll see in the video, this additional weight puts a lot of stress on the end of the fork. So, in this video, we modify the ‘clamp on forklift hitch adapter’ to allow it slide further onto the fork. This reduces the overall distance from the fork frame by about 20%, from 45 inches to 36 inches. This reduces the leverage on the fork and makes me much more comfortable using it with our trailer.
Take a look at the video to see the fork mounted receiver, and to see our modifications to it.
Don’t worry about making do. I grew up on a farm and that was practically our motto. We bought a small welder and a metal cutting saw and between the two we modified or repaired many pieces of equipment, even though the only training I had for welding was a shop class in high school. Some of those modified pieces of equipment are still in use today, 50+ years later. If it works, then be proud of your accomplishment and don’t worry about how much better it could have been done. I think you took an excellent approach to modifying that tool to make it more useful for you.
Because of your excellent videos, I purchased the Artillian pallet forks and love them. I had called them twice and left messages and never did get a reply. I live in Maine and the shipping was $160 so might be pricey further across the country. Great product though.
I have been ‘reading the mail’ for nearly a year, very detailed information ( how we all appreciate what an asset you are) which is leading me to a new 1025r; question is where did you get your tan insulated overalls as seen in TTWT ‘snow Plowathon 2018’ I like the zippered insulated legs
25 years ago (1990) I bought new a JD 870 with rear mower & FEL, Ag plow, Ag tires etc best tractor I ever owned, it was the last item sold when I sold the farm. “it did not ‘cost’ it ‘paid’! In hindsight I should have kept it.
Thanks Kevin ?
Here is a link to the black version. I can’t see the tan (duck) color at amazon.com Make sure you get Carhartt Arctic. The Arctic part is what provides the extreme insulation.
Thanks for your comment. My dad had a 750 Deere, and later a 770. Both were great. Now, he has a 3320 with cab. I’m sure you’ve seen it.
Anyway, you will love the 1025R.
Hi Tim. First time post – but my “1025r IQ” is WAY higher due to your excellent videos and website. Thank you (!) for all you do for us. I am considering my options for moving two trailers around the yard… Initially, I was 3-point attachment all the way, but [currently] w/o a Quick Hitch – I hesitated. I then came across some loader options from Titan (great observation regarding sightlines!) and Ken’s, but a couple things occurred to me: (a) the initial height of the Ken’s option is too high for me to get under my couplers as they sit low to the ground; (b) it strikes me that I might have to get a much longer drawbar since the loader bucket cutting bar sits so far forward of the receiver. Your 2nd excellent observation regarding “tongue weight” was the final nail in the coffin on that style of mount, as one of my trailers is heavy like yours. Lastly, I liked the “theory” behind the clamp-on Titan arrangement, but like the review of it on their site, I [rightly, apparently] have big concerns about sway and ability to handle hills… Anyway – I will continue my search, and expect to eventually find the correct solution “for me”. Thanks again for all the great info! Best regards from an old Rust Belt boy stuck in New Hampshire!
Thanks for your comment.
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Love your videos. I recently bought a ‘Johnny inspired Johnny’ and I’m looking at fork options. I noticed in your grapple video that you picked up a pair of the 42” forks. Have you done a compare contrast of the 36” and 42”? I’m a few mi this out from the purchase, but I figured that I’d ask.
I mostly doing brush clean-up and stump removal.
Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this over the years, it’s been a huge help!
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I know this review is for loader mounted hitches but my question is regarding the heavy hitch frame mounted front receiver hitch option. The main trailer I’ll be moving is my boat trailer and it will have the boat (19″ fiberglass) on it so I don’t think a loader mounted one would make sense due to the tongue weight. Do you know if the heavy hitch frame mounted receiver will handle the weight and does it have to come off when I put the loader on? Thanks for your help,
OK tim I have edge tamers on my newly purchased 1023. However they do have a AF10F front blade for pushing snow that I am interested in but can not find any reviews or consumer comments any help finding such info might help in my decision on it’s purchase.
I know this is a little late, but first regarding “Joel” above… As outlined above, I was torn about how to move my trailers (3) around with The Deere (1025r), esp. as one was heavy. I ended up buying the bucket-clamp-on from Titan… primarily because I almost always have my backhoe mounted, as I use it quite frequently. Both my fears and expectations were realized, then the fears became acceptable workarounds. I have a couple “small” trailers – about 1500# empty, but also a Load Trail 7×14/14K dump that is 4350# EMPTY. When using the Titan solution, one must be careful to clamp the unit on ALL the way rearward, and VERY tightly! Under the right conditions, the unit CAN be moved or “twisted” from side to side. This is usually under extreme lateral load, or involves user error – in driving or mounting. Having said that, I have been able to successfully move my trailers around – being very careful about weight balance and distribution – esp. on the big one. One tip I found is to keep the bucket level and low-ish to the ground when PUSHING a trailer uphill with the JD. This prevents you from tipping the trailer “over backward” as you go. And pushing straight ahead with your force is always better.
I also had a year-long debate about how to move snow with my JD. I live in central NH where we get quite a bit of snow – most of the time in large batches of 14 inches or more. MY goal for JD was to clear “light” falls – 8 inches or less – quickly since I have a 38 inch snowblower with cab that takes care of the deep stuff quickly. My driveway is about 700 feet long and 14 feet wide. That said, I found an almost-new JD 54 inch blade with hydraulics and mounts for $1000 last year. It was too good to pass up, and here’s what I learned. This rig is NOT up to the standards of the 1025r or above – I cannot speak to tractors that are smaller. It strikes me, though, as something that I would have used on my old Craftsman garden tractor, not a tractor like the 1025r. First – the Quick Attach w/hydraulic angling is a must. If you have to climb down everytime you want to re-position the blade, you better have a long straight driveway or a parking lot… In either case, with anything deeper than 6 inches, the Quick Attach does not lift high enough to do ANY real piling of the snow. Next, Tim is on the right track with the Wing Extensions – in RUBBER. The blade itself is not a heavy enough gauge, nor engineered with enough bracing to withstand the abuse the 1025r+ can put on it. The top of the blade and/or the “wings” start to buckle under the slightest pressure. Lastly, unless the snow is light and fluffy, don’t count on being able to push more than 6 inches or so… If the blade is angled in the slightest, the tractor will immediately start to “nose-over” as you get into the snow. DISCLAIMER: these are MY EXPERIENCES. I have been plowing since 1974 when we bought our first tractor, so I have some time in the seat. Given the opportunity to do it again – I would put the $1K towards a better rig light those at HLA or CTA or EA… Thanks for listening…