What Does “Quick Attach” Mean?

If you’ve been shopping for a tractor, you’ve most likely heard the term “quick attach.” These inventions are probably one of the biggest time savers when working with your tractor. As the name implies, the device lets you attach an implement in virtually no time at all. There are actually two quick attaches available on tractors: a quick attach loader and a quick attach bucket.

But…there are three configurations of the quick attach bucket. Kubota, New Holland, Kioti, Massey Ferguson, Mahindra, Yanmar, TYM, Branson, Case, and LS use one system. John Deere has their own. There’s also a “Euro” quick attach available on large tractors. Confused yet?

Let’s Get Our Terminology Straight

Before we go further, let’s get all the terminology straight. If you’re shopping for a tractor, asking for a tractor and a “loader”, or “front end loader” makes you sound like you’ve done your homework and know what you’re talking about. A loader or front end loader is what farmers and everyone in the industry calls the device for lifting that goes on the tractor’s front end.

pointing out the loader

This Is The Loader

The ‘bucket,” on the other hand, only refers to the attachment that goes on the front of the loader to haul material. So you don’t want to ask for a “tractor and a bucket” if you’re shopping. (And by the way, the last thing you want to do is ask for a tractor and a “scoop.” Scoops are for ice cream, they don’t go on a tractor.)

pointing out the bucket

This is the Skid Steer Quick Attach Bucket


So: tractor, loader on the front, bucket in the front of the loader.

Now, Let’s Talk About Quick Attach

Now that you can put the name to the attachments, let’s talk about the two types of quick attach: quick attach loaders and quick attach buckets. One you definitely need, the other you can forget about. Here’s why:

A quick attach loader means the mainframe sits in a cradle and is held down by two large pins. You remove the pins, then use the joystick hydraulics to push down on the bucket. That will cause the loader to pop out of the cradle. You can now back up, disconnect the hydraulics, and the loader is off the tractor. It’s pretty easy.

pointing out quick attach loader pin

Here’s the Quick Attach Loader Pin

But the hard part may be getting the loader back on. You’ll have to navigate the tractor back between the loader arms and get right above the cradle. Then you hook the hydraulics up, let the loader back down and reinsert the pins. Your loader is back on. Sounds easy enough, right?

Maybe not. The problem is getting the mainframe to first line up perfectly. Then you have to hook up the hydraulics (relieve pressure by shutting the tractor off and wiggling the valve first). Then you need to get the holes to line up for the pins to go back in. It can be an ordeal, especially if the loader is resting on dirt and has settled on one side. I’ve done it once, don’t ever want to do it again.

The Quick Attach Bucket Changes Everything

The good news is that the need for a quick attach loader was negated by the quick attach bucket. With a quick attach bucket, you can change front attachments easily. And if you’re going into tight quarters, you just remove whatever is on the front of the tractor and go where you need to. It’s a WHOLE lot easier than taking the loader off.

Quick attach buckets come in two forms on small tractors. The skid loader style means that anything that fits a skid loader will fit your tractor. That’s the style used by Kubota, New Holland, Kioti, Massey Ferguson, Mahindra, Yanmar, TYM, Branson, Case, and LS. John Deere has their own system, which works fine and is simpler than the skid loader system. But it won’t work on any other tractor brand. There’s also a “Euro” quick attach available for larger tractors. It has a spring-loaded attaching system. That’s a help, because once it’s lined up it locks itself, and you have to crawl off the tractor seat one less time.

To Sum It Up

The bottom line is that if you’re buying a new tractor…get the quick attach bucket and don’t worry about getting a quick attach loader!

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Tractor Mike