The Difference Between Quick Attach Conversion And Adapter Kits


A conversion kit converts a loader without a quick attach system to quick attach. Here’s why you would need a conversion kit.

Many new tractors are sold with quick attach front end loader buckets. To change from a bucket to a set of pallet forks or other attachment, just raise one or two levers (or unhook lynch pins on most Deere tractors). Then curl out of the attachment you’re done with and move to the attachment you want to connect to. Lift it up, push down the lever or levers (or replace the lynch pins) and you’re done.

Some tractors are not sold with such a system, and instead have pin-on buckets. To change attachments requires driving four pins out and moving the tractor to the desired attachment. Then you line everything up perfectly and drive the pins back in. It’s about a 30 minute process, versus a two minute process with quick attach.

But if you have a pin-on bucket with no quick attach, you can order a conversion kit and convert it to quick attach. A conversion kit includes a quick attach mechanism that mounts to the front of your loader with your existing pins, and a female adapter plate that goes on the loader bucket. Installing that plate is a chore. The old pin-on bucket mounting brackets must be removed (torched off) and the plate must be welded on.

Once that’s done, though, any attachment that fits a skid loader will fit your tractor (providing it’s within the tractor’s lift capacity range). Installing one of these kits (which includes both the male and female parts) will open up a whole new world of versatility for your tractor.


An adapter kit lets you change between the different types of quick attaches. Let’s discuss those systems.

The skid loader compatible, Bobcat, SSL, or “universal” system is the most common. It’s what’s on the front of almost every skid loader. It has two male brackets that mount in corresponding female housings on the implement. That locks down with pins controlled by one, or usually two, spring-loaded levers.

The John Deere system is similar, but not interchangeable, with the skid loader system, but it locks the bucket on with a pair of lynch pins.

The “Euro” or “Global” system mostly seen on larger tractors uses a spring-loaded locking mechanism. It has more weight capacity that either the skid loader or Deere system, and has the advantage of locking itself in when the implement is tilted back. So you have to get off the tractor only once -  to release the attachment that you want off.  You don’t have to get off and lock the new attachment is place. This system is growing in popularity, but is much less common than the other two systems.


Let’s say your tractor has a skid loader compatible front end loader and you have several John Deere attachments that you’d like to mount to it. All you have to do is order a skid steer Q/A to Deere adapter kit.  It mounts in between the front loader quick attach and the attachment, and you could use both skid loader and Deere compatible implements on your tractor. Or, if you traded for a Deere tractor and all your attachments were skid-loader compatible, you’d need a Deere-to-skid loader compatible adapter kit.

These kits easily allow changing implements from one quick attach system to another and require no welding.

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