Thumb for BackhoeThis is a featured page

A thumb on the backhoe enables it to grasp and raise objects that are too unwieldy for the front bucket, for example plucking a rock from a hole. Along with a toothbar, it's one of the best "bang for buck" attachments you can get for your BX. (Pictured below is the Bro-Tek thumb).

Bro-Tek Thumb on BX24

The most common brands mentioned on the TBN web site are by Wallenstein and Bro-Tek. Some owners build a custom thumb.

Wallenstein Thumb

Owners like the adjustability of the Wallenstein. It has several locations for pins that change the configuration of the opening. However a serious design fault has plagued it, at least in the pre-2008 generations. The thumb's frame is a U-shape that fits around the backhoe boom and is clamped tight at the open end of the U. The problem arises because it is not possible to squeeze the closed end of the U to make it grip the boom tightly. Consequently it can slip along the boom when under pressure, and if it does, it can hit and break a fitting on the hydraulic cylinder. The problem is slightly worse on the BX24 because Kubota moved the fitting so it is even more likely to be fouled by the thumb. Not all users have had the problem - some of them fit well enough and can be cranked tight enough that they do not slip.

Home-made workarounds include welding stops to the boom, or drilling though it and putting a bolt or other "stop" in place to prevent the slide. It may also be possible to rotate the hydraulic cylinder so that if the thumb mount slips it doesn't foul the vulnerable right-angle hose connection.

[TBN] Wallenstein Thumb Review on BX

[TBN] Wallenstein thumb for BX??
[TBN] Thumb broke my tractor
[TBN] BX 24 / Wallenstein Thumb - Caution!

Although some attempts have been made to improve the 3rd generation Wallenstein thumb (2007?), the problem is not fully solved. However one owner (mswlogo) successfully performed surgery on the thumb to achieve tighter clamping.
[TBN] Wallenstein Thumb Gen 3 on BX24 still has issues
[TBN] The right way to install a thumb on a BX24

As at March 2008 there is reported to be a 4th generation that resolves this problem - so we look forward to hearing from purchasers.
[TBN] Wallenstein Gen.4 or Bro-Tek thumb?

A weakness in some early Wallensteins saw the angled bar bend under stress, but this piece has been strengthened on later models. (Bro-Tek, with its straight top-link does not have this issue).

Bro-Tek Thumb

Fits the Kubota brand backhoes. Can also be made for non-Kubota backhoes like the Woods BH9000. Check the Bro-Tek web site for details. The Bro-Tek does not have the slipping problem of the Wallenstein because the frame is two separate plates instead of a U, so it can be tightly bolted to the boom and the tapering of the boom prevents the clamp from sliding up.

To the best of my knowledge there are no reports of theBro-Tek slipping and causing damage to the hydraulic boom.

The "working face" of the thumb fewer teeth and is differently shaped to the Wallenstein.
The main operational difference (usually considered a disadvantage) is that it requires the use of your 3-point top-link when in use. So you either need to carry the top-link on the tractor, or head back to the garage when you find you need to open up the thumb. One owner reports that the top-link can be stored under the back of the seat, another showed a clip on the rear bodywork of a BX23 that retains the top-link in a vertical position behind the seat when not being used for any other purpose.
[TBN] Bro Tek thumb

Custom Thumb

You can fabricate your own thumb like this one:

Thumb for Backhoe - The Kubota BX Wiki Thumb for Backhoe - The Kubota BX Wiki

Thumb for Backhoe - The Kubota BX Wiki

[TBN] Thread describing the custom thumb pictured above

Latest page update: made by apmillard , Jul 31 2009, 8:31 AM EDT (about this update About This Update apmillard Edited by apmillard

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