John Deere Maintenance Monday: Sticky loader lever | Living the Country Life

John Deere Maintenance Monday: Sticky loader lever

What causes the front end loader lever to be hard to push?

Radio interview source: Walter Tubbs, Ag Tech Instructor, Arkansas State University

In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Helen in Florida. What would cause the front end loader lever to be difficult to push when dumping the bucket? It also seems to stick when bringing the lever back. 
Walter Tubbs is a John Deere ag tech instructor at Arkansas State University-Beebe. He says it depends if the lever hooks directly to the valve of the tractor, or if it connects to a cable that hooks to the valve.
"If it hooks to a cable it's a possibility that over time with just wear that the cable could be getting a little rust in there, and it could cause it to stick, especially if the tractor sits out when it gets rained on," he says. "If it's hooked directly to the valve of the tractor, a linkage could be binding on it a little bit, it might be one of the pins that connect it to the valve itself."
The problem could be as simple as a cotter pin coming loose. But Tubbs also notes if it's an older tractor, the valves could be starting to wear out, especially if there's a lot of repetitive function. 
Most compact tractors hook directly to the valve and there's no cable involved. Larger tractors have a joystick that connects to the cable. Tubbs recommends taking a peek at the lever mechanics and doing some trouble-shooting.
"Just kind of visibly check it over to make sure that nothing's excessively worn or coming apart. If it has a cable, they might try lubing the cable," says Tubbs. "Take it loose on one end, there should be a little weather seal protector on it. If it's there, pull it back and spray some kind of lubricant down in that cable, and work it to see if it frees up."
Tubbs says a sticky lever should not interfere with raising and lowering the loader. The dump valve and the loader valve itself are independent of each other. 

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