How to make using a 3-point hitch easier

The 3-point hitch is a standardized device on today’s tractors. But there are at least three options available that can make the process of using a 3-point hitch easier. So let’s take a look at how they all work.

We’ll start with a John Deere 3043D Compact Utility Tractor (US CA) that has a standard Category 1, 3-point hitch. And we will hook it up to a Frontier BB2072 Box Blade (US CA). Pretty straightforward stuff.

The standard 3-point hitch has two rigid lift arms with holes at the end called draft links. You back up to the implement to line up the holes on the draft links with the lift arm pins on the implement. Then you guide the draft links onto the pins by hand and secure the implement with lynch pins through the lift arm pins. Then you adjust and connect the top link and you’re ready to go.

If you’ve done a good job of lining up the draft links, the process is pretty easy. But if you haven’t lined them up real well, it gets a little harder. Those draft links can be difficult to work with. And sometimes, it just takes a nudge to get the job done.

So let’s look at option #2. A 3-point hitch with telescoping draft links.

Here we’re using a John Deere 4066M Heavy Duty Compact Utility Tractor (US CA) and that same Frontier BB2072 Box Blade (US CA).

With a 3-point hitch that has telescoping draft links, you have a bit more leeway. You back up the tractor again to align the draft link holes with the implement lift arm pins. With telescoping draft links, you remove the lock pin from the stabilizer bar, then unlock the telescoping mechanism, and extend the draft links toward the implement, making the hooking up process quite a bit easier. Then insert the lynch pins, put the lock pin back in the stabilizer bar, and connect the top link.

And, finally, after you’re secure in the operator station, back up the tractor until each lock lever snaps and secures each draft link in the locked position.

All in all, the telescoping draft links make life a little easier.

Now, the easiest way to do all this is to use a quick hitch.

Here’s that John Deere 3043D Compact Utility Tractor (US CA) again. This time we’ve added an iMatch Quick Hitch (US CA), and we’ll hook up to a Frontier RT3062 Rotary Tiller (US CA). By using a quick hitch like this, all you have to do while backing up to the implement is focus on the top hook on the quick hitch, and everything else falls into place as the bottom hooks line up  with bushings on the lift arm pins. Once connected, you raise the implement and close the locking levers to secure it in place. 3-point hookup doesn’t get any faster and easier than that.

And, of course, on a PTO-driven implement like this rotary tiller, you also need to hook up the PTO shaft to the tractor, lower the PTO shield, attach the safety chain, and raise the parking stand before you’re ready to go to work.

Frontier has more than 400 implements and attachments that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.

Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.

And remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.


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