One of the handiest implements you can put on your tractor is a lift boom for the 3-point hitch (Figure 1). In some areas these are called boom poles or gin poles.
How It Works
A lift boom mounts to the 3-point hitch of the tractor and turns your tractor into a small crane. The lift boom has hooks or brackets on the boom to allow a chain to be attached. You can attach the chain to whatever you need to lift and then use the tractor 3-point lift to raise the load. Most lift booms allow you to hook in close to the tractor for heavier loads and at the end of the boom for maximum lift. Screwing the 3-point hitch upper arm in or out gives you more lift range. Some lift booms are designed to mount directly to quick hitches.
What’s It Good For?
A lift boom helps load and unload heavy objects from trucks or trailers, lift heavy machinery parts onto and off of machines and pull posts.
For Greater Ease In Lifting
To increase the useful lifting range of your lift boom, you can replace the upper link on your tractor with a hydraulic cylinder (Figure 2). This will allow you to tip the lift boom up or down for a greater lifting range. This can be useful if, for example, you are lifting something into or out of a truck. The lift range available from the 3-point hitch alone may not be enough.
For Even More Lift Range
Another option to gain even more lift range is to use a lift boom with an integral hydraulic cylinder to swing the boom up and down (Figure 3). Combining the 3-point hitch lift with a cylinder on the boom and a cylinder replacing the upper arm of the 3-point hitch provides a wide range of lift and greater control of the object being lifted.
In summary, a lift boom is one of the most useful attachments you can own for your tractor. You can buy a basic category one lift boom for a small tractor (Figure 1) for less than $100. Heavier booms and the hydraulic cylinders will add considerably to the cost.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture