Richard L. Parish | 2/9/2005 11:54:49 PM
A dirt scoop (Figure 1) is a handy attachment for small tractors. It will allow you to dig, move and dump small quantities of soil, gravel, sand or other materials much easier than you can do with a shovel and wheelbarrow and much less expensively than with a front-end loader on your tractor.
A dirt scoop may be called by other names such as a rear bucket, slip bucket or slip scoop. It mounts on the 3-point hitch of a tractor (Figure 2). It is raised and lowered by the tractor and usually has a manual dump, triggered by pulling a rope. The scoop or bucket can be reversed (by hitching to either end), allowing you to dig in either forward or reverse, depending on the requirements of a given project. The normal mode of action is to scoop up a load of material in the bucket, haul it wherever needed and dump it.
The most important advantage of a dirt scoop is low cost. One can be purchased for less than $300. It provides a low-cost mechanized alternative to a shovel and wheelbarrow. It is useful for small digging projects around a homestead and for small grounds maintenance jobs. It is certainly not as versatile as a front-end loader, nor does it match the capacity of a front-end loader, but it costs much less. Because it mounts on the rear of the tractor, good traction is available for digging.
A dirt scoop cannot handle as big a load as a front-end loader. Because a dirt scoop is behind the tractor, visibility may be limited and awkward.
A simple dirt scoop is a useful implement for your compact tractor and performs some of the functions of a front-end loader, although not as efficiently.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture