Do-It-Yourself Plans: Backhoes, Loaders & More

Pin-on Mini Payloader Build Plans

Upgrade your tractor with an easy-to-use payloader attachment

OUR new Pin-on Mini Payloader is ready! This attachment is designed with a self-leveling bucket, a feature that distinguishes it from our mid-mount front-end loader design.

We call this payloader “pin-on” because it’s a cinch to mount or dismount on your John Deere tractor’s front quick-attach implement brackets. We call it a “mini payloader” because it has a single boom lift cylinder and a single bucket cylinder connected to the self-leveling bucket linkage. This allows very high angles of rotation for bucket curl and dump.

The payloader was originally built for the older John Deere 300 Series garden tractors, which have on-board hydraulics — four plug-in hydraulic ports on the front of the tractor and two levers to control these ports. Because of this attachment’s light weight (230 lbs), however, it is a good match for many other garden tractors.

The Pin-on Mini Payloader Build Plans come with a list of parts and specs to set up an external add-on hydraulic system if needed, along with hydraulic schematics. A small belt-driven hydraulic pump will run this loader from the same engine pulley that is used to run the mower deck on your tractor. There is an example of a pump mount bracket included in the plans. The plans also include a list of online suppliers for compact hydraulics, which you can use to compare prices.

Features of the Pin-on Mini Payloader

  • Weighs 230 pounds (104 kg)
  • Has a self-leveling 44-inch-wide bucket (1.12 m)
  • Can be used simultaneously with the mower deck
  • Includes 12 grease fittings
  • Inner bushings on all the pivot points are replaceable
  • Bucket rollback at ground level is 45 degrees, and its dump angle at full lift is around 75 degrees
  • Clears 55 inches (1.4 m) under the bucket when level and 59 inches (1.5 m) at full lift (to the pin)
  • Able to lift 350 pounds (159 kg)

A picture of P.F. Engineering's Pin-on Mini Payloader Plans

Imperial Metric
Overall weight: 230 pounds 105 kg
Lift capacity: 350 pounds 159 kg
Lift height under a level bucket: 55" 1397 mm
Lift height to the pivot pin: 59" 1498.6 mm
Bucket width: 44" 1117.6 mm
Bucket capacity: 0.25 cubic yards (yd³) 191 liters (L)
Bucket curl (roll back) angle: 45 degrees
Bucket dump (roll down) angle: 75 degrees
Self-leveling bucket linkage
Estimated cost to build: $500 (Before COVID*) - using tractor’s on-board hydraulic system
$1000 (Before COVID*) - using an external add-on hydraulic system

* Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for steel vary considerably from one place to another place.

Photos of Payloader Builds

Photo icon More pictures

More Plans

What Next?

  • Head over to our picture gallery where we have 1063 images of our customers’ machines on display. Use the search box at the top of that page to locate a particular make or model tractor that you are interested in seeing with a loader or backhoe attachment.

  • View Videos

    On our videos page, see customers operating their DIY loaders, backhoes and log splitters — all built using our plans.

  • Order Plans

    Go to our orders page and find out how to order one or more of our products, such as plans for a front-end loader or a backhoe. There are ordering links for shipping plans within the U.S. and internationally.

  • Contact Us

    Perhaps you have questions about hydraulics, a particular tractor application, or something else. Ask the original designer and builder about your project before you purchase plans. Feel free to contact Paul by email at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also call Paul’s cell at 413-835-5801.

  • Read More

    The FAQ page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear about building loaders and backhoes. Your question may be answered there, if not please feel free to contact us by email or phone.

Questions? Contact Paul at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also reach Paul on his cell at 413-835-5801.