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I have a new 2022 Kubota SVL97-2 track loader and would like to mount a "man basket" on a fork attachment. Since buying this track loader, I would like to utilize the lift ability to reach higher things instead of walk boards, ladders, or rental lifts when needing to reach things within the ability of the lift arms on the SVL97-2. Since the man basket will need to stay in that position for various (long) amounts of time, the track loader engine will need to be turned off and the lift arms do not need to "drift" down.

I did a short test with approx 800lbs by lifting arms up approx 3/4 and turning the engine off. The lift arms did very slowly drift down. Ugh, therefore, this is not good for my need of course.

I contacted the dealer sales rep to ask if this was normal (assuming it is since the track loader has less than 15hrs.) and he said that the lift arms will indeed drift down slowly with engine off.

Now, my question is does anyone know if there is an easy (or any) way to prevent the lift arms from drifting down at any set height when the engine is off? Is there not a factory feature to "lock" the arms from drifting at any set height with engine off? There is the arm "lock bar" to be placed under the left side arm, but that is only when the arms are all the way up for service needs. If I could create a "modification", I would imagine mounting an easy accessible valve somewhere that can be turned when wanting to prevent the lift arms from drifting from any height. However, I have know idea how these systems work or if that is simply a good idea that could never happen. Lol.

I am not a tractor mechanic. This is my first track loader owned. I do not know hydraulic systems in depth. I am mechanically inclined and if there is a simple way of doing something to fix this I may be able to perform myself. If it's beyond my ability but I can understand it, I can have a shop perform the work.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Not sure that the boom drift is normal on a new machine. I have a 20 year old tractor, and although the bucket will weep down to my annoyance, the boom has never drifted down to my knowledge!
When you get your manbasket on your forks and it's chained on to prevent it from coming off.... how are you going to get into the basket? Ladder? Someone lifting you up?
 

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add counterbalance valve(s) to the lift cylinder(s). There might even be an official "Load Holding Valve" kit from Kubota. Ask your dealer.
Assuming 2 lift cylinders, you ideally mount the valve right into the base port of the cylinder and Tee the signal into the rod side of the cylinder. This will also have the added safety benefit of not dropping the load if a hose breaks. If there isn't room, it can go elsewhere, but won't provide hose/line burst safety protection.

You might also want one for the tip function as well. You can get a dual counterbalance valve block for 2-way holding.

a counterbalance valve is a relief that adjusts the relief setting down with pressure on the pilot circuit (the rod side hydraulics here). This relief traps the oil in the base side of the cylinder until pressure builds on the rod-side of the cylinder.
 

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and yes, the drift down is normal. electronically controlled hydraulics are not as tight as manually controlled hydraulics. This is because they want a more consistent actuation force for electronic controls. With an old school guys arm moving a lever, having the force required being super consistent doesn't matter. It matters with electric over hydraulic controls, so they loosen up the tolerances so the electronics are only working against the centering springs, and not the drag of the section dragging on the spool at all.
 

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A few pieces of our equipment, including a loader on a New Holland tractor that is after-market, have a ball valve that locks one cylinder as a safety item to prevent drift. Possibly you can plumb one in. What is needed is a low restriction ball valve on the piston end of one cylinder. Interesting thing for me yesterday, I needed 2 loaders lifting something into alignment, my SVL75-1 was one and it held position for the hour long job. My M5-111 with manual valves was the other and it drifted down over 6 inches in the same time but fortunately I did get things connected when the M5 drifted so everything was aligned. Just relating that to show mechanically operated valves can drift as bad as electric. I was using my SVL75-2 as a work platform and it held position for 2 days but maybe I am just lucky.
 
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