Need advice on replacing manure fork head

For once, I can’t find a single how-to video on YouTube. The darn thing has both DH and I stumped. It must be doable, or they wouldn’t sell the replacement heads, right?

Anyone have a clue?

Wd-40 the back side (hex-nut) then should be able to put a screwdriver on front as hex-nut will be fixed in the plastic against rotation but if the surround snaps, then a socket could be put on the nut anyway. Make sure replacement head is same style though—-not all bolt onto handle in exactly the same spot.

You have to undo the screw. Find some thin pliers to hold the nut. But I’d just go ahead and get a new fork. It’s a pain to replace the head and where I was a new fork didn’t cost much more than just the head. Also every one I replaced never did get tight enough


You have to remove the screw; that’s the onliest way. Can’t get it loose, try a grinder. Ain’t got a grinder, or just don’ feel like messing with it, just get a new fork; it’s only a few dollars more. Save the busted one; they still work as a pitchfork even with a missing tine or two.
Just FWIW, the Black replacement heads (Durafork, anyway) seem to outlast the colored ones 2:1 or better.
Trust me on this one; I have a PhD in Manure Management. “Piled Higher and Deeper :-D”
Just read all the way thru SWMorse’s post. Keep the screw tight. Not a million, just tight enough that the head doesn’t rattle on the handle. It will deform the plastic, but it won’t break it

I’ll add that sometimes the wood around the hole swells with moisture, and even if you can get the screw out, the head won’t come off (even if you beat it to death.) I’ve found that if I just leave the fork in a protected spot, like the garage, it’ll eventually dry up and let go.

I go through a couple heads every winter…just can’t learn to not rake frozen clods!..and have a few forks around, just in case a head is stubborn about coming off.

  1. Undo and remove the screw. With the fork facing tines up, give it a couple of whacks with a hammer or rubber mallet to pop out the nut from the back. This is reasonably important if the fork head is tight to the handle. It will save you hunting for the nut after the next step.

  2. With the handle vertical and the tines of the fork a few inches off the ground, repeatedly tap either side of the of the handle on the fork - tap left, tap right, tap left, tap right - until the head pops off.

  3. Attempt to jam the new head on with the hole in the handle lined up. Swear some. Turn the fork upside down and tap the handle HARD on the floor to encourage the fork head to get farther onto the handle so the holes line up. Swear some more because they don’t farging line up.

  4. Mark the fork head hole onto the handle with a Sharpie poked through the fork head hole. Repeat step 2. See below “4a” for alternative method for different problem

  5. Drill a bigger/new hole in your fork handle. Repeat the first part of step 3.

  6. Insert the nut to the back of the fork head and push the screw through the front. Holding the nut in place (some forks you can lay it down on the ground to hold it) screw the bolt in until it catches. Tighten until the nut is tight and the screw is flush in its little plastic housing.

4a. if the stupid handle is just too fat/too short to insert properly, swear a whole lot more. Then, if your husband, father, child is handy give it to the and tell them the upper line on the bottom of the handle is in the wrong place and needs to be moved up about 3/8"

4b. barring a handy person or appropriate tools - get a sharp knife and start whittling away until the stupid handle will fit in the stupid new fork head. Swear even more while accomplishing this delightful task.

  1. Contemplate writing a nastygram to the replacement fork head manufacturer for not being able to build a head that fits the handle without having to modify the handle. Grab a stiff drink and pat yourself on the back instead.

Note, my basket fork has been creaking and cracking all summer apparently on its last legs. I have a new fork head for it. I absolutely will not do that replacement job until the fork fully up and dies on me. It’s not a fun job these days. Back in the before times, when plastic forks were a new thing, it was easy peasey because the replacement heads were built by the same manufacturer of the entire forks.

Also note, I absolutely WILL replace the heads on forks though. It may not be that much more to replace the entire fork, but I figure anything I can do to prevent having to throw out a perfectly good handle goes a tiny way to helping one more tree stay standing in the forest.


I think the screw is just rusted and that’s the problem. It will not turn.

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Give it a good soak in WD40, let it sit for a while, then try again.

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Or not. Those nuts are usually “locking” and the holes in the fork head and on the handle are rarely perfectly lined up so they take rather a grand effort the first few rounds of loosening them.

Once the end of the bolt is part way through, the undoing gets a fair bit easier. The right size of driver bit on a drill can help a lot.

I’ve always been able to just unscrew the broken head & replace. No problem with the nut or handle :woman_shrugging:

@Bristol_Bay I just wanted to let you know I made the same “repair” to my current head that’s missing 2 tines. :laughing:
Necessity being the Ma of Invention…
That, and I’m too cheap to buy a new head as long as the duct tape holds.

I also own a FrankenBroom, with the Still Useful head from one wood-handled Oldie But Goody, taped to the handle of one whose head broke off.
It’s at least 5yrs old. Still sweeps, so it stays :smirk:

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Jealous. Used to be that way but it’s not anymore :frowning: Joe Generic fork head (whic is what’s available locally) is not made to spec, sadly. And crazier still - gotta be careful which colour to buy. Black and orange are durable. Blue will drop a tine within a week. Red is somewhere between.

My manure fork head replacement technique is to carry it to the garage, from the barn. Then tell Mr. Trub that the manure fork broke again and can he please fix it for me. I then hand him one of the replacement heads.

Of the many things my DH does for the horses that are not his, this job is one he says is easy.


I got a Wave fork to quit replacing broken fork heads. They have a warrenty about breakage. Husband was breaking 3-4 a year! Cost of fork heads just keeps going up, though still cheaper than buying a whole new fork.

With a couple modifications, that Wave fork has been excellent for several years, no broken tines. I called the company about getting some extra tines, plain. They sent me some, free. They will do this under the guarantee, they also sent a free clip that holds the tines on the crossbar. The basket sides it came with made it harder for me to empty into the spreader, needing fork totally upside down to dump. I changed the basket tines off to have only plain tines on the fork. Yep they are easy on and off as advertised. Then I added a couple zip-ties on both sides where tines plug together, to force tines to stay tight together. This will prevent outside tine spreading if snagged. They are pretty flexible, haven’t broken one yet.

I told my friends about the changed basket side tines to plain ones and zip ties for holding tines together, so they like their Wave forks even more now!

The cost of Wave fork has been paid back with no need to buy replacement fork heads over those years! I do like the angled tines to lift, loosen a fork full in a pile of manure. Those cheaper heads were not strong or angled enough to get good “lift” in breaking a fork full loose from a pile. The handle has a nice mushroom cap that is comfortable in your hand for pushing fork under piles. We have found it to be a really nice fork to use.

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OT but how do people feed that metal tine forks compare?

Well, I can make a product recommendation:

I bought one of these last year after breaking tines two days in a row on frozen poopiles. Thought it would offer a more sturdy option. Bad choice.
Way, way too heavy. The wire tines aren’t securely located, and don’t stay aligned. Difficult to realign once they are out of position. And it didn’t help a bit with the frozen piles.
Too expensive to simply trash; maybe I’ll set it out at the front gate as “Free to Good Home” or something.
Just so you know.
I will comment that I have started carrying a pick-axe on my Muckmobile in freezing weather. Usually a modest wack right at ground-level with the adze-end will un-stick frozen piles intact, and then you can simply pick 'em up as usual.

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I found the wire tine muck fork pretty useless for stall cleaning. This was sawdust or straw bedding. Just could not push it into thickness of wet bedding. It hangs on a hook most of the year. Daughter borrows it now and again to spread mulch at her in-laws. Says it works great for moving wood chip mulch.

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“Greenhawk” plastic fork heads do not break. You can order them on line. They are Canadian. At least, the ones I have haven’t broken since I got them, 5? 6? 7? years ago. And I’m not kind to them. You just have to make sure that the shape of the hole is correct… some are square ended, some are tapered.

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:flushed: Now I’m worried…
I replaced the head over a year ago & now I’m looking at getting a new one, assuming it will fit. :grimacing:

Local feedstore sells them @ ~$19 IIRC, TSC is $16, but I like my $$ to go to the small local guys.

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That’s actually the first thing I did. DH tried the WD40. Nothing is moving this screw. I’m buying a new one tomorrow.

I’ve had this manure fork for probably ten years give or take. It hasn’t been in daily use until the last six months, and that’s just picking out one stall.

Then a new guy moved in across from me and I let him borrow it a few times until he got his own, which he never did.

Moral of the story is hide your manure fork.

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Had anyone tried the Flex’n Fork? It’s kind of stupid expensive, but it even has a carbon-fiber handle option! (And a 13 month warranty).
I’m kind of intrigued with it…

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