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Grapple for Full Size TLB

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by Swetz, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    mitch504, I am not thinking I would be using the grapple to move 30' pieces of trunk. I am more talking about the branches that I cut off the trunk, kinda like the pic below (not a real good pic but the only one I have). You can see the main trunks off on the left. Those I cut down to ~10' pieces and stack for firewood.

    20201108_143153.jpg
     
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  2. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    NH575E, I think if one chose a 2-way pump, it would work fine. I do like the ones with plastic reservoir tho because they don't rust. I have the same thing on my dump on my truck and have had is over 12 years without a hitch. They have an adjustable relief that could be set around 3k#. they have the volume of oil (I calculated the 2 cylinders would take less than a gallon of oil), and at a couple GPM, the grapple shouldn't be to fast. To me, this seems like it would work just fine.
     
  3. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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    My opinion would be if it's on the machine and you need to move something that maybe too big, you're going to try and grab it, it's just the way it goes. Plus, if you're going to go through all the trouble to get one and set up the valving and hoses and switches I would also probably try to spend a little more for something that will take abuse rather than trying not to abuse it. Remember, it also needs to handle the weight of the machine and the bucket forces applied...not trying to spend your money, I'm just speaking from experience....
     
  4. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    I think those plastic tank units are all single acting. You would have to use them with a open center directional valve.

    Edit: Looks like these are ALL gravity down so you will need a open center valve inline.

    The double solenoid unit wouldn't provide any advantage.

    This eBay listing has more info than some of the Amazon ads. It says double acting but the description says power up, gravity down. Sounds like this seller includes the port adapters. Looks like the duty cycle is not sufficient for grapple use.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-Dou...122686?hash=item2ae83fd07e:g:IBcAAOSwdYpetkO0
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  5. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    Tags, You are correct, if it is there you will use it, that is human nature. I know very little about grapples, and was hoping that someone that used MDS would be able to chime in. Maybe I am just being lazy, and should just continue to hand cut and drag the branches as I have been. I will prolly be done with the project before I would get the grapple mounted anyhow. I guess getting older and waking up sore several days in a row has me thinking of another way to work. If I do put one on, I really wouldn't want light duty. This is a powerful tractor, an I don't want to add a new weak point for sure. I could add some reliefs in addition to the system relief to keep myself from doing something stupid I guess, kinda like is found on the backhoe.
     
  6. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    NH575E, Here is a 2-way unit with a plastic tank. Not as cheap but would work. I do not like the idea of a pendent to control it. I would wire the appropriate switch to the loader joystick so i could control it with the same hand as the loader. There is no load on the switch as there is a relay for the pump, so it shouldn't be a problem.
    https://www.amazon.com/KTI-Double-A...e+acting+hydraulic+pump&qid=1605369165&sr=8-9


    Also, I did look at the grapple setup that was added in the thread you linked...I agree 100%, that is not heavy duty enough for our machines. I do have a Ford 445A that this would work perfect on as it is only rated at 3500# lift on the loader. It currently has issues though and I will not be fixing them until the garage is built and I have a place to work on it. I think a universal skid steer adaptor would be the ticket for that machine. It also has a remote off the 3-point hitch that could easily supply the exact hydraulic flow and pressure needed. And, as others pointed out, I wouldn't have the power to make the carnage that the 675E could create. In the case of adding a grapple to the 445A, I would go with the universal skid steer adaptor and purchase a whole grapple bucket assembly, not an add on.
     
  7. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    This eBay seller has what looks like the same 6 quart unit for half.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/182849647498?1329315

    Did you look at the link I placed for the Greens Machine Thumb? It is made to weld or bolt to the top of a bucket. Not sure how wide it is but the 36" unit would span our buckets from top to bottom. Two of them would cost $1000.
    36inchthumb.jpg
     
  8. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    aighead likes this.
  9. Check Break

    Check Break Senior Member

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    I started down this path four months ago, looked at a lot of grapples, asked a lot of questions, and when the sellers/dealers couldn't answer the questions, I went to the manufacturer. Most grapples are made out of light gauge mild steel. Pretty much a waste of money. I wanted something heavy duty and made out of high strength steel. There were two grapples that fit that description and I settled on the Bradco. Here's a link.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bradco-72-...362613272790?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10
    Need to check my notes but I think the tines are made out of T1, not Hardox.

    It's a universal skid steer mount so that raised another issue. I decided to install it on a Ford 445A that I bought cheap. The bucket pins were never greased so they need work. I got as far as burning out the parts for the skid steer mount but didn't get any work done on the loader frame. I'm going to make new hard lines and hoses and install an electric diverter valve on the torque tube. The Ford doesn't have a 4:1 bucket so the bucket roll circuit will connect to the diverter valve. The default setting will be bucket roll. When I energize the diverter valve, the grapple will open and close. A switch on the loader joystick is a PIA so I'm going to use the microswitch on the running board that controls the T/C dump valve. No one ever uses the Ford dump valve and they're always disconnected and in various stages of disrepair. Mine is no exception. So, there it is, of no practical value because it's not completed, but offered to show you where I'm headed, that is until I change my mind again. The Bradco grapple is overbuilt. The loader frame will suffer damage before it does, which is the way I want it, as I'll be the only one using it. It hurts to pay that much for a grapple then spend more to build a mount, but it will outlast me and won't need to be re-engineered and repaired down the road.
     
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  10. Check Break

    Check Break Senior Member

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  11. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    I've never owned a loader grapple, or a 4 in one loader bucket. I'd like to have one, but the opportunity hasn't presented.
    I can't live without a thumb! It serves SO many functions!
    I have had two Case 580K. Mine have had Extend A Hoes. Commercial built thumbs don't work on these. First thumb, I repurposed part of a log loader claw. Despite cutting & altering its shape several times, it was a source of frustration. There were design shortcomings & failures in the cylinder.
    My current thumb is amazing if I do have to say so. I'd change it a bit, but it functions MUCH better than the last one.

    With a thumb, I can cut firewood off the ground, easily load 150 lb chunks in the truck, dig out rocks & load them individually wherever I want them. There is a distinct advantage in a backhoe with thumb. A loader is always parallel with rear tires. Almost always that is not where I want it. I can't see through a loader bucket. Neither of these issues manifests with a thumb.

    I believe a grapple on a skid steer or Compact Track Loader is far more useful than on a backhoe. They don't have a hinging front axle & you can see the cutting edge of the bucket.

    I rarely carry rocks or trees far with the thumb, but with a heavy load in the front bucket I can. Usually load in the truck if I have far to go.
     
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  12. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    NH575E,
    Good find on the pump/motor. Looks like the vendor has accepted some best offers too.

    As far as the thumb, I will measure the bucket opening the way they say to on there site to see if it is long enough. If so, 2 of them and a hydraulic pump would prolly do the job, with some wiring and hoses.

    Check Break,
    Thanks for the info! That is a nice looking grapple attachment!. I think the 445A will do what you want. That is a stout machine @10k#. I wish mine were up and running so I could install the grapple, and leave my TLB unchanged. BTW, I did some searching a couple of years ago, and found a company that sells the tractor side of the universal skid steer adaptor. I actually spoke to the guy, but, getting old, I cannot recall what company it was. My 445A has a diverter on the 3-point control that could be a supply for a solenoid 2-way valve. That was my plan to run implements once it is up and running...I say running, but it is a transmission issue. It is in reverse in forward, neutral, and reverse. That is how I bought it...it is a project.

    Willie B,
    I wish I had a thumb on the backhoe for sure, but being an extend-a-hoe, and the fact that the extension is an inner boom, it makes it much harder. Additionally, in the next 3 years I plan to purchase an excavator, and a hydraulic thumb is on the must have list. So, It prolly isn't worth while to spend thousands now in the thumb for the backhoe.

    I may just wind up sucking it up and do this job by hand. It sucks to get old! Once I am done with this job, I will be able to build my shop. Once the shop is built, I will have a place to fix up the 445A.
     
  13. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    I was looking further at the possibility and I don't see ANY PLACE to mount one of those pumps. I am back to thinking dual diverter valves on the curl would be the way to go.

    It is not a big deal to switch back and forth between grapple and curl. I can't really imagine needing or using both functions at once. It took me a couple of times to get use to it on my John Deere but now it comes as second nature.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  14. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    NH575E, I got a chance to look over my tractor, and I have to agree, not much space to put a hydraulic pump/motor. I also measured from the top of the bucket to the cutting edge and added 2.5", per the instructions. I came up over the 36". I am not sure if that is the end of the world tho.

    I did learn something while researching this...the stabilizers use a cable to operate the valve bank. I had read the the extend-a-hoe was cable but assumed that the bank was directly under the stabilizer levers. Nope, it is on the drivers side. It looks doable to get access by removing the drivers tire if I were to tap in to this circuit. That said, I don't think I am going to go ahead with installing a grapple on the bucket.

    I think I would much better served if I put it on my 445A. First I would install an adaptor to a universal skidsteer plate, (A company called ATI makes them, Messick's sells them) then purchase a grapple bucket like Check Break did. This would also open up endless possibilities for using the universal skid steer bracket with other attachments. And, with the 445A, I already have a hydraulic supply off the 3-point control. All the above stated, I cannot foresee fixing the 445A until after the shop/garage is built. So, I guess I am going to have to hump all the brush by hand the way I have been doing it.

    Thanks for your input on this!

    howtomeasure1.jpg.w560h420.jpg Tach All Quick Attach QA FO14.jpg
     
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  15. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    That's the point I got to on mine. The backhoe does what the backhoe does and I switch machines.

    When I started I had a little 2wd John Deere 855 that didn't even have a loader. It endured a ridiculous amount of abuse. Then I upgraded to a 4310 and added a loader. I wish it was bigger but I get by with it.

    landscape-rake.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  16. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    I have to agree, it is amazing what these Compact Utility Tractors can do for their size and weight. I have worked mine hard, and it has never given me a lick of problems. I am diligent in servicing and greasing though. The above being said, I do like the power the full size tractor has, in fact, the backhoe still scares me from time to time...fast and powerful.

    Another skid steer option I will get once the 445A is up and running is pallet forks. I have a set for the CUT, that clamp on the bucket they work great, but I cant see $hit with them on, because of the bucket.
     
  17. Tugger2

    Tugger2 Senior Member

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    I have a set of forks on my loader and have found they work really well for moving brush piles.If you can push up against something solid you can grab a huge pile of brush . The stuff locks together pretty well as you know from trying to handle it by hand.
     
  18. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

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    That is a good suggestion. IF you add forks get the the real kind that mount on a bar. Don't mess with those clamp on jobs. Ask me how I know!
     
  19. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    The 580K came with hooks welded to top of bucket & a set of forks. They work very well except for the inability to see. With a good spotter they work well. I won't compare it to a telehandler, but better than none.
    As for grapple to grip brush, I don't see a need. Throw a chain or a rope on the ground before piling brush. Whole trees; drag where you want the brush.

    It comes down to what will you do with the brush. On "The Land" (16 acres) I have two piles of wood debris. Both are in a corner where if they never rot away it wouldn't be a problem. I keep adding another layer, carrying it out to level. Both are in a low corner. I take all my organic debris there, as do 20 other people. No, I do not accept any hazardous material, just tree debris.
     
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  20. Swetz

    Swetz Senior Member

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    I have thought about the good over the top forks for the full size tractor, but I have a clamp on set on my small tractor. They lift ok, but I cannot see where they are. I wouldn't think it would be any better on the full size tractor.

    Willie B, One of the reasons I want the grapple is poison ivy...I am currently recovering from over 2 weeks ago working on the branches....it is getting old having getting poison ivy every time I clear branches! The chain method keeps me in touch (in a bad way) with the poison ivy, which is everywhere on my property. As far as getting rid of the brush (branches, because I save the main trunk to burn), with like 40 acres of woods, i just push them in, and don't give it a second thought...out of sight and out of mind.