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Grapple or Thumb

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by Wolf, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. mikef87

    mikef87 Senior Member

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    A thumb has its place, but I prefer the grapple for demo. The thumb is nice on a small machine or if your going to use it occasionally to move something. Like said earlier, if your a good operator you can pick a fine piece of copper out of a pile.
     
  2. Dirtman2007

    Dirtman2007 Senior Member

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    I like the hydraulic thumbs over the fixed. You dont have to do as much tracking/ moving the machine if its hydraulic. Just make sure that thumb cylinder is weaker than the one on the bucket is, or you will be buying a new thumb cylinder. On our daewoo the dealer had to replace the thumb cylinder twice because it kept bending because they did not set the presure release right.
     
  3. INSTRUCTOR WAR

    INSTRUCTOR WAR Member

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    For demo purposes def go with the grapple. the thumbs are nice but are so easy to abuse since your point of contact is so much farther out like at the end of the thumb were the bucket teeth meet. a grapple on the other hand picks up most things in the palm area instead of out on the finger tips reducing the leverage forces that will twist a thumb right off or worse if u over welded the permanat adjuster on the back of your stick u could possibly rip or fracture your dipper stick . plus since the grapples are boxed in construction they are much tuffer. the disadvantage is u dont have a bucket anymore for digging purposes.

    Ive used hydraulic thumbs but im not a real fan because of the fact that u constantly have to roll the thumb back out since the bucket cylinder over powers the thumb cylinder. one could prob put a heavy duty cylinder on a hydraulic thumb and skip the pressure release but the weight of the cylinder would be so significant it would greatly reduce yer lifting capabilities
     
  4. juniordemoguy

    juniordemoguy Member

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    after i was done training i was doing some concrete recycling using a thumb and it seemed ackward. but for demo it's awesome.
     
  5. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums juniordemoguy! :drinkup
     
  6. juniordemoguy

    juniordemoguy Member

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    thanks bud! :drinkup
     
  7. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Anybody seen a thumb like this. It appears to have a bolt-on row of teeth, which I've never seen. Its made by Cat in case the Cat placard is not visible and is attached to a Cat 320 ZTR. Obviously needing some teeth too. It's a local contractors hoe that was in town.

    IMG_0001.JPG

    IMG_0002.JPG

    IMG_0004.JPG

    IMG_0003.JPG
     
  8. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    I honestly have never seen replaceable teeth on a thumb. Nor have I really seen the need for such a thing. That is an intersting set up. I wonder if it has a specific application that it meets.
    :beatsme
     
  9. tonka

    tonka Senior Member

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    Thumb hands down!
     
  10. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums tonka! :drinkup
     
  11. tonka

    tonka Senior Member

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    Thanks bud!
     
  12. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    Well im going to drag up an old thread. Boss man Danhoe is looking at adding a thumb or grapple to his Stink Belt. Its equipped with a Hendrix coupler. The machine does a lot of sewer work. My thoughts are that a Fixed thumbs mounts will get in the way when you have to spin the bucket around. Where as a grapples fixed mount on the stick will be up higher and farther away from the bucket. The stick already has a dent in it from where the previous owner hit it with the hook on the bucket. Give you an idea of what gets done with the machine, and the options.
     

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  13. mikef87

    mikef87 Senior Member

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    I would go with a grapple, with a quick coupler you can have it on in a jiff, and if you plan on doing heavy demo it'll last longer than a thumb. I have 1 Cat 315 with a thumb the rest have grapples.
     
  14. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    Thumb or Grapple

    Turbo:

    Did they end up putting on a thumb or a grapple?

    How has it been working out for you?

    What kind of buildings have you been wrecking with it?
     
  15. thodob

    thodob Well-Known Member

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    grapples most def.
    Our best operators can pick up an cigarette or egg without crushing... With oilquick you can easily change from concrete crusher, to grapple to bucket. This leads to always using the most suitable attachment, resulting in better sorting rates, lower waste costs, better HSE etc.
    Thumbs are mostly used for building stone walls over here.
     
  16. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    I notice the grapples look wider and also rotate over there. That is pretty useful equipment.

    Why don't they use rotating grapples like that in USA? Go figure.
     
  17. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    Wolf, I dont think anything has been done with the Link Belt yet. I am currently working for a different company.

    On to your rotating grapple. The idea is a good one, I just dont know how it would hold up to the US style wrecking. Around here it seems most operations use a grapple for a front line wrecking, just as much as they use it for sorting. It seems to me that the rotators would not handle the abuse cause by grabbing and pulling on heavy steel structures.

    At MCM our labounty msd3000 shear with rotator was the main wrecking attachment. Not only was it used to cut the structure, but it was also used for pushing and pulling not only scraper beams, but large sections of concrete floor. The rotator took a lot of abuse, and had to be rebuilt during the job. I think the same would be true with a rotating grapple in the same applications. I also find that in 99% of applications, all it takes is to set a grapple tine next to the object i want to pick up, and slide it one way or the other to grab it.
     
  18. thodob

    thodob Well-Known Member

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    Just proven my point of using the the right equipment for the operation??
    Why not use the shear for cutting the steel structures and grapple for sorting, demo of light structures, showel bucket (right word??) for scraping the slab?
     
  19. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    When i talk about scraping the slab, we are talking about using I beams as dozer blades. When wrecking heavy industrial multi story structures, everything revolves around the 3/4 machines that are on the front line of the project. A lot of these structures have concrete floors poured over steel sheets, and sitting on I beams. When you have a big pile of sorted metal that needs moved, you team up a few machines to shove it out of your way. When you are wrecking a tall structure where you trip a section of building, sometimes you need to pull and drag material to make up for a lack of reach
     

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  20. HLNTOIZ

    HLNTOIZ Well-Known Member

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    Wow what great info here. I would think a grapple would be great for picking apart Steal or wood structure but when you are working on a stone/brick structure I would think a thumb would be best. I don't see to many brick walls staying together and being able to pick them up. concrete yes, brick or stone no way.