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Grapples, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Discussion in 'Compact Equipment Attachments' started by Bloody Knuckles, Jan 28, 2022.

  1. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    I recently bought a used 2002 S185, 1400 hrs with a HD dirt bucket. Now looking for about a month for a decent brush grapple to clear 7-8 hilly acres of dead timber, buffalo berry? or what ever this stuff is and reseed it. Does anyone have some suggestions on a decent one? Been looking at Virnig, Ryan's, Jenkins and Prime. Leaning towards the Prime 66" dual clam brush grapple out of Garfield Mn. Main reason for the 66" is it's hilly and I'm leaving some of the trees and thinking a narrow unit would be easier to work around the trees I'm leaving. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    upload_2022-1-28_17-27-55.jpeg
     
  2. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    We've got 2 Bobcat grapples one solid bottom and one tine bottom, I think they call it an agg grapple. The tine grapple is obviously open and the tines are replaceable and works good for light clearing and grubbing.

    If I were to buy another grapple for clearing and grubbing I would buy one with replaceable teeth and stout tines. The pic you posted appears to be stout with replaceable teeth, who makes that one?
     
  3. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    That's the Prime 66". 3/4" bottom tines with replaceable teeth, 1/2" top tines. The cylinders are centered on the clams on the newer style they make and weights about 960lbs
     
  4. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    The landowner I do contract work for bought us a new Bobcat Root Grapple back in 2008. I have used that grapple to clear nearly 2000 acres since 08. Just used it again all last spring. It is one tough grapple, I can tell you that. The open tines are very stout, However, the teeth are not the replaceable type, but they still look great. I have grabbed many giant root balls still attached to the whole tree and dragged them into a pile. I did bend one of the two hydraulic top clamps back several years ago, by trying to lift/move too big of a tree. Other than that, only had 2 hoses break in 10+ years of hard use. I am sue the Bobcat brand grapple is more expensive, but ours has been well worth whatever it cost.
    Jeff
     
  5. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    ratzor gamble 3.jpg Rayzor grapple bucket.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  6. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    Photo above of bucket. Also a photo of a big stump I loaded on a trailer using the grapple. You have to click on the stump photo for it to show larger, for some reason.
     
  7. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    I was looking at Bobcat root grapples but their running about $1,000 above what I was trying to budget for one. Looked at a few used ones which still run as much as some of the others do new but on the other hand you get what you pay for.
    The bent clams must be a common issue with them cuz the used ones I was looking at were also bent. One had a rose bud taken to it and straightened. Something else I noticed was most I've looked at don't have replaceable bushings pressed in at the pivot points.
     
  8. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    That's one big stump!! Is that a 82" grapple on yours? I have to watch the weight on the ones I'm looking at, just have a 1,850Lb lift cap.
     
  9. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    That is where I'm at with my 1845C which is 1750# lift.
     
  10. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    I think it is 80 or 82" wide. The T300 tracks are supposed to be 78" across, and the mounted grapple looks a little wider than the tracks as it sits mounted on the old T300. I can not measure it for you, as I have retired and moved from Texas, way up to Ohio. The bent clam is the one to the operators left side. Bent it moving stumps and whole trees, like the size shown. Been bent for 10 years, so it does not seem to hurt the operation any.
    Jeff
     
  11. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    Bobcat is one that does have replaceable pin bushings. Did you ever have issues with the open top clams allowing Cr#p to get in under the cylinders / shafts / hoses?
     
  12. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    No, never had a problem with that. This grapple has really been trouble free over the years. There are a lot of grease fittings on it, and we kept everything on it well greased.
     
  13. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    I've bought several attachments from www.quickattach.com and have been very happy with them. One is a grapple rake that looks similar to what you've pictured above, except it's one top piece the whole way across instead of split. I've been very pleased with it
     
  14. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    I did look at a few Quick Attach units and noticed that the back side is open in most places allowing stuff to come through. Also they don't sell a dual clam unit just the single top piece units. I was thinking for my application the dual would work out better. I could be wrong, been wrong before.
     
    Steve Frazier likes this.
  15. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    I bought the cheapest, 60" root rake I could in 2018. Cost me $1700. Thick tines, welded on teeth. Single clamp, dual cylinders. I broke a cylinder mount the first time I moved logs with it, but I had it repaired in a couple hours and was back to work. Aside from breaking a manufacturing defect, it has been a solid unit that moves a lot of brush and branches every year. We cleared about 5 acres with it this past summer, and I was moving firewood logs with it 2 days ago. It is a bare bones and basic model, but it has been very effective in land clearing for a land owner, private use application. If you aren't doing large scale land clearing, I don't think the cost can be justified on the more expensive units.

    Will a cheaper unit get a landowners small job done? Probably.

    Will it break like mine did? Possibly. But, all grapples are simple in construction so a bit of welding and maybe plating and things are operable again.
    And almost all of them will bend or tweak the clamp at some point. My grandpa bought a more expensive model grapple and bent his clamp too.
     
    dirty4fun likes this.
  16. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    The open space between twines doesn't really matter. Mine is open, and when raking, the brush, logs and branches will align perpendicular with the machine, and then you clamp. I haven't had anything come through that would be an issue, and my grapple gets used on a lot of brush every year.
     
  17. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I was thinking the same thing that the material would self align and as far as open spaces I've got plenty of scrap 1/4" plate that could fill the gaps if needed.
    I was actually thinking of making my own...buy a used Bobcat dirt bucket and modify it. I've got 2 1 arm loader buckets off of 900 series ford tractors that I could cut down for clams, make the mounts, buy some cyl out of Sioux City, parker hose and fittings then a bunch of welding :)
     
    colson04 likes this.
  18. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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  19. Bloody Knuckles

    Bloody Knuckles Active Member

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    I was looking at the same one and then started leaning towards the other. Mainly because we don't have many rocks / boulders in Eastern Ne and the closing gap on it has a tighter radius. But it would work and it's about $500 less!!
     
  20. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

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    I went with the Bobcat industrial grapple, wanted the solid back as I move lots of brush with it, tired of branches coming back at me.
    Teeth have been added so it can rake.

    Ed
    grapple.jpg bobcat2.JPG
     
    Old Doug, Camshawn, Tags and 2 others like this.