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Author Topic: Skid loader grapple  (Read 509 times)

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Offline D6c

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Skid loader grapple
« on: October 10, 2018, 10:27:43 PM »
Looking at a compact track loader and would like to get a grapple for handling logs.   Kind of like the idea of a grapple rake... one with two separate grapples to grip odd shaped logs etc, and the rake part for cleanup of limbs/brush.

For those using one, what works well for you, and what to avoid?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Skid loader grapple
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 10:40:34 PM »
Grapple rakes are pretty heavy.  My bobcat is too light for that so i went with a stump grapple and did some modifying.  Its been excellent for sorting logs and retaining wall boulders, as well as trenching and laying culvert.  Dolleys a pintle hitch trailer around pretty good too.
Revelation 3:20

Offline barbender

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Re: Skid loader grapple
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 10:45:25 PM »
I have used two styles of grapples, one was a Quickattach brand. It was along he lines of a dozer rake with a grapple attached. It really wasn't that good at removing or pushing brush, the rake tips were so close to the machine you couldn't see them, so you were always "sticking" the tines too deep an stopping the machine. Overall, I was never that impressed with that one. The build quality was very good, it just wasn't the right style for what I wanted. The other one I used was shaped more like a bucket, with forward facing tines. I liked that one way better, you could get under a brush pile and get a nice clamp full. All that said, I'd prefer regular forks with a grapple for logs.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline alan gage

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Re: Skid loader grapple
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 09:20:39 AM »
I went through this last spring. I bought a set of 48" forks with grapple. I had a chance to borrow a friend's grapple bucket (rock bucket with closely spaced tines) and while it was great for the work we were doing clearing a grove (can grab a log by the butt and yank it out of the pile) it was less impressive when it came to picking up individual or multiple logs for moving. It was difficult to scoop under the log and I often found myself having to drop straight down with the jaws and clamp it before lifting. This usually meant only one log per load.

I decided to go with grapple forks and have been happy with the decision. For moving logs around the yard or loading them on the trailer it works great and I can easily pick up 2, 3, 4, or sometimes 5 (small) logs at once. They also work for moving lumber pallets without having to switch attachments.

There could certainly be a grapple bucket in my future for other uses but for now I'm happy with the forks.

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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Skid loader grapple
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 02:29:07 PM »
I went through a similar decision process when I bought a skid steer last year to back up my forklift.  I had a toothed bucket and forks for my tractor.  The skid steer came with a smooth bucket.  I generally prefer forks for moving logs because I can usually see where the tips are, with buckets it is impossible to see where the edge is (I do have level indicators but that doesn't let you know where the lip is in relationship to the ground, or the opening between logs in a stack).  

The other issue with buckets is my loading arms are 63" wide, the buckets are 72" and 78" wide so, if you are moving a log, you are dropping it on the arms (which is why I didn't just buy a thumb for the bucket).  I ended up with a Frostbite Grapple.  Excellent visibility, easy to pick up a single log from the pile, only about 30" wide so loading the arms is much easier.  Because I am still clumsy with the foot controls on the skid steer, and it tears up the ground, the forklift is still my go to machine.
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Bobcat S250, Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars, Grizzly 20" planer, Nyle L200M DH kiln.
If you call and my wife says "He's sawin logs", I ain't snorin'.

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