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Author Topic: Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple  (Read 1569 times)

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Offline Southside

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Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple
« on: November 02, 2013, 02:24:29 AM »
I have a Rotobec log grapple that I want to attach to the end of the stick on my 1988 Kobelco 909 LC II excavator so I can use it as a loader.  Been using an IH farm tractor to load logs and I just bought a grapple skidder, been pulling cable off a JD 540A until now, so the piggy bank is a bit shy to go out and buy a loader.  Figured I could double duty my excavator this way.  My question is, does anybody know if these were open or closed center hydraulic set ups?  Perhaps somebody could tell me what to look at to determine what type of system the old machine is running?  Rather than just dangling the grapple off the stick I was going to fix it to a plate so I can use the bucket curl piston to be able to have curling action with the grapple.  Any thoughts on that idea?  Thanks in advance.
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 08:42:46 AM »
my guess would be closed center. high pressure piston pumps. is there 2 extra valves on the machine? if you use the bucket hoses then you would only need 1. i have a cat excavator and when i put a thumb on it there was an extra valve but not a pilot valve. had to buy that. you may have to put a pressure reducing valve in because the cylinders on the log grapple may not have a hight enought psi ratting

Offline OlympicYJ

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Re: Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 01:53:47 AM »
You might try Jewell Manufacturing. They do all the guarding, booms, and grapples for Kobelco machines in the US. They make heels for the excavators that utilize the bucket cylinder. They can probably hook you up with any valving you may need.

http://www.jewellattachments.com/industries_forestry.asp

Are you planning on using your thumb as a heel? Otherwise what do you hope to achieve with the curling action?

Offline Southside

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Re: Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 09:19:09 PM »
Thanks guys, I will look into Jewell.  I was not thinking so much of a heel, which would be a great idea to fabricate in, rather I was thinking the ability to curl would come in handy when piling, maybe I am wrong with that thought.  I pictured the grapple fixed to a plate and the entire plate could curl like a bucket would.  Perhaps that is too much strain on the grapple itself without the benefit of the heel, I have been loading logs with a farm tractor until now with forks so a loader is a whole new world to me, after running one for an hour or so the other day I have a whole new world of respect for the guys I have seen at the fair competing with their loaders piling buckets and such. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline OlympicYJ

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Re: Kobelco 909 LC II excavator - need help with a log grapple
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 12:57:24 AM »
I see what you are thinking. You are right, without the heel there really is no point to having the grapple curl. The heel gives you log control when sorting and loading inline with the truck. You don't have to grab a tree or log right in the middle. Just heel it and swing it. Also the heel can be used for pushing or pulling up hills and gives you a point to shift sideways just like with a bucket. They work well for pushing trees over too. When moving, move the heel out and grab it with the grapple to keep it from banging into stuff. Heels for shovels (logloaders) and excavators are designed differently due to the different sticks. Also the design of the heel puts the grapple out a little in front of the stick so it gives you better angle for the dangle if you will.

While guys do use regular excavator booms and sticks with grapples they aren't designed for lifting and max reach outward. Watch out for stress cracks on your boom and stick. This is why shovels (log loaders) have the type of boom and stick that they do. They are designed to have better reach and to handle the stress of lifting as opposed to digging.

Wes


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