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  1. #21
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    While I have no doubt that the Millonzi 48LD works well on our compact tractors, the original poster has a 70HP utility tractor. I'd steer away from anything labeled light duty.

    I've never used a stump bucket or stump grapple, but even on your larger tractor I'd be leary of how well they would work on a stump of any substance (Base on my experince with my BH80-X backhoe & modest ~10" stumps). I'd want to try before I bought.

    I'd recommend a dedicated grapple for tree & brush work I think 48" is too small for your tractor -I'd probably go 60, 66 or 72". how wide is the unit?.

    The 4in1 will work for logs, but not so great for brush. Again, I think 60" is too small for your machine. I run a 60" bucket on my B3030.
    Hazmat

  2. #22
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmat
    I'd recommend a dedicated grapple for tree & brush work I think 48" is too small for your tractor -I'd probably go 60, 66 or 72". how wide is the unit?. .
    I think it is a misconception to think that grapples should be as wide as buckets. For moving brush you really don't gain much if anything in capacity by going with a wider grapple and you definitely lose net lift capacity as wider grapples are much heavier generally. I don't think any grapple will just pull up a monster stump unless it is attached to an excavator. Which sort of proves the point as excavator "grapples" are no more than 3 ft wide even though the machine is huge. You are better off with a narrow grapple for most tasks as you can position it and put all the force in a smaller area. The Wildkat stump grapple would be ideal for just pulling medium size stumps and it is very narrow (about 1 ft it looks like at the business end and tapering to 44 inches at the QA).

    It's also a misconception to think that a "light duty" grapple is not a tough piece of equipment. Same story basically as bush hogs. Yes you can get "heavy duty" bush hogs but the standard duty versions are plenty tough for any size CUT and normal use. The downside of "heavy duty" that needs to be considered ($$$ and weight) when talking about implements built for tractors as "light" or "standard" duty is really plenty tough for most tasks.

  3. #23
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    I never said it should be as wide as the bucket. he as a 70HP UTILITY tractor, not a CUT. He has plenty of HP & lift capacity to take a bigger bite of brush - thus my recommendation to look at a bigger unit. If he goes with the grapple rake style, (anbo or similar) he'll want something that is about as wide as his machine (+/-).

    I think we are in agreement on your second point - light duty is appropriate for a CUT, but he has a Utility, and should consider something medium or heavy duty.
    Hazmat

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Thanks Hazmat and IslandTractor for your responses. They all make me think hard about this decision and in many cases re-justify my current thinking.

    Yes I have a medium sized utility tractor, a kubota M7040 rated at 68hp. My previous tractor was an M5030DT of similar size. I went with the 7040 for it's size/weight (and I'll admit it - the cab) and to be able to use all my current implements.

    My expected grapple uses are as different as the next person. My highest need is to get some help out on my trails popping rocks and stumps, next is doing the same in my fields, next is moving logs around, and my lowest need is handling brush piles, which I do about one month a year.

    I don't expect to pop every rock or stump I come across. Right now with my old backhoe that is being traded in with the old tractor (that's another story for another thread), I get about 2 out of 3 that I try, and I bury the stubborn one til I can hire an excavator. I don't even expect the grapple to be as good at this as the backhoe. But I do think I'll be able to do a wider range of tasks out on my trails when I have this grapple mounted, and I want my box blade on the rear most of the time.

    Hazmat regarding your suggestion to get a bigger unit, I'll try to respond to getting bigger as in wider and then bigger as in heavier. My tractor could certainly handle a wider grapple, but I'm not sure I need it. My only use where width might help may be in log handling where it could provide more stability. But Island has already pointed out that anything 48" or more should be able to handle logs, and it all comes down to the operator and how they use the grapple. In fact with all my rock and stump popping, I'm also considering a dedicated narrow bucket/grapple just for this use. And when I think about all my uses, most of the time I want to deal with single objects - one rock, one stump, or one log. So precision is more important to me than the sheer grabbing size of the grapple.

    Regarding your suggestion to get a bigger unit, as in a heavier duty one. I have considered this and have looked seriously at the Markham Extreme Gator Mini Rake. It's about 36" wide, 450 lbs, and uses 1/2" steel compared to 3/8" for many of the other light duty. At that narrower width it doesn't have a huge weight penalty for the move up to thicker steel. But I'm a little hesitant about a 36" wide grapple working with logs. This might be to narrow and force me to spend a lot more time being even more careful about finding the center point with my logs. And the challenge with alot of my logs is they are 10" on one end and 6" on the other, so you have to take an educated guess where the balance point is. But going with a more traditional heavy duty grapple, like Markham's 60" grapple rake at 770 lbs, pushes me way up there in weight and forces me to go with two arms. The two arms is the biggest negative for me because again I'm mostly dealing with one object and one arm will give me more precision and be easier to work with.

    One other personal preference that again reflects my particular uses is that I'm looking at a 4-n-1 bucket, and if get one it will be narrower than my regular bucket. Most of the time when I'm working with my loader, I'm putting the material in my Polaris Ranger or a trailer towed behind it. My current 6' bucket is too wide and I spill a lot of material over the sides. Sometimes I do the corner bucket technique to pick out a half load, but when I'm dealing with heavy rocks I don't think that imbalance is good for my loader arms. So I'm looking at 5' wide 4-n-1s. I know this is slightly backwards and my tractor could handle a much wider one. For the 4-n-1's dozing function I also recognize that at 5' I won't cover my wheel stance, but my box blade does. So I'd use the 4-n-1 as a first pass dozer with a little less stress on the loader arms, and have my box blade do the second wider pass.

    If you see anything wrong in my logic for my particular needs, please jump in and straighten me out. I really appreciate everyone's input.

    Thanks, Mike

  5. #25
    Platinum Member BarryinMN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    If you get a really small grapple picking up is totaly blind as the tractor nose will block the entire view.

    My grapple is 66" wide. I can just see the bucket front corners to dig under & grab stuff.

    Grabbing logs by the balance point is not real critical. It is being clamped along five and a half feet of it's length. I've even grabbed a 30' 6" caliper tree by the root ball & carried it up hills & out of the woods - stayed away from sidehills on that one.

    Dual grapple arms simply adjust height to whatever is in the bucket. I suppose there is a weight penalty but after 4 years of hard use it's a non issue.

    I would be wary of using an ag loader as a dozer. I use my industrial TLB much more aggressively because the loader arms will handle more abuse.

    I picked up a small skid steer this year with a 54" bucket that could load a Gator.
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  6. #26
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmat
    I never said it should be as wide as the bucket. he as a 70HP UTILITY tractor, not a CUT. He has plenty of HP & lift capacity to take a bigger bite of brush - thus my recommendation to look at a bigger unit. If he goes with the grapple rake style, (anbo or similar) he'll want something that is about as wide as his machine (+/-).

    I think we are in agreement on your second point - light duty is appropriate for a CUT, but he has a Utility, and should consider something medium or heavy duty.
    I appreciate the 70hp but what is more relevant is the loader capacity. If he has a LA1153 then he has about 2500lbs lift capacity. That is not so far off from what my 40hp tractor has. Point being that a light duty grapple can handle lifting a ton or more so long as one uses it as designed and minimizes torquing it or lifting with the edge. Lifting with the edge would be more likely with a wider grapple so a narrow "light" duty grapple really should be fine for lifting logs, stumps etc.

    A wider grapple would be very useful for picking up construction debris and you'd want to cover your wheel base in that situation but for picking up logs, stumps etc a wide grapple just increases weight and paradoxically increases the chances that you'll pick up a load assymetrically. If you are grappling and lifting midline, I just don't see the benefit of a wide grapple.

  7. #27
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    I appreciate the 70hp but what is more relevant is the loader capacity. If he has a LA1153 then he has about 2500lbs lift capacity. That is not so far off from what my 40hp tractor has. Point being that a light duty grapple can handle lifting a ton or more so long as one uses it as designed and minimizes torquing it or lifting with the edge. Lifting with the edge would be more likely with a wider grapple so a narrow "light" duty grapple really should be fine for lifting logs, stumps etc.....
    The size of the tractor behind the loader is just as important. With 70HP & >5,000# of tractor (including loader) I'd be worried about making a pretzel out of the grapple the first tree he accidentally clips

    I do agree, for log work, 48" vs. 60 or 72 doesn't matter. As Barry mentioned, I'd take a look at visability (which is very tractor dependant - may or may not be an issue).
    Hazmat

  8. #28
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmat
    The size of the tractor behind the loader is just as important. With 70HP & >5,000# of tractor (including loader) I'd be worried about making a pretzel out of the grapple the first tree he accidentally clips
    .
    Yes, but a narrower grapple is less likely to clip a tree.

  9. #29
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    Yes, but a narrower grapple is less likely to clip a tree.
    Well you got me there
    Hazmat

  10. #30
    Veteran Member Rara Avis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me spend $3500 on grapples and 4n1s

    Quote Originally Posted by air19
    Thanks Hazmat and IslandTractor for your responses. They all make me think hard about this decision and in many cases re-justify my current thinking.

    Yes I have a medium sized utility tractor, a kubota M7040 rated at 68hp. My previous tractor was an M5030DT of similar size. I went with the 7040 for it's size/weight (and I'll admit it - the cab) and to be able to use all my current implements.

    My expected grapple uses are as different as the next person. My highest need is to get some help out on my trails popping rocks and stumps, next is doing the same in my fields, next is moving logs around, and my lowest need is handling brush piles, which I do about one month a year.

    I don't expect to pop every rock or stump I come across. Right now with my old backhoe that is being traded in with the old tractor (that's another story for another thread), I get about 2 out of 3 that I try, and I bury the stubborn one til I can hire an excavator. I don't even expect the grapple to be as good at this as the backhoe. But I do think I'll be able to do a wider range of tasks out on my trails when I have this grapple mounted, and I want my box blade on the rear most of the time.

    Hazmat regarding your suggestion to get a bigger unit, I'll try to respond to getting bigger as in wider and then bigger as in heavier. My tractor could certainly handle a wider grapple, but I'm not sure I need it. My only use where width might help may be in log handling where it could provide more stability. But Island has already pointed out that anything 48" or more should be able to handle logs, and it all comes down to the operator and how they use the grapple. In fact with all my rock and stump popping, I'm also considering a dedicated narrow bucket/grapple just for this use. And when I think about all my uses, most of the time I want to deal with single objects - one rock, one stump, or one log. So precision is more important to me than the sheer grabbing size of the grapple.

    Regarding your suggestion to get a bigger unit, as in a heavier duty one. I have considered this and have looked seriously at the Markham Extreme Gator Mini Rake. It's about 36" wide, 450 lbs, and uses 1/2" steel compared to 3/8" for many of the other light duty. At that narrower width it doesn't have a huge weight penalty for the move up to thicker steel. But I'm a little hesitant about a 36" wide grapple working with logs. This might be to narrow and force me to spend a lot more time being even more careful about finding the center point with my logs. And the challenge with alot of my logs is they are 10" on one end and 6" on the other, so you have to take an educated guess where the balance point is. But going with a more traditional heavy duty grapple, like Markham's 60" grapple rake at 770 lbs, pushes me way up there in weight and forces me to go with two arms. The two arms is the biggest negative for me because again I'm mostly dealing with one object and one arm will give me more precision and be easier to work with.

    One other personal preference that again reflects my particular uses is that I'm looking at a 4-n-1 bucket, and if get one it will be narrower than my regular bucket. Most of the time when I'm working with my loader, I'm putting the material in my Polaris Ranger or a trailer towed behind it. My current 6' bucket is too wide and I spill a lot of material over the sides. Sometimes I do the corner bucket technique to pick out a half load, but when I'm dealing with heavy rocks I don't think that imbalance is good for my loader arms. So I'm looking at 5' wide 4-n-1s. I know this is slightly backwards and my tractor could handle a much wider one. For the 4-n-1's dozing function I also recognize that at 5' I won't cover my wheel stance, but my box blade does. So I'd use the 4-n-1 as a first pass dozer with a little less stress on the loader arms, and have my box blade do the second wider pass.

    If you see anything wrong in my logic for my particular needs, please jump in and straighten me out. I really appreciate everyone's input.

    Thanks, Mike
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