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  1. #1
    Platinum Member firefighter9208's Avatar
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    Default Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    I have a kubota M4800 with a Bushhog M346 loader. Loader capacity is 3500# at pivot pin or 2450# at 31" in front of pivot pin to maximum height, 4050# at pivot pin or 3000# at 31" in front of the pivot pin to 59" height. Yes I do have a 55 gallon drum full of concrete hanging from the 3 point hitch and the rear tires loaded with water and Methanol.

    I don't have the money at this time to buy a dedicated grapple. I will be using this "bolt on" grapple to clear undergrowth and load the occasional log onto the dumptruck.

    I have spent many hours the past few days researching bolt on bucket grapples. I have narrowed it down to three. Help me choose.

    1. Andy Tatro bolt on grapple.





    2. Precision Engineering Add-A-Grapple



    3. W.R. Long Bolt On Grapple



    1. I spoke with Andy and his grapple is built out ot 3/8 steel (for the tines) and he will make the tines longer to fit my big bucket. The grapple is 18" wide. Andy told me I could weld the mount onto the bucket or he would drill it for me to bolt on. If I buy his I think I will Make a Mount out of 2"x4"x1/4" tubing similar to W.R. Longs to bolt to the side of my bucket.

    2. Precisions Manufacturing's grapple tines are either 3/16" or 1/4". The grapple is 24" wide. You can remove the grapple without removing the mount, but I think it would be easy to bend the steel rod holding the grapple to the mount.

    3. W.R. Longs grapple tines are either 3/16" or 1/4". The grapple is 24" wide. To remove the grapple you have to unbolt the mount from the bucket at the ends.

    I really like the grapple that Pineridge built (36") with the guidance of Andy, but Andy advised against building a single grapple that wide because it might bend.

    I need help making this decision.

    Chris
    2004 Kubota M4800 with Bushhog M346 Loader with 6' Heavy Duty Bucket and Bale Spear. 6' Bushhog SQ720 Mower, Bushhog RDTH72 Finish Mower. Bushhog 3pth Log Splitter. Andy Tatro Grapple. Home Made 48" pallet forks.

    1966 Farmall 140 with cultivators and fertilizer attachment.

    1999 F250 LWB Ext. Cab 7.3L Powerstroke, ZF 6 Speed, Chip, Exhaust, Cool Air Intake.

    2009 Chevrolet Traverse

    1969 Mach1 Mustang 351W. Too much to list.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    My advice is to buy two grapples from Andy and plumb them in parallel. If one hits something on one side, the other side will keep closing until it hits something. Rob (3RRL) built a grapple like that and he really likes his.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Gold Member jdgreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    I had the ATI bolt-on grapple for over a year, and it worked quite well. It is extremely heavy, and well built. I sold it to by a Millonzi grapple. The cost of the ATI grapple now should be very close to a Millonzi.

    No matter which add-on grapple you get, if you intend on picking up logs, you will need a tooth bar, or forks on the bucket. I fabbed forks out of thick 2x4 steel tubes, and bolted them inside the bucket. Worked quite well and was easy to put on/take off.
    JD 4210 eHydro, Millonzi grapple, Fasse valve kit, Curtis soft-side cab, Land Pride 6' blade & york rake, and a few other toys.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    I agree with other posts but would take exception to the idea of using double arm grapples. I have a single arm grapple and in two years have not had a single instance where a double arm grapple would have helped hold any object at all. The double arms are twice the cost and twice the weight and twice the number of hydraulic fittings/hoses etc. The other even more important disadvantage is that you cannot easily center an object such as a small or medium size (4-6 inch) stump and come "over the top" using the grapple arm to dig under the stump roots from behind while you push forwards with the bucket lip. To do that with the double arm you would need to be offset and that is bad for the FEL.

    Of the options you listed I like elements of each but given the size of your tractor I'd eliminate the otherwise nice ATI, WRLong and Add A Grapple. Andy's single is the way to go.

    (PS..I know you got a high quote from Millonzi. Unless they have just decided to up prices by 50% I'd try to get another quote. Ask for Joe this time and be sure to mention TBN)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    The double arms are twice the cost and twice the weight and twice the number of hydraulic fittings/hoses etc.
    ...twice the number of hydraulic fittings" A "T" instead of an "L" and two hoses to the cylinder...I'm having trouble with that math.

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    The other even more important disadvantage is that you cannot easily center an object such as a small or medium size (4-6 inch) stump and come "over the top" using the grapple arm to dig under the stump roots from behind while you push forwards with the bucket lip. To do that with the double arm you would need to be offset and that is bad for the FEL.
    Do you have a picture of that? Is that really an "important disadvantage"?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    Of the options you listed I like elements of each but given the size of your tractor I'd eliminate the otherwise nice ATI, WRLong and Add A Grapple. Andy's single is the way to go.
    I agree. A single grapple is all you need. I just had to "bust your chops" about those first two statements.
    Jim


  6. #6
    Platinum Member firefighter9208's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman
    ...twice the number of hydraulic fittings" A "T" instead of an "L" and two hoses to the cylinder...I'm having trouble with that math.



    Do you have a picture of that? Is that really an "important disadvantage"?



    I agree. A single grapple is all you need. I just had to "bust your chops" about those first two statements.
    jdgreg, jinman, and islandtractor,

    You all make really good points. I have decided to go with the Tatro grapple, because of strength and the fact that Andy was really good to deal with on the phone. Now, I just need to call him to order it.

    I have a hay fork, that I have converted to a set of pallet forks. I think I'm going to figure out how to attached the grapple to the top of it and buy some 1 1/4" rod to go on the bottom so I can have a grapple like the one that Andy sent me pictures of. I also am going to build a mount to put it on my loader bucket.

    I was really wanting to get a wider grapple or two, but realized after looking at all the pictures on TBN that Andy's 18" grapple will pretty much pick up anything I want to load without the chance of bending like the thinner grapples. If I decide I need two I can always call Andy and order another one and modify my mount!!


    Thanks to everyone for the help.


    Chris
    2004 Kubota M4800 with Bushhog M346 Loader with 6' Heavy Duty Bucket and Bale Spear. 6' Bushhog SQ720 Mower, Bushhog RDTH72 Finish Mower. Bushhog 3pth Log Splitter. Andy Tatro Grapple. Home Made 48" pallet forks.

    1966 Farmall 140 with cultivators and fertilizer attachment.

    1999 F250 LWB Ext. Cab 7.3L Powerstroke, ZF 6 Speed, Chip, Exhaust, Cool Air Intake.

    2009 Chevrolet Traverse

    1969 Mach1 Mustang 351W. Too much to list.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    Great choice! I have an Andy Tatro grapple and I love it.

    Grapple on rock bucket
    Jim


  8. #8
    Platinum Member firefighter9208's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman
    Great choice! I have an Andy Tatro grapple and I love it.

    Grapple on rock bucket
    jinman,

    How are the u-bolts holding up? Never thought to mount it like that. I could use U bolts on the Hay spear unit as it is make out of 4" squart stock. And then bolt it to the top of the loader bucket.

    Chris
    2004 Kubota M4800 with Bushhog M346 Loader with 6' Heavy Duty Bucket and Bale Spear. 6' Bushhog SQ720 Mower, Bushhog RDTH72 Finish Mower. Bushhog 3pth Log Splitter. Andy Tatro Grapple. Home Made 48" pallet forks.

    1966 Farmall 140 with cultivators and fertilizer attachment.

    1999 F250 LWB Ext. Cab 7.3L Powerstroke, ZF 6 Speed, Chip, Exhaust, Cool Air Intake.

    2009 Chevrolet Traverse

    1969 Mach1 Mustang 351W. Too much to list.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    The u-bolts are holding up fine. I've stressed them to the maximum possible with the grapple many times and they stay tight and secure. Here is a link to my complete thread.

    Notice that I had to make cross-straps for the u-bolts out of u-channel. The sheetmetal straps that come with u-bolts are just not strong enough in my opinion.

    Get a Grip
    Jim


  10. #10
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me choose a bolt on bucket grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman
    ...twice the number of hydraulic fittings" A "T" instead of an "L" and two hoses to the cylinder...I'm having trouble with that math.



    Do you have a picture of that? Is that really an "important disadvantage"?



    I agree. A single grapple is all you need. I just had to "bust your chops" about those first two statements.
    1) Have you priced T connectors lately? It's not the cost but the additional and at least somewhat vulnerable lines. You snag and bust one and your work day will end. More pieces equals more complexity equals more chance for failure. Of course that is not an overwhelming issue but I was just pointing out the KISS principle as one more reason to favor single over dual grapple arms.

    2) See photos. I often reach over stumps with the grapple arm and close on the opposite side so I can snag subsurface roots to get a secure grip and then pull the whole stump up and out. You could do the same thing with a double grapple but you'd be off center and therefore stressing the loader. Pulling up stumps like this takes the full power of the loader so if it is off center it cannot be good for the equipment.

    The main point I think I stressed was that I've never seen anyone demostrate convincingly why you would need two grapple arms for the sorts of work that CUTs do. I think the two grapple arms come from the skidsteer world where they are doing construction/demo work.
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