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  1. #1
    Gold Member dangerdoc's Avatar
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    Default Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    I don't have loaded tires so I would like to keep the weight of the bucket down but I don't know if a grapple that narrow would make it less usefull.

    Anybody out there use a stump grapple for general grapple work? I'd like to know your experience.

    I'll be using it mostly for moving logs, brush and rocks. I'll probably try it on a stump too.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    upstate South Carolina, Greenville
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    Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    I just got my grapple but used it all weekend clearing brush, small trees, etc. In general, I feel a 48' grapple is ideal as it allows focused pressure on whatever you are trying to dig out, and is wide enough to get a good wide bite of brush you are trying to move. A narrower stump grapple (while would work well on single rocks or one isolated stump) would be at a disadvantage when clearing brush which, to me, is the primary purpose of a root grapple. The width helps to pick up and carry piles of tangled debris. As far as weight, that depends on the size of your tractor and the FEL capacity. We carry the box blade while grappling, as it gives weight to the back and is useful to smooth up the ground after removing stumps. Speaking of stumps, its also lots easier to remove a tree rather than a stump, because you can push it higher up to initially loosen it then go under the roots to pluck it out. If you cut the trunk first, you have lost leverage. A narrow grapple would not allow you to wade into a mass of bushes or limbs to push them over to access the roots.

    If you have a smaller tractor, consider the light duty Markham version, as they are still only several hundred pounds, probably not much heavier than a stump grapple. They have both on their website to compare.

  3. #3
    Gold Member dangerdoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    The stump grapple I'm looking at is 30" wide. I am also looking at a root rake grapple that is 60". They both weigh about 450#. The stump bucket would take a lot more abuse but I'm trying to find out how well it will pick up a brush pile.

    I have a 800+ pound 4n1, even with a category 2 box blade, I can end up with the back wheels off the ground with a big load of wet dirt. I have a kubota 5400, not a little tractor but not made for the heavy bucket I use.

    I wouldn't be uprooting many trees, I have well defined woods and pastures. The woods are too big to push out with the tractor and the pastures are bush hogged. I do have a couple of stumps around the house that I would grub out if I had the bucket but that would be a minor use.

    The biggest reason for going with the stump bucket would be to get more robustness without the extra weight.

  4. #4
    HCJ
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    upstate South Carolina
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    Kubota M6800 4WD

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    If grubbing out stumps would be a minor use, what do you forsee as the major use? I feel a 60" grapple is too wide (see many previous posts, especially from Islandtractor) so going narrower cuts down on weight, focuses pressure over a smaller area, hence increasing digging power, and gives better visibility. My tractor is a M6800, with loaded tires, and my FEL will not lift enough to raise my rear. I had a custom 48" made, with 1/2 steel rather than 3/8, plus tighter spacing between tines (4.5 vs. 9") I'm not sure of the weight but probably under 500lbs. Believe me, it is bullet proof. Who makes the stump grapple you are considering and at what price? I assume you have no backhoe. I just think a regular grapple has many more uses, and a stump grapple would only be good for a single stump or isolated rock, and by not having spacing between teeth, would pick up more dirt that would bog down the FEL, whereas the root grapple allows this to fall free. And even with a stump grapple, I believe you would struggle trying to dig out a stump af any size. But never having used a stump grapple, I would love to hear other opinions.

  5. #5
    Gold Member dangerdoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    If grubbing out stumps would be a minor use, what do you forsee as the major use? I feel a 60" grapple is too wide (see many previous posts, especially from Islandtractor) so going narrower cuts down on weight, focuses pressure over a smaller area, hence increasing digging power, and gives better visibility. My tractor is a M6800, with loaded tires, and my FEL will not lift enough to raise my rear. I had a custom 48" made, with 1/2 steel rather than 3/8, plus tighter spacing between tines (4.5 vs. 9") I'm not sure of the weight but probably under 500lbs. Believe me, it is bullet proof. Who makes the stump grapple you are considering and at what price? I assume you have no backhoe. I just think a regular grapple has many more uses, and a stump grapple would only be good for a single stump or isolated rock, and by not having spacing between teeth, would pick up more dirt that would bog down the FEL, whereas the root grapple allows this to fall free. And even with a stump grapple, I believe you would struggle trying to dig out a stump af any size. But never having used a stump grapple, I would love to hear other opinions.
    Its called GATOR Heavy Duty Grapple Rake, I'm assuming Gator is the manufactuer. I guess I should have been more speficic, it is narrow like a stump grapple but is in a rake configuration.

    The reason that I am considering it is because is is 1/2 steel vs the root rake which is 3/8 that is also in my budget.

    I sold my backhoe a couple of years ago and dug out about everything that needed digging before I sold it. I am basically needing a grapple and want to know if 30 inch wide is too narrow to be used effectively for brush and log moving. I'm trying to ballance cost and weight vs durablity and effectiveness.

    I have a 4n1 which is terrible for moving brush. I've never used a grapple and I am looking for some people with 1st hand experience using a narrow grapple, both good and bad.

    It sounds like what you have is close to what I am considering. Do you have trouble getting your load ballanced? Do you have problems holding onto a pile of brush when you are moving it? Do you have problems because the grapple isn't wide enough to protect your front tires. These are the things I need to know.

  6. #6
    HCJ
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    upstate South Carolina
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    Kubota M6800 4WD

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    No, holding onto debris while moving is absolutely no problem. Mine has a single upper mechanism about 30" wide with two teeth. Once you clamp it, it's not going anywhere. As far as protecting the front tires, it seems the "action" is far in front of the tires, as the grapple is way out front. Nothing I work on gets that close. Sometimes when I plunge headfirst into a wall of trees, vines, briars, etc., I worry about that stray spear that may impale my grill and radiator (or me) but so far that hasn't happened. Markham made this grapple to my specs, mainly based on advice from fellow TBN members. It looks just like their light duty version but with a more substantial top member, with 1/2 steel throughout, and extra tines giving it 4.5" spacing. I could e-mail pix but I am too computer illiterate to attach them. If you like, I can send them in a personal e-mail. Cost was $1400 which is about 500 more than their light duty model. I did examine the light duty version and it's pretty stout. But with a 7000 lb. tractor and my tendency to push equipment to its limits, I opted for the heavier duty. I think they even make a 5/8 model, but it's overkill for a tractor. Markham was great. Despite being a custom item not in their menu, they made it and it was at my door in one week. Believe me, I abused it this weekend. We were clearing brush and trees and made a house sized pile of debris. What an amazing tool! It came out without a scratch. The most likely damage that could occurs seems to be the hydraulic lines from the valve to the grapple pigtail. I need to cover them with a sleeve and figure out someway to secure them but still allowing freedom of movement throughout the range of motion.

    When my buddy (who is 1/2 owner) saw it for the first time, he seemed skeptical about how I spent his money. He said "it's smaller than I imagined." He tried it, quickly got the hang of its use, and sat there all day ripping out trees and brush. We did more clearing than a dozer could have done, and where a dozer just pushes up piles of trees and dirt, we surgically plucked them out and carried them to an out of the was brushpile, and left the area clean and neat. I couldn't get him off the tractor for me to have a turn. It quickly has become my favorite tool! Check out Markham's website to see pix and info, and I can send pictures if you e-mail me. By the way, mine is skid steer QA, but I think they can make it John deere QA, or probably anyway you like. Talk to Melissa at Markham. She is great to work with. Harold

  7. #7
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    ...want to know if 30 inch wide is too narrow to be used effectively for brush and log moving...

    I have a 72" grapple, never used anything smaller, but the sense I get is that a narrow one might work well for brush, but a wide one is better for log moving.

    I have a lot of scrub trees anywhere from 4-5" to 12" in diameter. If I stack them up right, I can move a whole stack with the wide grapple, with a narrow one it would be impossible to get the center of gravity of each log in the width of the grapple.

    I can move stacks of 6 or 8 logs at once. If they have to go any distance at all, even a hundred yards, this is much faster than one at a time.

    The other thing a wide grapple will do is make cutting firewood easier. I pick up the log and hold it over the bed of a pickup. Someone in the truck saws off 16" lengths. With a 6' grapple and a 20' tree, I have to move because the sections no longer fall into the truck before I have to move due to unbalance.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

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  8. #8
    Silver Member smitty9266's Avatar
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    Long Beach, Mississippi
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    2004 New Holland 4wd tc40, Kubota L2350

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    I have one as you can see in my avatar. I has much greater digging power and seem to have greater clamp pressure than my W R Long grapple. On a tractor you will not dig many stumps like on a skid steer. But...you dig one side of tree then the other, then behind and use the undue side as a hinge and push over. Great for digging ditches and trenches, good for most uses. If you buy one watch out for the bottom bucket length many are to long to use on a tractor, keep as short as possible

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Montpelier, Vermont
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    L4400

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    Quote Originally Posted by HCJ View Post
    Talk to Melissa at Markham. She is great to work with. Harold
    I find her sweet southern accent totally compelling.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member pitt_md's Avatar
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    Pine Island, MN
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    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: Any thoughts about using a stump bucket grapple instead of a full sized grapple.

    I have about the same sized tractor as you (kubota MX5000) and I have a WR Long OBG2 56" grapple. Its an amazing tool. If you only have a couple of stumps I would recomend renting a backhoe to dig them out and just get a a Light duty grapple for your tractor. I think you will get more use out of it than the stump bucket.
    Just a word about the thickness of the steel used in making the grapples. 3/8" steel is fine for the size tractors we are using. The outside tines are always thicker (1/2" to 5/8"). You will bust up the FEL long before you hurt the grapple.

    Good luck.

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