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  1. #11
    Super Member
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    One of my favorite uses is when you're cleaning up rocks/debris. Lots of guys have a tough time getting rocks & junk in a GP bucket. I open my 4/1 and "bulldoze" the rocks until I get a nice row of them in front of the back blade of the 4/1. Then I close the 4/1 and it closes under the rocks & other debris, then just carry them over to my dump truck and dump them in.

    You can turn your bucket into a poor man's straight bulldozer blade.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Charlesaf3's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    1,960
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    Richmond VA & Martha's Vineyard, People's Republik of Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030, Kubota M59 TLB

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    Quote Originally Posted by Builder View Post
    One of my favorite uses is when you're cleaning up rocks/debris. Lots of guys have a tough time getting rocks & junk in a GP bucket. I open my 4/1 and "bulldoze" the rocks until I get a nice row of them in front of the back blade of the 4/1. Then I close the 4/1 and it closes under the rocks & other debris, then just carry them over to my dump truck and dump them in.

    You can turn your bucket into a poor man's straight bulldozer blade.
    I agree. I find this quite useful. And "pinching" dirt piles is easier than scooping them - the m59 is setup so you can curl and close at the same time, which is useful.

    USMC - grapple and 4n1 are both great. That's why I have both of them. But they do distinctly different things. And the 4n1 requires a lot more tractor than the grapple, for pretty much obvious reasons.
    ----------------------------------------
    Charles

    Kubota B3030
    Kubota M59 w/hydro thumb
    Neat stuff - ATI Preseeder, Hydraulic PHD, Wallenstein BX62r Chipper, Millonzi Grapple, CA 4n1 Bucket. Delta Hook Rear QA system.
    Too many other random attachments to list (or to own, per my wife) and a really bad tool addiction. But at least I haven't bought a dump truck or bulldozer. Yet.

  3. #13
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    15,414
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    Like a couple of the other guys responding, I have both a grapple and a 4n1. I do use the 4n1 but I much prefer the grapple and plain bucket combo if I had to choose. The 4n1 is a Swiss Army knife implement, it does lots of things but none of them as well as a dedicated tool. It is a lousy grapple compared to a real one (the clam shell bottom grappling means you can only pick up one log at a time and even that is dicey at times). It has generally less volume capacity than a standard bucket and is much much heavier which limits your net lift capacity for whatever material you put in the bucket. It is a "bull dozer" that is mounted on two relatively vulnerable FEL arms so really cannot be used for much more than pushing surface debris around (which can also be done by a standard bucket). This is important as you have a lot of power and weight in a tractor pushing with relatively flimsy FEL arms that are designed to lift, not push. Look at a bulldozers "FEL" arms...they are short and stumpy and much fatter. You can damage both the 4n1 and the FEL by using the dozer function and it only takes hitting a single boulder off center to do that. A very expensive mistake. The last functioin of the 4n1 that doesn't get talked about too much is that it can cut going backwards. This is a unique function that is related somewhat to a boxblade or rake but this is generally the least commonly used function on these 4n1 buckets. To top it all off, the 4n1 buckets are wildly expensive and heavy compared to the other implements. A standard bucket costs no more than about $500, a very good grapple can be had for a tad more than a grand as can a good box blade. That totals $2500 which is about what a 4n1 costs. 4n1 buckets weigh at least 300-400lbs more than a standard bucket or grapple and that weight penalty comes directly off your lift capacity.

    On the other side of the argument, there is no doubt that when the 4n1 is on the tractor you have a versatile "Swiss Army Knife" at your disposal right now. A grapple is ten times as efficient in moving brush and logs but if it is in the barn while you are in the field it ain't doing you much good. I like to use my 4n1 when I have the backhoe mounted and am digging stumps. As I only need to lift one stump at a time there is little or no downside compared to a grapple. The 4n1 is much better than the grapple at filling in the stump holes however as it can be configured easily as both a bucket and a dozer blade to push and smooth dirt. On the other hand, I'd never mount the 4n1 if I was purposely doing brush clearing. That is a very frustrating experience for someone who is used to working with a grapple and is akin to using that Swiss Army knife instead of an 18v drill driver to screw in sheet rock screws.

    My bottom line advice is that it depends on what you intend to do with the 4n1. If you are running a construction business and need a single versatile tool around it makes a lot of sense. For the average home/ranch user however, if you are investing your only $2500 into that single tool I'd say it is a mistake. Get the standard bucket and either a true grapple or a grapple attachment for the bucket and then get a box blade or rake and you will have a more flexible group of implements. Add the 4n1 when you win the lottery (or as I did when you find it on eBay for a song).

    I've put in some photos of my 4n1 used as a dozer and lifting a single log. I've put in for comparison a few photos of what the grapple can do that the 4n1 could never touch.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_8189_small-jpg   -img_8281_small-jpg   -img_8290_small-jpg   -img_8297_small-jpg   -img_5799smallfile-jpg  

    -img_4384_small-jpg   -img_8143smallfile-jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #14
    Super Member
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    The 4/1 bucket on my LB115 is just as big as the GP bucket at over 1.5 yards, so I can't agree with you there. There are so many other uses for a 4/1 that go unmentioned. Why just last month, I raised my FEL to full height, opened the 4/1 and bit off dozens of tree branches that would have been in the way of my construction. It's also great for when you are loading dirt on a high pile. You can simply open the 4/1 without tipping the bucket, allowing you to stack dirt higher. To me, just being able to pinch dirt piles is worth the extra cost.

    As long as you have the hydraulic lift capacity to support the extra weight penalty of a 4/1 plus a fully loaded bucket of heavy material (sand) you shouldn't really have any weight penalty. Problem is, some SCUTs have such limited lift capacity, they can't handle a 4/1 with a full bucket load.

    I agree a grapple does some things better, but that comparison can be made with anything. Neither tool is better than the other, but each tool performs specific tasks better than the other.

    I very much agree that a grapple is a better farm/woods tool and a 4/1 is a better dirt work/construction tool.

    I want to get a grapple bucket real bad.
    Last edited by Builder; 09-13-2009 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #15
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    I don't think Builder and I are really in disagreement. Just fine points and valuing flexibility over benefits of single purpose tools.

    I did look up bucket capacities on the ATI site and you are correct that a 72 inch 4n1 has the same heaped capacity (13cf) as their medium duty 72 inch bucket. Of course the 4n1 weighs 300lbs more and that does come off the lift capacity. As noted that is mostly an issue for tractor FELs that have less than 2000lbs lift capacity to start with (which is just about every tractor under 40hp so it does include the majority of TBN owners).

    Again, I like my 4n1 the same way I like my Leatherman or Swiss Army knife. Great tools to have close by. I do not however reach for those tools when I go into the barn/workshop and have a specific task to accomplish. For a construction guy I can easily see that the benefits outweigh the downsides. For homeowner/land maintenance tasks I think the 4n1 is a nice luxury item but I would carefully weigh the benefits of getting separate implements first.

  6. #16
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Columbia, SC
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    Kubota L3830HST

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    I have a 72 inch wide WrLong 4in1. It is one of the smaller ones and it weighs around 600 pounds. I just use extra weight on the back.
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  7. #17
    Bronze Member
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    Jun 2009
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    60
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Tractor
    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    Wow that grapple is very impressive !

    I really appreciate everyone's pics/responses !

    I opted for a John Deere Frontier 72" 4 in 1 bucket though I have a need for BOTH. Nonetheless, I hope it will work well and won't be too heavy for the John Deere 4120 with a CX loader.

    It was a very difficuly decision for me ! What it really boils down to is when I when "tractor shopping" I said I'm not spending more than 20K, then 30K, now I see I'm over 40K ! So many attachments/implements and not enough money. Nonetheless, with the 20% discount John Deere offered on my ENTIRE package I was able to get the 4/1 for $2099.00. The grapple/HD bucket combination was another 1K and I just needed to put the brakes on on. I'm sure we've all been in that position, lolo

    Steve

  8. #18

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    Quote Originally Posted by USMC2531 View Post
    Wow that grapple is very impressive !

    I really appreciate everyone's pics/responses !

    I opted for a John Deere Frontier 72" 4 in 1 bucket though I have a need for BOTH. Nonetheless, I hope it will work well and won't be too heavy for the John Deere 4120 with a CX loader.

    It was a very difficuly decision for me ! What it really boils down to is when I when "tractor shopping" I said I'm not spending more than 20K, then 30K, now I see I'm over 40K ! So many attachments/implements and not enough money. Nonetheless, with the 20% discount John Deere offered on my ENTIRE package I was able to get the 4/1 for $2099.00. The grapple/HD bucket combination was another 1K and I just needed to put the brakes on on. I'm sure we've all been in that position, lolo

    Steve
    What are you doing with the machine? I have both grapple and 4n1. I leave the bucket on all summer. The biggest advantage to the 4n1 is that I sypically don't have enough weight on the back end and always want to carry too much material in the bucket. Tipping a big load creates enough momentum to pick up the rear tires whereas you can open the bucket to empty the load without upsetting the tractor, two other benefits are that you can feather the load or dump higher that you could with plain bucket.

    Don't get me wrong though, as soon as the frost hits, I'll put the grapple on and fire up the chainsaws. I may put the bucket on to move some loose firewood but the majority will be moved as logs in the grapple and the brush the same.

  9. #19
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Tractor
    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    I have about 150 very diverse acres from fields, swamp land, hardwoods, etc.

    I have 15 acres of Christmas trees to mow around, need to clear more brush/trees/stumps/rocks and prep soil for more christmas trees.

    I also have about 100 acres of hardwoods that I need to pull tree tops & logs out. I need to move a lot of large rocks/creek run to fix rutts/etc. in logging roads....Oh and most importantly I need to make food plots for my dear friends....I mean my deer friends...lolo

    Steve


    Quote Originally Posted by dangerdoc View Post
    What are you doing with the machine? I have both grapple and 4n1. I leave the bucket on all summer. The biggest advantage to the 4n1 is that I sypically don't have enough weight on the back end and always want to carry too much material in the bucket. Tipping a big load creates enough momentum to pick up the rear tires whereas you can open the bucket to empty the load without upsetting the tractor, two other benefits are that you can feather the load or dump higher that you could with plain bucket.

    Don't get me wrong though, as soon as the frost hits, I'll put the grapple on and fire up the chainsaws. I may put the bucket on to move some loose firewood but the majority will be moved as logs in the grapple and the brush the same.

  10. #20

    Default Re: 4 in 1 / clamshell buckets..pictures please...

    Quote Originally Posted by USMC2531 View Post
    I have about 150 very diverse acres from fields, swamp land, hardwoods, etc.

    I have 15 acres of Christmas trees to mow around, need to clear more brush/trees/stumps/rocks and prep soil for more christmas trees.

    I also have about 100 acres of hardwoods that I need to pull tree tops & logs out. I need to move a lot of large rocks/creek run to fix rutts/etc. in logging roads....Oh and most importantly I need to make food plots for my dear friends....I mean my deer friends...lolo

    Steve
    I have found my 4n1 to be of marginal use for moving rocks, brush and stumps.

    I don't want to talk you out of a 4n1, as I do like mine but with that kind of work, you would be money ahead buying a tooth bucket and grapple.

    As far as your deer friends, I would like to exterminate mine. Don't care much for their meat and they do a lot of damage not to mention the ticks. I count 12-14 along my drive about every night. The dogs won't even chase them anymore.
    Last edited by dangerdoc; 09-15-2009 at 02:35 PM.

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