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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Texas is bigger than France
    JD 4520

    Default 485 backhoe with thumb or grapple bucket

    hey guys, been reading here for a couple years. until now, all of my questions have been now I have to ask a question. thinking of adding a 485 backhoe to my JD 4520. i've read about using the "thumb" for the backhoe. for the $1000 investment on a thumb...would it make more sense to buy a grapple for the FEL (hydraulics for BH would enable the grapple on FEL) instead? goal for me would be to pick up brush/trees and move them to burn piles. not sure I can pick up with the thumb and move on without dropping. thanks for your help. --joe

  2. #2
    Silver Member ManAtArms's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    2009 Kubota M59

    Default Re: 485 backhoe with thumb or grapple bucket


    I think for your situation I would vote for the front grapple. The backhoe thumb is a great tool, especially if it's hydraulic, but it's not as well suited for moving things any distance, especially brush and the like.

    2009 Kubota M59, Hydraulic Thumb, front aux hydraulics,
    8' Ford 917 Flail Mower
    Belltec H-300 auger, Markham Grapple, Bradco forks
    Landpride GS-1560 Grading Scraper
    2008 ASV PT50

    Other Toys
    Built-Rite 24 HPWS-D splitter
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    Stihl MS-441
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    a pit bull or two (RIP Tugboat)

  3. #3
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: 485 backhoe with thumb or grapple bucket

    Grapple your loader bucket for brush and limbs! Having a grapple will make you look forward to tree and brush cleanup. Really!

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Trivoli, IL
    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: 485 backhoe with thumb or grapple bucket

    vote is grappel on FEL as well.

    you can half way get by, with some stuff, just curling the bucket on backhoe all the way. and kinda trapping it between bucket and frame of backhoe. it is by no means the best way to do things and some times down right pain. but it works for odd rare jobs.

    a thumb for me, would be awesome. due to i will need to clean up a ditch area. were bunch of wood items and metal stuff been tossed. years ago. and being able to reach the backhoe down into this area and grab a hold of stuff then set it quickly down into a trailer to be hauled off will be A PLUS!

    on other hand. if i had a wood burner or like for heating house. a grapple would make more sense. due to all the limbs and pieces of brush that come off of a tree. can be rather large pile. and being able take a much wider bite into the pile. lift it up and haul it were ever. would be much more quicker.

    ya sure, i can push stuff around with the FEL general duty bucket. but i can not really put stuff in it, like limbs and small bushes. without physically getting out of tractor and loading stuff up so it will stay in the FEL. now if i had a grapple that would pinch / grasp everything and hold it in the FEL generally duty bucket, it would be a completely seat time doing.

    backhoe bucket = wheel barrow
    a bucket on front end of tractor = large size truck bed. ((which one will hold more?))

    backhoe bucket with thumb. would be more of a single item picking up and placing exactly were wanted with fair amount of ease

    bucket on front end of tractor. = picking a big pile and dumping it.

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