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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    260
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 3520, 300CX, 448

    Default 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    I've been interested in a grapple to do some light brush clean-up but am now having second thoughts. There is a used John Deere 4 in 1 (the smaller one) for $1000 and I'm debating if it would be a better choice. Having never used either it's a hard call for me.

    One of the things I've noticed now that I have the back hoe is that I don't really like swaping it. Not that it's that hard but takes a little more effort than swapping rear implements. I'm starting to think that a 4 in 1 would not only let me grab brush like a grapple (though probably not as well) but give me some ability to push dirt. Could still drop the BH and use the rear implements if I was going to do a lot of dirt work but the BH and 4 in 1 would be a versatile day in, day out combo.

    Would appreciate thoughts and opinons. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Elite Member schoolsout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4,362
    Location
    Awendaw, SC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1533

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    Probably not going to get a lot of brush with the 4n1...at least I haven't been able to do it really well.
    __________________________________________________ _______
    "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -
    Prof. Al Bartlett

    Any person is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts and outcomes. So one may believe as they will, but will be held accountable by the numbers for their beliefs. At the end of the day, life is a school of probability. Jesse via Jesse's Cafe Americain

  3. #3
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,028
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    I've got the 61" Frontier 4-in-1 on my JD3720, and it's been an absolute lifesaver. But only after considerable practice. But six months later, I can pick up just about anything bigger than a golf ball. I put a toothbar on mine, which extends the versatility even more. With that, I can actually putt the golf ball. A pile of brush? No problem. I can also pick up a bucket full of rip-rap now. Never found an effective way to do that with a 5' standard bucket on a compact tractor. I've grabbed/torn broken limbs outa trees, picked up whole trees and carried them to the brush pile, even grabbed a few rolls of fence wire (one at a time of course).

    Seeing as how I bought it new, it was comparatively expensive. But I now truly convinced that it's well worth the money. If you can get one in good condition for a grand, go for it. But understand that your tractor will have to have three pair of remotes (lift-lower/curl-uncurl/open-close) and an extra controller to open/close the jaws.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Aug 2011
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    2,687
    Location
    Earth
    Tractor
    Deere

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    Would this be going on your 3520? I would go for it. If you can find a good deal they sure can make life a lot easier

  5. #5
    Elite Member schoolsout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    4,362
    Location
    Awendaw, SC
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1533

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    I would like to clarify my earlier comment with I would never own anything else other than a 4n1. It has made picking up trees (sweet gums we have been cutting) and other larger stuff up a breeze. I was just trying to say I haven't been able to pick up a large load of brush as easy as I think you are talking about. Now, if one can create some sort of bucket attachment similar in shape to a grapple, that may be the best of both worlds.
    __________________________________________________ _______
    "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -
    Prof. Al Bartlett

    Any person is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts and outcomes. So one may believe as they will, but will be held accountable by the numbers for their beliefs. At the end of the day, life is a school of probability. Jesse via Jesse's Cafe Americain

  6. #6
    Silver Member KubotaToy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    137
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710HSD (hers) and L45 (mine), RTV1100 (mostly hers, but I get to drive it sometimes)

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    On my skid steer...not the tractor, the 4in1 is a compromise in both directions. I use it for clearing land where I would need the use of a bucket and need to pick up stuff with the "jaws". The 4-1 does not have the volume of my HD construction bucket (=more trips), nor the volume of my root grapple (=many more trips). I must confess it is on the SS 80% of the time because it gets the job done in both areas without switching a lot. But if I am moving brush and limbs from a cleared field, the root grapple it the only way to go.

    Just my thoughts.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Aug 2011
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    Earth
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    Deere

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    As KubotaToy said, it will do all the jobs, but not as well as every one of those itself. The price you pay for the convenience of having one do it all is that it doesn't do each of the jobs as well as 4 different attachments, but you don't pay as much and only have to have one attachment. If you had the money for every different attachment that would be the best overall but a 4 in 1 works good enough for everything where each attachment is great.

  8. #8
    Gold Member SLHawkins's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    422
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 5403, International Harvester 584

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    KML,
    Though the 4-in-1 is very versatile, when it comes to handling brush, it does not compare to a root rake or grapple. I've had used both on my Mitsubishi MT4201D for clearing land. The 4-n-1 bucket with a tooth bar did a good job with the surface roots and grading once the land was clear. But, when it comes to buried roots, small stumps, and clearing debris off the land, the root rake or grapple is the way to go. When I upgraded to the JD, not able to afford both, I went with the open-bottom grapple instead of the 4-n-1. I do not miss it at all. But, $1000 for a 4-n-1 bucket aint a bad deal. It'll do what you need it to do.

    Hawk
    A lil bit country, and a whole lotta soul, wid a taste of hip hop flava on the side.

    JD 5403, , IH 584, NH 846 Baler, NH 492 Haybine, Woods E320 Batwing Rotary Cutter, Landpride RCR1572 Rotary Cutter, WR Long 72" OBRG, LandPride RB3596 Landscape Blade, '74 Diamond Reo Dump Truck; '70 F880, '94 Freightliner Classic, KNC 10 tooth Chisel Plow, New Holland Manure Spreader, 35' Texas Bragg Flatbed Gooseneck, Case 450 Track Loader, H-90CM Wheel Loader, '69 Kaiser Jeep M52A2 6x6

  9. #9
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,775
    Location
    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    I don't have personal experince with 4 in 1 but I see a lot of them in Australia. Seems to me that most tractors have them.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member rScotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    986
    Location
    Rural mountains - Colorado
    Tractor
    Many in the past. Today, a Kubota M59, JD530, 2 Yanmars - 16 & 33 hp, & a JD310SG

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket opinions please!

    Quote Originally Posted by KML View Post
    I've been interested in a grapple to do some light brush clean-up but am now having second thoughts. There is a used John Deere 4 in 1 (the smaller one) for $1000 and I'm debating if it would be a better choice. Having never used either it's a hard call for me.

    One of the things I've noticed now that I have the back hoe is that I don't really like swapping it. Not that it's that hard but takes a little more effort than swapping rear implements. I'm starting to think that a 4 in 1 would not only let me grab brush like a grapple (though probably not as well) but give me some ability to push dirt.
    Thanks!
    I tried a 4N1 and found that for my uses it didn't work so well. Took it back. Partly it was that being heavy duty enough for dirt work made the tractor front heavy. For moving brush and slash I found to my disappointment that some long tines that insert into sockets welded onto a standard bucket worked better for me than the 4n1 and cost near nothing. BTW, I sure do agree with you on not wanting to always be swapping implements. I'll try most anything to cut down on continually hopping off the tractor and back on again.
    The tool which was really worth the money an my land - although it was hard to convince myself at the time - is a hydraulic thumb for the backhoe. That tool allows for a whole new way of using a tractor. For instance, after cutting down a tree I'll grab it with the bucket and thumb and lift it up for chainsawing. Then with the thumb the sections of trunk are easily moved. And placing landscaping rocks is easy with the thumb too.
    rScotty
    Pride of place goes to our 2 cylinder John Deer 530. She's as modern & useful today as 50 years ago.
    A Kubota M59 & a JD310SG for TLB work....giving us options on doing the same job.
    By the barn sleeps a pair of 33 & 16 hp 4wd US Yanmars getting along in years: Mr. Big & Ms Little.
    And a yard full of well-beaten implements which work far better than they look.



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