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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    There isn't a boatload of information on 3pt hitch logging grapples (or would "bucket load" be more appropriate?) so I thought I would start a thread to discuss them before I make a purchase....or rather, to see if I SHOULD make a purchase

    My specific uses for the logging grapple, will be skidding out small to medium sized pines (10"-18" DBH) from my 30 acres in Central NH. At first I will be clearing the land for a driveway (700'-800') and a building lot, roughly 5 acres. Then it will be general thinning from there on out, with some occasional clear cuts of less than one acre to make small fields.
    I will also skid out smallish (less than 15"DBH) hardwoods for firewood. The Pine that is large enough will be used for my mill. I'll probably burn the smaller pines.
    Obviously, I don't NEED a log grapple to do the work, it's more of something I want, but I'd like to get something that fits my needs the best if I'm gonna be spending the money.

    I've looked at the following so far: (not in person, just online)

    Wallenstein LX5100
    LX5100 Log Grapple - Wallenstein

    Wallenstein LX 480
    LX480 Log Grapple - Wallenstein

    Valby SGR 48
    SGR48

    Addington grapple (smaller of the two)
    Grapples, Addington Equipment

    I've seen some pics of the Iron and Oak one
    and the 'log skidder' that Northern Hydraulics sells.

    Some of my considerations are:
    I will be putting it on my 45hp kubota, my rears are filled with 1,100lbs of RimGuard, and I will have my FEL grapple on.

    I am so far leaning towards either the Wallenstein or the Addington. I haven't received any info on pricing of the Addington but I like that it is built in NH and I wouldn't have to pay shipping.

    Wallenstein:
    The low weight of the unit worries me, I know the less weight the grapple weighs, the heavier log I can pick up. The worry is, when I don't have a lot of weight in the grapple, will it be too light when I'm doing FEL work with my FEL grapple? I will still be lifting a lot of stumps, small logs, and piling trees/brush, and don't want the rear end to be too light.
    I like that the the Wallenstein grapples have the full swiveling grapple. I don't like how 'curved' the LX5100 is, it looks like it would be tough for me to find a good place to mount my winch.

    The Lx4800 is discontinued, and probably tough to find, but looks like something I'd really like, except for the super low weight. The price would be better since the few I've found are discounted since they're the 'old style' now. I also like that there are a lot less 'curves' than the new LX5100, the more straight sections there are, the easier it is for me to weld back together if something breaks.

    Valby SGR48
    I like how the pivot point is close to the tractor. I don't like how the grapple itself doesn't swivel side to side, and especially back and forth. I think the more 'linkage' there is the better, and the more rigid things are the more chance of shock loading my top link, in turn putting a lot more shock load on the top link casting, where it attaches to the tractor.
    The valby doesn't have a real 'grapple' on it, it's more some shaped steel with a hydraulic ram, rather than something I can detach and use on the backhoe.

    Addington
    I think the Addington is a great looking grapple from what I see, but it might be almost TOO heavy duty for me. Plus I don't think I can weld the T-1 steel if something breaks? But then again, it looks heavy duty enough to where it wouldn't break. This might be a little TOO much for my little tractor. I also don't know if I can detach that grapple very easy.

    I think the perfect grapple for me would be a cross between the Wallenstein LX4800 and the Valby SGR 48, with a little extra weight on it. I like the grapple on the Wallenstien with the full swivel design, and I like the hinge point near the tractor on the Valby.



    -I'd like to be able to weld a 2" receiver hitch to the grapple frame, so I can use my small winch with it.

    -I'd like it to weigh at least 500lbs, although on the other hand, the less stress on the top link the better, but I still want good traction, this is tough trade off.

    -I'd like the grapple to be the traditional bypass grapple like the Wallenstein, this way if I ever decide to in the future, I could easily add quick disconnects to the grapple itself, detach it from the log skidding frame, and attach it to the backhoe for log handling, I could see this coming in very useful around the sawmill and log splitter.

    Cost is sort of an issue, I'd say more 'value' is the biggest issue over cost. I don't mind spending more if I'm getting a lot more for my dollar. I'll call some places today and check on some pricing and availability.


    Can anyone who has any experience with (or has done a lot of research) give there opinions on what may work well for my situation?

    What are your thoughts and opinions on the different styles?

    If I am aware of the stresses put on the top link, and don't beat the heck out of my tractor and try doing wheelies with a large log on the back, do you think there is a high risk of doing some serious danger to the tractor top link connecting area? This is really my biggest concern.

    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  2. #2
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    I'm not seeing the point of a rear grapple on a tractor. I almost think a skidding plate and/or skidding winch would make more sense. Or just get a log arch or skidding frame for the three-point, and use the three-point hydraulics to lift the butts off the ground.

    In any case, I think it's advisable to have some of the pulling go to the drawbar. You're asking for wheelies to only pull from up high.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member jpm1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Piston. . . .I understand what you are saying because i was in the same way. It was something i wanted. I have a farmi winch and thought about repalcing it with a grapple because face it a winch is hard on your tractor, i know last April i broke the rear end housing on one of my tractors, its repaired and all is for the better. My land is in places very rough and rocky, hilly and some really deep muddy holes all which is where my good wood is located. I almost pulled the trigger on a grapple which was going to be the Wallenstein LX5100
    Log Grapple but decided to stay with the Farmi winch, it serves my purpose well and owes me nothing . . .John
    P.S. the tractor breakage was an ID10T error!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-037.jpg  
    Lord, Help me to be the man my dog thinks i am . . .John. Mahindra 2810HST, 108H loader with Quick tach buckets and forks. Kioti DK35SE HST with loader, Hyd. top link and second set of rear remotes, 60" and 66" buckets, Kubota 900 RTV and a bunch of other good stuff
    Buy more equipment, It makes life easier.!

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    I'm not seeing the point of a rear grapple on a tractor.....
    I forget who said it, but I remember reading from someone on here that the less you have to get off the tractor, the better.....and I fully agree with that statement Try hooking up a logging winch or log arch without getting off the tractor.

    Here is a pic of the log arch I built. It works great, but the few minutes of setup time it takes per log, really adds up at the end of a day.

    The grapple skidder is simple, back up, grab on, and go. That's the point of a one.


    Piston. . . .I understand what you are saying because i was in the same way. It was something i wanted. I have a farmi winch and thought about repalcing it with a grapple because face it a winch is hard on your tractor, i know last April i broke the rear end housing on one of my tractors, its repaired and all is for the better. My land is in places very rough and rocky, hilly and some really deep muddy holes all which is where my good wood is located. I almost pulled the trigger on a grapple which was going to be the Wallenstein LX5100
    Log Grapple but decided to stay with the Farmi winch, it serves my purpose well and owes me nothing . . .John
    JPM1,
    You were smart to keep your winch and not trade in for a grapple. I do think a winch is generally more useful than a grapple and that the grapple is only advantageous for specific situations. My thoughts are that I will get the grapple now, and probably sell it to buy a winch in the future if the need arises. However, depending on how good/bad the grapple works, I may or may not keep it. I'm hoping some more people have experience with the grapple style skidder.

    Even on the Valby site it specifies recommendations for the grapple vs. winch. My land does have hilly, muddy areas that I can't get to with the tractor, however for now my main concern is clearing land for the driveway/building site, and that site is only gently sloping at worst.

    Here are a couple pics of the log arch I built.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-p1000614.jpg   3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-p1000460.jpg  
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Very interesting. I would be interested in seeing what the prices are If the prices are up at the level of the Farmi logging winches, it would seem that they would be a better choice in that they can drag stuff to the tractor that the tractor cannot get to. OTOH, if it's all accessible to the tractor, then a grapple like these can do an easier job of grouping a bunch of stems together.

    Of course the videos shows nice delimbed, long trunks.

    I can certainly understand skidding out full length stems where they are going to be milled, but for firewood, what's the advantage of hauling full stems versus bucking in the woods? I haven't figured that one out yet. Which is better?

    I did bring out some logs with the grapple one time but had such clearance issues along the trail that I don't think I'll do that again.

    I'll be interested in the discussion.

    Ken

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Code54's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Could you make a "weight" out of concrete (or use a big chunk of wood, etc you can just grab) to help add weight to the lighter grapple if you need weight for lifting with the FEL? Sounds like you really like the Wallenstein and this may help with the light weight issue?
    Kubota MX5100
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    Camo RZR4 800LE

  7. #7
    Elite Member Zebrafive's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    I like the look of the Addington unit. I would want the larger one since I have an 85HP tractor. Interested to see what pricing would be.

    My reason to skid the logs out of the woods would be so I could set an area for "you cut" to sell wood and save myself the work of cutting and splitting. I think one area out of the woods for this would be more managable.

    Not to hi-jack the post, my original idea was to build something like an engine crane (cherry picker) to mount on the 3pt hitch. It would have a hydraulic cylinder, not a jack for lifting. 3pt hitch would only be used for mounting, no lifting. I have not determined how long the lift arm should be or what size cylinder to use. I was planning to just chain around the log, no grapple. This was before I knew there were rear mount grapples for tractors.
    John Deere 2030 JD 245SL Loader
    John Deere 6415 mfwd JD 640SL Loader

  8. #8
    Platinum Member jpm1's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Ken45101
    You said, "I can certainly understand skidding out full length stems where they are going to be milled, but for firewood, what's the advantage of hauling full stems versus bucking in the woods? I haven't figured that one out yet. Which is better?"
    Well for me it has been a way of life. We use to cut so much wood having it all in one general area helped alot not having to pick up 1 cord here, 5 cord there, 10 cord in a hole somewhere that is out of sight,our land is rought, dense and muddy, less damage on tractors if you can understand that part of it. You will say now " what about the dirt/mud issue on the logs?" this can be a problem but i like working in one central location and for the most part i can get about 13 "face cord" on my chain a day before sharpening, which is usually done at the end of the day. Lastly, Dad and i thought there was a since of "accomplishment" seeing a BIG PILE of logs at the end of the day and this a better way for us (at least) in "guess-ta-mating" how much wood we have. Also its quicker and safer to those cutting up blocks, no brush to get your feet tangled up with. Heres a picture of my uncle Jerry behind my house cutting some of his wood and one of the piles of my logs on the cutting deck this year. . .John
    SORRY PISTON, i didn't mean to steal your thread. . .John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-uncle-jerry-2011-1.jpg   3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-uncle-jerry-2011-2.jpg   3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.-cuttin-list-.jpg  
    Last edited by jpm1; 02-01-2012 at 09:56 AM. Reason: addition
    Lord, Help me to be the man my dog thinks i am . . .John. Mahindra 2810HST, 108H loader with Quick tach buckets and forks. Kioti DK35SE HST with loader, Hyd. top link and second set of rear remotes, 60" and 66" buckets, Kubota 900 RTV and a bunch of other good stuff
    Buy more equipment, It makes life easier.!

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken45101 View Post
    I can certainly understand skidding out full length stems where they are going to be milled, but for firewood, what's the advantage of hauling full stems versus bucking in the woods? I haven't figured that one out yet. Which is better?Ken
    When I first started cutting firewood I would "buy" a five cord lot in the state forest for $5. The state marked the trees to cut. You had to take all that were marked. It was a thinning and improvement operation. It was also on a steep hillside. We felled the trees and blocked them where they lay. Then carried each block by hand to where you could get the truck. Sometimes 40 yards or more.

    Using a winch and skidding them to a landing is a dream compared to that
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  10. #10
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3 point hitch Logging Grapple setup-to compliment my FEL grapple in the woods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    I forget who said it, but I remember reading from someone on here that the less you have to get off the tractor, the better.....and I fully agree with that statement Try hooking up a logging winch or log arch without getting off the tractor.
    Yeah, that is a real good point in favor of the grapple. I have heard other people say they can skid with logging tongs and not have to get off the tractor, but not with my luck.

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