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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    448
    Location
    New Zealand
    Tractor
    Kioti RX7620

    Default Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Hello everyone,
    First time poster long time lurker and I love your show.

    We've some specific needs for an attachment for our FEL and I was hoping for recommendations of preferably one attachment that will meet all needs please, preferably from people who have experience with such uses and attachments.

    Needs:
    1. Pick up and hold logs/trees or groups thereof of varying diameters. By getting them off the ground, they can be bucked into firewood-sized lengths easily without chainsaws kissing the dirt. Ideally, we'd like the ability to (with the use of a packer off the back of the attachment to keep the chainsaw bar tip clear of any metal) buck the entire log coming at it from both free ends and then also between any grapple arms. This saves double handling the FEL-width short log remnants - they can be bucked on the FEL.
    2. Drive into and pick up from, split firewood piles for loading into trucks. The maximum safe, non ragged edge, volume possible within the FEL capacity of approx 2200 Lbs at pivot pins is what we need because we are loading approx' 15 cords each time and the task gets 'old' with a small bucket. We'd like to allow debris to fall out and have tine/tong spacings of about 3-4".
    3. Pick and pile up brush left over from felling jobs.

    I have searched this and other forums and researched this and have had a hard time trying to find something that will do the job (we are asking quite a few things of one implement so may be unreasonable in that regard). The closest thing I can think of is a hay spear with the conical tongs at 3-4" apart, pin on/off sides when loading split wood, double grapple arms (narrow for bucking the logs, but some way of pinning, say, 10" wide plates to them so they exert pressure on more split wood when loading firewood thus stopping it from falling out), and a pin on/off spacer at the back (back is a bit like those on pallet forks- quite high - but with flat bar spacers to stop split wood falling through).

    Are there any firewood people out there that have been down this road and/or have any recommendations please? There are quite a few manufactures of various grapple buckets, stone rakes, skeleton buckets, etc but none of those I've contact could say they have people using them for firewood nor give me advice relating to our specific needs.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    594
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4510

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Try pallet forks.com, think they are an advertiser here.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    699
    Location
    nc PA.
    Tractor
    kubota rtv900: kubota mx5200

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    never used a bucket grapple. i have a fire wood bussiness and i use pallet forks like previous mentioned for blocking up the pole wood into firewood. keeps it off ground and saves my back. the way you describe using the grapple makes great sense. do they make a brush grapple? that seems like it would fit all your needs. could you modify a stock grapple and just add/weld more tines/forks to your spacing and liking?

  4. #4
    Silver Member adjusterr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    236
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500 & 1010 John Deere

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Before you buy any type grapple, especially one you plan to use for firewood processing, check out a neat device called the Bro-tek "Thumb". Bro-Tek: Tractor Add Ons, I have used one for two years and it's great and low priced. They are made in Canada and the company is great to work with. I gave them the wrong serial number for my Woods hoe and wound up with a mounting bracket that wouldn't work, they immediately sent me the correct one at no cost even though the mistake was mine. No welding necessary, no hydraulic hook-up, it uses the bucket hydraulics. I don't think you mentioned whether or not you have a backhoe, which is necessary for the "Thumb" Good luck.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-cimg0708-845-x-634-jpg  

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,392
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    AFAIK, most of the grapples have cross braces between the tines. They probably have to for the stress they encounter.

    You DO NOT want the typical root grapple where the ends of the tines are pointed up. To get under a log to pick it up, you have to have the bottom of the grapple almost vertical and that's not going to work if you want to pick up split wood for loading. You will probably do best with something like a manure bucket for that task. In fact, a manure bucket, without grapple might work for your log lifting/cutting task.

    I've used my root grapple one time for lifting and cutting like you want. It's good for really big logs but I cannot cut the center 6'. Actually I find a Peavy Timberjack to be the most useful most of the time for getting reasonable sized logs off the ground for cutting or for rolling the bigger ones over. For those too big for the timberjack a regular set of pallet forks would work pretty well.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    803
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiBro View Post
    Hello everyone,
    First time poster long time lurker and I love your show.

    We've some specific needs for an attachment for our FEL and I was hoping for recommendations of preferably one attachment that will meet all needs please, preferably from people who have experience with such uses and attachments.

    Needs:
    1. Pick up and hold logs/trees or groups thereof of varying diameters. By getting them off the ground, they can be bucked into firewood-sized lengths easily without chainsaws kissing the dirt. Ideally, we'd like the ability to (with the use of a packer off the back of the attachment to keep the chainsaw bar tip clear of any metal) buck the entire log coming at it from both free ends and then also between any grapple arms. This saves double handling the FEL-width short log remnants - they can be bucked on the FEL.
    2. Drive into and pick up from, split firewood piles for loading into trucks. The maximum safe, non ragged edge, volume possible within the FEL capacity of approx 2200 Lbs at pivot pins is what we need because we are loading approx' 15 cords each time and the task gets 'old' with a small bucket. We'd like to allow debris to fall out and have tine/tong spacings of about 3-4".
    3. Pick and pile up brush left over from felling jobs.

    I have searched this and other forums and researched this and have had a hard time trying to find something that will do the job (we are asking quite a few things of one implement so may be unreasonable in that regard). The closest thing I can think of is a hay spear with the conical tongs at 3-4" apart, pin on/off sides when loading split wood, double grapple arms (narrow for bucking the logs, but some way of pinning, say, 10" wide plates to them so they exert pressure on more split wood when loading firewood thus stopping it from falling out), and a pin on/off spacer at the back (back is a bit like those on pallet forks- quite high - but with flat bar spacers to stop split wood falling through).

    Are there any firewood people out there that have been down this road and/or have any recommendations please? There are quite a few manufactures of various grapple buckets, stone rakes, skeleton buckets, etc but none of those I've contact could say they have people using them for firewood nor give me advice relating to our specific needs.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
    Hopefully you have a Kiwi version of Horst welding. HORST WELDING | HLA >> DEBRIS GRAPPLE FORK
    I think one of these would do the trick. The unsupported tines may look a bit fragile but I doubt you could break a single tine off even if you tried with your loader.

    But shipping might be a little expensive. A good shop though should be able to build whatever you want.
    2011 DK40SE HST

  7. #7
    Silver Member Ed L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    107
    Location
    Mi
    Tractor
    Deere 955 / NH 2120

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Just my 2 cents.....

    I think you will have problems trying to buck the logs when clamped inside the grapple, the pressure from the jaws will cause binding as the wood is cut and it shifts. The use of a spacer log to keep from hitting the back of the attachment is an invitation for kickback.

    An open ended attachment isn't going to work well for loading firewood, you'll have pieces of firewood falling all over the place. A large skeleton (rock) bucket with sides added would probably be best here.

    This is what I use for log handling:

    Ed
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-bobcat1-jpg   Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-log1-jpg  

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,044
    Location
    Foster, RI
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3016

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    I've pondered this myself. This is the simplest solution I could come up with. It is no good if you need to gently place logs up and over a trailer but it does everything else you ask for. They are also very good at gathering and piling slash. There are added benefits even when moving snow as the tines are able to double the capacity of the bucket. They fit on exactly as a tooth bar would with a lip catching the cutting edge. The key to these tines is the slight bend at the tip. This allows them to get under things like stems and such where you simply roll them up to the bucket alot easier than if they were straight.
    The bend also allows you to scrape the ground without digging straight into the ground.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-img_1146-jpg   Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-img_1148-jpg   Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-img_1149-jpg   Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-img_1150-jpg   Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-pc042083-jpg  

    Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.-pc042078-jpg  

  9. #9
    Silver Member ametcalf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    173
    Location
    Central KY
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Quote Originally Posted by adjusterr View Post
    Before you buy any type grapple, especially one you plan to use for firewood processing, check out a neat device called the Bro-tek "Thumb". Bro-Tek: Tractor Add Ons, I have used one for two years and it's great and low priced. They are made in Canada and the company is great to work with. I gave them the wrong serial number for my Woods hoe and wound up with a mounting bracket that wouldn't work, they immediately sent me the correct one at no cost even though the mistake was mine. No welding necessary, no hydraulic hook-up, it uses the bucket hydraulics. I don't think you mentioned whether or not you have a backhoe, which is necessary for the "Thumb" Good luck.
    Thanks Adjusterr,
    You just helped make my firewood cutting more efficient. I have been taking logs to where I want to stack the firewood with my BX23 with homemade brushforks and grapple and cutting them into the proper length pieces. I always had the 5 to 6 foot piece from the middle that I had to drop on the ground to cut. Now I can see that if I drop them all off to the side and when I get a pile, I can back up to them with my backhoe with a thumb just grab and swing them over to where I want to cut them and never bend over with the saw again. Now I get to build the thumb.
    A. Metcalf
    ametcalf
    All I need to be a better mechanic is a bigger hammer.
    2004 BX23, 72" Landpride finish mower, 48" Howse tiller, Home made brush forks, grapple, and plywood skidplate.
    Allis Chalmers 5040, 6 Bushhog, Boom pole, PHD, Box Grader, Rear Blade, 2 bottom plow
    2000 Crewcab Super Duty F250 Powerstroke Diesel 260k miles

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    448
    Location
    New Zealand
    Tractor
    Kioti RX7620

    Default Re: Help choosing the best bucket/grapple for firewood/logs please.

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyIan View Post
    Hopefully you have a Kiwi version of Horst welding.
    Thank you. That is getting closer to what we had in mind.

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