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  1. #1
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    Default 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    Hi All,

    I'm a first time buyer and have been discussing various model kubota's in that forum but someone suggested I post here for advice on whether I should go for a 4in1 or grapple.

    I have about 25 acres, some will be slashed and the rest has trees and rocks, which I'll use for walls, decoration etc.

    The dealer thinks I should go for a 4in1 but I'm wondering what I'd miss if I went for a standard FEL and a grapple instead of the 4in1.

    Also, the dealer wants to offer me the MX5100 but he says the frame isn't that strong for adding a Backhoe at a later date, compared to an L model.

    Advice, input, experience offered much appreciated! Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Kasilof, Alaska
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    JD 5075M; JD 110 TLB; JD 4720; Ford 9N; JD X300R

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    I've got 20 acres that I've been clearing for hay fields, pastures and building sites for a number of years now.

    When you clear an area there's alot of material! So, I didn't plan on just picking up a few trees at a time or a stump or two every couple of weeks. My plan was to clear trees and stumps!

    IMO - a 4n1 is a great "catch-all" unit! Grab a down tree limb, get that rock outta the way, move a bit of dirt or compost.

    But, if you need to move lots of trees or roots or stumps - get a dedicated grapple! If you need to move lot's of dirt or gravel - get a dedicated bucket! With a skid-steer attachment system it takes all of 2-3 minutes to swap one for the other.

    And the price you'll pay for a good HD 4n1 is just about equal to a separate grapple and bucket combo.

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  3. #3
    Silver Member qstott's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    Elm City, NC
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    '65 110 JD, 445 JD, 4720CabJD

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    I agree with AKfish. If you could only have one, a 4n1 is the way to go. But, if you could have both, do it. It's a lot easier to pick up logs with a grapple, and the claws will help you pinch a lot more brush than a 4n1. However, I couldn't make do without my bucket. Depending on the size, a 4n1 may be better for rocks than a grapple.

  4. #4
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    Western Kentucky
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    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    Given the tasks you anticipate, my vote goes to the 4-in-1 also. But I have no backhoe experience, so I'm not qualified to address your second question. On that, I'd go to a second dealer. If they make the same claim - unsolicited - I'd say the heavier duty model is the way to go.

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

  5. #5
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    I have both a 4-n-1 and a grapple.

    The 4-n-1 is more like a Swiss Army knife. It can do a lot of things passably, but only a few things well.

    I bought the grapple after using the 4-n-1 for about a year. If budget was an issue, I would get a standard bucket and a grapple.

    Right now, I am contemplating getting a used skid steer bucket with teeth for digging with the FEL.

    If I do get one, I will used the 4-n-1 as my "keep it on the machine for general use" bucket, the grapple for logs, rocks, etc., and the digging bucket for digging.

    Is this overkill? I don't know but it sure makes sense to me.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    Thanks for the responses.

    People keep mentioning a "skid steer loader". When I went back to the dealer they said they didn't deal with those...

    What is it and how is it different to the normal loader which comes with some models - which are supposed to be quick attach loaders?

  7. #7
    Gold Member crazyangel's Avatar
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    Western New York
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    Kubota L5740-HST; Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    People keep mentioning a "skid steer loader". When I went back to the dealer they said they didn't deal with those...

    What is it and how is it different to the normal loader which comes with some models - which are supposed to be quick attach loaders?
    I think what most folks are referring to is the Skid Steer Quick Attach System (sometimes abbreviated as SSQA) which is available on most tractors now for a small up charge (~$350-450). It makes changing out the implements super convenient and a huge time saver. kubota has the universal system, and any skid steer bucket (or other attachment) will fit on the loader. Keep in mind though that while you can mount any skid steer attachment on the FEL, most tractors do not have the same hydraulic flow of a skid steer. So hydraulically operated skid steer implements are usually not a great match for a tractor.

    Are you working with a Kubota dealer? I am really surprised that they are not willing to sell you the quick attach for the FEL. I might be inclined to ask them again just to me sure its not a miscommunication, and be clear that you are looking for the quick attach on the FEL rather than an actual skid steer.

    on a 4 in 1 is that it is a jack of all trades but master of none. It does a lot of things pretty good, but you have to make compromises to get that kind of versatility. It really depends on your personal needs, but for me a separate bucket and root grapple with the SSQA is the right fit. YMMV.

  8. #8
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    I was actually thinking of a skid steer bucket, which has the SSQA, but is slightly differently shaped than a tractor bucket.

    My reasoning was that they are more common on the used market, thus probably priced a bit lower.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    [QUOTE=crazyangel;2733456] Are you working with a kubota dealer? I am really surprised that they are not willing to sell you the quick attach for the FEL. I might be inclined to ask them again just to me sure its not a miscommunication, and be clear that you are looking for the quick attach on the FEL rather than an actual skid steer. [QUOTE]

    I think it probably was a misunderstanding by the dealer. The models I'm looking at mention Quick Detach so I'm assuming it's the same thing.

    Is it worth getting the teeth on a 4in1 bucket? Would this help dig stones out a little better? Presumably there may be some drawback if I wanted to scoop up sand or something?

    My budget is limited at this point so I'm trying to get a good all rounder with the possibility to buy dedicated attachments later.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    North of Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
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    Kubota L35 TLB

    Default Re: 4 in 1 bucket vs grapple, which would you buy and why?

    I have a L35 TLB and more than several buckets. I will not say exactly how many because my wife might read this thread someday. My buckets are ssqa style and not the kubota quick attach style. Most of my buckets are used and several I have modified for my uses. I don't have a 4 way and don't think I am missing anything much. Grapples are handy for moving brush and branches, mine doesn't open as far as I would like but it's still way more than a 4 way opens. If you are considering a backhoe at a later date I would suggest looking at a TLB now. The hoe will be useful for digging up stumps and deeper rocks.

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