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  1. #41
    Bronze Member
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    Sep 2012
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    94
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    Waxhaw, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    Thanks for the feedback. I will think about switching to the 48". I am aware of the arguments in favor of the 48"--less weight, better ability to dig and grub, equal ability to grab whatever the load is, lower cost. A clear majority favor the 48", and I did notice that no one said they have or had a 48" and wished they had a wider version. (Nor do I recall any poster with a wider version saying he wished he had a more narrow version.) Some favor wider, some as wide as the tractor, some favor two grapples, etc. Some favor the root grapple and some favor the open-flat-bottom version, which is what most posters have. There have been interestingly conflicting opinions expressed in this thread, which is one reason why I have enjoyed and appreciated it. My first application is to clean up debris from a couple of miles of lanes cut in a pine plantation in a first thinning. I will not dig out a single pine stump. I'll let them rot. Based on what I have seen walking around, I may first go through with the 4N1 bucket and pull up by the roots the small trees still in the ground (if the grapple doesn't work as well or better for that). I will chain-saw some of the longer trees on the ground, not because of weight but because they won't fit through the width of the lanes. I just won't do much digging. I had a 7 1/2' backhoe for the M5400, sold the 7 1/2' and got a 9' backhoe which I just sold. On 127 and 60 acres I used both backhoes probably a combined 10-15 hours in 15 years--did everything with the FEL 4N1 bucket. So ability to dig isn't an objective for me. A more compelling argument is that the 48" will do everything as well as the wider versions and will also dig better and allow a heavier payload. So for me, after reading all of the posts and after reading everything available on every vendor's web site I could find, it comes down to a/ will 56"width vs 48" mean it will take less time to do my jobs and b/ will having two grapples be an advantage. Since my priorities are not digging or payload, I thought I would err on the side of the wider unit with two grapples. Now, all of that said, here is the determining piece of info for me: Can you guys who favor the 48" say with conviction that ignoring digging capacity and payload, the 48" with one grapple will work as well as a wider version with two grapples? If so, then I'm probably convinced. Sorry for the epistle, and thanks again to everyone for the feedback.

  2. #42
    Veteran Member Rockgod's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    1,364
    Location
    CNY
    Tractor
    JD Cabbed 3720

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    I think It depends on how much you lift and how often. From what you describe either one will work. I run a 66"/500lb. unit and wouldn't want anything smaller.
    JD 3720 Premium Cab, 300CX, 59" Front Mt. Blower, 72d MMM auto-connect deck.

  3. #43
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    15,368
    Location
    Prudence Island, RI
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by rbtjr View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I will think about switching to the 48". I am aware of the arguments in favor of the 48"--less weight, better ability to dig and grub, equal ability to grab whatever the load is, lower cost. A clear majority favor the 48", and I did notice that no one said they have or had a 48" and wished they had a wider version. (Nor do I recall any poster with a wider version saying he wished he had a more narrow version.) Some favor wider, some as wide as the tractor, some favor two grapples, etc. Some favor the root grapple and some favor the open-flat-bottom version, which is what most posters have. There have been interestingly conflicting opinions expressed in this thread, which is one reason why I have enjoyed and appreciated it. My first application is to clean up debris from a couple of miles of lanes cut in a pine plantation in a first thinning. I will not dig out a single pine stump. I'll let them rot. Based on what I have seen walking around, I may first go through with the 4N1 bucket and pull up by the roots the small trees still in the ground (if the grapple doesn't work as well or better for that). I will chain-saw some of the longer trees on the ground, not because of weight but because they won't fit through the width of the lanes. I just won't do much digging. I had a 7 1/2' backhoe for the M5400, sold the 7 1/2' and got a 9' backhoe which I just sold. On 127 and 60 acres I used both backhoes probably a combined 10-15 hours in 15 years--did everything with the FEL 4N1 bucket. So ability to dig isn't an objective for me. A more compelling argument is that the 48" will do everything as well as the wider versions and will also dig better and allow a heavier payload. So for me, after reading all of the posts and after reading everything available on every vendor's web site I could find, it comes down to a/ will 56"width vs 48" mean it will take less time to do my jobs and b/ will having two grapples be an advantage. Since my priorities are not digging or payload, I thought I would err on the side of the wider unit with two grapples. Now, all of that said, here is the determining piece of info for me: Can you guys who favor the 48" say with conviction that ignoring digging capacity and payload, the 48" with one grapple will work as well as a wider version with two grapples? If so, then I'm probably convinced. Sorry for the epistle, and thanks again to everyone for the feedback.
    Very reasonable considerations and clearly you are not simply responding to the siren song of "bigger is better". There are a few points I would make in summarizing my seven or so years of using a grapple and participating on TBN in grapple discussions: 1) Any grapple is better than no grapple. 2) Everybody likes whatever grapple they chose to buy. 3) Tractor dealers are mostly ignorant of what size grapples are appropriate for CUTs, 4) Grapple manufacturers sell mostly to skidsteer customers and fail to distinguish between both the capabilities and tasks of typical SS vs CUT customers hence they give the same recommendations. 5) Nowhere is it written that FEL bucket size or tractor width has anything to do with grapple width.

    While #1 And #2 would seem to support purchasing just about anything, I would argue that really they mostly support getting a smaller "light duty" grapple. Why get a F450 to drive to the grocery store just because it works and guys who bought F450s to drive to the grocery store report they are happy? Points #3 and #4 suggest that both tractor dealerships and grapple manufacturers are either ignorant of CUT grapple use realities or just want to sell the most expensive product they can talk you into. #5 is important because it is very understandable that someone who is not actively using a grapple would naturally assume that standard bucket width would be an appropriate grapple width too. Indeed, if you are just picking up loose debris at a construction site or fallen tree debris off the ground it is true that a wider grapple is just fine and more efficient.

    The rationale for the 48", as you noted, is largely empirical. They work! They dig better. They paradoxically can lift more. When root raking they concentrate force and importantly are much less likely to twist the FEL frame as sudden impacts with hidden solid objects will be midline and between the two FEL arms rather than possibly outside the FEL arms. Those who have not used a 48" often worry that when driving into brush the smaller width will not cover the width of the tractor but this is in practice not an issue. When driving into brush you typically get a full grapple worth well before you drive more than five or six feet into the area being cleared. The grapple is full before you get even past the front wheels typically and it is time to back out and dump. Again, the only time a wide grapple has a clear advantage is when collecting smallish sticks or construction debris which is not all tangled together like typical brush.

    The two basic styles of grapple are also often debated (and the nomenclature describing them is quite confused as both are called root rakes). I tend to use clamshell to describe the grapples with a relatively straight back/bottom tine where clamping pressure from the top grapple arm is absolutely necessary to lift anything at all. The WR Long RBG is a prototype of this style. To me the other style is the OBG from WR Long as well as the Markham, Millonzi, Wildkat etc style where the bottom tines are much longer and most importantly are parallel to the ground so that indeed a load can be lifted without even using the top grapple arm. One style is top hydraulic clamp dependent to fight gravity pulling the material out while the other style actually uses gravity to hold the material in place and the top grapple really just acts to keep the material from falling forward. The RBG/Clamshell type excels at picking up sticks and small objects because the tines are invariably closer together and it functions like a real rake. The OBG style is better for digging and sticking the tines under roots etc as the tines are longer and provide more leverage. Both styles work for clearing brush but the OBG style can carry more logs or big branches because it relies on gravity and has a larger load platform while the clamshell style, just like the 4n1 bucket cannot hold anything below whatever the widest item that jams into the top of the grapple.

    I will answer your last question: can a 48" hold as much as a dual upper grapple wider grapple? Yes. Simple as that. The only potential advantage of the dual upper grapple style is when you are picking up loose short sticks (or construction debris). Any other load is easily managed with a single upper grapple. Why else would our human hands have only a single, rather than double, thumb????

    I've posted below a photo that I still think is the single largest load of brush anyone has ever posted here in a CUT grapple. It is in a 48" Millonzi and is being lifted by a 20hp tractor (CK20). The reason the load is so big is that it is brush and includes vines etc which tie everything together. The other photos show awkward loads contained by a simple 48 inch grapple and loads that could not have been lifted if the grapple itself weighed more.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_2841-jpg   -img_2868-jpg   -img_8972-jpg   -img_8974-jpg   -img_5600-jpg  

    -img_8142smallfile-jpg  

  4. #44
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2009
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    433
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Tractor
    JD 4120

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple


  5. #45
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    340
    Location
    TN
    Tractor
    LS U3050C

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    A man who knows what he wants. Good going, Long makes lasting hard working attachments.
    LS U5030C, International McCormick B-414 Gas

  6. #46
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2009
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    907
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    upstate South Carolina, Greenville
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240

    Default

    Island tractor, the guru of grapples has spoken. Amen. I second it. And i agree, the Long is probably great, but 1700 is too much. You can do much better

  7. #47
    Bronze Member
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    Sep 2012
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    Location
    Waxhaw, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    Well thought out and well expressed response, Island Tractor. I have put my Long order on hold for further thought. I also called the Wildkat people today. I had tried to communicate with Wildkat before via email, their web site and a call. Didn't work, so I got frustrated and moved on. Today I saw a toll-free number on the Wildkat web site (I swear it wasn't there before today--at least I didn't see it), tried it, and got some info. I'm going to think about it. As to cost, the Wildkat 48" unit would be $800 plus freight plus something to make the hydraulics compatible. Probably $1000 total. The other cost I mentioned for the Long version is a part of other dealings which when all put together are not as bad as it sounds. The Long 48" version is $1400 for me, but this is not exactly an apples to apples comparison. I am having the Wildkat folks check on the width of the opening on their 48" model. It's hard to tell from their web site. I am interested enough to check this stuff out further, and again I appreciate all of the feedback.

  8. #48
    Bronze Member
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    Waxhaw, NC
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    Kubota L3800

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    I inadvertently posted the same thing twice so I deleted the text. Don't know yet how to delete the whole thing.

  9. #49
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by rbtjr View Post
    Well thought out and well expressed response, Island Tractor. I have put my Long order on hold for further thought. I also called the Wildkat people today. I had tried to communicate with Wildkat before via email, their web site and a call. Didn't work, so I got frustrated and moved on. Today I saw a toll-free number on the Wildkat web site (I swear it wasn't there before today--at least I didn't see it), tried it, and got some info. I'm going to think about it. As to cost, the Wildkat 48" unit would be $800 plus freight plus something to make the hydraulics compatible. Probably $1000 total. The other cost I mentioned for the Long version is a part of other dealings which when all put together are not as bad as it sounds. The Long 48" version is $1400 for me, but this is not exactly an apples to apples comparison. I am having the Wildkat folks check on the width of the opening on their 48" model. It's hard to tell from their web site. I am interested enough to check this stuff out further, and again I appreciate all of the feedback.
    Before you order from Wildkat, make sure they have increased the 4x4 tubing to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8 inch they were using earlier this year. Several failures resulted with the top grapple mount essentially collapsing the tube as I recall. My Millonzi is essentially the same design but has 1/4 inch tube. Millonzi is no longer made but I would question in detail any grapple manufacturer to insure that the square tubing is 1/4 inch. I'd be pretty sure that WRLong will have the thicker tubing but have never checked that. Problem with WRLong is that they force you to go through a dealer and therefore they are not particularly price competitive.

  10. #50
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: questions about choice of root grapple

    Is wildkat still making the 48" econo grapple and how much does it cost now?
    Roger

    Kubota BX2360 & Kubota L4240 with paddle shifter, suicide doors and 24's
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