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  1. #21
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2004
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    1,871
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    KY
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    Kubota L3830, Ford Golden Jubilee, AC B, '39 Sears Economy, Polaris Ranger 400

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    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    Decent set of QA pallet forks costs $500-600 and is marginal for brush. Decent lightweight 48" grapple costs $900 and is the ideal tool for brush removal. Pallets are great for what they are designed for which ain't brush. Sure they can lift brush and if you balance everything just right and curl it will stay in place unless you hit bumps but pallet forks clearly cannot handle large brush piles which need to be clamped in position to travel. Pallet forks might well be fine for moving logs in a yard but again, if you drive over uneven or bumpy ground you are going to want to secure those logs with the upper grapple arm. I've seen pallet forks married to a grapple arm and that would work much better but then you have about the same cost as a regular grapple. Using the human hand as an analogous device, imagine piling objects onto your fingers and palm and carrying those around like a waiter carries plates. It works if you maintain perfect balance. Now imagine the same load in your hand but hold it in place with your thumb. Much better (which is one reason we have thumbs). You can also reverse your hand and pickup objects with your palm down so long as you use your thumb. That is what a grapple can do, either scoop (palm up) and clamp or "finger/thumb" pinch grasp objects. Forks are limited to straight open palm type lifting. Great for plates (and pallets), not so good for irregular or loose objects.
    I fully understand the mechanics of grapples... Trust me.

    I'll have to find some pics of my inadequate pallet forks moving brush piles.

  2. #22
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    238
    Location
    S.W. Missouri
    Tractor
    LS U5030C w/FEL

    Default Re: Need help with Grapple 101...

    I had a small 2WD kubota B7200 in the past and found it to be very limited in what it could do. When considering the purchase a couple of years ago for a tractor for the (new) farm, a friend recommended that I not buy anything less than 50 hp. I followed his advice and am very glad I did.

    Leave the cab tractor outdoors until you can afford a barn. We do. Don't make an expensive mistake. My .02.
    LS U5030C w/FEL, Bush Hog 307, Modern 7' industrial grade box blade w/hydraulic rippers, Rhino SPHD PHD, 48" Wildkat grapple, 72" Ratchet Rake, 6' King Kutter II tiller, 10' International Disk with hydraulic lift, 7' Vulcan double axle cultipacker, 76" W.R. Long bucket tooth bar.

  3. #23
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    12,786
    Location
    Branson, Mo.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Need help with Grapple 101...

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    Decent set of QA pallet forks costs $500-600 and is marginal for brush. Decent lightweight 48" grapple costs $900 and is the ideal tool for brush removal. Pallets are great for what they are designed for which ain't brush. Sure they can lift brush and if you balance everything just right and curl it will stay in place unless you hit bumps but pallet forks clearly cannot handle large brush piles which need to be clamped in position to travel. Pallet forks might well be fine for moving logs in a yard but again, if you drive over uneven or bumpy ground you are going to want to secure those logs with the upper grapple arm. I've seen pallet forks married to a grapple arm and that would work much better but then you have about the same cost as a regular grapple. Using the human hand as an analogous device, imagine piling objects onto your fingers and palm and carrying those around like a waiter carries plates. It works if you maintain perfect balance. Now imagine the same load in your hand but hold it in place with your thumb. Much better (which is one reason we have thumbs). You can also reverse your hand and pickup objects with your palm down so long as you use your thumb. That is what a grapple can do, either scoop (palm up) and clamp or "finger/thumb" pinch grasp objects. Forks are limited to straight open palm type lifting. Great for plates (and pallets), not so good for irregular or loose objects.
    He is right of course.. BUT I have moved a lot of brush with my QA Pallet forks. Just enough brush to ALMOST make me spring for a Grapple, and I probably will at some time. But my point is you can get by with a set of pallet forks, and yes they are about half the price of a grapple, and not near as good for moving brush, but they excel at moving pallets And I have moved some brush piles so big I could not see around them. Yes on most of them I had to get off and stack the brush all one way. Sometimes you can get under a pile and just pick it up with the forks without getting off and stacking. So bottom line.. yes the grapple is best, but you can still do a lot with forks. It is like a lot of things, you can "make do" and "get by" with a lot of things that are not ideal but will work.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  4. #24
    Elite Member
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    MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    4000\' mountains of Southern California
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    Mahindra 7520, Mahindra 3215HST, Case 580 extendahoe, Case 310 dozer, Parsons trencher, Cat D6,

    Default Re: Need help with Grapple 101...

    The other cost for a grapple that has not been brought up dollar wise is the additional cost of the remote to operate the grapple. Don't get me wrong, a grapple IS THE WAY TO GO, but it is going to cost a lot more money.
    Brian
    Top and Tilt Kits by Fit Rite Hydraulics

  5. #25
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaPerk

    I fully understand the mechanics of grapples... Trust me.

    I'll have to find some pics of my inadequate pallet forks moving brush piles.
    The description was not for you but rather for the OP.

  6. #26
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    857
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

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    1026r is the smallest I've seen. I think a 4000 series is in order for you. It's still small but can do a lot of work based on the one I got to run.

    Need help with Grapple 101...-forumrunner_20121018_211725.png

  7. #27
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    2,113
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    W Wisc
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    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: Need help with Grapple 101...

    I used forks at first to move brush. They work, but the best way to do it is to manually pile brush on them, or it all falls off if you try to scoop it. Logs can be done too, but you need to get them perfectly balanced if they are long, and if you hit a bump or tilt the tractor slightly, they fall off and you have to start again. When I got the grapple, my clearing efficiency went up by 10x. Plus you can also move firewood and firewood rounds with the grapple, and you can't with forks (not without adding something on). You stay in the seat a lot more with the grapple than the forks, so you get a lot more done in the same time. My grapple has almost been the only attachment I have used in the past 2 years since I got it. The only exceptions are the bucket for dirt/gravel and the forks for an occasional pallet or other lifting task and moving rocks for my retaining wall.

    Cost is an issue, as noted. A grapple will set you back closer to $2k by the time you do the 3rd function plumbing and buy the grapple itself. It can come in cheaper, depending on how your tractor is set up, but there are significant additional costs there beyond just buying the grapple. Forks run about $600-700 around here for something decent. In either case, you really want your tractor to have the SSQA on the FEL (Skid Steer Quick Attach on the Front End Loader). Which brings up another point - you MUST get a loader for the things you are discussing. You can get by without a grapple, for sure, but it is such a huge efficiency boost, you won't know how you managed without it.

    For that size acreage, as everyone has noted the BX is way too small. In a kubota, a B may work but could still be on the small side. I have the smallest Grand L (3130) and wish I had one with a bigger engine for my 10 acres of woods. I would say you are in L/Grand L or even the larger MX or M series range for your size land. Those are only Kubotas as I don't really know the other brands, but that is the size range I would look at, no matter the brand, IMHO.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  8. #28
    Veteran Member buck12's Avatar
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    NW Mississippi
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    Mahindra 2615

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnViewRanch
    The other cost for a grapple that has not been brought up dollar wise is the additional cost of the remote to operate the grapple. Don't get me wrong, a grapple IS THE WAY TO GO, but it is going to cost a lot more money.
    In my case the hydraulics to operate the grapple were more than the grapple. My grapple has been by far best addition to my tractor.

  9. #29
    Veteran Member buck12's Avatar
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    Mahindra 2615

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    Quote Originally Posted by dstig1
    I used forks at first to move brush. They work, but the best way to do it is to manually pile brush on them, or it all falls off if you try to scoop it. Logs can be done too, but you need to get them perfectly balanced if they are long, and if you hit a bump or tilt the tractor slightly, they fall off and you have to start again. When I got the grapple, my clearing efficiency went up by 10x. Plus you can also move firewood and firewood rounds with the grapple, and you can't with forks (not without adding something on). You stay in the seat a lot more with the grapple than the forks, so you get a lot more done in the same time. My grapple has almost been the only attachment I have used in the past 2 years since I got it. The only exceptions are the bucket for dirt/gravel and the forks for an occasional pallet or other lifting task and moving rocks for my retaining wall.

    Cost is an issue, as noted. A grapple will set you back closer to $2k by the time you do the 3rd function plumbing and buy the grapple itself. It can come in cheaper, depending on how your tractor is set up, but there are significant additional costs there beyond just buying the grapple. Forks run about $600-700 around here for something decent. In either case, you really want your tractor to have the SSQA on the FEL (Skid Steer Quick Attach on the Front End Loader). Which brings up another point - you MUST get a loader for the things you are discussing. You can get by without a grapple, for sure, but it is such a huge efficiency boost, you won't know how you managed without it.

    For that size acreage, as everyone has noted the BX is way too small. In a kubota, a B may work but could still be on the small side. I have the smallest Grand L (3130) and wish I had one with a bigger engine for my 10 acres of woods. I would say you are in L/Grand L or even the larger MX or M series range for your size land. Those are only Kubotas as I don't really know the other brands, but that is the size range I would look at, no matter the brand, IMHO.
    You are right in that a quick attach would be nice. I bought a pin on grapple in January and have only taken the grapple off twice. So if the original poster buys a tractor with pin on bucket his tasks will determine if he requires the quick attach system. Again I would love a quick attach FEL but my primary task is to reclaim an over grown jungle so I make do with the pin on setup.

  10. #30
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

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    Quote Originally Posted by buck12

    In my case the hydraulics to operate the grapple were more than the grapple. My grapple has been by far best addition to my tractor.
    There are many threads on TBN describing the various options for setting up hydraulics to control the grapple. Depending on choices and how the tractor is set up originally by the dealer, it can cost as little as $150 for hoses and fittings to run controls off the rear remotes. If the tractor doesn't already have at least one set of rear remotes then add $350-600 for a kit to install yourself in an afternoon with your wrenches or add a couple of hours labor for the dealer to do it. Alternatively, if you choose a diverter valve ($600 plus 3hrs) or electric over hydraulic ($800 plus 3 hrs) the added controls are more bucks. Dealers tend to push the latter two options but rear remotes work extremely well and many owners on TBN use them quite happily. A set or two of rear remotes is also useful for many other tasks and any "real" tractor should have them.

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