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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2001
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    675
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    South Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800

    Default Grapple kits?

    Has any one seen kits for tractor implements?

    I have access to a CNC plasma cutter and have a grapple design about finished. Also thinking about using the CNC to cut out kits of parts and selling them. Sort of like Heathkit was in electronics. My thought was to have all the CNC work pre-cut, along with the pins and bushings. The kit would also include a list of hydraulic parts the customer would get from TSC or perhaps Surplus center.

    The customer would unpack the parts, clean them up with a hand grinder, weld them up, paint, and install the hydraulics. I figure fabricating labor and paint is a pretty big chunk of an implement price so the concept could keep price lower. It would be fun. Also, the parts would ship in a smaller package and could be separated into several packages to make shipping UPS possible.

    The end result would (could) look store bought and would include an engineering evaluation. It would not look like it was cobbled from the junk pile.

    What do you think?
    JRP

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    164
    Location
    Ozark Alabama
    Tractor
    07 Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    Sounds like a good idea. I do have a suggestion for you. I saw a automotive suspension kit for sale. When they cut the parts they connected all the parts, that need to be welded together, with a tab about 1/16 wide. You could then bend them by hand and weld the ends together. This made sure that the alignment was correct. It also made a perfect gap to weld. Not sure if I described it clearly but hopefully you get the idea.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    1,638
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    Minnesota
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    CDP backhoe > backhoes & thumb kits

    Ubuildit Plans_page3: Build a backhoe, these plans show you how.

    And of course...
    CadPlans Corporation - Where you can find designs, tips and order information to build your own backhoes, diggers and MORE!

    Not sure if any of these had grapple kits, but even if they did there is always room for competition. Your designs may make the difference. Also, plasma cut parts should cost less than laser cut (as most of these above are). Its a great idea, and just the kind of thing I'd like.
    Good luck, and show us your design!!!
    Last edited by jimgerken; 04-22-2011 at 12:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,948

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    GREAT idea, though there have been others here that have done similar things.
    My suggestion is that you search here and follow all the threads on grapples.
    Check up on the small builders and see how many of them are still around after 5 years.

    Cadplans has some tie in with MetKit, a company that does pre-cut kits for the cad-plans.
    I don't know if they have grapple kits though.

    I would be interested in a grapple kit, also a hoe thumb (mechanical, convertible to hydraulic) so put me on your mailing list for if/when you have something to sell.

  5. #5
    Gold Member davygp38's Avatar
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    where NY,NJ, and PA all meet
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    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRP View Post
    Has any one seen kits for tractor implements?

    I have access to a CNC plasma cutter and have a grapple design about finished. Also thinking about using the CNC to cut out kits of parts and selling them. Sort of like Heathkit was in electronics. My thought was to have all the CNC work pre-cut, along with the pins and bushings. The kit would also include a list of hydraulic parts the customer would get from TSC or perhaps Surplus center.

    The customer would unpack the parts, clean them up with a hand grinder, weld them up, paint, and install the hydraulics. I figure fabricating labor and paint is a pretty big chunk of an implement price so the concept could keep price lower. It would be fun. Also, the parts would ship in a smaller package and could be separated into several packages to make shipping UPS possible.

    The end result would (could) look store bought and would include an engineering evaluation. It would not look like it was cobbled from the junk pile.

    What do you think?
    I'm in. I am getting ready to start collecting the steel for a larger than normal grapple bucket. If I could get a kit for just the Grapple jaws, it would make it a lot easier for me, Just add cylinder.
    How do you like me now?

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2001
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    675
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    South Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    My design is very similar to the Eagle Talon grapple, but scaled down for a smaller machine. (not sure how to copy a hyperlink) The U-tube video is awesome.

    Log, Brush and Rock Grapple : Skid Steer Grapple : Quick Attach Attachments, Inc.

    YouTube - Quick Attach Eagle Talon Heavy Duty Log Brush & Rock Grapple

    I think for most TBN users the 3/4" thick T-1 tool steel is a bit much and would be too heavy. The Bobcat T300 loader in the video can lift 6,000 pounds. My prototype will be 3/8" A516 grade 70 steel, with the tooth thickness doubled up to make it 3/4" thick. Grade 70 is also easier to weld and grind.

    What a lot of people don't realize is that stronger steel costs a little more, can be twice as strong, and because it can be less thick the result weighs less. Stronger steel = lighter grapple = greater capacity.
    JRP

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Feb 2002
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    1,055
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    WVa
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, Ford 5600, Case MB4/94, Kubota B6200

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    I'd be interested in something that would work with loader forks instead of a bucket.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    54
    Location
    Sturgeon Bay WI
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200gtsc,LA680 loader

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    I'm interested, what are you thinking for a price how much would it weigh and would it be removable?

  9. #9
    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: Grapple kits?

    A grapple kit with CNC cut parts sounds like a great idea but I'd be concerned about a few things.

    First is that amateur welders often make inadequate welds (I can imagine people trying to weld a grapple together as their first project with a $125 fluxcore machine from HF).

    Second is that such a kit might be close in price to a fully fabricated welder. Once you have the parts cut out and packed for shipment, I'm not sure you would save a whole lot of time compared to cutting the parts and having a pro welding shop put them together. Welders are not all paid North Slope pipe welder wages and I'd guess that a lot of the North Carolina shops putting these grapples together are paying their welders less than $20/hr. If so then that might cut only $100 off the price of the cost of a grapple.

    Third, shipping might conceivably be more expensive for the parts. An assembled grapple can be strapped to a pallet and sent out. A pile of loose parts needs to be boxed and might take a bit of time and material just to do that properly before attaching to a pallet. Shipping weight would be the same.

    Fourth, there would be loads of customer and tech support issues to deal with that are not seen with an assembled grapple. You'd also have quality problems (hey, my grapple broke the first time I used it!; hey, my grapple looked twisted when I finished welding; hey, I messed up piece #34, please send me another) that would be blamed on the product and would at least result in bad publicity even if the true problem was the inexperienced home welder.
    Last edited by IslandTractor; 04-25-2011 at 05:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Gold Member davygp38's Avatar
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    where NY,NJ, and PA all meet
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    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Grapple kits?

    Once again Island, the voice of reason. You're right of course. However, a company like Markham used to be. With the right support could have found a niche in a market like this. I could see a product, where some of the structural parts were made longer, so you could cut them to custom bucket width. In my case I would like the option of having CNC cut grapple jaws, with precut holes for the D.O.M, and pins, as well as for the horizontal structural tubing. I could envision, buying 4,5,or,6 jaw plates to add for a more solid set up, or for grabbing finer material.
    How do you like me now?

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