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  1. #1
    Gold Member RexB's Avatar
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    Default Grapple & Remote install, Have the $$ :)

    Curses, another "Help me! Install a Grapple so I don't waste money" thread, sorry. My budget is ~$1200, will go higher for the best setup. I weld, have a supply of steel to cut, all the tools and get greasy every chance I get, so lemme' have it!

    {I copied my OT question and answers from part of this thread here}

    Quote Originally Posted by RexB
    ...So I'm spending about a grand (?) for a weldon/bolton grapple to my bucket and a remote. I've seen the threads on it but need it all spelled out if y'all would be so kind. Or point me to the particular best thread about it that i missed. I'll start a thread about it soon, right now I have to sprint to tend the brushfires and kick the dogs around.
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    With regard to your desire to add a grapple function to your bucket. It's nice to hear that you
    have seen the light. While I favor true grapples, a bucket grapple is much more useful than a bucket and chain hooks. There are a number of decent grapple arms that can be either welded or bolted to the bucket. They can be had via ebay or direct from the manufacturer. Some are made by small shops and a few by the bigger companies like ATI or Add A Grapple. You need to figure out how long the arm should be and in general a slight under bite is preferred to any overbite. Most of the people who sell the grapple arms can talk you through the appropriate measurements.

    The person on TBN I'd talk to is 3RRL who put a couple on his bucket. I don't really see the need for two but his set up could be done with just one arm too. If I were doing it I'd weld a reinforcement strip along the top of the bucket then weld the grapple arm bracket to that. I think that is better than bolting.

    Choosing what hydraulic control system to use has been the subject of numerous TBN threads you might want to read through. I have used two of the three types most commonly mentioned. Rear remotes and diverter valve. I have not used an electric over hydraulic system but I think everyone agrees that is the cat's pajamas if you feel like shelling out $800+ t get one. If you already have rear remotes then all you need to run a grapple are two lengths of hose and QC fittings to go from rear remotes over rear axle, under operator station, up FEL post, along FEL arm to terminate on the FEL torque tube or even to go all the way to the grapple arm. You'd need to measure carefully probably using a hose or something like it as a template. As I recall it was about 16-18 feet on a CK20 to the torque tube. Using the rear remotes to control the grapple is as easy as shifting a 4 on the floor while driving. At first you'll take your eye off the grapple to look at your hand but after a few hours it becomes perfectly natural (like a 4speed shifter does). You need to develop a bit of muscle memory to just drop your hand off the FEL controller to the rear remote control and then operate the open/close. I did that happily for two years until I upgraded my CK to a DK. Never felt the need to invest any extra money into a diverter valve.

    When I bought my DK I also got a great deal (independently) on a WRLong 4n1 bucket over ebay. That bucket just happened to come with a WR Long diverter valve set up complete. So, I had it installed on the DK and now use that. I do like it but it is really not a major advantage over the rear remote set up. I still have a bit of trouble with unintended movement of dump/curl when using open/close as you need to train yourself to only press and release the controller button with the FEL joystick in neutral position. I am pretty good about not pressing it (activating) except in neutral but I often find I release while the joystick is left or right which means that the grapple stops open/close but then immediately (unintentionally) dump/curls. That is never an issue with rear remotes as your hand is off the FEL joystick when operating the remotes. It also would be less likely an issue with the electric over hydraulic. In any case, the diverter is still a very useful option and it is just a matter of training yourself. The WRLong diverter setup costs something like $550-600 or so plus a half day or so of your time to install.

    My advice on the controller would be to use rear remotes to start if you already have them. Much simpler to get started and you can always recycle the hose if you decide to get a diverter or electric over hydraulic.
    Quote Originally Posted by RexB
    That was a good writeup and got me primed, Thanks!

    I don't have a rear remote, and before getting on the horn with a manf'r, I'll
    -Route a hose from the future remote location to the grapple mount and measure allowing slack for bucket curl.
    -measure the grapple arm length for an underbite.
    -Weld, not bolt, it on to the channel iron i welded along the top of the bucket.
    -Look at both the cat's pajamas and the rear remote control valve setups and then decide how far the boss's good will goes.
    -Think about a toothbar too

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor
    From the looks of your bucket you won't need to weld any more reinforcing strips! You will however need to grind off that center bucket hook. That is exactly where you will need to mount your upper jaw. Once you have a grapple on your bucket you will find fewer uses for the bucket hooks anyway so having the outside two should be fine.

    You already have a backhoe so I presume you are using power beyond to run it. If you put in a rear remote or two you'll have an easier time hooking up the BH. If you put in two rear remotes you could run the grapple and leave the BH in place which is a very nice combo. Dig up the stumps and then turn around and grapple'm. I had only one on my CK20 so needed to switch out the hydraulic hoses to go from BH to grapple. A bit of a pain but not the end of the world. I would just work in an area using the BH alone and then at the end switch them out and clean up with the grapple. On my DK I can use both together and it is certainly nice.

    As you don't already have any remotes, the cost of putting in a couple of remotes plus the hoses and fittings would be roughly the same as putting in a WR Long diverter valve if I recall correctly. Maybe the remotes will be a bit less especially if you do the work yourself. If you have two rear remotes you are also in spitting distance of having a hydraulic topntilt which is a nice bonus to consider.

    No doubt the electric over hydraulic is the premium package. If you plan to do a lot of grapple work it might be worth it. I probably spend more hours with my grapple than with any other implement but I've still been quite content with both the diverter and rear remote set ups. I always saw the budget equation as electric over hydraulic (nice) vs rear remote or diverter PLUS another implement (nicer!). So I was never inticed to go further.

    You will find lots of enthusiasm for toothbars on TBN. I had one on my CK bucket but have not added one to my DK (I do have a cutting edge). I found that while the toothbar is undeniably important for digging with the FEL, that I did not use the FEL to dig much at all. I have a BH for that. The toothbar was also useful to rip up brush but once I got a taste of grapple there was simply no comparison and I never used the toothbar again. I found the toothbar got in the way more often than it helped in other work. Nasty shin bangers too. It makes it harder to scrape up dirt from a driveway for example or to use the bucket edge to smooth out an area by back dragging. Of course you can always remove the toothbar for these tasks but that is a 15-20 minute chore and the thing is not exactly easy to store or carry around in the field. With a bucket grapple perhaps the toothbar would be more useful in dealing with brush and the two together might be synergistic. I don't know. Maybe 3RRL or one of the other bucket grapple enthusiasts can give you some insight there.

    The other thing I would suggest you at least consider is whether to go with a true grapple rather than the bucket grapple. A bucket grapple setup will cost you about $400-$600 depending on how you do it. Your bucket will still be usable as a plain bucket but you will have the jaw attached almost all the time. For around $850 plus shipping, call it $1000 to most parts of the country, you can get the same grapple I have which is a perfect match for both the CK/DK line. That is a separate specialized implement and as with most things the specialized tools tend to have advantages over combo tools. You can get grapples with Kioti pin mounts so you don't need to add a QA adapter. If you decided to do a QA adapter though (more $$) then you open up the possibility of forks, tree booms, specialty buckets etc etc. Using just the pin mounts, it only takes about 15 minutes to make the switch over from bucket to grapple so it is not much more work than putting on a bush hog and much less than switching out the BH.
    ,
    Outstanding writeup Island Tractor, thanks muchly! I'm lazy so I'll spend a couple hundred bucks extra to have all the attachments plugged in at the same time.

    Ok, the center skidhook is as good as gone for the upcoming grapple mount. I'm still searching for the electric vs the hyd-remote-lever installation differences, besides the cost, which I'll do tonight because I'm locked into jobs today.

    Sorry, hydraulic addon attachment plumbing is new territory and I will try to understand it better from the manfr's literature tonight too. Can't I install a remote by the FEL joystick manifold, for a shorter hose run to the grapple? And I don't yet understand if i need another remote to use the electric control, or a diverter? Whats a hyd topntilt? (I'll never put a mower or boxscraper on this its too late, just use the BH and a PHD) What's my name? aaack.

    I'd get a true grapple like yours, but I've already done the heavy clearing and plowing (had a big mechanical rake on the dozer) so want to keep it all on one attachment on the tractor. I will ditch the toothbar for the same reason, thanks for the insight, the work is mostly dumping dirt/gravel and backblading smooth the clearing and trails now.

    Will order parts Monday after I get my chit together!
    Kioti CK30HST, KL130b loader, KB2375 hoe, Rankin auger
    added forklift tines, bucket hooks, brush screen, TOPS, gallery

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grapple & Remote install, Have the $$ :)

    Rex,
    Keep us posted on what you do, what you find out... I am getting ready to head down this path as well. Although I don't have the $$$$ quite yet. I have been reading every grapple like post I can find. Somewhere along the line I have gotten the feeling that "IT" thinks grapples are a good idea. I already have 2 rear remotes on my tractor.. so I am planning to just use one of them to drive the grapple.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grapple & Remote install, Have the $$ :)

    Quote Originally Posted by RexB
    Curses, another "Help me! Install a Grapple so I don't waste money" thread, sorry. My budget is ~$1200, will go higher for the best setup. I weld, have a supply of steel to cut, all the tools and get greasy every chance I get, so lemme' have it!

    Can't I install a remote by the FEL joystick manifold, for a shorter hose run to the grapple? And I don't yet understand if i need another remote to use the electric control, or a diverter? Whats a hyd topntilt? (I'll never put a mower or boxscraper on this its too late, just use the BH and a PHD) What's my name? aaack.
    Well, it is not common to put a set of remotes mid tractor but it surely can be done (after all the FEL hydraulics are essentially just that). The reason to NOT do it would be that it limits your ability to use the remotes for rear implements which is what most people would want to do. From what you are describing, if you really don't see a need for any rear remotes (BH, power rake (Harley), or top and tilt) then it is probably best to just put in a diverter kit from WR Long on to the FEL hydraulics. I would imagine it would take an afternoon or so to install so long as you've worked with Nelson Long to make sure he sends you the right hoses and fittings etc. By the way, "top and tilt" refers to hydraulic controlled top link and tilt control of the 3PT arms which is very useful for a box blade control or back blade etc. It allows both gross and fine adjustments to be made from your seat.

    When you install a diverter you are essentially tapping into the FEL hydraulics so you don't need another separate remote to do that. The diverter is essentially giving you an extra "remote" it just works by tapping into and diverting flow from the dump/curl function of the FEL to the grapple.

    I would think that with a budget of $1200 you could easily install a WRLong diverter ($550-600) plus put on a grapple arm (400-600). Some grapple arms can be had for only $300-350 plus shipping and those are the ones where you'd need to be able to weld. The bolt on systems from ATI and Add A Grapple are closer to $600, maybe more. The bolt on ones don't have any functional advantage, just easier to self install if you don't weld.

  4. #4
    Gold Member RexB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grapple & Remote install, Have the $$ :)

    I don't believe that I woke up in the middle of the night dreaming about a grapple. Sheesh. So what the hey, I got online, read the news and cruised onto the grapple manf'r sites. I'm in love.

    Quote Originally Posted by IXLR8
    ...Somewhere along the line I have gotten the feeling that "IT" thinks grapples are a good idea.
    That man do love his Grapple -- I've been drooling over the pics that IT posted working the fields 'n woods with it.

    One of those on my tractor could sure save Donna more busted knuckles and sore back. We've gotta' get fixed up
    with a Grapple IXLR8, you've got a jumpstart with two rear remotes.

    I've been rereading these threads to get fired up.
    ,

    I'll give WR Long a call and discuss/price their gear -- I like that diverter and electric control that slides over the joystick, just have to keep my fingers off the switch (yeah right). A remote is more versatile like ya' say, i just don't foresee needing one for my job use now. (Famous last words.) There's a dealer in Burlington 70 miles away maybe pick it up and save freight charges if it's worth the gas. Their own bucket grapple looks real stout but at 490lbs is just too much weight off the loader capacity of this l'il tractor. Then I'll call a grapple dealer and give 'em the bucket measurements and see what's what.
    Last edited by RexB; 03-23-2008 at 08:16 AM.
    Kioti CK30HST, KL130b loader, KB2375 hoe, Rankin auger
    added forklift tines, bucket hooks, brush screen, TOPS, gallery

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