View Full Version : Skid steer grapple

05-15-2006, 11:15 PM
Hey guys. We're demo'ing a new 277 for a couple weeks, could end up buying this one, it's a rental fleet machine that has 7 hours on it, full cab + A/C and heat. Anyway, we need a grapple for it pretty quick. We're putting it to work on the orchard that we just finished taking out. When we walked through the orchard with the excavators pulling up the trees, we left them in piles of about 20-30 trees. Now we'd like to pick those piles up with the 277 and carry them to one large pile to burn later. We could have tracked back and forth making one large pile while we were pulling the trees, but it's alot of walking on the undercarriage and it's slow. With the 277, we think we can move the same amount of trees in one swipe, faster and without excessive wear on the undercarriage. With all that said, we need a grapple. Suggestions? Thanks!

05-16-2006, 02:12 PM
mine is an 80" 'Bobcat' Brand, (industrial grapple) http://www.bobcat.com/products/att/indgrapple.html
and will tote very huge load, maybe 5-8 yds! On a recent slash burn I was moving a piles a few hundred yds due to steep and forested terrain. I could get a big mouthful, extending 25 ' wide. I have also moved 50' plus trees, 3' dia, and nice for 'picking' stuff out of dumptruck. And real killer on demo (I did a camper last week)

It is very HD, as I dig out lots of 5' boulders with it (has 1 1/2" square tines), Grapple is made from 3/4" plate (4 sides)

I would like to make an insert that would be similar to a root rake, that would allow 'rolling' debris

I like the 8-10 spacing of lower tines to 'sweep' branches and debri, plus you don't have so much stuff 'falling out' while transporting over rough ground. I use it as a 'rock rake' when dealing with basketball sized boulders. It is stout, and takes lots of abuse

I suppose your local inventor (bellingham) could fix you up, if he has anything in stock (tho it doesn't look like he has an equivalent to mine.)
or just bite the bullet and buy from a dealer, (or ebay) might check the 'bucket' builder in Arlington?, there was some discussion on this site about 'thumbs' and they seemed to have really good stuff, and grapples too, I think (but long lead times) You definately want tines on bottom, as some of the demo grapples are solid, That would be very tough to keep dirt out of your branches, rocks, and scrap. Get a 4in1 bucket for general use, tho the Grapple is important for "high Volume" brush.


Robert Leib

Toll Free - 1-866-966-2538

Direct - 1-360-966-2538

FAX - 1-360-966-7118

Gravel Rat
05-16-2006, 02:21 PM
Here you go these guys can build you one www.weldco-beales.com

05-16-2006, 03:12 PM
Thanks guys. We'll probably end up getting a 4-in-1 for the 277, right now I believe it has a 78" tooth bucket on it, I haven't seen it yet, they dropped it off last night and I'm at school now, but I will be in it all weekend. I definately need a grapple with tines on the bottom, no the industrial grapple bucket. Rockland makes an awesome loader grapple, but I don't know if they produce it for skid steers. Our sales guy says there's a company in Colville that makes good grapples so I'm waiting to see what theirs looks like. If not, I'll have to come up with a different plan.

05-16-2006, 03:23 PM
This is what I have...http://www.amleo.com/index/item.cgi?cmd=view&Words=qaqc
It has been great. it was 1/2 the cost the John Deere quoted...and has not missed a beat.....I had it inless than a week....We use it for loading brush and debris into dumpsters...

05-16-2006, 04:08 PM
BIg Money Scag, here is the kind I have:


Good Luck!

05-16-2006, 04:30 PM
Here's what we ended up with, got the last 85" model they have. Dad is driving to pick it up tonight with the flatbed, should have it on the 277 ready to go when I get back into town on Friday. The guy is putting Cat couplers on it for us as well.


BTW, sounds like we sealed the deal on the 277. I think we're going to demo it for a week or 2 to absolutely make sure it's what we want, but it sounds like dad has made up his mind. I think they're going to give us the tooth bucket and we're ordering a 6 way blade for it as well.

05-16-2006, 04:44 PM
nice looking...I still wanted a "bucket" so to speak that whyI went with the one I got...I can still load shredded hardwood mulch with out having to swap buckets back and forth...

05-16-2006, 04:50 PM
At first I was looking at the bucket type, but then I realized what we needed was something like a brush rake that had the ability to grab and that's exactly what this is. Our intent is to push trees over and at the end of the pass grab them and run back to the burn pile where the 312 will be stoking the fire.

05-16-2006, 04:56 PM
It has been one of the most productive and labor saving peices of equipment thatI have purchased in a while....

05-16-2006, 04:59 PM
Scag, I remember someone once telling ME that I am out of control... Dude, your dad isn't going to be able afford to let you go back to school at this pace. NOt that he can't afford it financially, but he is going to need you to run all this equipment you guys are buying!

Im still jealous about that excavator, buddy. Congrats man. It is great to see you taking off with your family's business!

05-16-2006, 05:39 PM
Thanks Doug. I wish I didn't have to go to school, but if I don't go to school, he'll fire me. He did say that after I'm done with my 4 years he'll send me to a heavy equipment and diesel mechanic school on his dollar, but that's a long time from now. This summer is going to be busy, I have a huge basement dig 1 month from now. We know the contractor well, they're going to wait for me to get out of school before we get started. I think with the 277 and the 312 on one site we can really do some damage, we'll have yet another combination of equipment that nobody in our area has. Our laser system shows up tomorrow finally, not that we've needed it, but I just want to play with it! Stick mounted laser reciever should be really nice. Not having to pay some kid who may or may not show up to the site to grade check for me will be really nice. I think the next purchase we'll have to make is some sort of truck, we may not need to buy a dump truck, my dad has a buddy just gunin' to buy a dump truck so we'll have him haul for us, but I might push to get a decent used tractor with a lift axle and buy a hydraulic tail equipment trailer to haul the 312.

So Doug, here's the big question, when you gonna buck up and buy a 120C? :weightlifter:

05-16-2006, 07:54 PM
So Doug, here's the big question, when you gonna buck up and buy a 120C? :weightlifter:

Actually, I am leaning towards the 135C RTS...I really like the "zero tail swing".

What is the deal with your laser grade set up? How much did it set you back?

05-16-2006, 08:01 PM
Basically it's just a laser unit (tripod, laser sending unit, etc.) but the reciever also has the option to be mounted on the stick of the excavator so I can be in the cab of the machine digging to grade without having to get out of the machine, grab a grade rod, and check it. This allows me to stay in the machine and be on grade all day long. It was only about $2K, it's not Topcon or Trimble, some off brand, but it should do the job.

I thought about looking at Cat's counterpart to Deere's 135RTS, the 314CLCR, but the cabs are a real killer, I don't like them at all. All the switches, monitors, and radio controls that are on the right side of the cab in a row on the console don't exist with the 314, it's a big jumble in there, everything is in the "wrong" place. The 312 doesn't have too much tailswing, I've had one on a pretty small site with no issues.

Kepple Services
05-17-2006, 12:24 AM
The grapple you ended up with is very similar to the Quickattach ones I have. I love the fact that you can scrape below grade with the tines, and yet still get LOADS of material that are piled up. The only thing you will have to watch for is when the grapple is tilted forward to grab a bunch of debris that the lower tines do not hit the tires/tracks. I demoed a similar grapple to the quickattach and it hit the front of the tracks on my T300's.

05-17-2006, 04:19 PM
It was only about $2K

"Only" 2k!??!!?


Just giving you a hard time, buddy!

05-17-2006, 04:48 PM
Well, I guess when you spend $140K on the machine, $2K is peanuts right? I always walk around with 5 g's in my pocket, duh! Hahaha.

05-17-2006, 10:06 PM
Whats wrong with swinging the trees to one big pile?

05-17-2006, 10:15 PM
You end up walking the excavator too far, usually we end up making 1 pile for about 2-3 acres. Takes too long and just burns up the excavator undercarriage. With this method, we can probably do 5-6 acres per pile, which will be nice.

Gravel Rat
05-18-2006, 12:17 AM
See I told you you guys are going to need to buy a site truck for moving the crap around. A old tandem axle dump with a 15 or 16 foot box with the tail gate removed can haul the brush.

You are right about walking the excavator alot it is hard on the tracks also carrying material is hard on the boom and house works.

I don't think a 4 in 1 will work that good for grabbing stuff aswell as a grapple.

I find the the easiest machine to move brush and broken up old trees is a excavator.

Dirty Water
05-18-2006, 12:21 AM
Dude Scag, you should have gotten the long reach option :)


I saw a long reach hitachi with a log grapple on it go by me on a lowboy one day, I nearly wrecked my truck stairing, I had no idea they made booms that long.

05-18-2006, 12:21 AM
We're not buying a dump truck...yet. Next year dad says. Getting my learner's permit for my CDL now, I will have it by next spring. The grapple works perfect according to my old man, I haven't been able to try it out. We'll have 15 acres burned in 1 day, a task that would take the excavator walking back and forth to the pile at least 3 days.

DW, my dad was browsing through Rock and Dirt and found a long front machine. He goes "We shoulda bought that!"

05-18-2006, 01:07 AM
You're only walking as far as you want to move the material. Im talking about picking the material from infront of you, swing it behind you as far away as you can, then repeat and keep moving towards the pile. Once you get a large enough pile you can walk up ontop and ride the pile to where you want it.

Gravel Rat
05-18-2006, 01:16 AM
I'am not talking a road legal truck all you need is something to carry material you buy a cheap truck use it on the site and it never leaves the site. The guy you are sub-contracting for prolly has a old truck you can borrow or knows of somebody you can borrow a truck from.

What Tyler meantioned about chucking is common practice here but we usually are not working on a wide open space like a orchard.

05-18-2006, 01:38 AM
A cheap old site truck isnt a bad idea, would also be good because you could get plenty of experience driving it around on site. I dont know if you'll be doing any work in housing developments or not, but a truck to move materials around on site comes in handy when you are backfilling, hauling off your spoils from one site and mabe you need to fill in another site. You can also have your truck driver stockpile material and you can load it and use it as needed, because from what i have read you are working weekends, and around here at least, the pits are closed.

Gravel Rat
05-18-2006, 01:58 AM
I think Scag wants more new toys to play with its why he is pushing for the MTL :laugh:

The skid steer would probably be good addition for the business but I don't know if I would go out and buy one right away. If your looking for a machine to cart dirt around the site and do some grading I would prolly look for a good used 4x4 backhoe. You can have a set of forks for it so you can unload your trucks etc.

05-18-2006, 02:19 AM
Screw backhoes, for what we'd pay for a decent low hour used backhoe we bought a brand new fully loaded 277. The 277 is a backhoe killer, it will out produce a backhoe by at least 30% moving dirt. We plan to use it to unload retaining wall blocks off trucks as well. Backhoes are just outdated, unless you need a trenching machine that works on pavement 90% of the time, you're better off with an excavator and a large skid steer.

Not going to buy a site truck, that wouldn't do us any good. We'll be off this job in 2 weeks, then what would I do with the truck? Most of the jobs we will be working on are home sites, no need for an offroad truck. When I get into development work, and someday I hope that's all I'm doing, it'll be something worth looking into.

Next year is the gravy year, sounds like we'll be getting a truck then. I've got a long time to start shopping for something, I have no idea what my price limit is but I'm sure we'll end up with something under 10 years old which equates to a pretty damn nice truck! Right now, we don't need one. We have a hauler in our back pocket for the 312 and a willing dump truck driver with his own truck to haul materials for us. Pits are open on weekends, it's self load, but as soon as the school year ends I'll be working the Mon-Fri. schedule.

05-18-2006, 03:29 AM
...With this method, we can probably do 5-6 acres per pile, which will be nice.

'East side' vegetation - wow that's sparse... I did (4) 3'x150' firs today and made a huge pile (~100cu yds) with just the limbs. I'd say we get 3-4 piles per acre.

05-18-2006, 04:18 AM
Yeah, we're burning tiny apple trees. Most of these are 7-8 feet tall, at most 10" in diameter. Once I get the fire going, I'll have it stacked as high as the 312 will pile it, but until that apple wood gets hot, it's slow going.

If I was just stacking the material, we'd get about 1 pile per acre throwing it as high as we can. But with the 277 running small piles back to the burn pile where the 312 is stoking the fire makes for a lot less fires to start and it's no fun getting green wood to burn.

Gravel Rat
05-18-2006, 01:52 PM
What works good to get a fire going is a gas powered leaf blower the local loggers tried it a few years ago to get slash piles going and now they use them all the time. Get the fire started with some dry cedar or what ever then let the fire get going then add the air to it. So all it takes its some diesel fuel for a accelerant.

If the homeowners will let you stock pile the old trees up and let it sit till fall those trees will burn good it only takes a couple months to dry out.

We used to use a old truck tire to get fires going but thats not allowed anymore you get caught the fine is pretty hefty.

05-19-2006, 12:48 AM
air flow and accelerant :clapping:

there are some 'slash burn' fans you can rent that have diesel fuel mist emiters,
using a leaf blower / fan and a chunk of culvert (metal!) to make a blast furnace at the center of pile works good too. You could rig a drip emiter for fuel to that

I second the tire idea ;)

05-19-2006, 04:02 AM
'East side' vegetation - wow that's sparse... I did (4) 3'x150' firs today and made a huge pile (~100cu yds) with just the limbs. I'd say we get 3-4 piles per acre.
Big difference between the two sides. I just cleared about an acre size lot that was full of a bunch of little alders and a few maple, which means LOTS of brush and no real good wood. damn alders arent big enough to sell, and are just big enough to where you dont want to just toss them in the brush pile. makes for a big brush pile.