Root rake / Grapple

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500K_773

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I clear land with my Bobcat and usually go in with the Brushcat and “mulch” the brush and small trees first. Then I knock the larger trees over complete with the stump and most of the roots. This leaves the area clear on the surface, but now I have the roots from the small trees and any from the big trees that break underground. I have scraped the top of the area off in the past, but this usually removes a lot of good topsoil and creates a large rubble pile to dispose of. I was thinking of using a root rake / grapple to separate the roots from the good topsoil and reduce the amount of material to get rid of.
I have tried Bobcat's industrial grapple with tines (see picture in gallery under root rakes), but it had a tendancy to try dig down too deep and I was worrying about bending the tines (it was rented). I have been looking a root grapple from Loflin Fabrication than looks more sturdy and has an upward cut to the teeth possibly to keep it from digging down too deep. There is also a land clearing rake design that I found which can be used in either a forward or reverse direction (not as heavy duty as the root grapple though). Pictures of both of these in the gallery also.
Has anyone had any experience with either of these attachments or have a recommendation for another?
 

Team Fountain

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Mar 16, 2004
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Have you checked Ebay. A lot of root grapples end up on there. I'm not sure how bad shipping would kill you, but it might be worth checking. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of info for you. I have a farmers grapple that I use to clear my woods. It works great, but it is getting a little bent up. The tines aren't as large as the industrial grapple, so it does a good job with roots, but I wouldn't use it to do a lot of clearing. I don't know how handy you are around the shop, but you might be better served making a root grabbing bar for your bucket. I saw a guy clearing woods with one he made by welding 6" spikes at 4" centers on a hefty flat bar. Bolted it to his bucket and drug it through the top mud. Seemed to be pretty effective, although I am a grapple fan because you can grab the crap and load it in a dumpster after you're done.
 

500K_773

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Have you checked Ebay. A lot of root grapples end up on there. I'm not sure how bad shipping would kill you, but it might be worth checking. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of info for you. I have a farmers grapple that I use to clear my woods. It works great, but it is getting a little bent up. The tines aren't as large as the industrial grapple, so it does a good job with roots, but I wouldn't use it to do a lot of clearing. I don't know how handy you are around the shop, but you might be better served making a root grabbing bar for your bucket. I saw a guy clearing woods with one he made by welding 6" spikes at 4" centers on a hefty flat bar. Bolted it to his bucket and drug it through the top mud. Seemed to be pretty effective, although I am a grapple fan because you can grab the crap and load it in a dumpster after you're done.
I was actually thinking of building one like the Loflin Fabrication one. Shipping to Alaska is kind of expensive, unless it is from the Seattle area. I have been looking on eBay and there is alot of attachments and equipment that I would buy if I could get it too Alaska inexpensively. The root grapple design looks like you could drive forward with the “teeth” about 6” under the soil until the grapple was full, then give it a quick shake to get any soil off of the roots. Also look heavy duty, I really like the pipe pieces between the teeth near the front of the teeth.
I was also thinking of building a snow blade out of a piece of 36” sch 40 pipe, with “wings” set at 30°. With 30° of angle on the blade, the leading “wing” would be straight ahead allowing you to clean real nicely along a building or sidewalk. I was planning on using the same hydraulic cylinders from the grapple for the anlgle cylinders for the snow blade. Just remove a couple of pins and hoses, then I would be able to utilize the cylinders year-around.
I used the teeth on my bucket as a poor man's root rake last year, but it just wasn't the same. Also, my bucket doesn't have the grapple to grab the roots.
 

864wood

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Mar 27, 2004
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I was actually thinking of building one like the Loflin Fabrication one. Shipping to Alaska is kind of expensive, unless it is from the Seattle area. I have been looking on eBay and there is alot of attachments and equipment that I would buy if I could get it too Alaska inexpensively. The root grapple design looks like you could drive forward with the “teeth” about 6” under the soil until the grapple was full, then give it a quick shake to get any soil off of the roots. Also look heavy duty, I really like the pipe pieces between the teeth near the front of the teeth.
I was also thinking of building a snow blade out of a piece of 36” sch 40 pipe, with “wings” set at 30°. With 30° of angle on the blade, the leading “wing” would be straight ahead allowing you to clean real nicely along a building or sidewalk. I was planning on using the same hydraulic cylinders from the grapple for the anlgle cylinders for the snow blade. Just remove a couple of pins and hoses, then I would be able to utilize the cylinders year-around.
I used the teeth on my bucket as a poor man's root rake last year, but it just wasn't the same. Also, my bucket doesn't have the grapple to grab the roots.
I presently have an 84" combo. This allows grapple function but it is limited. It won't allow positive clamping force on uneven loads and if you torque the load(ie; Trees then skid steering left and right while holding load you bend the shit out of your bucket). It pulls the side out and deforms it. Looks like a good welding project to me. I have now have only one house to take down and its on the list of things to do. I plan on renting an industrial grapple and a fork graple to see the effectivness compared to the combo. Go figure, just one more attachment to buy. Do you get a group discount once you get past 5 attachements?
 

jbc

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Jun 27, 2004
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I have a root grapple that is similar to the one made by Loflin. I use it to clean up at construction sites. I just bought it about a week ago. It seems to work well for digging 2X4's and other debris out of the soil. I can dig the tines in a couple of inches and rip the wood and debris out of the ground. I usually get some soil too, but a quick shake usually removes most of it. It is built extremely heavy. I doubt I could bend it with my S185. It really makes short work of huge piles of leftover wood and garbage. Blake
 

500K_773

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I have a root grapple that is similar to the one made by Loflin. I use it to clean up at construction sites. I just bought it about a week ago. It seems to work well for digging 2X4's and other debris out of the soil. I can dig the tines in a couple of inches and rip the wood and debris out of the ground. I usually get some soil too, but a quick shake usually removes most of it. It is built extremely heavy. I doubt I could bend it with my S185. It really makes short work of huge piles of leftover wood and garbage. Blake
jbc,
How wide is your grapple? I have the same sized machine and would like to go with the largest grapple I can without getting one too large that the machine can't handle it well. Are you happy with the size you have or would you choose differently?
Thanks
 

jbc

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Jun 27, 2004
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jbc,
How wide is your grapple? I have the same sized machine and would like to go with the largest grapple I can without getting one too large that the machine can't handle it well. Are you happy with the size you have or would you choose differently?
Thanks
500K_773, My grapple is 72" wide. My machine handles it fine for the work I do. Are you planning on using it to rip up roots and stumps? If so you might want to consider a 68" or 66". Some things to look for in a grapple are quality of the cylinders, line routing and protection, and build quality. All grapples are not built equal. I shopped around before I bought. Mine was made by a former employee of Loflin. It's very well built. Even the cylinders and the pistons are shielded. Blake
 

500K_773

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500K_773, My grapple is 72" wide. My machine handles it fine for the work I do. Are you planning on using it to rip up roots and stumps? If so you might want to consider a 68" or 66". Some things to look for in a grapple are quality of the cylinders, line routing and protection, and build quality. All grapples are not built equal. I shopped around before I bought. Mine was made by a former employee of Loflin. It's very well built. Even the cylinders and the pistons are shielded. Blake
Blake,
You obviously have experience with a Loflin design and mentioned that you did some research before purchasing. Did you look at the AnBo grapple? It looks very heavy duty. Skid Steer Solutions has some video footage of it in use (http://www.skidsteersolutions.com/pages/7/index.htm). Here's a link to AnBo's site also (http://www.anbomanufacturing.com/grapple_rakes/grapple_rakes_1.htm). It would have been a better video if they had used the grapple on a Bobcat skidsteer rather than a Cat machine ;)
I am definately looking for a grapple that I can push through the dirt (about 4”-6” deep) to remove roots. Seems like I am getting a lot more land clearing jobs now that I own the Brushcat and a root grapple would help immensely.
 

500K_773

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342
Blake,
You obviously have experience with a Loflin design and mentioned that you did some research before purchasing. Did you look at the AnBo grapple? It looks very heavy duty. Skid Steer Solutions has some video footage of it in use (http://www.skidsteersolutions.com/pages/7/index.htm). Here's a link to AnBo's site also (http://www.anbomanufacturing.com/grapple_rakes/grapple_rakes_1.htm). It would have been a better video if they had used the grapple on a Bobcat skidsteer rather than a Cat machine ;)
I am definately looking for a grapple that I can push through the dirt (about 4”-6” deep) to remove roots. Seems like I am getting a lot more land clearing jobs now that I own the Brushcat and a root grapple would help immensely.
I found the 72“ AnBo grapple for sale by SkidSteerSolutions on eBay for $3250. They are in the Bellingham Washington area, so shipping to Alaska may not be too expensive for me. I'll call them in the morning.
Here's the link to their eBay ad which has some pretty good pictures of the construction. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=26203&item=3840204372&rd=1
eBay could get addicting
emotion-5.gif
 

500K_773

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I found the 72“ AnBo grapple for sale by SkidSteerSolutions on eBay for $3250. They are in the Bellingham Washington area, so shipping to Alaska may not be too expensive for me. I'll call them in the morning.
Here's the link to their eBay ad which has some pretty good pictures of the construction. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=26203&item=3840204372&rd=1
eBay could get addicting
O.K. Lots of searching on eBay and I found several companies that make grapples just like the one Loflin makes. I don't know who is the original but somebody is copying someone. The grapple mechanism on the Loflin design is similar to the Bobcat grapple I used before. It has such a large throat when the grapple is closed that you cannot just clamp on one log. From the videos and photos, it seems like the AnBo design could clamp just about totally shut. Does anyone have experience with the grapple? I seems to me it would be better if you could clamp down on a smaller diameter if needed and looks like the design still allows for grabbing large loads as well.
 

jbc

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O.K. Lots of searching on eBay and I found several companies that make grapples just like the one Loflin makes. I don't know who is the original but somebody is copying someone. The grapple mechanism on the Loflin design is similar to the Bobcat grapple I used before. It has such a large throat when the grapple is closed that you cannot just clamp on one log. From the videos and photos, it seems like the AnBo design could clamp just about totally shut. Does anyone have experience with the grapple? I seems to me it would be better if you could clamp down on a smaller diameter if needed and looks like the design still allows for grabbing large loads as well.
500K_773, Sorry that I did not respond sooner, I have not been on here for a while. I did not consider the AnBo mainly because it was so expensive. It is almost double the cost of the grapple I bought. The design of the grapple is interesting. I can see where it would be beneficial. There have been a few times where small logs have slid out of my grapple. But most of the time I am moving piles of logs and limbs, not just one log at a time. One benefit of the Loflin design is the 2 clamps move seperately. This allows you to clamp down on large objects on one side and smaller objects on the other side.
 

500K_773

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500K_773, Sorry that I did not respond sooner, I have not been on here for a while. I did not consider the AnBo mainly because it was so expensive. It is almost double the cost of the grapple I bought. The design of the grapple is interesting. I can see where it would be beneficial. There have been a few times where small logs have slid out of my grapple. But most of the time I am moving piles of logs and limbs, not just one log at a time. One benefit of the Loflin design is the 2 clamps move seperately. This allows you to clamp down on large objects on one side and smaller objects on the other side.
JBC,
Thanks for the reply. I think one reason the AnBo design is more expensive is because it may be made out of heavier material and AR400 material, rather than standard mild steel. The downfall if it is heavier, you will lose load capacity. I am going to call AnBo or Skidsteer solutions today to check on the weight of the attachment and shipping costs.
A lot of the time I am picking up one big log (like a whole tree) and may have to reposition a time or two to balance the load on my forks. If the grapple could clamp tight on one piece, it may eliminate the time lost repositioning.
How much have you used your grapple? How well is it holding up? I was kind of worried about the longer tines only being supported by the weld to the back tube and the sweeping design of the outer teeth. Do the pipe shaped spacers out near the tip get in the way or hang up in the dirt while ripping up roots?
 

jbc

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Jun 27, 2004
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JBC,
Thanks for the reply. I think one reason the AnBo design is more expensive is because it may be made out of heavier material and AR400 material, rather than standard mild steel. The downfall if it is heavier, you will lose load capacity. I am going to call AnBo or Skidsteer solutions today to check on the weight of the attachment and shipping costs.
A lot of the time I am picking up one big log (like a whole tree) and may have to reposition a time or two to balance the load on my forks. If the grapple could clamp tight on one piece, it may eliminate the time lost repositioning.
How much have you used your grapple? How well is it holding up? I was kind of worried about the longer tines only being supported by the weld to the back tube and the sweeping design of the outer teeth. Do the pipe shaped spacers out near the tip get in the way or hang up in the dirt while ripping up roots?
I have used my grapple about 15 hrs. It is holding up very well. Mine is built alot heavier than the Loflin grapple, I have not noticed any cracks or bends. The spacers are not pipe on mine, they are made of square stock. It does dig into the soil if you are not careful. Also the tines are supported by triangular braces, these tend to collect soil as well. I have found that shaking the grapple a few times will get rid of most dirt. I have found that the grapple is invaluble in cleaning up debris. I can move a pile of construction debris in just a few minutes. Normally it would take over and hour of manual labor to move the same size pile into a roll off box. Most of the time I am moving scrap plywood, drywall, and 2x4's. It is amazing how much stuff that I can grab in one load. I have also moved a bunch of pine stumps and logs. It handles these with no problem. Only small things like 1 limb or a small sapling are difficult to handle.
 

500K_773

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I have used my grapple about 15 hrs. It is holding up very well. Mine is built alot heavier than the Loflin grapple, I have not noticed any cracks or bends. The spacers are not pipe on mine, they are made of square stock. It does dig into the soil if you are not careful. Also the tines are supported by triangular braces, these tend to collect soil as well. I have found that shaking the grapple a few times will get rid of most dirt. I have found that the grapple is invaluble in cleaning up debris. I can move a pile of construction debris in just a few minutes. Normally it would take over and hour of manual labor to move the same size pile into a roll off box. Most of the time I am moving scrap plywood, drywall, and 2x4's. It is amazing how much stuff that I can grab in one load. I have also moved a bunch of pine stumps and logs. It handles these with no problem. Only small things like 1 limb or a small sapling are difficult to handle.
Thanks for the reply JBC,
I also find that with small items I may utilize forks or a grapple as a “dozer” blade and push it toward my debris pile. Sounds like the triangular braces are something that the Loflin design does not have. How big are these? Are they at the back of every tine? You said the grapple you purchased was about 1/2 the price of the AnBo version, so about $1600-$1800?
I just got off the phone with Rob at Skid Steer Solutions which sells AnBo's grapple. He quoted me $3150 for a 66” grapple and $3250 for a 72” grapple. Delivery to the shipping dock in Seattle is $100 and barged to Anchorage, Alaska is another $150. Anchorage is 360 miles from me, so I'd have to drive down to get it or get a quote to have it trucked up. When I called he first asked if I was from Florida. He said they normally have 15 units in stock, but have sold them all in the last 4 weeks with the hurricanes. He'll have another order of 15 available tomorrow. He also stated that I may expect a 10-15% price increase at the first of the year due to the increases in the price of steel. I was planning on waiting until springtime to buy one, but may purchase it earlier.
BTW, my local Bobcat dealer quoted me about $4800 for Bobcat's grapple.
 

500K_773

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Thanks for the reply JBC,
I also find that with small items I may utilize forks or a grapple as a “dozer” blade and push it toward my debris pile. Sounds like the triangular braces are something that the Loflin design does not have. How big are these? Are they at the back of every tine? You said the grapple you purchased was about 1/2 the price of the AnBo version, so about $1600-$1800?
I just got off the phone with Rob at Skid Steer Solutions which sells AnBo's grapple. He quoted me $3150 for a 66” grapple and $3250 for a 72” grapple. Delivery to the shipping dock in Seattle is $100 and barged to Anchorage, Alaska is another $150. Anchorage is 360 miles from me, so I'd have to drive down to get it or get a quote to have it trucked up. When I called he first asked if I was from Florida. He said they normally have 15 units in stock, but have sold them all in the last 4 weeks with the hurricanes. He'll have another order of 15 available tomorrow. He also stated that I may expect a 10-15% price increase at the first of the year due to the increases in the price of steel. I was planning on waiting until springtime to buy one, but may purchase it earlier.
BTW, my local Bobcat dealer quoted me about $4800 for Bobcat's grapple.
FYI,
The AnBo grapple tines can dig 14” into the ground before the mounting plate hits. This is the measurement Rob from Skid Steer Solutions gave me. He also stated that the jaws scissors closed and only leave a 6” gap in the middle. Should be able to grab the smallest of items if needed.
 

jbc

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Thanks for the reply JBC,
I also find that with small items I may utilize forks or a grapple as a “dozer” blade and push it toward my debris pile. Sounds like the triangular braces are something that the Loflin design does not have. How big are these? Are they at the back of every tine? You said the grapple you purchased was about 1/2 the price of the AnBo version, so about $1600-$1800?
I just got off the phone with Rob at Skid Steer Solutions which sells AnBo's grapple. He quoted me $3150 for a 66” grapple and $3250 for a 72” grapple. Delivery to the shipping dock in Seattle is $100 and barged to Anchorage, Alaska is another $150. Anchorage is 360 miles from me, so I'd have to drive down to get it or get a quote to have it trucked up. When I called he first asked if I was from Florida. He said they normally have 15 units in stock, but have sold them all in the last 4 weeks with the hurricanes. He'll have another order of 15 available tomorrow. He also stated that I may expect a 10-15% price increase at the first of the year due to the increases in the price of steel. I was planning on waiting until springtime to buy one, but may purchase it earlier.
BTW, my local Bobcat dealer quoted me about $4800 for Bobcat's grapple.
The braces are about 3x3". They are attached to the square tubing brace at the front. This keeps the tips of the tines from bending when digging. I paid $1850 for it. It is 72" wide. This was about 3 months ago. I know steel has went up since then. I will try to find a link to the website for the company that built it. My personal opinion is you would be fine with a standard type root grapple. If you are moving logs larger than 6-8" in diameter you should have no problem. I would try to rent one to see if it would be ok. I have another question for you. Would you feel comfortable using a brushcat without a door on the cab? I may have to clear some lots soon, and I was thinking about renting a brushcat.
 

jbc

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The braces are about 3x3". They are attached to the square tubing brace at the front. This keeps the tips of the tines from bending when digging. I paid $1850 for it. It is 72" wide. This was about 3 months ago. I know steel has went up since then. I will try to find a link to the website for the company that built it. My personal opinion is you would be fine with a standard type root grapple. If you are moving logs larger than 6-8" in diameter you should have no problem. I would try to rent one to see if it would be ok. I have another question for you. Would you feel comfortable using a brushcat without a door on the cab? I may have to clear some lots soon, and I was thinking about renting a brushcat.
www.unlimitedfabrication.com
 

500K_773

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The braces are about 3x3". They are attached to the square tubing brace at the front. This keeps the tips of the tines from bending when digging. I paid $1850 for it. It is 72" wide. This was about 3 months ago. I know steel has went up since then. I will try to find a link to the website for the company that built it. My personal opinion is you would be fine with a standard type root grapple. If you are moving logs larger than 6-8" in diameter you should have no problem. I would try to rent one to see if it would be ok. I have another question for you. Would you feel comfortable using a brushcat without a door on the cab? I may have to clear some lots soon, and I was thinking about renting a brushcat.
JBC,
Thanks again for the feedback on your grapple. $1850 is not a bad price at all for a grapple. My local steel company is having inventory this weekend and has 25% off their remnant bin, so I may buy some material and look at making my own. Are the 3”x3” braces square or triangular? If you have a digital camera, I'd really appreciate a picture if possible.
As far as the Brushcat is concerned, yes I would feel safe operating it without a cab window (I have operated my brother-in-laws 873 without a window before with a Brushcat). The Brushcat is awesome for clearing land and in combination with your grapple, things should go well. I rented a Brushcat one time and immediately knew I had to own one. If you are thinking about purchasing one, you may talk you dealer into a free or discounted demo rental.
 

jbc

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Jun 27, 2004
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JBC,
Thanks again for the feedback on your grapple. $1850 is not a bad price at all for a grapple. My local steel company is having inventory this weekend and has 25% off their remnant bin, so I may buy some material and look at making my own. Are the 3”x3” braces square or triangular? If you have a digital camera, I'd really appreciate a picture if possible.
As far as the Brushcat is concerned, yes I would feel safe operating it without a cab window (I have operated my brother-in-laws 873 without a window before with a Brushcat). The Brushcat is awesome for clearing land and in combination with your grapple, things should go well. I rented a Brushcat one time and immediately knew I had to own one. If you are thinking about purchasing one, you may talk you dealer into a free or discounted demo rental.
There is a good picture of a grapple identical to mine at www.unlimitedfabrication.com Just click on "root grapple", the top picture shows the braces for the tines. These braces limit your ability to use it as a root rake, but the extra reinforcement is good. I could have bought one online for a couple hundred less, but I would have spent money on shipping. And I wanted to support the local dealer.
 
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