My first Grapple Usage - Lessons Learned and a Challenging Task
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Thread: My first Grapple Usage - Lessons Learned and a Challenging Task

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    My first Grapple Usage - Lessons Learned and a Challenging Task

    Ok, no one would share a video of their very first usages of a grapple, right?

    Well, I decided it might be helpful to others who might be considering getting a grapple.

    I also included a tricky (dangerous) task for your enjoyment.

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    Nice work Tim, as always, great video!
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    Nice video

    Quote Originally Posted by Tractor Tim View Post
    Ok, no one would share a video of their very first usages of a grapple, right?

    Well, I decided it might be helpful to others who might be considering getting a grapple.

    I also included a tricky (dangerous) task for your enjoyment.

    Thanks for putting that together. I'm still relatively new to grapple use only a couple of years so it was interesting to see a repetition of some of my learning curve.

    You are also right in that some of us "nervous Nellies" found getting the tree down a bit nerve wracking. Personally, I think I would have used a chain and pulled the trunk straight back rather than taking any chance of it wrapping the loader up. I've also done the cut and drop thing which is ok until the tree gets close to vertical- then it's anyone's guess when and where the rest of it is coming down.

    My son tipped me off quickly about scooting a grapple along the ground to pile brush and then rotating it to grab from the top. You have to lift the boom at the same time to keep the front wheels on the ground but that technique works well. He had the advantage of learning on a skid steer but it works just as well with tractors.

    Fun stuff- thanks for putting it together.

    Treefarmer
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    Good video.

    So I have grabbed a tree like that (not quite as big but big enough) with my grapple and had it come back at me, wakes you right up. You have to really consider the forces at play there. I never did well in my college physics class, but in the real world, I am still alive so I consider that a passing grade! It was smart to get it cut up before pulling it down. I really hate to use the grapple when it is above about waist level, in other words, I do not like to reach up and grab with it. There are a lot of variables too consider when you do that with a max load if your grapple is low to the ground when you pick up a load and things go awry (which they will, it's a matter of time with a grapple) then it's easy to just dump grapple on the ground and save the tractor. I always keep my hand on the joy stick and the button when I have any kind of load. As you gain more experience you are going to grab trees that are not cut to length and that can play havoc with your small tractor. It plays havoc with my 3 series sometimes. For instance that tree you pulled down, I would have grabbed all in one piece if I could pick it up off the ground and not run into anything, but then I am one man band so stopping to cut up a tree becomes a PIA.

    Seems like you are figuring out how to manipulate it fairly well. It depends on the situation but I like attacking things from the top then clamp and curl. Scooping and clamping works well too. When I had the diverter valve kit on my 2210 I found my self constantly hitting the button to clamp. I now have the grapple on my 3025 with a WR Long third function valve and to me it's easier. That valve works really fast though so you better know what you are doing with it because it can be a little hard on the grapple.

    Keep up the good work and get that powder coat worn off the teeth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Personally, I think I would have used a chain and pulled the trunk straight back rather than taking any chance of it wrapping the loader up.

    Treefarmer
    Yes, pulling with a chain seems like the obvious answer now. I didn't think of it until I was editing the video. Kinda disappointed in myself, because I typically think I am pretty good at seeing the optimal solution to the problem at hand.

    In this case, I guess I had a new toy, and wanted to use it. This blinded me from the more simplistic solution.

    I needed you there to whisper into my ear :-) Maybe we need to begin broadcasting these projects live. ....maybe not!

    Tim
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    Hi All,

    I just wanted to add that, as a habit, the upper jaw of the grapple is meant for holding things in the grapple bed. The lower structure is designed for pulling, lifting, prying, etc,

    This is pointed out in this older video

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    More advice than you can stand

    Quote Originally Posted by Tractor Tim View Post
    Yes, pulling with a chain seems like the obvious answer now. I didn't think of it until I was editing the video. Kinda disappointed in myself, because I typically think I am pretty good at seeing the optimal solution to the problem at hand.

    In this case, I guess I had a new toy, and wanted to use it. This blinded me from the more simplistic solution.

    I needed you there to whisper into my ear :-) Maybe we need to begin broadcasting these projects live. ....maybe not!

    Tim
    I think you would get lots of advice and some of it would be contradictory! You obviously recognized the risk and took some care to minimize it so I wouldn't kick yourself too much, especially since all worked out well.

    I may be over sensitive to the dangers in trees. A friend running a tree harvester told me there were only two kinds of operators- those who had flipped a harvester and those who WOULD flip a harvester. Those are typically really heavy machines but a wind in a tree or something unexpected can happen and flip them before the operator can get the fingers open. I've watched them many times with two wheels in the air before the fingers open. Seeing 40-50,000 lbs of machine bounce makes me wince even from a distance.

    I'm guilty of picking up too long of a log and moving with those. I tend to forget just how much torque can be generated 10' out from the wheels even if the total lift weight is ok. I do run those as close to the ground as possible so if the tractor drops in a hole the end of the log will hit the ground. I still probably push that more than I should. Reminder to self- it's ok to cut to shorter lengths and make two trips. . .

    Treefarmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Range View Post
    Hi All,

    I just wanted to add that, as a habit, the upper jaw of the grapple is meant for holding things in the grapple bed. The lower structure is designed for pulling, lifting, prying, etc,

    This is pointed out in this older video
    I noticed that the 2520 handled the heavy loads (like the concrete at ~9 minutes) much better than my 1025R. Totally different class of tractor. I've got several videos showing Johnny moving concrete with the Artillian forks (pre-grapple). Johnny has to roll up his sleeves to pick up much concrete.

    Maybe someday....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tractor Tim View Post
    Yes, pulling with a chain seems like the obvious answer now. I didn't think of it until I was editing the video. Kinda disappointed in myself, because I typically think I am pretty good at seeing the optimal solution to the problem at hand.

    In this case, I guess I had a new toy, and wanted to use it. This blinded me from the more simplistic solution.

    I needed you there to whisper into my ear :-) Maybe we need to begin broadcasting these projects live. ....maybe not!

    Tim
    Putting a chain on it has it's own set of risks. I have tried to drag trees out and found my front end coming light, putting a chain on that could have resulted in the top of the tree getting hung up in a branch etc. The bottom line is dealing with trees is dangerous. What you did was fine (because it worked out and you changed tactics before it got out of hand) but it has some inherent risk and if you are a new grapple operator you need to learn about them before it bites you. I wouldn't be down on yourself. The operation turned out fine. I am helicopter pilot so the saying goes "any landing you walk away from is a good one"...same thing here. You didn't damage equipment or your self. I think its great you are putting this stuff on line.

    I had to learn about my grapple by doing and sometimes I sucked up the seat cushion and sometimes I felt like an idiot when I couldn't get the tool to do what I wanted. I would keep using it at every opportunity as you will be amazed at how much work it can do, especially once you master its capabilities. It has really helped me on my land.

    If you want to see some crazy grapple operations go watch the videos from Everything Attachments. He puts his through its paces.
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