I've been going like a deep fried dog lately trying to get this project completed once and for all so I don't have an awful lot of images or action video ready to share here (yet), but I've got one story I can share about the usefulness, durability and versatility of this grapple.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally found a few minutes to carve out a new trail through our woods that I've been dying to attack for several months. But first, I had to pop up this one small stone that was sticking up just high enough to catch the rotary mower, which I use to cut trails. Of course, as soon as the 46 backhoe bucket went into the ground, it was obvious that this was no small stone. It was a big'n, about 5-6 ft x 3ft x 16". I used the backhoe to flip and shift it up onto another huge flat rock just to get it out of the way. Figured I might as well make it a "feature" on the trail.
Then, as I was leveling the ground with the grapple tines, it became obvious there was another one down there. Back to the backhoe. I got it up no problem, but then I got the urge to stack it up onto the other one and make a bona fide cairn out of the mess. Or at least die trying. The only way to get it up there was with the loader so I set off with the grapple, mashing the tines under this slightly smaller stone. I clamped down on it, rolled back, and the loader seemed like it was just barely hoisting the weight of the stone off the ground. At that point, even though the rear tires were getting no traction, I figured I had it licked. I moved it off to the side and went about using the grapple as a scouring rake leveling up the trail, which worked perfectly. The tines scarified the ground very well and the cross tubes of the grapple make great soil levelers. Within a few minutes, the former undulating open pits from the stones were a perfectly smooth walking trail. I couldn't believe how fast it was over. And all of the little surface roots and growth were all plucked up, ready to be swept away. Cool.
Then I got the stone back into the grapple and up off of the ground, maneuvered the tractor around, and worked the stone up the front of the other one, all the while with it securely held by the grapple like a dog's bone. After a few minutes and some loader trickery, I got the stone up and set perfectly on top. As I rolled away, I looked back in disbelief that I just did that with a 2520. And way too easily, in about a half an hour. The fun was over before it started. I just wish I had known so I could have gotten some (more) photos or video along the way. But I did get a couple at least.