Just a little helpful information for those who find themselves deciding between adding a factory third hydraulic function and something like one of our diverter kits for operating a grapple or other hydraulic loader attachment.
First, this generally only applies to 3000 series and up Deere tractors. 2000 and below don't have a factory option, to my knowledge.
With a factory 3rd function, you do gain the luxury of an ergonomically integrated switch built into the joystick. With the diverter, you'll be attaching a push button switch to the side of the joystick, unless you want to endeavor into something custom of your own, which people have done.
Now, here's the main reason for writing this. With the factory 3rd function, the flow circuit is on-off. That means when you hit the switch, you'll immediately get max flow to your attachment. For use with a grapple, this can be very violent and destructive to the equipment due to massive pressure spikes. In these cases, a flow limiter should be introduced to the circuit.
With the diverter system, the flow of fluid going to your attachment is going through your joystick SCV so you can modulate the flow and subsequent speed of movement of your grapple, a desirable feature for sure.
A third difference, and benefit of the factory 3rd function, is that you can apply pressure to the grapple while curling and dumping. With a diverter, you must choose one or the other. The good news here is that there is a workaround. All you do is simply tap the diverter button repeatedly as you curl the grapple. This will continuously tighten up on your load as you rotate it up and back during curling.
Thanx for a simple explanation. I am planning to add a grapple to my 3025E. I obviously don't want to slam the grapple open and shut. So, I'll be wanting a flow limiter. Are flow limiters adjustable? I would hope someone has figgered out how to do a "soft start" by now. I think I understand the tapping technique you describe. And, with some practice, it probably works well. My question is which method is the most used?